In some cases, surgery is needed to repair a rupture in the Achilles tendon and any related soft-tissue injuries that may have also occurred. The goal of surgery is to help restore length and function of the Achilles tendon.
A variety of surgical techniques are available to repair the rupture. In selecting the procedure, Dr. Hoy has taken into consideration the extent of your injury, your age, your activity level, and other factors. Techniques for repairing an Achilles tendon rupture fall into two general categories—open (involving one long incision) and percutaneous (involving multiple smaller incisions). The open procedure, which may be modified somewhat by your surgeon to address your needs, is described here:
Achilles Tendon Repair
After making an incision on the back of the heel to gain access to the Achilles tendon, Dr. Hoy:
• Identifies the rupture
• Cleans out the damaged tissue and residual debris that was caused by the tear
• Stitches together the healthy portions of the tendon, resulting in a restored Achilles tendon
• In some cases, additional surgical procedures may be needed such as transfer of another healthy tendon or lengthening of the Achilles
• Closes the incision with stitches and applies a sterile bandage
• Immobilizes the foot and ankle with a cast, splint or boot
Recovery from this procedure generally takes 6-12 weeks. During a portion of this period, weight bearing on the operative foot may not be permitted.