Orthopaedic experts can perform surgery to repair Achilles tear in about 30 minutes

by Liz Bonis and Megan Burgasser, WKRC || Click HERE to read the full story.


CINCINNATI (WKRC) – It’s one of the most common injuries in athletes, but it can take weeks to heal. However, it doesn’t take long to surgically repair a torn Achilles tendon.


This sports injury has sidelined quite a few college and pro football and basketball players recently.


In one case, a tiny incision was all it took for Dr. Nick Gates to locate the damaged tendon.


“Essentially, it’s gone through small micro-tears of his Achilles tendon, which has led to a chronic painful inflammatory process and even a slight lengthening or slight tear of that tendon,” said Dr. Gates, an OrthoCincy foot and ankle surgeon.


Dr. Gates says he has to remove the damaged tissue, because once it’s torn, it can interfere with just about any physical activity.


“Once an Achilles tendon is ruptured, there’s no playing through that,” he said.


The repair can be done in a few ways.


Dr. Gates says he can take a new tendon from within the ankle and leg and replace it.


In this particular case, he used high-strength sutures to repair the tear, securing the ends of the severed tendon.


The surgery takes about 30 minutes, and the patient will be up and walking the same day in most cases.


“They’ll start a controlled therapy program within two-to-three weeks that allows them limited motion to fight atrophy, regain strength, and get back to activity,” said Dr. Gates.


Dr. Gates says the rehabilitation is centered around getting the calf strong again, which can take several weeks.