Tendon Surgery: A Big Step for Recovery

You will need to immobilize your foot after tendon surgeryBandages aren’t necessarily enough to repair all damage. Large gaps between torn tissues don’t always close well on their own—that’s why deep or wide cuts need stitches. Simply wrapping up a foot with a torn tendon may not be enough to unite the ruptured ends, either. When conservative methods are insufficient, you may need tendon surgery to rejoin the separated ends and edges of your connective tissue.

Bigger Than a Band-Aid: Needing Tendon Surgery

Tendon repair surgery refers to any procedure done to address partially or completely torn ends of one of your tendons. This connective tissue is a fibrous, cord-like structure that attaches muscles to bones. Without it, your muscles aren’t connected to your skeleton and can’t move any of your limbs. A torn tendon, then, significantly limits your lower limbs’ movement as well as causes pain.

This can happen to any of the tendons in your feet and ankles for many different reasons. Two of the most common are the Achilles and the posterior tibial tendons. The injury could be from sports, or extra damage to a connector with chronic tendonitis. Inflammation from other conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, might even lead to a tear near a joint. However it happens, something causes the tissue to partially or completely rupture. This creates pain, weakness, and swelling around the affected area.

In some mild cases, conservative therapy is helpful for this. A period of immobilization and physical therapy allows the torn ends of the soft tissue to grow back together. For many tendons, however, noninvasive methods are simply not enough. The tissue won’t heal fully enough to restore your range of motion and limb strength.

The Surgery and Recovery

Prior to any surgical procedure, your foot has to be carefully examined. Sanjay Gandhi, DPM, and our team at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC, will evaluate your lower limbs and check for complications like fractures. We’ll need diagnostic images to locate the tear and determine its severity. Then we can plan out the procedure that you’ll need to repair the damage.

The specifics of the tendon surgery will depend entirely upon the individual connector being treated and the seriousness of the injury. An incision will be made near the damage so our team can reach the tendon. Then we’ll reattach the torn ends so they can heal together.

After the procedure, your foot will be immobilized in a splint or cast so you don’t aggravate the repairing tendon. Once it’s safe to do so, you’ll begin physical therapy to restore your range of motion and strength. This will include careful stretches to keep the tissue from getting too tight or stiff. Gradual strengthening exercises will restore your ability to move your foot. It will take time for you to return to your full power, but with the right therapy, you can get back to your favorite activities safely.

Tendon surgery is a big step, but for some injuries, it is the right one. Failing to repair a ruptured tendon could lead to life-long issues with limb weakness and instability. Let our team at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC help you. Contact our office in Manalapan, NJ, by calling (732) 446-7136 today.