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Achilles Tendon Repair
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Achilles tendon repair is surgery to fix your damaged Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone.
- Pain medicines can help decrease pain and swelling.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or orthopedist as directed:
You may need to return to have your wound checked and cast adjusted. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
A cast may be needed for 2 months or more. Your foot will be positioned in the cast with your toes pointing slightly down. Your PHP will change your cast and your foot position several times while your tendon is healing. Do not move or put weight on your foot until your PHP tells you it is okay.
How to bathe with a cast:
You may bathe when your PHP says it is okay. Do not get the cast wet. Cover the cast with 2 plastic trash bags. Tape the bags to your skin above the cast to keep it dry. Hold your foot out of the water as much as possible. Dry the cast with a hair dryer set on low or no heat if it gets wet.
Care for your wound as directed. Keep the bandage clean and dry. If you have medical tape on your incision, do not pull it off. The tape will fall off on its own. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Go to physical therapy:
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
Use support devices as directed:
You may need crutches or a cane for support when you walk. These devices help decrease stress and pressure on your tendon. Your PHP will tell you how much weight you can put on your leg. Ask for more information about how to use crutches or a cane correctly.
Contact your PHP or orthopedist if:
- You have a fever.
- You have worsening pain and swelling in your leg, ankle, or foot.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have chest pain or sudden shortness of breath.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your cast or splint breaks, or gets wet and soft.
- Your leg, ankle, or foot is numb, tingly, or cold.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.