Foot and Ankle Specialists in Racine WI help people recover from injuries to the feet, ankles and lower leg. An example is an Achilles tendon rupture, which often can be resolved without surgery. Traditionally, doctors were more likely to operate on this kind of injury, but research has confirmed that more conservative therapy typically is just as effective.
People are most likely to rupture an Achilles tendon between the ages of 30 and 60, as the tissue starts becoming weaker and less flexible. The upper age limit is because people tend to become less active in their senior years.
The conservative strategy begins with keeping the foot in a brace or boot for one or two weeks, pointed downward at a specific angle. The patient is not allowed to put any weight on the foot.
When one of the ankle specialists in Racine WI determines that the time is right, the patient can remove the brace to perform therapeutic exercises. The patient is to move the foot gently within a specified range of motion several times each day. Weight-bearing activity is allowed for longer time frames according to the patient’s progress.
One drawback to choosing a conservative approach is that recovery takes longer, which can feel frustrating. Full recovery from the tendon rupture could take up to three months for patients who choose to avoid surgery, which is two to four weeks longer than is generally the case with surgery. Patients who have surgery are able to do exercises sooner and spend more time putting weight on the foot during the recovery period.
Treatment is Crucial
Although the person may not need an operation to heal the tendon rupture, professional treatment from at a facility such as Great Lakes Foot & Ankle Centers is imperative. Trying to heal the injury without any attention from a health care professional can result in long-term disability of the ankle. The individual may also develop leg and knee problems because of improper healing. A tendon operation may be required to correct the problem, and the surgery will be more extensive because so much time has passed.
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