Monday, 6 April 2009

The specialist kindly informed me about the coming period and the options I can choose from. He explained everything nicely, but still remained my panic. He tried to make me believe that if I will decide to go for the surgery my time in the plaster can be reduced to 4 weeks. That was actually a lie, although that time I was happy to hear this.

There are two ways to correct this failure: surgical and a non surgical treatment. He explained both, not particularly going into details. At least I had a dim idea about what will happen. He also offered me to answer my questions, however since than I realized that this is also more like a kind offer than something what he honestly meant. Somewhat this is a standard attitude from the doctors (more about that later)

Surgery as a drastic intervention

Surgery is usually recommended for competitive athletes, younger people or those with a high level of physical activity
. There are two different types of operation you can choose from.

  • The open surgery is the standard procedure; there is a longer vertical cut on the back of the heel to reach the tendon to stitch it together.

  • Another method the percutaneous surgery mainly used in private healthcare. In this case there will be a smaller cut to reach the damaged tendon.

After the surgery you will have a series of casts or an adjustable brace on your leg to help the Achilles tendon heal and to restore normal length and tension to the tendon and allow you to do what you could do before the injury. Most of the research so far found that surgery has one advantage: it reduces the risk that the Achilles tendon will rupture again. The disadvantages of surgery are the risk of complications such as wound infection, deep vein thrombosis, blood clot in the lung known as pulmonary embolism, a reaction to the anaesthetic or the antibiotics. There may be a lower risk if you have percutaneous surgery, because it reduces the risk of getting a wound infection.

Natural Healing can be a less complicated option

In this case there is no risk of infection, whichever can occur during the other process, and so it's suitable for people who may not want to jump in the unknown. But, there are a number of problems with the natural healing process left to itself. One, it takes a very long time. Inflammation goes down very slow and secondly the risk of re-rupture is higher. The Non-surgical treatment, in which case a cast or brace is used to help keep the tendon aligned so that it can heal itself, is not always the best decision. This so called 'conservative treatment’ can help the Achilles tendon because while your foot is pointing slightly downwards, which takes the strain off the tendon it will make it shorter so that it can knit together and heal. Conservative treatment may be suggested for older or less active patients, and for people wishing to avoid
In a nut shell, the body, if left to just rest, will heal itself as best it can, but if the tendon does not heal on its own, a surgical repair will be definitely advisable. Some sources state that as longer the waiting time is the bigger the risk that the tendon will get shorter and shorter.

1 comment:

  1. dancingfeet - I've updated your Achilles Profile surgery date for you. Dennis from Good luck on your recovery. :)