achilles tendon ruptures
The Achilles Tendon can be torn or ruptured during sporting activities or by any movement that causes it to stretch past a certain point.
Most people describe the feeling of being kicked from behind (or even shot!).
In most cases people will attend their local Emergency Department (or walk-in-centre) as soon as the injury has occurred. An initial assessment can tell the Doctors if you have ruptured the tendon. This involves feeling the back of the tendon and gently squeezing your calf muscle to see if the tendon is still connected to the back of your heel. A scan is not usually required to confirm this (unless some time has passed since the injury).
You are likely to be placed in a cast or walking boot set with your foot pointing downwards in order to relieve some pressure from the tendon.
You may be seen by the on-call Orthopaedic team or you may be referred for a Fracture Clinic appointment.
Treatment options for an Achilles Tendon rupture fall into 2 main categories - operative treatment and non-operative treatment. Operative treatment entails a surgical procedure to stitch the tendon back together.
No matter if you have surgery or not, you will still need to use a walking boot for around 4-6 weeks post injury and will need physiotherapy. In total it can take up to 12 months to recover from this injury and the recovery may not be complete.
The decision to treat with surgery or without is very individualised to each patient. If you wish to have your injury treated privately it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible as a delay in assessment and treatment may be detrimental in some cases.