If you are like many Americans, you are getting ready for bathing suit season by ramping up your exercise routine. Too much of an increase in exertion too quickly can often lead to frustrating injuries.
At Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute, we know that exercise is the single best thing you can do to maintain your health physically and mentally. While nothing can stop you in your tracks quite like achilles tendon injuries, we at Celebration Fl.’s top foot and ankle clinic have this overview of what you can expect from your recovery process. So read on and learn what you must do to get off the injured list and back into the activity of your choice.
Treatment Options For Achilles Tendon Injuries
Most achilles injuries do not require surgical treatment. The first line approaches consist of non-surgical immobilization and physical therapy. Treating non-surgical tendon ruptures normally involves immobilization followed by heel raises up to eight weeks post-injury.
Sometimes crutches are indicated to increase comfort and to allow patients to gradually keep weight off the affected foot. In this phase, the goal of treatment is to improve the range of motion and promote soft tissue healing by strengthening the muscles of the hips and knees. In early phases, it is important to avoid aggravating the achilles and calf area by stretching.
Eight Weeks Post Injury
At the eight-week mark, patients transition out of the boot and into an elevator shoe with a built-in heel raiser that promotes healing. Shoes such as these help patients return to their normal gait patterns much faster while emphasizing the heel-toe stride patients with chronically weak calves often have difficulty attaining.
Exercise goals include normalizing gait on surface levels, engaging in active range of motion exercises and standing on a single leg for 10 seconds. Hip and core strengthening and static balance exercises are emphasized.
10 Weeks Post-Injury
At 10 weeks, patients begin transitioning away from therapeutic footwear and return to normal shoes. The emphasis is on increasing calf strength with exercises increasing in difficulty. Ideally, a patient will move from two-legged strengthening exercises to exercises that require one-legged support.
At the end of 12 weeks, most patients return to basic functions; however, full recovery often lasts up to 18 weeks or more. This is because achilles injuries are often a result of muscle imbalances. Therefore, many achilles injuries are overuse injuries. At our clinic, we want to correct the imbalances that left you susceptible to injury in the first place. That way, you can get back to the activities you love and keep doing them for years to come!
Our goal is to provide every patient with comprehensive and personalized treatment to meet their goals. We do this by applying the most advanced techniques currently available for the treatment of traumatic foot and ankle injuries.
If you are experiencing any achilles tendon injuries, make an appointment at Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institutes’s clinic. We know that locals in and around Celebration love living the active lifestyle beautiful sunny Florida provides. So if you have tired, achy feet that are trying to tell you something, contact us today!