The Different Types of Achilles Tendon Surgery Explained

There are several types of surgical procedures that may be performed on the Achilles tendon, depending on the specific condition and severity of the injury. Here are some common types of Achilles tendon surgery:

1. Achilles Tendon Repair

Achilles tendon repair surgery is performed to reattach or suture together a partially or completely ruptured Achilles tendon. The surgeon makes an incision in the back of the leg near the heel, and the torn ends of the tendon are stitched back together. In some cases, the surgeon may reinforce the repair with additional sutures or use anchors to secure the tendon to the bone.

2. Achilles Tendon Reconstruction

Achilles tendon reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed when the Achilles tendon is severely damaged or has failed to heal properly. It involves removing the damaged or scarred portion of the tendon and replacing it with a tendon graft. The graft may be taken from the patient’s own body (autograft) or obtained from a donor (allograft).

3. Achilles Tendon Lengthening

Achilles tendon lengthening surgery is performed to treat conditions such as Achilles tendon contracture or tightness. During the procedure, the surgeon releases a portion of the tight Achilles tendon, allowing it to lengthen and improve flexibility. This can be done through various techniques, such as Z-lengthening, gastrocnemius recession, or percutaneous tenotomy.

4. Debridement and Tendon Repair

Debridement and tendon repair surgery are typically performed to address conditions such as Achilles tendonitis or tendinosis. The surgeon removes any damaged or degenerative tissue from the tendon and repairs any partial tears or abnormalities. In some cases, additional procedures, such as tendon scraping or bursectomy, may be performed to alleviate inflammation or correct associated problems.

5. Tendon Transfer

Tendon transfer surgery may be performed in cases where the Achilles tendon is irreparably damaged or weakened. This procedure involves transferring a nearby tendon, such as the flexor hallucis longus or the peroneus brevis tendon, to replace the function of the damaged Achilles tendon. The transferred tendon is rerouted and attached to the heel bone to restore normal foot and ankle movement.

The specific type of Achilles tendon surgery recommended will depend on factors such as the extent of the injury, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s expertise. It’s important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon or foot and ankle specialist to determine the most appropriate surgical approach for your specific condition.