Surgery or Non Surgery Options - Week 1

Surgery or Non Surgery Options

Now that I have had the surgery, my late night thoughts bring me to the question of why would anyone want to go through a ruptured achilles tendon injury and not get it surgically repaired. Yes I researched and read information on how the nonsurgical option is good for someone that is not active or may not be able to afford the surgery. I also became aware that the time for healing is about the same with surgery as it was without surgery.

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My doctor discussed the options with me and with not having surgery, the discomfort and not knowing the exact things that could be going on with my foot, was just not in the cards for me. I had the surgery and  the only thing I remember is being wheeled down the hall going to surgery and getting dressed and having the crutches placed under my arms.

What was funny for me is that my wife started telling me what the doctor said (good things) and the physical therapist was also in the room talking to her about some of the exercises that they will put me through. I now realize that the anesthesia is some powerful stuff and now that I am off of it and ready to go home, I’m glad that surgery went well and now it’s time for pain killers, leg elevation and rest.
Talk soon and be Strong!

Action Jackson

7 Responses to “Surgery or Non Surgery Options - Week 1”

  1. Good afternoon,

    I went the non op route and currently at 20 weeks post injury. My recovery has been relatively smooth to this point and I am happy with my decision to give it a try without surgery. I prayed about it and was at peace with my decision and that’s how I know I made the correct choice. I can jog and if I wanted to, I am sure I could go shoot hoops right now, but I wont be doing that :) I just feel extremely blessed to be where I am at on my road to recovery. I am an active 41 year old who works out 4 times a week and I feel I will be back to where I was pre-injury except I will be more aware of what I can and cant do anymore. Good luck on your road and there are some very knowledgeable people on this site who are very helpful.

  2. Action, thank you for sharing. I am one of the few that underwent both options. This March I had Achilles repair surgery on my left side and about 20 years ago I ruptured the Achilles on my right and went into a cast for 8 weeks without surgery. My right side is permanently weaker. It bothered me only once when I hit the brakes on my car hard and felt like it was about to pop again. Since then it hasn’t bothered me except it dosen’t feel real strong but it hasn’t held me back. Hindsight is 20/20 but there are no absolute gurantees when it comes to major surgical procedures. Good luck in your recovery and keep us posted on your progress.

  3. Patrick - the research you read re non-surgical approach is very old and not relevant. Some people are however still treated this way and for them the end results may not be as good as if they had surgery. There is plenty on this site about the newer methods of non-op rehab which you should have time to read. I had a surgical repair because I was given the same out of date information. With what I have learned here I would not do it again. I do however respect the decisions of every individual. It is a matter of choice but it is better if we have all the facts before we make it. There is a good saying I think I heard here first -’There is no condition known to man that cannot be made worse by surgery’ I have been struggling over the last month with a decision to have surgery to fix a problem in my heart. I can live with it but life is limited. At worse I could die on the table or suffer a number of other complications but the risks are about 5% worldwide. I am going ahead with it as this is not the lifestyle I want to live out my days and I hope things will go well. I have researched everything and put my trust in the surgeon and what he has told me. Decision made and time to move on. So which ever way we treat our Achilles we make the decision and move on or really forward.

  4. Stuart, thanks for sharing your comment, information and personal experience however re: the non surgical route is not relevant, I beg to differ. For the simple fact that after reading updated material, talking to a couple of doctors as well as making the acquaintances of several people here with this blog and other forums that have personally went through or know someone that went the nonsurgical route, those two reasons were on point. Anyway, your reasoning as to having the surgery was definitely in line with my personal reasoning. Thanks again,

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  5. michael67, thanks for your comments and Wow!!! 2 ATR’s… this is one more than I hope to ever have however I will keep you updated and please send any encouraging words and tips along the way.

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  6. That’s great stuff and yes, when you pray about something and get that peace about it, you know you are on your way! Thanks for sharing

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  7. Patrick - I probably should have answered direct to statement about the non surgical option being good for those who are not active or cannot afford surgery. That is very much old school thinking and relates to those people still being treated in a cast for 12 weeks NWB and then sometimes a boot. The key to a non surgical treatment is early weight bearing and movement. Surgical patients seem to produce similar results with or without this. There are also many good reasons to avoid surgery particularly when your result can be identical and re-rupture rate similar. Strength and a return to previous activities also the same. I have been around these pages long enough to see the fantastic results from non surgical repairs treated using modern protocols. I have also seen wounds not healing for months, infections, blot clots, healing short, scars rubbing on shoes, huge ugly scars and significant pain. When the tendon ends approximate with plantar flexion what does surgery do that the body doesn’t naturally do with or without surgery? It is of course the collagen that forms and then remodels that provides the strength to the tendon and returns its function. Sutures are only temporary. I guess I only wish to bring an awareness that there is a good alternative to surgery for MOST achilles ruptures. Unfortunately for most the information given at the time of injury by those we are supposed to trust often relies on outdated methods and it is this we base our choice on. There are also some trends depending on the country you are in. More in the USA have surgery and less in the UK. I do however repect your choice and your reasons. Someone may read this later and at least they will see the alternative as being worth considering.

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