Surgery or Not: Deciding on Achilles Rupture Treatment

Whether you enjoy kickball, pickleball, softball, or tennis, the summer sports season in Cedar Park, TX is underway and adults and kids alike are enjoying the fun. That is, until one of you comes down with an injury. Any sport that involves running, jumping, changing directions or other stresses on your foot and ankle can end up injuring your Achilles or even rupturing it. If it has happened to you, you may be wondering “Will my torn Achilles need surgery?” Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple “yes” or “no,” but rather “it depends.”

Achilles tendon ruptures can be treated either conservatively or surgically, so how do you decide? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the tear partial or complete? If the tendon is still attached, conservative treatment will normally be used, but if it is torn in two, you will likely want to have it repaired surgically. This is especially true for athletes and anyone younger who wants to be active throughout life.
  • Is surgery risky for you? If you are older or have diabetes, circulation problems, heart issues, or nerve problems in your feet, surgery may not be recommended even if the Achilles is completely torn. It’s also not a good idea for people who won’t be able (or willing) to follow instructions for the recovery and rehab. A ruptured Achilles can be healed with conservative treatment that usually includes wearing a cast for 6 to 10 weeks and keeping weight off the foot.
  • Do you smoke or have a sedentary lifestyle? Smoking increases complication rate for surgical procedures, so unless you are willing and able to stop for several weeks pre- and post-surgery, having an operation may not be the best idea. If you are basically sedentary and won’t be putting a lot of stress on the tendon after it is healed, conservative treatment may give adequate results, so it may not be advisable to add surgery risks such as clotting, infections, or non-healing wounds to the mix.

These are some of the considerations, but you shouldn’t make a decision without a thorough examination of your injury at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. We’ll outline the pros and cons of both types of treatment and help you decide. Call us at (512) 593-2949 in Cedar Park, TX, or at (512) 960-4290 in Round Rock, and set up your appointment, or request one using our online form, and let us help your Achilles recover completely so you are ready for action again.

Posted on June 7, 2016 .