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Achilles tendon repair

What is Achilles tendon repair?

An Achilles tendon rupture can be treated non-surgically or surgically repaired. Your consultant will discuss the options and help you decide the most appropriate treatment for you, taking into account your symptoms and factors like your age and level of physical activity. Non-operative treatment may be possible if the torn ends of the tendon are close together because this can allow the tendon to heal at the correct length, once the calf is placed in a plaster cast or brace for a couple of weeks.

This avoids the need for surgery but does carry a marginally increased chance of reoccurrence of the tendon rupture, and the tendon may not be as strong as it was prior to the injury. Non-surgical treatment requires early diagnosis to place the ankle in the correct position for healing and very specific rehabilitation. These are of critical importance for the success of non-surgical treatment.

What does Achilles tendon repair involve?

Surgical Achilles tendon repair will normally be performed as a day case and will require a general anaesthetic, as well as a local anaesthetic block. This is an injection of local anaesthetic into the back of the knee around the nerves. This is performed under image guidance and helps to minimise post-surgical pain. Using minimally invasive techniques to reattach the tendon ends together can hasten recovery and reduce the chance of the tendon rupture recurring. Physically active, younger individuals are usually good candidates for this procedure.

Achilles tendon repair

Foot & ankle consultants

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