The Achilles tendon is one of the largest, strongest tendons in your body. It is a fibrous cord that connects muscles in the back of your calf to your heel, allowing you to walk, run, climb and move freely.
The Achilles tendon can be vulnerable to ruptures. Many surgeons recommend operative Achilles tendon repair as soon as possible to restore functionality and reduce the risk of re-rupture.
What Causes a Ruptured Achilles Tendon?
Your Achilles tendon helps you push off your foot when you walk by pointing your foot downward and rising on your toes. You rely on it virtually every time you walk or move your foot.
An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the tendon tears. Sudden, strong force often causes these tears, which can happen during physical activity or by moving your foot wrong. Some common causes of a ruptured Achilles tendon include:
- Increasing the intensity of a sport.
- Stepping into a hole.
- Falling from a height.
5 Signs You Need Surgery on Your Achilles Tendon
If you experience the following symptoms, you may need Achilles tendon surgery:
- Pain — possibly severe — and swelling near the heel.
- A snapping or popping sound when the injury occurs.
- Inability to bend the foot forward or push off of it when you walk.
- Inability to stand on tiptoes.
- Flat-footed walking.
Achilles Tendon Surgery
Surgery is the most common treatment for a ruptured Achilles tendon. It allows a surgeon to stitch the tendon back together. The surgeon may perform open surgery, making one large incision at the back of the calf. In some cases, the surgeon can perform a percutaneous surgery — a minimally invasive technique that uses multiple small incisions instead of one large incision.
After either surgery, you will likely need to wear a splint or another similar device for several weeks. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy to help you recover.
Recovery time typically depends on:
- The severity of the tendon damage.
- How soon you have surgery after the rupture.
- How soon you start a rehab program after surgery.
- How well you stick to your rehab program.
Contact Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics for Ruptured Achilles Tendon Treatment
The board-certified surgeons at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Tennessee perform advanced Achilles tendon repair. If you suspect you need Achilles tendon surgery, schedule an appointment with us today.