Achilles tendon repair surgery is a type of surgery to fix a damaged Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord in the lower leg. It connects the muscles of your calf to your heel. It’s the largest tendon in your body. It helps you walk, run, and jump.
In some cases, the Achilles tendon can tear, or rupture. This is usually due to a sudden, strong force. It can happen during tough physical activity. It can happen if you suddenly move faster or pivot on your foot. Having a foot that turns outward too much can increase your risk of a torn tendon. A ruptured Achilles tendon can cause pain and swelling near your heel. You may not be able to bend your foot downward.
The Achilles tendon can also degenerate. This is also known as tendonitis or tendinopathy. This might cause symptoms like pain and stiffness along your Achilles tendon and on the back of your heel. This is most often through overuse and repeated stress to the tendon. It can result from repeated stress on your tendon, especially if you have recently been more active. Having short calf muscles can increase your risk of tendinopathy.
During the surgery, an incision is made in the back of the calf. If the tendon is ruptured, the surgeon will stitch the tendon back together. If the tendon degenerates, the surgeon may remove the damaged part of the tendon and repair the rest of the tendon with stitches. If there is severe damage to a lot of the tendon, the surgeon might replace part or all of your Achilles tendon. This is done with a tendon taken from another place in your foot.
In some cases, the Achilles tendon repair surgery can be done as a minimally invasive procedure. This is done with several small incisions instead of one large one. It may use a special scope with a tiny camera and a light to help do the repair.