Question: I ruptured my Achilles tendon. Should I consider Achilles tendon rupture surgery or treat it without surgery?
Answer: Treatment of an Achilles tendon can be both surgical and nonsurgical. We always have a long conversation with our patients with an Achilles tendon rupture. We like to go over the risks and benefits to each treatment with the patient. At OrthoArizona Foot and Ankle Institute, we base our treatment on evidence and patient preference. Sometimes doctors forget to consider patient preference. We review the evidence with our patients and educate them and then the patient and provider make a decision together.
A few of the surgical risks include infection, delayed wound healing or nerve injury. While these are rare, they can happen. We also discuss nonsurgical risks such as the possible increased risk of re-rupture or slightly less strength in some studies. Because both treatments can be successful, we support the patient even if their choice may be different than ours. In general the healthier the patient and the more active they are, the more likely we come to surgical treatment. Many patients with poor overall health who are not active often decide on non-surgical treatment.
Decision for surgery is very important and is easier once you understand your condition.