Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg. It most commonly occurs in people playing recreational sports.
The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture) completely or just partially.
If your Achilles tendon ruptures, you might feel a pop or snap, followed by an immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg that is likely to affect your ability to walk properly. Surgery is often the best option to repair an Achilles tendon rupture. For many people, however, nonsurgical treatment works just as well.
Treatment for a ruptured Achilles tendon often depends on your age, activity level and the severity of your injury. In general, younger and more active people often choose surgery to repair a completely ruptured Achilles tendon, while older people are more likely to opt for nonsurgical treatment. Recent studies, however, have shown fairly equal effectiveness of both operative and nonoperative management.
This approach typically involves wearing a cast or walking boot with wedges to elevate your heel, which allows your torn tendon to heal. This method avoids the risks associated with surgery, such as infection. However, the likelihood of re-rupture may be higher with a nonsurgical approach, and recovery can take longer. If re-rupture occurs, surgical repair may be more difficult.
The procedure generally involves making an incision in the back of your lower leg and stitching the torn tendon together. Depending on the condition of the torn tissue, the repair may be reinforced with other tendons. Surgical complications can include infection and nerve damage. Infection rates are reduced in surgeries that employ smaller incisions.
The Orthopedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide conservative treatment options for Foot & Ankle conditions and injuries.
After treatment, whether surgical or nonsurgical, you’ll go through a rehabilitation program involving physical therapy exercises to strengthen your leg muscles and Achilles tendon. Most people return to their former level of activity within four to six months.
Dr. Todd Kim ~ Orthopedic Surgeon
“Although I treat many patients with similar orthopedic injuries, I believe that the best outcomes for patients result from individualized treatment plans. Not every injury is the same. And to be sure, every patient has his or her own goals. Whether your hope is to return to a high level of competitive sports or to be able to walk your dog without pain, forming the best treatment plan requires excellent communication and trust with your surgeon. I am committed to listening and working with you to find the best treatment approach for your injury and lifestyle.”
Dr. Todd Kim is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in complex and traditional shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle conditions and treatments.
Foot & Ankle Treatment Highlights
Innovative Implant Design
Stryker STAR Total Ankle Replacement implant is utilized by Dr. Todd Kim providing ankle replacement patients with innovative implant technologies.
Responsive Implant Technology
The Stryker STAR Ankle Replacement Implant is the only mobile bearing total ankle replacement available in the US.
Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic
The Orthopaedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide comprehensive services to all members of the family.