Achilles Tendon Tear
The Achilles tendon is a large, strong fibrous cord that connects the calf muscles in the back of the leg to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus). You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot. If the Achilles tendon is torn, you may be unable to walk, jump, stand on your toes, and climb stairs.
Achilles Tendon Tear at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics
Many Achilles tendon tears occur during sports from a sudden stretching of the tendon or as a result of weakening over time due to tendonitis. Athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of running, jumping, and sudden starts and stops are particularly vulnerable. If you rupture your Achilles tendon, you may hear a loud pop or feel a sudden painful snap in the back of your calf or lower leg, followed by sharp, severe pain.
The condition may be treated with or without surgery. Nonsurgical treatments may include ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, using crutches to avoid putting weight on the tendon, wearing a cast or walking boot to immobilize the area, and physical therapy.
When to Know if You Need Achilles Tendon Surgery
If you lead an active lifestyle and want to return to sports or strenuous recreational and fitness activities, our foot and ankle doctors will likely recommend surgery to reattach the torn Achilles tendon. Surgically repairing a torn tendon also decreases your risk of repeated tendon rupture and improves your chances of regaining full strength in the leg.
Surgery is generally effective and the risk of complications is typically low. The surgery will require anesthesia but can be performed on an outpatient basis.
About the Achilles Tendon Repair Procedure
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a 3- to 4-inch opening behind the ankle and reattaches the tendon ends to each other or to the bone. After surgery, you will wear a splint or short leg cast for 4-6 weeks. You will need to use crutches, a walker, or knee scooter to avoid putting weight on the leg. When the healing is complete you will participate in physical therapy to restore range of motion in your ankle.
Most people who undergo surgical repair can return to walking and swimming at 6 weeks, and gradually return to sports several months after the surgery.
Achilles Tendon Tear Treatment Columbia, Eldersburg, and Catonsville, MD
If you think you have torn your Achilles tendon, you need to see a foot and ankle surgeon right away. Call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland today at (410) 644-1880 for an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Marc Lipton or Dr. Roberto Brandão. Alternatively, you can use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment and we will reach out to you.