What to Expect With Achilles Tendon Surgery

The Achilles tendon is a strong tendon that connects the muscles in your calf to your heel. The tendon helps us walk, run, and jump. Because of this, it can become injured or even tear. 

In most cases, this happens if there is a strong but sudden force. Of course athletes are at risk for an achilles tendon tear, but it can also happen to non-athletes. Usually, you would notice pain and swelling near your heel with the injury. It can also be challenging to turn your foot in a downward position. 

Sometimes surgery is necessary to repair a torn Achilles tendon. In some cases, the surgery can be a minimally invasive procedure, offering an easier recovery period for patients. Check out a video animation about achilles tendon rupture: how it can be injured, and how injuries are treated — both nonsurgically and surgically.

How Long Does Achilles Tendon Surgery Take?

Typically the surgery takes a couple of hours. During the surgery, you can usually expect the following:

  • You’ll typically receive anesthesia and a spinal block, so you do not feel anything during the repair
  • Next, the surgeon usually makes an incision through the sheath that surrounds the tendon
  • The surgeon often removes damaged tissue and repairs the tear
  • If the surgery is done using a minimally invasive technique, the incision often will be smaller, and a camera will help guide the surgeon during the repair
  • If necessary, the surgeon may remove a tendon in your foot to replace the Achilles tendon
  • After the surgeon makes all necessary repairs, the incision most likely is closed with sutures

How Long is The Recovery From Achilles Tendon Surgery?

Achilles tendon surgery can be done at our outpatient surgery center in Cary, so you can go home the same day as the surgery. The calf is usually put in a splint to help you to keep from moving. You will likely have pain for several days after the surgery, so be sure to take pain medications as prescribed. 

You should allow yourself time to rest and keep your leg elevated as much as possible. You will also be given crutches to help you with mobility. 

If you notice extreme pain that is getting worse and not better, or if you notice any sign of infection, be sure to tell your doctor as soon as possible. 

Approximately 2 weeks after the surgery you will see your provider to have the sutures removed. The splint may then be removed and replaced with an orthopedic boot. At this time, you can discuss when you might be able to do some weight-bearing. Starting physical therapy is also discussed at this time.

outpatient surgery center in Cary

Understand, it can be a long recovery. Return to normal activity may not be possible until about 10 weeks after surgery. Competitive sports may need to be delayed for three to six months. 

Is it Difficult to Sleep After Achilles Tendon Surgery? 

It can be difficult to sleep after your surgery. It is important to put pillows under your leg to keep it elevated. Taking your prescribed pain medication can also help reduce the pain so that you can sleep. 

We Can Help You at Raleigh Orthopaedic in Panther Creek

If you have just injured your Achilles tendon, then contact us at The Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. We will assess your injury and develop a treatment plan. 

Our outpatient surgery center in Cary is a team of the Board Certified doctors and fellowship-trained surgeons who are experienced in diagnosing and treating a variety of orthopedic procedures, including achilles tendon rupture.

You can be assured our staff will use the best and most advanced surgical techniques for your procedure so you will have the best outcomes.

Our goal is to expedite your safe return to a healthy, active, and productive lifestyle through individualized treatment and education. So let us help take care of you! Questions? Do not hesitate to contact us, and we look forward to being a partner in your care. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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