Sports Injury & Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgery
The Achilles’ tendon is the largest one in the body and is also more prone to injuries and damage. This tendon connects your calf muscles to the heel bone and is most he
lpful in walking, running and jumping.
Although, this tendon is quite strong and can withstand great stress due to extreme physical activities it is still vulnerable to damage in some cases. A tendon rupture is the tearing (or separation) of the tendon fibers that disables the tendon.
When this tendon rupture (tears) it is possible to hear an audible ‘pop’ or snap which is immediately followed by sharp pain in the lower leg continuing to the back of the ankle. This affects your walking ability.
Although non-surgical treatments are effective in mild tears in the Achilles’ tendon, an ideal way to treat Achilles’ tendon rupture is a surgical procedure to rejoin the torn tendon and restore its functioning.
What are the signs and symptoms of Achilles’ Tendon injury?
At times, mild tears of the Achilles’ tendon tend to show no noticeable signs or symptoms. However, people with a severe tear (damage/injury) to the Achilles’ tendon may experience:
Severe pain in heel and lower leg at the back
Swelling in the ankle at the back
Inability to bend foot down while walking
Inability to stand on toes of injured foot
Popping/snapping sound at the moment of injury
It is advisable to seek immediate and proper medical treatment in case any of the symptoms are felt or you are unable to walk after an injury to the lower leg or ankle.
How is Achilles’ Tendon ruptured or damaged?
The Achilles tendon helps to push the foot downwards and rise on the toes when you walk. This tendon is most useful in walking or running.
This tendon can get ruptured (damaged) mostly around 6 cm above the heel bone. This region of the tendon is vulnerable to damage as it gets less blood supply naturally. This also impairs its natural healing ability.
An Achilles tendon may get ruptured in a case of:
- Intense sports activity (especially those involving jumping)
- Falling hard on the heel
- Mis-step while walking/running
What are the risk factors that can cause Achilles Tendon Rupture?
There are several risk factors that make a person more prone to suffer Achilles’ tendon rupture, such as:
- Age – People are more prone Achilles’ tendon rupture after 30 years of age.
- Sex – Achilles’ tendon rupture occurs more commonly in men as compared to women.
- Sports – Sports involving running, jumping and sudden sprints and stops (basketball, tennis, soccer, etc) increase risk of Achilles’ tendon rupture.
- Steroid Abuse – Overuse of steroid medications for alleviating pain in the ankle or foot may lead to weaken of the Achilles tendon and result in its rupture (tearing).
How is Achilles Tendon Rupture diagnosed?
The expert orthopedic specialists at Cocoona Day Surgical Center will initially perform a complete physical examination to check the lower leg for swelling and tenderness. In most cases, the ruptured tendon can be felt distinctly in a physical examination.
For detailed diagnosis of the condition, the orthopedic specialist might also advise a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to get more details regarding the extent and severity of the injury.
How is Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgery performed?
The Achilles tendon rupture surgery is a simple form of surgery. The orthopedic surgeon at Cocoona Day Surgical Center will have local anesthesia administered to avoid pain or discomfort to you during the procedure.
The next step involves making a small incision in the back of the lower leg. This incision gives clear access to the ruptured (torn) tendon. The surgeon will then use strong stitches to rejoin the tendon again. The surgeon may also need to use a healthy tendon from another part of your body to strengthen the joint.
After the surgeon is satisfied with the rejoining of the ruptured (damaged) tendon they will close the incision in the back of the leg with fine sutures to avoid scarring.
What are the alternate treatment methods for Achilles Tendon Rupture?
In case the extent of the tear (rupture) in the Achilles tendon is mild and not extensive there are several non-surgical alternatives that can be useful in treating the injured tendon.
The most common non-surgical treatment method for Achilles tendon rupture injury is the use of special walking boots (or cast) that elevates the heel and allows the relaxed Achilles tendon to repair itself naturally.
Achilles tendon rupture is most commonly seen in athletes as well as older men who are engaged in regular physical activities. This condition may get severe in case proper and immediate medical care is not achieved. Cocoona Day Surgical Center offers the best and most effective Achilles tendon rupture treatment at the most affordable cost.