Achilles Tendon Rupture
What is it: The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel. It is vulnerable to rupture in middle aged men and women participating in sports. Patients will often describe hearing a pop and a feeling like they have been hit in the back of the leg.
Management: Achilles tendon ruptures can be treated operatively or non-operatively. Dr Unsworth-Smith will assess and diagnose the rupture and decide whether surgery is an option for you. Non-operative surgery includes a time in cast with progression to a boot. You will participate in an extended course of physiotherapy as part of the treatment.
Surgery involves a minimially invasive approach where the tendon ends are sutured together and the ankle placed into a front plaster slab.
Postoperatively: Patients are safe to go home on the day of surgery or the following day. The front slab remains in place for 2 weeks. You will then be placed in an achilles boot with partially weight bearing (up to 30 kg) with a 30° wedge for next 3 weeks. This will progress to 20° wedge for next 3 weeks. Following this you will be weight bearing as tolerated in shoes with 2 cm heel rise for 6 weeks. An extensive physiotherapy program will be prescribed as part of the treatment and surgical recovery
The Achilles boot needs to be worn in bed at night for week 2 to 5, but may be removed in bed from week 6-8.