The Achilles tendon is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. It plays a crucial role in letting you walk, run, jump, and stand on your toes with ease.
Any injury to this tendon can cause debilitating pain and limit your mobility. That's where board-certified podiatrist Dr. Shay Fish and our expert team at South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, come in.
As a leading center for foot and ankle care in the region, we've mastered the science of Achilles tendon repair surgery, helping a multitude of patients regain full leg strength and flexibility after a debilitating Achilles injury.
Here, we break down what to expect from Achilles tendon repair surgery, and when you might need one.
Injuries to your Achilles tendon often stem from excessive strain or overuse, particularly during sports activities. In severe cases, the tendon can tear or rupture completely, resulting in acute pain and difficulty walking.
We examine the extent of your injury and overall health to determine if you need surgery. We also take into consideration your age and how physically active you are.
Achilles tendon repair surgery is done to reconnect your calf muscles to the heel bone when conservative treatments like physical therapy are ineffective, or when the injury is too extensive to heal on its own.
To perform the repair, we simply make a small incision in the back of your lower leg and sew the ruptured ends of the tendon together. The procedure typically takes one to two hours and is typically done with the aid of general anesthesia.
Once your surgery is complete, keeping your foot immobilized is crucial for allowing the tendon to heal. Wearing a cast or walking boot for a set period helps ensure optimal healing.
Rehabilitation also plays a vital role in the recovery process. Physical therapy exercises can help restore strength and flexibility to your foot and ankle while improving your balance and gait.
This phase is critical, and usually starts a few weeks after surgery, continuing for several months. Slow, steady PT progress helps prevent further injury and encourages the best outcome from your surgery.
At South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, we tailor a comprehensive rehabilitation program for each patient, focusing on a range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, balance training, and functional exercises.
Motion exercises help increase flexibility and decrease stiffness in your ankle, whereas strengthening exercises help rebuild muscle strength that was lost during the period of immobilization. Balance and functional movements are incorporated later in the recovery process to help you safely return to your regular activities.
Dealing with an Achilles tendon injury can be difficult. However, with the right care and guidance, full recovery is possible. Coupled with a detailed rehabilitation program, Achilles tendon repair surgery can help restore your strength and flexibility.
At South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, our skilled surgeon, state-of-the-art facilities, and comprehensive rehabilitation services make us the go-to center for this surgery. Give us a call today, or book an appointment online any time.