Surgery for an Achilles Tendon Rupture
There are two types of surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon:
In both types of surgery, the surgeon sews the tendon back together through the incision(s). Surgery may be delayed for about a week after the rupture, to let the swelling go down.
What To Expect After Surgery
After either type of surgery, you will likely wear a cast, walking boot, or similar device for 6 to 12 weeks. At first, the cast or boot is positioned to keep the foot pointed downward as the tendon heals. The cast or boot is then adjusted gradually to put the foot in a neutral position (not pointing up or down). Many health professionals recommend starting movement and weight-bearing exercises early, before the cast or boot comes off. Your total recovery time will probably be as long as 6 months.
Why It Is Done
This surgery is done to repair an Achilles tendon that has been torn into two pieces.
How Well It Works
It is sometimes difficult to know how surgeries compare, because the ages and activities of those having the surgeries differ. The success of your surgery can depend on your surgeon's experience, the type of surgical procedure used, the extent of tendon damage, how soon after rupture the surgery is done, and how soon your rehabilitation program starts after surgery and how well you follow it.
Talk to your surgeon about his or her surgical experience and success rate with the technique that would best treat your condition.
The risks of Achilles tendon surgery include:
What To Think About
An Achilles tendon rupture is usually treated with surgery or with a cast, splint, brace, or other device that will keep your lower leg from moving (immobilization). When compared with immobilization, surgery provides less chance that the tendon will rupture again and offers a shorter recovery period. There is greater risk for wound complications in surgery, though.
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