The Achilles tendon is the terminal tendon of the calf muscle. This tendon can rupture when it has been weakened by degeneration of the tendon fibers (overweight, dehydration, pre-existing tendonitis). Surgical treatment of the Achilles tendon reduces the risk of its recurrence significantly.
Achilles tendon rupture is a frequent injury affecting thousands of people each year. This injury is more common among athletes, though many non-athletes may suffer from it. An Achilles tendon injury can be very disruptive as it interferes with quite normal daily activities such as walking. The treatment of a recent Achilles tendon rupture can be surgical or orthopedic. The goal of treatment (orthopedic or surgical) is to heal the tendon by bringing the tendon ends together and thus regain the desired mobility.
In the case of an Achilles tendon rupture, a suture is performed to put the two fragments of the Achilles tendon end-to-end (open surgical repair). The intervention lasts from one to two hours and can be performed on an outpatient basis or through a short hospital stay. The anesthesia is generally local, that is to say with anesthesia only of the limb to be operated on.
After the operation, a removable boot (walking cast) is put in place directly for a minimum of 3 weeks.
Small daily self-mobilization exercises are performed outside the boot.
At three weeks and as soon as the ankle has recovered the right angle, support is gradually authorized.
In general, the removable boot is removed after a month and 1/2 to two months with a heel pad for another month.
Depending on the profession, the patient may consider two to six months of the work stoppage. After the operation, several check-ups with the surgeon are needed where they consecutively would prescribe physiotherapy sessions for 3 months.
Who needs the Achilles tendon surgery?
Left untreated, a ruptured Achilles tendon may heal, but with poor scar tissue (possibly rupturing again) and an elongated tendon, which decreases calf strength. Surgical treatment in young patients indeed allows faster recovery with better functional quality and a much lower risk of recurrence of the rupture.