The Achilles tendon can be injured in active sports or through direct trauma. The severity and duration of the injury ultimately determine the best treatment option.
Surgery for Acute Tears
When the injury to the Achilles tendon has occurred acutely, the first line of treatment is usually placing a cast and advising rest. Although this helps, a surgical repair will result in a speedier recovery. Surgical repair for acute Achilles tendon tears restores the maximal function of the tendon and also decreases the probability of tendon tearing again.
With modern advancements in surgery, it is now possible to repair the tendon tear through a small incision. This is not only cosmetically, but it also reduces the chances of complications such as wound infections.
Minimally invasive surgical repair for acute Achilles tendon tears allows for quick recovery and rehabilitation. Patients are able to bear weight on their foot in a matter of a few weeks.
Surgery for Chronic Tears
Sometimes a tear in the Achilles tendon can go unnoticed and progress in severity. In these chronic cases, surgical repair is an absolute necessity. Chronic injuries can often lead to gaping tears in the tendon, completely tearing it. The surgery employed is more extensive and involves reconstructing the tendon.
Reconstruction of the Achilles tendon is done using other tendons such as the flexor hallucis longus. This technique is now performed through a minimally invasive procedure, leaving behind a small scar. This also reduces the likelihood of complications and swifter rehabilitation.