Achilles Tendon Injury: Surgery or Immobilisation

If you have a ruptured Achilles tendon, you may want to know whether there other treatments that do not require a surgery. Non-surgical treatments include wearing a cast, splint or brace that will prevent your lower leg from moving (immobilisation). When your leg is immobilised, the Achilles tendon may slowly reattach and heal.

What should I consider whether to choose Surgery or Immobilisation?

Depends on your level of activity, immobilisation may not be practical for some people.

Think about the following pointers when deciding whether surgery or immobilisation is best for you:

  • After immobilisation, the Achilles tendon may risk rupture again than surgically repairing it.
  • After immobilisation, your leg may become stiff and weak. Surgical option is less likely to cause you stiffness and weakness.
  • The recovery period after immobilisation is about the same as after the surgery.

Immobilisation is usually followed by physiothearapy which may include stretching exercises and strengthening.

Comparison of Surgery for Achilles tendon rupture and immobilisation.

Have surgery for Achilles tendon rupture Treat the rupture with a cast or brace (immobilisation)
What is usually involved? You will most likely go home the same day as surgery.
You will spend 6 to 12 weeks after surgery wearing a walking cast or boot.
If you sit at work, you can go back in 1 to 2 weeks. If you’re on your feet at work, you may need 6 to 8 weeks before you can go back.
Your total recovery time can be up to 6 months.
You’ll wear a cast, splint, brace, walking boot, or other device for several months.
Your total recovery time can be up to 6 months.
What are the benefits? Surgery repairs the tendon and makes another rupture less likely.
You can go back to work and resume daily activities sooner than with immobilization.
Immobilization allows you to avoid surgery and the risk of wound infection.
What are the risks and side effects? You may have:

  • Minor pain and temporary nerve damage.
  • Slight risk of deep vein thrombosis or permanent nerve damage.
  • A small risk of repeat tendon rupture.

All surgery has risks, including bleeding and infection. Your age and your health can also increase your risk.

You may have:

  • Repeat tendon rupture.
  • Loss of strength in the leg.
  • Minor pain and temporary nerve damage.
  • A very slight risk of deep vein thrombosis or permanent nerve damage.

Call +65 64712674 to discuss the treatment options for your Achilles tendon rupture.

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