Rehabilitation of Operated Achilles Tendon
Dr. Julien Lopez oversees the surgery follow-up and rehabilitation of the operated Achilles tendon based on the surgical technique used. After minimally invasive Achilles tendon surgery, your rehabilitation goes through several stages that may vary depending on the condition and initial diagnosis. Dr. Julien Lopez outlines the fundamental principles of rehabilitative care.
Rehabilitation After Surgery on Your Achilles Tendon
Rehabilitation after surgery on your Achilles tendon is essential for the resumption of your activities. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus) and plays a major role in movements like walking, running, and jumping. Overuse can lead to complications such as tendinitis or sudden rupture. In the case of a tendon rupture, it is essential to seek prompt evaluation for the potential benefit of surgical intervention. Physical therapy, along with Achilles tendon surgery, is inseparable.
Non-invasive medical treatment is always preferred over surgery. Non-surgical orthopedic treatment is indicated in cases where surgery is contraindicated (due to factors like smoking, poor skin condition, overweight, comorbidities, etc.) or in cases of ruptures in the myotendinous zone or old ruptures. Orthopedic solutions allow tendon healing without surgery, using insoles, heel lifts, and boots, along with cryotherapy and physiotherapy.
Dr. Julien Lopez regularly performs Achilles tendon repair through percutaneous surgery. Also possible with minimally invasive surgery, these techniques limit surgical aggression and facilitate post-operative recovery. These procedures are carried out through mini-incisions, smaller than those made during traditional surgery.
Rehabilitation throughphysiotherapy is necessary after Achilles tendon surgery to regain range of motion and muscle strength.
Rehabilitation Protocol for Operated Achilles Tendon
Dr. Julien Lopez prescribes a rehabilitation protocol for the operated Achilles tendon. After your convalescence and immobilization of your ankle for a certain period, physiotherapy sessions will be prescribed to help you get back on your feet.
After percutaneous surgery on your Achilles tendon, Dr. Julien Lopez applies a boot to immobilize your ankle. Anti-inflammatory treatment may be prescribed, and crutches will assist you in avoiding putting weight on your foot to protect it. Over time, you will receive heel lifts that gradually reduce in thickness over the weeks. Thanks to this gradual treatment, you will be able to walk normally after 2 to 3 months.
Depending on your level of activity, especially in sports, your Achilles tendon undergoes specific stress. Dr. Julien Lopez takes your exercise routine into account and offers a rehabilitation plan tailored to your lifestyle. Typically, the return to sports can begin after the third month for low-impact sports like cycling and swimming. The return to more intense sports is usually between the sixth and eighth months to minimize the risk of re-rupture.
In physiotherapy, rehabilitation after Achilles tendon surgery involves various movements and exercises to be performed at the clinic and at home. Here are some of them:
- Deep transverse massages to reduce inflammation and restore the elasticity of tendon tissues.
- Calf and Achilles tendon stretches to improve flexibility.
- Isometric exercises that involve static muscle contractions.
- Eccentric exercises that engage the triceps muscle during a braking movement.
The goal of physiotherapy rehabilitation after Achilles tendon surgery is to regain joint range of motion and muscle strength. It also helps alleviate pain, reduce swelling, inflammation, skin adhesions, and work on scar tissue flexibility.