How is an Achilles tendon repair done?
Achilles tendon surgery is done in an outpatient setting. It involves a general anesthetic and an incision over the Achilles tendon. There are multiple techniques used to repair the tendon and the preferred treatment continues to evolve. After an Achilles repair the patient is placed in a postoperative splint, to allow for swelling, and discharged home.
Surgical intervention usually involves the use of a regional nerve block or catheter. This controls pain for the first 12-48 hours depending on the type of block used. As the nerve block wears off, the patient is provided with oral pain medication. The pain usually lasts 2-3 days then subsides significantly.
How long does it take to recover from Achilles tendon surgery?
Following operative intervention, the patient is non-weightbearing for the first few days after the surgery. The patient is then placed in a removable CAM boot with heel lifts. The patient is allowed to begin weightbearing in the removable boot and starts physical therapy. The boot is removed between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on the patient. Further recovery takes 3-6 months. Return to full, competitive, explosive activities typically takes 6 months to 1 year.