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Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists Addresses Patient Concerns

Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists treats many conditions affecting the health of your feet, including Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendonosis. If you suffer from either of those conditions and are seeking Achilles tendon treatment in the Sugar Land or Houston, TX area, you probably have questions and concerns. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of our frequently asked questions. Should you not see the answer to a specific question you have for us, we encourage you to contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable podiatrists!

Tendons connect muscles and bones. The longest tendon in the human anatomy is the Achilles tendon, which runs down the back of your lower leg. Your calf muscle is connected to your heel bone via your Achilles tendon, which makes it possible for you to walk, run, and jump. However, it’s vulnerable to many types of injuries and chronic conditions. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that may progress to the degenerative disorder known as Achilles tendonosis, which often results in a torn Achilles tendon.

Athletes and weekend warriors frequently experience injuries to their Achilles tendon. An Achilles tendon injury is one of the most excruciating injuries to recover from because it takes 10-12 months on average. A torn Achilles tendon is the most common type of injury, which is often caused when a person’s momentum suddenly changes or pivots while playing a sport. Achilles tendon injuries are also often caused by overuse or repetitive activities that place too much stress on the tendon. Due to the ongoing tension, your body is unable to repair itself, resulting in pain and inflammation. People with short calf muscles or flat feet also tend to develop issues with their Achilles tendon because they’re putting additional stress on the tendon while walking.

Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists provides several Achilles tendon treatment options in our Sugar Land and Houston locations. We may recommend immobilization, ice, or oral medications to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of your Achilles tendon issue, other non-surgical approaches include physical therapy and foot orthotics. However, a torn Achilles tendon typically requires surgery to restore it to its original condition. X-rays, ultrasound imaging, or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan are usually recommended to determine the extent of the damage to your Achilles tendon. Forgoing surgery leaves you susceptible to further injuries, especially if you’re an athlete. Surgery may not be advised for patients with diabetes or neuropathy in their legs. Always talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment.

This largely depends on the extent of the damage done to your Achilles tendon. If your Achilles tendon has degenerated due to Achilles tendonosis, a surgeon will usually remove the damaged portion and then repair the rest of your tendon with stitches. If you have a torn Achilles tendon, a surgeon will typically try to stitch it back together. If the damage is severe enough, a surgeon may suggest replacing part or all of your Achilles tendon by taking a tendon from another part of your foot. If the damage isn’t severe, several small incisions may be made in a minimally-invasive surgical procedure.

Achilles tendon surgery is an outpatient procedure usually lasting a few hours. You may experience pain and discomfort in the days following your surgery. Try to keep your leg elevated to reduce swelling. You may take pain medications as necessary. Since you’ll need to keep weight off your leg as much as possible, you may have to use crutches for several months. You may need to wear a cast or a protective boot during this time. A follow-up appointment may be necessary to remove stitches. The average recovery time after an Achilles tendon treatment or surgery is anywhere from 10 months to over a year. Some athletes with access to personal trainers and nutritionists may see a full recovery in less time. Recovery will vary by patient and procedure type.

Any surgery presents the risks for complications. Although rare, Achilles tendon surgery comes with risks of nerve damage, excess bleeding, infection, blood clots, calf weakness, delayed healing, complications from anesthesia, or continued pain in your foot and ankle even after treatment. You should talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of complications for someone of your age and health.

Know your limits when exercising, stretching, or participating in sports. Don’t overexert yourself, as this often leads to repetitive strains and Achilles tendon injuries. Always wear the right type of footwear recommended for your foot type and activity. You should also keep up with your foot health with regular check-ups at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists. Your feet are often easy to overlook, but they’re essential for mobility.

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Please contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about how we treat Achilles tendon injuries and other foot health issues in the Sugar Land and Houston, TX area.

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