Often considered standard treatment for Achilles tendon ruptures, a recent study found that patients who didn't have surgery often did just as well as those that did.
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon in the back of your ankle. The Achilles connects the calf muscles to the foot, and when these muscles contract, the Achilles points the foot downwards. This motion is important in walking, running, and many sports.
Surgery is often considered the standard treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture. During surgery, the torn ends of the Achilles tendon are sutured together. A recent study found that patients treated nonsurgically had similar results to those treated with surgery. This goes to show that not everyone needs surgery for an Achilles rupture.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has published guidelines on the best treatments for Achilles injuries. If you have an Achilles tendon rupture, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of different treatment options.
Sources: Nilsson-Helander K, et al. "Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture" Am J Sports Med November 2010 38 2186-2193.