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The achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord at the back of the ankle that connect the calf muscles to the heel bone. An achilles tendon rupture typically happens during recreational sport involving, running or jumping. A sudden, forceful movement of the foot downward against resistance, such as when an individual pushes off the foot with great force to jump is most commonly the mechanism of injury.
Most people experience one or a variety of the following with an achilles tendon rupture:
If you are a young, healthy and active, you will be recommended surgery. For older, less active and individuals that have a higher risk for surgery and anaesthetic, a conservative non-surgical method may be recommended.
Percutaneous or an open technique are the two different ways to surgically repair a achilles tendon rupture. The latter involves and incision to allow for better visualisation and approximation of the tendon. With the percutaneous technique the surgeon will make a smaller incision to repair the tendon. Both procedures have their own risks and benefits, the choice of surgery is individualised to each patient.
Following surgery a short leg cast or boot will be placed on the operated ankle. Post operation, you typically have to wear a boot 4-6 weeks. Physiotherapy is a very important part of the post-operative recovery. Your physiotherapist will provide you with an individualised rehabilitation programme. The programme will target range of movement, strength, functional activities, balance and return to sport if that is your aim. This rehabilitation process may be several months of hard work to achieve your goals.
If you have experienced an achilles injury or rupture and are looking to get back to your sport, our physiotherapists at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic will be able to advise you on the best course of rehabilitation. If you would like to book an appointment or have any questions, contact us here.