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Treating an Achilles Tendon Rupture

Treatment of a ruptured Achilles tendon is dependent on a case-by-case basis for each individual patient.  Factors such as age, physical activities, and how serious the injury is all have to be taken into account.  Surgery is an option for treating a ruptured Achilles tendon, but it’s not the only way to treat it.  Generally speaking, someone who is active in sports will opt for surgery, while someone else likely won’t.

If you do choose to undergo surgery, the surgeon will make an incision in the back of your leg and stitch the tendon together.  There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, but the risks here are infection and damage to your nerves.  Fortunately, experienced surgeons know what they’re doing, and new research has yielded the fact that a smaller incision will result in a lesser chance of developing those risks.

If you choose to go with a nonsurgical method for treatment, your doctor will require you to wear either a walking boot or cast with an elevated heal.  This means that you can go around the risks that come with surgery, but the treatment time and recovery period is significantly higher.  In addition, in the small chance that the nonsurgical method fails to work, surgery may be your only other option.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with a surgery or nonsurgical treatment method, treating a ruptured Achilles tendon will only be truly complete following the rehabilitation period.  This is a long process, and the tendon won’t be restored to its full potential for several months.

For the rehabilitation period, work on stretching your calf muscles to the point of feeling a pull but no pain.  This will strengthen your muscles and tendons by absorbing more force.  Next, exercise consistently.  Walking, swimming, biking, or any activities that won’t put too much stress on your Achilles tendons are viable options (so avoid running over non-flat terrains and jumping).  In addition, when you do exercise, only do so over a completely flat surface.  Start out with smaller exercises and then gradually work your way up in terms of both the intensity and duration of the exercises.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

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16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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