As medical technology advances, there has been rising popularity in minimally invasive surgeries. This type of surgery comes with many benefits for providers, patients, and insurance companies alike. The overall cost of MIS tends to be lower than that of traditional surgery, with less downtime for the patient and reduced risk of complications. One area that has seen increasing use of these techniques is repair surgery for Achilles Tendon tears. If you’ve recently experienced a complication involved with a torn Achilles Tendon, ask your provider about minimally invasive surgical options for your treatment.
What Is The Achilles Tendon?
Located on the rear portion of the leg and extending down to the ankle can be found the Achilles Tendon. This tendon is recognized as the strongest and largest tendon found in the human body. When this tendon is suddenly subjected to a quick strain or stretch, an audible pop may occur. In most cases, patients experiencing this event will describe it as feeling like a kick or punch has been delivered to the back of the leg. While there is some initial pain, it may appear to pass a few days or weeks after the injury. At this point, many patients will assume that they’ve healed and that there was no serious damage when in fact, the tendon has become frayed or partially torn. Tendons in this state are susceptible to further damage from strain as they are no longer capable of supporting their usual stresses.
Common risk factors associated with Achilles Tendon Injuries include:
- Heightened physical activity in a short period of time
- Neglecting to stretch prior to taking part in a physical activity
- Bone spurs that have formed on the heel, putting pressure on the tendon
- Improper footwear while exercising
- Using an uneven surface during exercises
- Certain medications, such as the antibiotic fluoroquinolone
The following symptoms indicate you may have experienced a tear to your Achilles tendon:
- Pain radiating down the back of the leg or near the heel
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Achilles tendons that are stiff or sore when you wake up
- Pain that lingers in your tendon the day after exercise
- Pain and swelling that increases with activity
- Thickening of your Achilles tendon
- Difficulty flexing one or both feet
- A sudden pop that can indicate a ruptured tendon
What Minimally Invasive Surgery For The Achilles Tendon Is And How It Can Help
Traditionally surgery on the Achilles tendon required opening a large incision in the back of the leg, fully exposing the tendon and tendon sheath. The repair was performed on the area of the tendon that was the most damaged, making it susceptible to further damage. The development of the Percutaneous Achilles Repair changed all this. When this procedure is able to be used, only a 1cm incision is required, and the actual repair is secured on the healthy portion of the tendon, resulting in a longer and more durable repair. The overall result is a procedure with a higher success rate, better results, and fewer complications.