Whether your doctor recommends surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon may depend partly on your age and activity level, foot experts say.
The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. A rupture is a complete or partial tendon tear that leaves the heel bone separated or partially separated from the knee.
The length of recovery from this type of injury varies depending on whether a patient undergoes surgical or nonsurgical treatment.
“Treatment processes are dependent upon a patient’s overall health, activity level, and ability to follow a functional rehabilitation protocol,” said Dr. Jeffrey McAlister, a foot and ankle surgeon in Sun City West, Ariz. Advances in treating Achilles tendon rupture were discussed by McAlister and other specialists at a recent meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, in Las Vegas.
Typically, less active and unhealthy patients receive nonsurgical treatment since they are not trying to return to active sports, McAlister said in a college news release. But this approach usually involves a long rehabilitation/recovery period (9-12 months). Also, these patients may be at increased risk of potentially dangerous blood clots due to inactivity during this period.
“For more athletic and younger patients, the surgical option may be best,” said Dr. Michael VanPelt, a Dallas foot, and ankle surgeon. “We anticipate these patients have shorter healing times.”
But because there is low blood flow to the Achilles tendon, healing after surgery can be tricky.
“Advances in surgical techniques to repair Achilles tendon ruptures include limited incision, or smaller incision, surgical approaches to help patients have smaller scars, and less of a chance of wound complications,” said Dr. Jason Kayce, a Phoenix foot and ankle surgeon.
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Many athletes largely depend on chiropractic care to enhance their physical performance. New research studies have determined that besides maintaining overall health and wellness, chiropractic can also help prevent sports injuries. Athletes use chiropractic as an alternative treatment option to improve their strength, mobility, and flexibility. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulations performed by a chiropractor can also help correct spinal issues, speeding up an athlete’s recovery process to help them return to play as soon as possible.
The information herein on "Treatment and Recovery for a Ruptured Achilles Tendon" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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