Achilles Tendon Surgery
What is Achilles tendon surgery?
If you are repeatedly suffering from painful symptoms and inflammation caused by your Achilles tendon, your doctor may suggest Achilles tendon surgery to relieve pain and restore mobility. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, and it can tear for many reasons including unexpected force, a sudden pivot or overuse. Repeated stress after periods of inactivity can also cause a degeneration of the ankle tendon, known as tendinopathy.
This happens when the Achilles tendon is unable to cope with the amount of strain being exerted upon it. The type of surgery required will depend on the type of injury. If the tendon is ruptured, it can be stitched back together. In some cases, where the tendon has weakened, the damaged parts will be removed, and the rest repaired with stitches. If much of the tendon is damaged, your doctor may recommend a replacement with a tendon from another part of your body.
General recovery times
After surgery your foot will be immobilised in a cast and you will be encouraged to keep it elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Your ankle should not bear any weight for the first 2 weeks following the tendon repair procedure. When the cast is removed, you will be given a supportive boot for the next 6-8 weeks and begin a personalised rehabilitation program to build up strength and mobility.
Commitment to the rehabilitation exercises is crucial to the speed of recovery. It is likely to be several weeks before you have full use of your leg and foot, with a return to sport possible within 9 months. The Achilles tendon can take up to take one year to make a full recovery after tendon repair surgery. In some cases, Achilles tendon surgery can be performed arthroscopically, a minimally invasive procedure that has a significantly quicker recovery period.
Other ankle surgeries and procedures
Common ankle conditions
How much will my ankle surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.