Post Operative Instructions
Achilles Tendon Repair
SURGERY AND ANESTHESIA
The surgical procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes and is done under general anesthesia.An incision is made on the back of the lower leg. The surgical procedure involves sewing the torn ends of the ruptured Achilles tendon back together using strong suture material.
Following surgery, the operative area will be wrapped in ahard splint for immobilization. The splint is to remain in place until your first post-operative appointment. Please do not attempt to remove it. You may shower; however, the entire splint must be wrapped in a bag to keep it completely dry. If the splint accidently becomes wet for any reason, please contact the office immediately. You will be required to use crutches which will be given to you at the time of surgery. You may not place any weight on the operative leg.
REST, ICE AND ELEVATION
Use an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies for the first few days following surgery to help with pain control. Ice is helpful in reducing swelling which minimizes the requirements for narcotics. Place the ice directly over the painful areas.
You will be prescribed two medications following surgery: A pain medication and an anti-nausea medication.
- Do not drive or drink alcohol beverages while taking pain medications.
- Pain medication should be taken with food to help prevent any stomach upset. You may also take the prescribed anti-nausea medication.
- Often pain medications will cause constipation. Eat high fiber foods and increase your water intake. You may also purchase a stool softener at any pharmacy and follow the recommended directions on the bottle.
- You should resume taking your normally prescribed medications unless otherwise directed.
POST-OP APPOINTMENT AND PHYSICAL THERAPY
Your first post-operative appointment will be 7-10 days following surgery. At this appointment, we will remove the splint and check your incision site to be sure it is healing properly. You will be transitioned into a hard walking boot. We will slowly progress your weight-bearing over the first few weeks until you are able to walk freely in the boot. Physical therapy will begin approximately 4 weeks after surgery once the tendon has had adequate time to heal. It is important to protect the repair during the first few weeks to allow for maximum recovery.
Please contact the office by calling 703-810-5223 for any of the following symptoms:
- Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F for 24 hours.
- Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
- Numbness, loss of color, or coolness to touch in hand.
- Redness or swelling in the calf that does not resolve overnight.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, CALL 911.