Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery

Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery

Why might I need Achilles tendon repair surgery?

You might need Achilles tendon surgery if you tore your tendon. Surgery is advised for many cases of a ruptured Achilles tendon. But in some cases, your healthcare provider may advise other treatments first. These may include pain medicine, or a temporary cast to prevent your leg from moving. And your healthcare provider may not advise surgery if you have certain medical conditions. These include diabetes and neuropathy in your legs.

Or you may need Achilles tendon repair surgery if you have tendinopathy. But in most cases, other treatments can be used to treat tendinopathy. These include resting your foot, using ice and pain medicines, and using a brace or other device to stop your foot from moving. Physical therapy can also help. If you still have symptoms after several months, your healthcare provider might advise surgery.

iranian surgeryDepending on the type of problem you have, Achilles tendon surgery might work for you. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of your choices.

What are the risks of Achilles tendon repair surgery?

Every surgery has risks. Risks of Achilles tendon repair include:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection
  • Blood clot
  • Wound healing problems
  • Calf weakness
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Continued pain in your foot and ankle

Your own risks may vary according to your age, the shape of your foot and leg muscles and tendons, your general health, and the type of surgery done. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have. He or she can tell you the risks that most apply to you.

How do I prepare for Achilles tendon repair surgery?

Talk with your healthcare provider how to prepare for your surgery. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin. You may need to stop taking some medicines ahead of time, such as blood thinners. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop before your surgery. Smoking can delay healing. Talk with your healthcare provider if you need help to stop smoking.

Before your surgery, you may need imaging tests. These may include ultrasound, X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. Tell your healthcare provider about any recent changes in your health, such as a fever.

You may need to plan some changes at home to help you recover. This is because you won’t be able to walk on your foot normally for a while. Plan to have someone drive you home from the hospital.

What happens during Achilles tendon repair surgery?

Achilles tendon surgery can be done with several methods. The surgery is done by an orthopedic surgeon and a team of specialized healthcare providers. Ask your healthcare provider about the details of your surgery. The surgery may take a couple of hours. During your surgery:

  • You may have spinal anesthesia. This is so you won’t feel anything from your waist down. You’ll also likely be given sedation. This will help you sleep through the surgery.
  • A healthcare provider will watch your vital signs, like your heart rate and blood pressure, during the surgery.
  • The surgeon will make an incision through the skin and muscle of your calf. If you have minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon will make a smaller incision. He or she may then use a tiny camera with a light to help do the surgery.
  • Your surgeon will make an incision through the sheath that surrounds the tendon. He or she will remove parts of your damaged tendon, or repair the rip in the tendon.
  • Your surgeon may remove another tendon from your foot. This is then used to replace part or all of the Achilles tendon.
  • Your surgeon will make any other repairs that are needed.
  • The healthcare provider will close the layers of skin and muscle around your calf with sutures.

iranian surgeryWhat to expect

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.

Risks

The risks of Achilles tendon surgery include:

  • Skin infection at the incision site.
  • Normal complications of surgery or anesthesia, such as bleeding and side effects from medicines.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Risk of repeat Achilles rupture. This risk, though, is typically less than the risk after nonsurgical treatment.
  • The possibility that the healed tendon will not be as strong as before the injury.
  • Decreased range of motion.

Infection is possible with any surgery, but it may be more common with open surgery than with percutaneous surgery. The small risk of other complications is about the same with either open or percutaneous surgery. And most problems go away over time. These complications include pain, delayed wound healing, nerve damage, and problems with scarring.

10 common questions about Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery

1How long is Achilles tendon surgery?
Achilles surgery takes only about 30 minutes to an hour, and you'll go home the same day. The surgeons will put you in a cast that extends from below the knee to your toes. It'll keep your foot in a pointed position.
2What can I expect after Achilles tendon surgery?
You can put ice on the area to reduce swelling. It should be better in a few days. Your tendon will slowly get stronger as you recover. You will need to wear a cast or walking boot for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.
3Is Achilles tendon surgery necessary?
Key points to remember. You can treat an Achilles tendon rupture with surgery or by using a cast, splint, brace, walking boot, or other device that will keep your lower leg and ankle from moving (immobilization). Both surgery and immobilization are usually successful.
4Is Achilles tendon surgery painful?
Achilles tendon surgery is often an outpatient procedure. This means you can go home the same day. You will have some pain after your surgery, especially in the first few days. Pain medicines will help relieve your pain.
5How long are you non weight bearing after Achilles tendon surgery?
Several studies have described the outcomes of patients who were made nonweight-bearing for six weeks after surgery.
6Do you sleep with a walking boot?
It is advised to sleep with one's walking boot on but with the straps loosened for optimal comfort. A helpful tip when sleeping with one's boot on is to surround the leg with pillows to make sure the injured foot is supported. This will also make it unlikely for one to displace their foot, leading to further injury.
7How long will it take to walk normally after Achilles tendon surgery?
And in most cases, you'll be back to walking normally between 3 and 4 months following surgery. For active individuals who have athletic goals, we'll ask you to wait to run until a few things are observed.
8Does a walking boot help Achilles tendonitis?
Either a removable walking boot, or sometimes even a cast, can allow the inflamed tissue to cool down quickly. Wearing a walking boot keeps the calf muscle from pulling on the Achilles tendon. The boot prevents you from pushing off with the ball of your foot or pointing your toes downward.
9How long do you stay in hospital after Achilles surgery?
For two or three days after surgery, most patients are instructed to stay off their feet and rest. You may be able to get around more after about three days, but you should continue to elevate your ankle as much as possible and use your crutches to keep weight off your ankle.
10Can you walk on a partially torn Achilles tendon?
It is best not to walk or stretch the torn or ruptured Achilles tendon, especially if you have extreme pain. “Achilles tendons do not carry robust blood supplies. As such, they do not heal well on their own.

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