Achilles Tendon Tear and No Surgery?


From West 4th Physio associate Marj Belot…
This year, I attended the Canadian Physiotherapy association Orthopaedic Division Symposium in Montreal.  Sarah Kerslake, physiotherapist at Banff Sports Medicine Centre gave an excellent presentation regarding trends in management of partial Achilles tears as well as complete Achilles tendon ruptures. Their group was involved with a multisite study that found that people do just as well or better WITHOUT SURGERY! She also reviewed multiple other studies that reached the same conclusion.  Apparently the tendon ends do not tend to retract so, with a walking boot for 6-8 weeks, they are able to reconnect and recreate a viable tendon. Surgery does have a lower re-rupture rate but also has a higher complication rate e.g. infections and poor wound healing requiring skin grafting.   Once people are out of the cast boot the physiotherapy protocols are very similar and are posted on their website:
http://www.banffsportmed.ca/other-injuries. Although the rehabilitation protocol is posted on their website, it is still highly advisable to seek the assistance and guidance of a physiotherapist.  If you have further questions regarding this injury and its management, please feel free to email me at marj@w4pt.com or call me at West 4th Physiotherapy Clinic, 604-730-9478.

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