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Achilles Surgery Pre- And Post-Op Care

This information can help you understand the condition and your options for treatment.

What Is An Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tissue band connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. This is the largest tendon in your body and helps you walk, run, jump, and tiptoe.

How An Achilles Tendon Might Get Injured

There are several reasons your Achilles tendon can tear or rupture. It could happen due to a sudden, strong force, or strenuous physical activity. If you put too much stress on your heels or overuse them, your Achilles tendon may degenerate, causing pain and stiffness in this muscle.

Factors that might increase your risk of tearing your Achilles tendon include having a foot that turns outward too much when walking or having short calf muscles. An injury such as tripping or falling could also cause a tear.

How Does Achilles Tendon Surgery Help?

Surgery can decrease the risk of rerupture and improve function and movement of your ankle. The Achilles tendon surgery is a procedure performed by a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon to repair a torn or injured tendon, restoring its strength and proper function.

Preparing For Your Surgery

Surgeries might be stressful in general, especially those requiring anesthesia. Preparing for your surgery plays an essential role in its success. There are things you can do to you safely prepare for your procedure.

  • Arrange an after-surgery ride – Anesthesia and pain medicine will make you feel drowsy, making it unsafe for you to drive. Have someone take you home after your procedure.
  • Give your doctor a list of all the medicines you take – Ask your doctor if you should stop taking any of the medication or supplements you are currently taking before surgery. For example, medicines that cause blood thinning may increase the risk of bleeding during your surgery.
  • Understand your planned surgery – Ask the doctor all the necessary questions before you opt into a surgery. For example, what are the risks and benefits involved?
  • Follow the instructions precisely – Before surgery, stop eating and drinking when instructed to do so. Your surgery could get postponed if directions are not followed.
  • Come in for your surgery clean – Take a shower beforehand, but make sure not to apply lotions, perfumes, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave your ankle – Wait for the medical staff to help you shave the surgical site; don’t do it yourself.
  • Remove accessories – Take off all jewelry and piercings. Also, take out your contact lenses.

What Happens On The Day Of Surgery?

This surgery is an outpatient procedure and can last one to two hours. Here is what to expect on the day of your surgery:

  1. A nurse will prepare you for surgery and ensure that all pre-operative testing is complete.
  2. The exact area for surgery will be marked.
  3. The anesthesiologist will explain the sedation used during surgery, then administer it. Based on your specific need, it may be general or local anesthesia.
  4. A nerve block may be used around the area to provide pain relief for one to three days after surgery.
  5. The surgical team members will transport you to the operating suite, where you will need to lie face down on a table for the surgeon to access your Achilles tendon.
  6. The surgeon will make an incision either above the heel or directly over the Achilles tendon to perform the necessary operation.
  7. Once the repair is complete, the surgeon will close the incision with sutures.
  8. Your leg will then be bandaged and raised. You may have a drain near your incision.
  9. Your foot will be held in a cast to limit motion.

How Long Will It Take Me To Recover?

Most people return to their normal day-to-day activities after about six months. However, the recovery speed may depend on your overall health, your fitness level, and the starting condition of your tendon. The doctor will discuss your expected recovery time in advance, based on your unique circumstances.

After the surgery, you will need to use crutches, a knee scooter, or a wheelchair in addition to a cast. In some cases, the doctor might recommend a walking boot and physical therapy to gradually help the tendon gain strength and restore its full range of motion.

Achilles Surgery In Maryville

The Foot Health Center provides excellent surgical and non-surgical treatments to Maryville, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Granite City, and all surrounding neighborhoods. If you are looking for a talented surgeon who can perform successful Achilles surgery, you are in the right place. Dr. Louis Aquino, and Dr. David Kinscherff, have advanced experience delivering highly-quality podiatric services and excellent post-care routines for fast, easy recovery. Call our practice today and schedule your appointment.

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