Achilles Tendon Surgery Overview
The Achilles tendon is a large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). This tendon plays a critical role in ankle function by helping raise the heel off the ground when walking, running and performing athletic activities. The Achilles tendon can experience a partial or complete tear if stretched beyond its limits during sudden acceleration or pivoting and jumping movements. When the Achilles tendon is ruptured in a young active individual, surgical repair is generally recommended. Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic ankle surgeon in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area, specializes in surgical ruptured tendon treatment involving the Achilles tendon.
What Causes an Achilles Tendon Rupture?
Achilles tendon ruptures are common among weekend warriors and middle-aged athletes involved in explosive and jumping activities. When the tendon is stressed beyond its normal limits, it can tear and result in a “popping” sensation followed by pain, swelling and difficulty walking.
How is an Achilles Tendon Rupture Treated?
Restoring Achilles tendon function is critical for activities of daily living and sports. The goal of Achilles tendon surgery is to reconnect the tendon in order to restore push-off strength.
Achilles repair is most commonly performed through an open technique, where Dr. Yau will create an incision on the back portion of the lower leg and suture the two ends of the ruptured tendon together. A minimally invasive technique can sometimes be used for favorable tear patterns.