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The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous band connecting the calf muscle to the heel. You will most likely know if you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. Many people report actually hearing the snap, and it may feel as though you've been violently kicked in the calf. Your calf may swell, and you may not be able to rise on your toes.
A new minimally invasive technique to repair Achilles ruptures is now available. The new procedure has been shown to have equivalent outcomes with less risk of wound or infection problems than with older techniques. We are able to repair most Achilles ruptures with this technique, but a minority of ruptures are not amenable to this technique and are better repaired with other techniques.
The older method of treating Achilles ruptures was to either place the patient’s leg in a cast to immobilize the ruptured tendon, or to repair the tendon using a large incision on the back of the leg. Unfortunately he cast does not allow motion at the ankle, which can lead to stiffness. We are looking for patients to get their range of motion back as soon as possible.
The minimally invasive or limited open approach to repairing the tendon requires a small incision, about one inch, on the back of the leg overlying the rupture that is just large enough to put the tendon ends back together and repair it with strong sutures in the tendon. The patient is placed in a splint for about 10 days, then a removable boot so they can start walking on it and moving the ankle.