Surgery Overview

The majority of people who have achilles tendon ruptures in the US tend to go for surgical repair, although the non-surgical conservative approach has gained increasing popularity in recent years. Perhaps one day I will be able to find exact data on what portion of ruptures are treated surgically versus non-surgically in various countries.

Types of Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgeries

There are two main types of surgeries one almost always chooses from:

Open Surgery for Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Percutaneous Surgery for Achilles Tendon Ruptures

A third “mini-open” surgery that uses an Achillon device has also become somewhat common in recent years.

More Complex Procedures

If an achilles tendon rupture has been left untreated for too long a time after injury or if the ruptured leg has seen other types of damage, tendon grafting and other more complex surgical processes are often required during an open surgery.

Success Rates of Surgical Repair

Assuming you go to an experienced surgeon, achilles tendon rupture surgeries are usually successful. Moreover, the re-rupture rates from surgical treatment are typically less than from non-surgical treatment (although with modern non-surgical treatment protocols, this difference has become extremely small).

Is Surgery Necessary to Repair a Ruptured Achilles Tendon?

Surgery is not always necessary to repair a ruptured achilles tendon. In fact in many countries in Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand, the majority of achilles tendon ruptures are treated non-surgically.

For more on this debate, please read this website’s pages on:

  1. Studies in support of non-surgical treatment of achilles tendon ruptures.
  2. Studies in support of surgical treatment of achilles tendon ruptures.

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