Recovery, Healing, and Achilles Tendon Dressing
Healing, sports, driving, and Achilles tendon dressing – the surgeon accompanies you throughout your recovery period.
In order to eliminate the inflammation of your Achilles tendon that causes painful and debilitating discomfort, preventing you from placing your foot down and walking naturally, Dr. Julien Lopez offers a percutaneous surgical procedure for your Achilles tendonitis. Tendon combing is performed through incisions of a few millimeters, on an outpatient basis and under local-regional anesthesia to reduce hospitalization time, recovery, and scar size.
Although not very common, one of the complications of chronic Achilles tendonitis is the rupture of the Achilles tendon. The occurrence of this complication often requires a more extensive operation and a longer healing time for the Achilles tendon post-surgery.
The surgeon specialized in percutaneous surgery accompanies you at every stage of your care journey, from the initial consultation to the end of your recovery. Regardless of the surgical procedure performed, the surgeon's primary role is to minimize the risk of complications after Achilles tendon surgery. Dressing changes, resuming walking, driving, work, and sports activities are all topics discussed during your consultation with Dr. Lopez.
Recovery after Achilles Tendon Surgery
Recovery after Achilles tendon surgery is an important step. Indeed, it is essential to follow the advice, recommendations, and restrictions given by the surgeon to promote tendon healing and a return to normal life.
Healing of the Achilles tendon after surgery is facilitated through a period of rest, immobilization, cessation of walking, driving, and sports activities.
Immobilization, Dressings, and Shoes for Achilles Tendon Pain
Immobilization with a boot and dressing changes are essential steps in your recovery process after surgery. However, if you suffer from Achilles tendonitis and wish to avoid surgery, considering a change of footwear for your Achilles tendon pain may be useful.
Located at the back of the calcaneus, this tendon is essential for foot movements during walking or sports activities.
It is essential to immobilize the ankle with an orthopedic shoe after Achilles tendon surgery for a period of approximately 3 to 6 weeks. During this postoperative period, immobilization allows the patient to perform small movements while preserving the work done by the surgeon.
The duration of immobilization depends on the type of procedure performed. It is typically 3 weeks in the case of combing performed in chronic corporal tendonitis. In the case of percutaneous or open surgical suture, or in the case of tendon detachment and reattachment performed following chronic calcifying tendonitis, immobilization is often 6 weeks.
Following surgical operation, dressings must be regularly changed, approximately three times a week, by a healthcare professional or nurse. Several factors need to be considered to determine when to stop dressing changes. When the stitches are no longer present and the wound is dry, dressing changes may be discontinued while the tendon continues its healing process.
The healing time of the Achilles tendon after surgery varies from person to person, although it is estimated that a healthy tendon takes about 6 weeks to heal.
During the inflammation period following Achilles tendon surgery, pain may be experienced, which is entirely normal. The surgeon may prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Following Achilles tendon rupture surgery, the recovery period also includes refraining from sports, walking, and driving.
Walking, driving, and sports resumption after Achilles tendon rupture are subjects of advice and recommendations by the surgeon.
Adhering to these instructions is essential to ensure the proper healing process. Achilles tendon surgery can only be effective if the resumption steps are followed.
Driving following an operated Achilles tendon rupture is completely prohibited for about 6 months. This period can vary from person to person depending on the speed of healing, the intensity of the pain experienced, the frequency, and duration of car trips in particular. It also depends on the operated side and the type of vehicle.
An average of 3 months off work helps limit foot placement and potential dangerous movements. On average, resuming driving and work is possible after the third month following surgical operation. Individuals with desk jobs who do not use a car for work may potentially return to work sooner after consulting with the surgeon.
Resuming sports activity after Achilles tendon surgery depends on the surgical procedure performed and the type of sport. Gentle activities like cycling or leisure swimming can be considered after 3 to 6 weeks. However, pivot or contact sports are typically resumed after 6 or 7 months.
"Mild" sports activities such as swimming or leisure cycling can generally be resumed during the 3rd or 6th week of recovery. Each case is unique because the type of surgical procedure performed has the greatest influence on sports resumption. Indeed, to be eligible for resuming this type of sport, signs of improved mobility must be observed between the second and third months. These are typically characterized by normal walking, the ability to stand on tiptoe, or the absence of pain more than 48 hours after exertion. If all criteria are met, sports rehabilitation will help restore the athlete's strength, speed, and endurance.
Resuming running can be considered starting from the sixth month after Achilles tendon suture, depending on the progress of each patient. At the end of the fifth month, the surgeon assesses functional capacity and pain experienced half a day after exertion. If the clinical condition is deemed satisfactory, Dr. Julien Lopez may decide to reintroduce rope skipping and running into the athlete's daily routine.
Those who play team sports often have to wait for about 8 months before they can resume their practice.
For contact sports, improvements in terms of changes in direction, taking support, and movements specific to each sport need to be observed. If all these factors are met at the end of the sixth month of recovery, resuming this activity may be authorized by the specialist surgeon.
Dr. Julien Lopez accompanies you at every stage of your recovery after Achilles tendon surgery, whether it involves combing, simple tendon suturing, or tendon detachment and reattachment. Adhering to instructions and recommendations is essential to regain a walking ability after Achilles tendon surgery that is as natural as possible.