Achilles Tendon Repair

A ruptured Achilles Tendon is a very serious injury, as it is the strongest tendon in the human body.  Tendons are very durable connective tissues, connecting muscles to bones.  A ruptured achilles tendon will significant impair an individual’s ability to walk.  This condition normally occurs with bursts of movement such as running and jumping.

Symptoms of a ruptured Achilles Tendon include:

  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Bruising
  • Pain in the heel
  • Popping noise at the injured area
  • Inability to stand on toes

Surgical repair is recommended in most cases, however treatment options depend on the patient’s goals.  Surgery is usually chosen by patients who wish to return to an active lifestyle, because of the quicker recovery time and lower risk of re-rupturing the tendon.

Depending on the severity of the damage, the torn tendon may be repaired by stitching the tear in the tendon.  However, in some cases the torn tendon may need additional tendon to support it.  As with all surgical procedures there are risks of infections and nerve damage.

What to expect

A patient may expect to wear a cast or a splint post-surgery, and keep the repaired leg non-weightbearing.  After a 2-3 weeks of rest, the patient will be instructed with guided exercises to regain strength, balance and stability to the ankle, and may be able to return to previous activities in about six months.