Two treatment options are available for Achilles tendon rupture; conservative treatment and surgery.
The one you chose will depend on your level of activity, and the severity of the tear.
If you are an athlete and need to get back to your activities as soon as possible, surgery is recommended. Surgery is also recommended for young and active persons.
However, for older persons, less active persons, and those with underlying issues such as the inability to heal wounds, non-surgical treatment is recommended.
Physical therapy and rehab are vital for treating ruptured Achilles tendons.
If you are not opting for surgery, your therapist will design a program to help recover you quickly. This will likely include:
Prior to commencing therapy, your leg will be put in a cast for up to 10 weeks to allow the tendon to heal properly.
If you are opting for surgery, your therapist will prepare you before, and help you to recover after surgery.
Open surgery (large incision to the calf) or arthroscopic surgery (small incisions, and using an arthroscope) are the options available. Your surgeon will discuss both with you.
During surgery, the ruptured tendon is stitched back together. If a part of the tendon is damaged, it’s removed.
Your leg will be immobilized in a cast for a couple of weeks. Once the tendon has healed, post-operative rehab will begin.
Returning to normal activities will take a couple of months depending on the extent of the tear.