Achilles Tendon RepairThayne, WY
Achilles tendon repair can save the Achilles tendon from total degeneration. Achilles tendon injuries are common in both athletes and those who live a sedentary lifestyle. In any case, immediate medical attention is necessary for any Achilles tendon injuries.
Achilles tendon repair is available at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic in Thayne and the surrounding area. As a podiatrist, we can help prevent or treat any Achilles tendon injury. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding the Achilles Tendon
According to VeryWell Health, the Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf and the lower leg’s soleus muscles to the heel bone of the foot. It is also known as the calcaneal tendon, and it is cushioned at the heel by small sacs of fluid known as bursae.
The Achilles tendon pulls on the heel when the calf muscles flex, allowing one to stand on their toes when jumping, running, or walking. However, though tendons are strong, they are not very flexible. Consequently, the Achilles tendon can only stretch a limited amount before tearing or becoming inflamed (causing tendonitis).
Achilles Tendon Injury
Contrary to popular belief, an Achilles tendon injury can happen to anyone — regardless of whether you are an athlete. In fact, Achilles tendon injuries are quite common and can range from mild to moderate in severity.
Achilles tendon injury is typically characterized by a burning pain or stiffness in the affected area. Particularly severe pain may indicate an Achilles tendon that has been partly or completely torn.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, Achilles tendinitis is a specific type of Achilles tendon injury in which some part of the tendon is inflamed. There are two types of Achilles tendinitis: non-insertional Achilles tendinitis and insertional Achilles tendinitis. Non-insertional Achilles tendinitis affects the fibers in the middle of the tendon, while insertional Achilles tendinitis involves the lower part of the heel.
If left untreated, Achilles tendinitis can gradually develop into Achilles tendinosis, a degeneration of the tendon. In this condition, the tendon loses its organized structure and becomes prone to micro-tears. The degeneration may involve the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. Chronic degeneration with or without pain may lead to tendon rupture — though this happens only on rare occasions.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injury
As stated by WebMD, Achilles tendon injury is characterized by pain, particularly when stretching the ankle or standing on the toes of the affected leg. Such pain may be mild, and it may get either better or worse with time. The pain will be instant and severe if it has ruptured, and the area may also feel tender, swollen, and stiff.
It is not uncommon to hear a snapping or popping noise when the Achilles tendon tears. Some bruising and swelling may also be present, and affected individuals may have difficulty pointing or pushing off the toes when taking a step.
Achilles tendinitis pain typically begins gradually, starting as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after physical activity. Pain may be more severe after episodes of prolonged running, stair climbing, or sprinting. Some tenderness or stiffness may also be present in the morning and subside with mild activity.
Achilles Tendon Repair
Fortunately, mild to moderate Achilles tendon injuries usually heal on their own. Individuals who want to expedite the healing process, however, can try the following guidelines:
- Compress the affected leg with an elastic bandage around the lower leg and ankle to keep down swelling.
- Elevate the leg by propping it on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
- Ice the injury for up to 20 minutes at a time as needed.
- Practice stretching and strengthening exercises as recommended by a doctor, physical therapist, or other healthcare providers.
- Rest the leg, avoiding putting weight on it as best you can. Crutches may be necessary.
- Take anti-inflammatory painkillers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to help with pain and swelling.
- Use a heel lift to help protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching.
Since untreated Achilles tendon injuries can have disastrous results, individuals should seek medical attention as soon as they suspect they have been injured. Symptoms that warrant a visit to our podiatrist include leg or ankle stiffness or soreness, difficulty standing on the tiptoes, swelling over the Achilles tendon, and signs of infection around the ankle or leg.
Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury, along with the patient’s age and activity level. Those who are older, less active, or have only a partial tear will likely undergo the non-surgical route. This will involve physical therapy and potentially ultrasound or shockwave therapy. It may also be necessary to wear a cast, walking boot, or heel cups to relieve any excess pressure off the tendon and immobilize it while it heals.
Call Us Today
Achilles tendon injuries can be excruciating. OUr podiatrist and team at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a torn Achilles tendon to recover?
It usually takes patients 10 months to a year to return to their full functioning. However, everything varies on a case-by-case basis, and it is crucial to have realistic expectations. Our doctors can give you a better idea of what to expect during a one-on-one consultation.
What causes a torn Achilles tendon?
Though anyone can injure their Achilles tendon, a torn Achilles tendon is usually a sports injury. This typically occurs when you decide to go forwards while your momentum is going backward.
What happens during surgery for a torn Achilles tendon?
The answer varies depending on the extent of damage done. If your Achilles tendon has degenerated, Our doctors will typically need to remove the damaged portion and repair the rest of it with stitches. If the damage is severe, he may also try to replace part or all of the Achilles tendon by taking a tendon from another part of your foot. If the damage is minor, he may make several small incisions during a minimally invasive procedure.
What is an Achilles tendon rupture?
An Achilles tendon rupture is a condition in which the tendon is torn completely in two. As a result, the affected leg may become weak, and walking may become difficult. You may also not be able to rise up on your toes. Such an injury, like any other type of Achilles tendon injury, must be treated right away.
How can I prevent Achilles tendon injuries?
Avoid doing things that place undue pressure on the tendon. Reduce uphill running, and wear properly fitting shoes with good support. Stop exercising whenever you feel any pain or tightness in the back of the calf or the heel.
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