What is it: Achilles tendinopathy occurs when there is damage or degeneration of the fibres of the Achilles tendon. It can occur where the tendon inserts into the heel bone (insertional tendinopathy), or in an area approximately 2-5cm above the insertion (non-insertional tendinopathy). The tendon can suffer further damage when there is a prominent bump present at the back of the heel. This causes pain at the back of the heel with inflammation and swelling.
Management: Achilles tendinitis/tendinopathy is treated either operatively or non-operatively. Dr Unsworth-Smith will assess and diagnose your tendinopathy and decide whether surgery is an option for you. Non-operative management includes rest, anti-inflammatory medication, heel lifts and physiotherapy.
Surgery involves an incision over the back of the ankle with removal of any degenerate tendon and bony lumps.
Postoperatively: Patients are safe to go home on the day of surgery. You will be placed in a plaster cast for 2 weeks at which time your wound will be reviewed. You will then be placed in a boot and can begin weight bearing. Formal physiotherapy will begin at 6 weeks. You can return to most normal activities by 12 weeks. Full recovery is between 6-12 months.