Sometimes tissues need a little help to be able to heal correctly. Imagine a tear in your favorite jacket. The torn ends have to be brought back together and sewn in place to repair the rip. Tissues can behave similarly. Torn tissues end up needing to be surgically reattached. This is the case for tendon surgery.
The Importance of Your Tendons
Tendons are important connective tissues that make movement possible. They are a strong, somewhat flexible tissue that attaches muscles to bones. Without them, your muscles would not be able to pull on or move any part of your skeleton. They also help your limbs absorb shock and handle strain.
You have many tendons in your lower limbs. You have connectors that attach to your toes, the tops and sides of your feet, the underside of your arch, and your heel. Most of these are small. The Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel, is the largest. All stretch out somewhat under pressure, but they have a limit to their elasticity. When that point is passed, the tissue tears. Any of the tendons in your lower limbs can snap, though the Achilles is the most commonly affected.
Damage Deserving Surgery
Many different issues can lead to an injury that requires tendon surgery. A rupture tends to happen suddenly. Landing jumps incorrectly, getting hit in sports, and falling from a great height are common accidents that sharply overstretch a tendon in one forceful motion. The tissue can’t support the impact and it partially tears or ruptures completely. Connectors weakened by overuse are more prone to the issue as well. Chronic tendonitis aggravates the tendon over a long period of time, slowly decreasing its flexibility and strength. Then, when it suddenly must deal with significant weight or a hard impact, it can’t support the strain and snaps. Some autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and some medications can weaken the tissue enough to tear as well.
Repairing Your Connectors
While conservative methods can sometimes help repair torn connective tissues, in many cases tendon surgery is your best option for recovery. This is because a surgery can reconnect the ruptured parts of the tissue to allow them to heal back together. Our expert podiatric physicians at Martin Foot and Ankle will examine your lower limbs to identify which connector is torn and how much damage has been done. Then we can help you decide the best treatment for your needs.
The surgery will be performed with anesthesia to numb up your foot. Then we will make as small of an incision as we possibly can to complete the procedure. We will carefully stitch the torn ends of tissue back together so they can heal. If the damage to the tendon is significant, we may need to use a tissue graft. Then, the incision will be closed. Once the incision site has completely healed, you’ll need physical therapy to rehabilitate and restore your repairing tendon to full strength and flexibility.
Tendon surgery may seem intimidating, but it can help you recover form an otherwise traumatic injury to a key part of your foot. Let our team at Martin Foot and Ankle help you take this next step to restoring your lower limbs to health. Contact our podiatry offices in Hanover, York, Lititz and Lancaster, PA, for an appointment. You can call (717) 757-3537 or use the website to reach us.