Achilles Rupture Made Simple


The Achilles Tendon

Tendons are tissue that connect muscles to bones. The Achilles tendon, then, connects the muscles of the calf (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus).

The Achilles tendon is subject to a remarkable amount of stress, especially for recreational athletes. Any sport that involves jumping increases the risk of a torn Achilles, as does any sport that requires sudden stops and starts. That includes:

…and others. Certain other factors can weaken the Achilles tendon or make it more susceptible to rupture, such as:

Achilles Tendon Rupture Repair

Research suggests that minimally invasive surgery can repair a torn Achilles tendon with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery. In a traditional open surgery, the tendon is debrided first, which means stray tendon fibers are cleaned up. This creates two clean ends of the ruptured tendon for the surgeon to sew back together. With PARS, the surgeon is able to work around the stray tendon fibers and start the repairs from the healthy part of the tendon, which researchers think may promote faster healing.

Minimally-invasive surgery is not right for every patient, depending on the condition of the tendon and where the rupture is located. The surgery and rehabilitation can be adjusted depending on these factors. The minimally invasive technique has been used quite successfully in patients, and it is a very good consideration for repair of the Achilles tendon.

Once the diagnosis is made, patients have 2 treatment choices: non-surgical treatment or surgery. Non-surgical treatment can work well and is associated with fewer wound healing problems, but it does have the risk of higher rates of rupturing the tendon again and an increased recovery time.

Surgery can decrease the risk of rupturing the tendon again and is more likely to allow the tendon to again be the correct length. Having the tendon be the correct length is important so that you have the strength to walk normally once you are healed. However, surgery has two potential complications as well: slow wound healing and scar adhesions (when the skin sticks to the tendon).

Minimally-Invasive Repair

Minimally-invasive Achilles tendon surgery can decrease the risks for both complications compared with traditional surgery. The surgery is performed through an inch-long incision (cut) where the tendon ends are located. A specially-designed stitch device is then passed up and around the tendon, which guides sutures (stitches) into the tendon and pulls them into the small incision. The sutures are then tied so the tendon ends meet, and when compared to the other leg, the foot and ankle should be in the same position. This means that the correct length of the tendon has been achieved.

Your functional outcome is our success!

Call us at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute for your Urgent Care/ Emergency Foot and Ankle needs! 602-761-7819 for excellence in Scottsdale!

Jeffrey E. McAlister DPM

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Is a Peroneal Tendon Tear?

The peroneal tendons are vital in stabilizing your ankle and preventing injuries. Because they’re used a lot, the peroneal tendons can tear, causing pain and other problems. Keep reading to learn more about peroneal tendon tears.

5 Common Signs of Ankle Arthritis

Pain in your ankles can be due to a number of issues, including arthritis. When you have ankle arthritis, it makes small tasks like walking seemingly impossible. Read on to learn what signs signal ankle arthritis, so you can get treatment right away.

How to Take Care of Your Flat Feet

Flat feet can cause you to have pain in both your ankles and knees. This type of deformity doesn’t always lead to problems, but if it does, it can be detrimental. Keep reading to learn how you can take care of your flat feet to avoid issues later on.