An injury to the Achilles tendon can happen by placing too much force or strain on the tendon. It is commonly caused by a fall or occurs during high impact sports such as basketball or soccer. It can also happen during an intense workout or while running. A torn or ruptured Achilles tendon can be treated through a variety of options, including Achilles tendon surgery.
Factors such as your age and activity level help determine the best treatment for your needs. Those who are active or have reinjured their tendon may choose to have surgery, while older individuals may decide on more conservative options. If you do choose to have Achilles tendon surgery, it's extremely important to find the best DFW ankle surgeon to perform your treatment.
Diagnosing an Achilles Injury
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that extends down the back part of your ankle and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. When you injure this tendon, you may hear a pop and experience sharp pain in the back of your ankle and leg, making it difficult to walk. Achilles tendon surgery is an option for a torn or ruptured Achilles tendon when other treatments have not been successful. If your injury is severe or you have developed scar tissue, surgery should be performed by the best DFW ankle surgeon to help you regain function of your foot and ankle.
Your DFW podiatrist will evaluate your situation and determine what treatment is best for your specific needs. For many, Achilles tendon surgery is often recommended and has proven successful. For those with medical conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, surgery is not an option. Your DFW podiatrist may do the following to determine the best treatment for you:
- Physical exam to check for swelling and tenderness as well as any gaps near the Achilles tendon that can indicate a rupture or tear
- Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI to determine the extent of the injury
Some factors used to determine if you are good candidate for surgery include:
- Activity level
- Medical history
- Smoking history
Achilles Tendon Surgery
Achilles tendon surgery in DFW is an outpatient procedure where you go home the same day and can be done either as:
- Open surgery. This is performed using one large incision to expose the injured area.
- Minimally invasive surgery. This is performed with several small incisions on the back of your leg and uses a scope and mini camera.
There are several complications that can occur from surgery such as nerve damage, blood clots, or infection. Minimally invasive surgery has fewer risks and complications than open surgery.
Most Achilles tendon surgeries are done using general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. The procedure consists of repairing the damaged tendon by stitching it together and, if needed, reinforcing the tendon to other tendons. The goal of Achilles tendon surgery is to repair the tendon and reattach it to the heel bone. After the procedure is completed, stitches or staples are used to close the incision.
After surgery is complete and your incision is closed, your foot will be bandaged and either put in a cast or walking boot for four to eight weeks to allow for healing. If you have truly found the best DFW ankle surgeon, they will be sure to provide you with instructions for your recovery process. These may include:
- Avoiding placing weight on the foot until the cast or walking boot is removed
- Keeping the leg elevated to reduce swelling
- Keeping the incision site dry to prevent infection
- Undergoing physical therapy once the cast is removed to regain full function of the foot and strengthen the tendon and surrounding muscles so they regain flexibility
- Resuming normal activities after four to six months
Contact the Best DFW Ankle Surgeon With Any Remaining Questions
If you have questions about Achilles tendon surgery or are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, the best DFW ankle surgeon can help. To request an appointment in our Grapevine or Keller offices, fill out our convenient online contact form, or call our office today.