Achilles tendon injuries are common in athletes of every ability and can heal with expert care from the team at All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Houston, Texas. If your tendon suffers severe damage, you might need to undergo Achilles tendon repair surgery to restore full function to your lower leg. If you have an Achilles tendon injury, the board-certified orthopedic surgeons offer prompt and expert care to get you back on track. Call or book an appointment online today.
Achilles Tendon Repair Q & A
When might I need Achilles tendon repair?
Achilles tendon repair might be necessary if you injure the tendon and other treatments aren't sufficient to heal the damage.
The Achilles tendon is a tough cord of tissue that attaches your calf muscle to your heel. This tendon — the largest in your body — enables you to walk, run, and jump, and it’s extremely strong.
You can tear the Achilles tendon if you subject it to too much strain. You can also develop tendinitis from overuse, where numerous small tears appear in the tendon. Untreated tendinitis can become a chronic condition called tendinosis, in which the fibers of the tendon break down.
In some cases, injuries such as these are treatable using a combination of immobilization, activity modification, medication, and physical therapies.
If you don't get relief from your symptoms or the damage is too extensive, the All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute team can perform an Achilles tendon repair.
What does Achilles tendon repair involve?
The type of Achilles tendon repair you need depends on the extent of the damage. The All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute team might be able to repair the tendon by sewing the ends back together. If the tear is too severe, they may need to use a graft.
They typically take the graft tissue from a tendon in your foot, then use it to act as a bridge that attaches the torn ends of the Achilles tendon. In most cases, the team uses minimally invasive surgical techniques that don't require any large incisions.
Using a minimally invasive technique encourages faster healing due to there being less tissue damage. It also results in less postoperative pain.
How long does it take to recover from Achilles tendon repair?
The initial healing period takes about 10 days, during which time you have a splint on your ankle and must use crutches to avoid putting pressure on the tendon. Your provider then removes your splint and any stitches, and you begin your rehabilitation.
Several factors affect the length of your recovery period following Achilles tendon repair, including:
The type of repair
Your level of fitness
Other health problems
You can optimize healing time by following the rehabilitation program prepared for you by the All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute's physical therapy department. Complete recovery could take 6-12 months, depending on all these factors.
Find out more about Achilles tendon repair by contacting All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute. Call or book an appointment online today.