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Achilles Tendon Surgery

Achilles Tendon Surgery NYCTendons are rope-like structures that connect your muscles to your bones. When your muscle moves, it pulls on the tendon, which then moves the bone. Your Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in your body. It links your heel bone to your calf muscles.

The force needed to push your foot down when you walk or run comes from your Achilles tendon. This tendon is very strong and very tight. If you overstretch the tendon, it can partially or completely rupture. Most often, this injury happens during recreational sports activities. When the injury is severe enough, like if you’ve ruptured the tendon, it requires a visit to a good NYC podiatrist and maybe even surgery.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Types of Injury

There are two types of Achilles tendinitis you can suffer from. Your foot doctor in New York can diagnose your Achilles tendon issue with an examination and some confirming tests. The two issues you can have with your Achilles tendon:

  1. Non-insertional, which is more common. You feel this pain in the middle of your heel. You should also notice swelling in your foot and ankle.
  2. Insertional, which is damage to the tendon at the bottom of your heel. If you have insertional tendonitis, you may also have bone spurs.

Seek Medical Attention

Make an appointment to see your NYC foot doctor or podiatrist immediately after your injury to get a diagnosis. During the exam, a podiatrist thoroughly checks your foot, heel and leg for swelling. Often, your foot doctor in New York can feel the gap in your tendon if you’ve suffered a complete rupture of your Achilles tendon. If you can flex your foot when your calf muscle is squeezed. If you can’t, you probably have a ruptured Achilles.

Your New York foot doctor may order further tests to confirm a diagnosis of a ruptured Achilles tendon. You’ll probably have an MRI or magnetic resonance image of your foot to determine the exact size and location of your injury. An MRI is a painless way to provide images of your body’s soft tissues.

Treatment Options

The treatment you need for your ruptured Achilles tendon depends largely on your age, the severity of the injury, and your activity level in general. Younger, more active people choose to have surgery to repair the rupture because they have many more miles to walk in their lifetimes. Older people often opt for a conservative, non-surgical course of treatment. Your NYC foot doctor can help you decide what’s best for your situation:

  • Conservative care: You have to wear a cast or walking boot with a wedge in the heel to keep your foot at the correct angle for proper healing. You wear this boot for four to eight weeks, which has its own risk of complications. Complete healing can take up to eight months, and there’s always the risk that you can re-injure your Achilles tendon.
  • Surgery: If you have surgery to repair your Achilles tendon, a podiatrist or NYC podiatric surgeon performs the outpatient procedure to repair the tear or rupture. You’re often able to go home the same day. There are a couple of different ways the repair can be made, depending upon the location and severity of your injury.

The Surgical Procedure

For this surgery, you’re given general anesthesia, which renders you unconscious for the duration of the surgery. You’re positioned face down on the operating table, and your Manhattan foot doctor makes a small incision above your heel at the ankle, right over your Achilles tendon. Then, depending on the condition of your tendon, on or more techniques are employed:

  • If the Achilles tendon has deteriorated, a portion of it may be removed.
  • If there are bones spurs, they are removed to prevent them from causing more damage.
  • If it’s a particularly bad tear, your Achilles may be reinforced with other tendons.
  • If necessary, a podiatrist/surgeon stretches out your calf muscles.

Once the damage has been removed or repaired, your Achilles tendon is re-attached to your heel bone. The incision is sewn closed, and the wound protected. Complications such as infections and nerve damage can happen, but the risks are relatively small. Your foot surgeon can reduce the risk of infection by making as small an incision as possible. You recover under observation until you’re awake. You need a friend or family member to drive you home.

Rehabilitation Is a Process

After surgery, your foot doctor in Manhattan prescribes a rehabilitation program. At first, you need to be in a cast or a boot, and any good podiatrist recommends that you sit with your leg elevated as much as possible. In about two weeks, you have to go to a follow-up exam with your podiatric doctor in New York. Your cast is removed, and you may be able to begin putting weight on your injured leg.

When you begin your rehab program, it involves a gradual strengthening and conditioning of your tendon and the muscles surrounding it to make it stronger and more flexible. This helps prevent re-injury. Physical therapy plays a key role in your complete recovery. You should be able to resume normal activities, including sports, in four to six months.

Prevention Is Best

You can improve your chances of avoiding an Achilles tear in the future with a few simple tips. While these suggestions can’t guarantee your health, you’re less likely to have a problem if the muscles and tendons in your feet and legs are toned and strong. Try these:

  • Vary your exercise routine. Alternate high- and low-impact activities, doing things like biking one day and swimming the next.
  • Strengthen and stretch your calf muscles. Stretch to the point where you feel the pull, but not the pain. Do not bounce during stretching.
  • Slowly build intensity. One of the most common ways to injure your Achilles tendon is to abruptly increase the difficulty of your exercise. Build by no more than 10 percent each week.
  • Pay attention to running surfaces. Don’t run on surfaces that are too hard or slippery. Wear shoes that fit well and dress appropriately for the weather.

Your foot doctor in NYC may have other, more specific exercises to suggest for building strength in the muscles around your Achilles tendon. Follow the advice, and you won’t need surgery.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Achilles Tendon Surgery or repair in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 389-9918

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.