Charles Hope, MD: HIP Replacement
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump.
Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is vulnerable to injury. A rupture of the tendon is a tearing and separation of the tendon fibers so that the tendon can no longer perform its normal function.
Surgery includes opening the skin over the rupture of the tendon and using suture to approximate the tendon edges.
Recovery can be quit extensive and can take up to one year. The first 6-8 weeks are in a cast with the foot in a down pointed position to relieve any tension on the repair. After the patient comes out of the cast they are placed in physical therapy to begin light range of motion of the ankle. Weight bearing in an Achilles boot is begun. Removable wedges are in the boot that are slowly removed to bring the ankle back to its normal position over a period of one month.