The podiatrist will feel along your injured Achilles tendon for a gap at the site of the tear. Your doctor will also perform the squeeze test. With your ankle bend she will squeeze your calf muscles. If your Achilles tendon is intact, then squeezing the calf should flex your foot.
If your physical examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirm tendon rupture, then urgent repair is indicated. Older folks and those with chronic medical conditions (heart disease, COPD, diabetes, kidney failure, etc.) may elect for non-operative treatment. A cast is placed with the foot flexed toward the ground in an attempt to move the ends of the ruptured Achilles tendon closer together for healing for 6-12 weeks.
The type of surgery required depends on how fast you get to us. If you contacted us quickly and stayed off the foot then today, we have minimally invasive options. Your surgeon will discuss your options based on the findings shown on the MRI of your tendon.
Achilles tendon repair surgery is not major surgery, and is done in our ambulatory surgery center, so a hospital stay is not needed. Minimally invasive Achilles tendon repair surgery takes 45 minutes.
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Tradition achilles tendon repair requires a longer incision and takes 75-90 min. The ends of the ruptured tendon are freed up then sewn back together.
After surgery your leg is placed in a splint, and the tendon allowed to heal. Rehabilitation afterward typically takes 4-6 months for routine function and ten months for return to competitive sports.