The Achilles tendons in your legs enable you to walk, run, and jump, so if you injure one, it can result in a significant loss of function. If you've damaged your Achilles, Tim McConn, DPM, can help. At his offices in Midtown Tulsa, South Tulsa, and Owasso, Oklahoma, Dr. McConn uses the most advanced treatments and cutting edge technology to treat Achilles tendon injuries and restore your mobility as quickly as possible. He is published in Achilles tendon repair and highly experienced with all Achilles tendon pathology and injuries. Call the location nearest you today or use the online form to book an appointment.
The Achilles tendon is in the back of your leg, joining the calf muscles in your leg to your heel bone.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon you have, and it's immensely strong. However, even a piece of connective tissue this robust can suffer from the effects of deterioration, overuse, and sudden injury.
Several injuries can affect the Achilles tendon:
Achilles tendinitis is most often a chronic condition that develops over time. It's due to inflammation that arises from irritation of the tendon fibers. The irritation is likely to be a result of overuse, from doing more than you should at your current level of fitness or repeatedly making the same movement.
Tendinitis puts stress on your Achilles tendon that causes micro-tears to the fibers. Without treatment, your Achilles tendon struggles to heal itself. If the tendon isn't healing, it can lead to tissue deterioration and alteration in the tendon's structure. This condition is called Achilles tendinosis or tendinopathy.
A rupture occurs when the tendon tears and separates, which means it can't work properly. Ruptures are usually acute injuries, but can also occur if your Achilles tendon is weak because of tendinitis or tendinosis.
If you have Achilles tendinitis, initial treatments could include:
Physical therapy can help, too. Strengthening and stretching exercises help build up the tissues, and mobilization techniques help you learn to exercise safely without straining the Achilles tendon. You might need to undergo gait analysis and learn how to improve your walking and running styles.
Most patients who have Achilles tendinitis find conservative treatments are very effective. However, if you have a ruptured Achilles tendon or severe tendinosis, you might need to undergo surgery.
The specific surgery you need depends on the extent of the damage to your Achilles tendon. Dr. McConn uses advanced, minimally invasive techniques to perform your surgery that enable you to bear weight on your leg at a much earlier stage. Possible procedures include:
In this procedure, Dr. McConn removes the damaged portion of your Achilles tendon as well as associated bone spurring. The repaired tendon is then reattached to the heel bone using a set of soft issues anchors.
Advanced Achilles tendon damage will often lead to the need to transfer a local tendon, which helps support the Achilles tendon repair. This allows for a more robust repair allowing the patient to start weight-bearing much earlier than traditional techniques.
Dr. McConn utilizes a minimally invasive approach for Achilles tendon rupture repairs. Not only does this decrease the risk for wounds after surgery, but also allows patients to begin weight-bearing as early as 2 weeks.
To find out more about Achilles tendon treatments, call Tim McConn, DPM, today or book an appointment online.