Achilles Tendon Repair
The Achilles is the largest tendon in the human body, connecting the lower calf muscle to the heel. It’s responsible for helping you run, jump, and walk, and can be susceptible to injury in those with an active lifestyle. The Achilles tendon weakens cortisone injections, tendonitis and with age. As such, middle aged people are more likely to experience an injury to this part of the body.
Injuries to the Achilles tendon are common, but the majority of people will just deal with an overuse injury called Achilles Tendonitis. In more serious cases, the tendon can rupture and require a repair.
You can understand the mechanism of this injury if you look at how the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle works together. Whenever the calf muscles contract, they pull the Achilles tendon, which causes the toes to point. This action allows you to jump, climb, or run.
If a person is playing a sport either recreationally or professionally and they put too much sudden pressure on the Achilles tendon via one of these actions, they can cause the tendon to rupture. A ruptured Achilles tendon can be more likely in someone with untreated Achilles tendonitis, which weakens the tendon, so it’s important to address pain in the Achilles tendon as soon as possible.
You’ll know whether you have a torn Achilles tendon based on whether the pain seems gradual or very sudden. Usually a person notices the moment the tendon tears, and will feel an instant pain in the calf.
There are two methods of repairing a torn Achilles tendon. The injury can either be addressed conservatively with a cast, or through surgery. Lots of studies indicate that the cast treatment has a higher right or reinjury. Your doctor will help you decide which treatment is right for your injury.
MOTUS offers a number of ways to help patients rehabilitate after an Achilles tendon repair. In the first phase of treatment, we will focus on controlling pain and swelling, and strengthening all lower extremity muscles including the plantar flexors in an eccentric fashion.
As you progress, we’ll focus more on your ankle’s range of motion, your gait pattern, your full lower extremity strength, and getting you back to your normal activities of daily living.
Your physical therapist will work with you on your unique path to recovery, and may assign treatments such as NMES, Blood Flow Restriction Therapy, or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.