How To Recover From An Achilles Tendon Rupture Injury
Achilles tendon rupture is a traumatic tear of the tendon that connects the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle complex in the calf to the calcaneus (heel bone) in the foot.
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A recent study compared outcomes and recovery of calf muscle strength after the nonsurgical treatment and open surgical repair of acute Achilles tendon ruptures.
In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer that question and address the challenges of returning to sports after a particularly difficult ankle injury – Achilles tendon ruptures.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Achilles Tendon Rupture Injuries
- +What is this injury?
-What is this injury?An Achilles tendon rupture is a traumatic tear of the tendon that connects the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle complex in the calf to the calcaneus (heel bone) in the foot. It often results from a noncontact mechanism, such as abruptly changing directions or immediately sprinting from a standing position.
- +What are the common treatments?
-What are the common treatments?Both surgery to repair the torn tendon and nonsurgical treatment with a cast or boot are acceptable options for most patients. Achilles tendon ruptures are most frequently repaired surgically in high-level athletes, although some studies show fairly equal healing rates between surgery and nonsurgical treatment.
- +How long could it take to recover?
-How long could it take to recover?Full recovery and return to sports and exercise can take many months, whether or not the injury is treated with surgery. The patient often wears a cast or boot in the early phases of healing, and then he or she must regain motion of the ankle and strength of the leg.
- +What should I ask my doctor?
-What should I ask my doctor?It is always a good idea to ask if surgery is necessary and if there are nonsurgical treatment options that can be tried first. If you choose to undergo surgery, understanding what restrictions the surgeon will place after surgery and what you can safely do, such as driving and working, are important. Also ask when you could expect to safely return to your sport or exercise.