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What You Need to Know About Achilles Tendon Surgery

Achilles tendon repair surgery is a procedure for repairing a torn Achilles tendon.

The Achilles tendon is a thick, fibrous cord that runs down the back of the lower leg. It connects your calf muscles to your heel. It's your body's largest tendon. It assists you in walking, running, and jumping.

The Achilles tendon can rip or rupture in some instances. This is frequently caused by a strong, sudden force. It may occur during strenuous physical activity. It can happen if you move quickly or twist your foot unexpectedly. A torn tendon can be caused by a foot that turns outwards excessively. An Achilles tendon rupture can result in discomfort and swelling near your heel. It's possible that you won't be able to flex your foot downward.

Degeneration of the Achilles tendon is also possible. Tendinopathy is another name for tendinitis. Pain and stiffness along your Achilles tendon and on the back of your heel are possible signs. Overuse and recurrent stress to the tendon are the most common causes. It can be caused by frequent stress on your tendon, especially if you've been more active recently. Tendinopathy is more likely if your calf muscles are short.

An incision is created in the rear of the calf during surgery. The surgeon will suture the tendon back together if it is ruptured. If the tendon has degenerated, the surgeon may remove the diseased section and sew the remaining tendon together. The surgeon may replace part or all of your Achilles tendon if there is extensive damage to the tendon. A tendon from another part of your foot is used for this.

Reasons for Achilles tendon surgery 

If your Achilles tendon is torn, you may need surgery. In many situations of a torn Achilles tendon, surgery is recommended. However, your healthcare practitioner may recommend that you try alternative treatments first. Pain medication or a temporary cast to keep your leg from moving are examples. If you have certain medical issues, your doctor may not recommend surgery. Diabetes and neuropathy in the legs are two examples.

If you have tendinopathy, you may need Achilles tendon repair surgery. However, tendinopathy may usually be treated with other methods. Resting your foot, using ice and pain medications, and immobilizing your foot with a brace or other device are all options. Physical treatment may also be beneficial. If your symptoms persist after many months, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Achilles tendon surgery may be appropriate for you depending on the nature of your problem. Discuss the risks and benefits of your options with your healthcare physician.

How to prepare 

Tell your doctor about all of the medications you're taking. Aspirin and other over-the-counter medications are examples. Some medications, such as blood thinners, may need to be stopped ahead of time. If you smoke, you must quit prior to your surgery. Smoking can slow the healing process. If you need assistance quitting smoking, go to your doctor.

Imaging examinations may be required prior to surgery. Ultrasound, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging are among the examples (MRI).

The night before your procedure, do not eat or drink after midnight. Any recent changes in your health, such as a fever, should be reported to your healthcare professional.

What to expect after Achilles tendon surgery 

You will have some discomfort following your surgery, particularly in the first few days. Painkillers will help you feel better. As much as possible, keep your leg up. This can aid in the reduction of edema and pain. If you have a high temperature or pain in your ankle or calf that gets worse, contact your healthcare practitioner straight once. Crutches will most likely be required after your procedure. This allows you to shift your weight away from your leg.

You'll need to see your healthcare provider about 10 days after your procedure to get your stitches removed. Your splint may be replaced with a cast at this point by your healthcare professional. If this is the case, follow all of the guidelines for keeping your cast dry. Alternatively, instead of a cast, your healthcare professional may recommend a unique removable boot.

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