Foot and Ankle Tendon Repair Surgery

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain and suspect you may need tendon repair surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center located in the Greater Columbus area. 

Our skilled orthopedic surgeons specialize in tendon repair surgery and are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to our patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward getting back to the activities you love.

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

What Our Patients Say

A month out of surgery, I am not fully healed and walking, but I am pain-free for the first time in years and am looking forward to resuming a more active lifestyle, chasing my dogs, and actually participating in life without my purse –  Tylenol and Aleve on hand. I can’t recommend them enough!” — Elizabeth L. 

Foot and ankle tendon repair surgery involves repairing or reconstructing the damaged tendon using a variety of techniques. The goal of tendon surgery is to restore function and stability to the affected area, allowing patients to resume normal activities and improve their quality of life.

What Is Tendon Repair Surgery?

Foot and ankle tendon repair surgery is a common procedure that is performed to treat a variety of tendon injuries in the lower extremities.

This procedure is often used to repair damaged or torn tendons, such as the peroneal tendons (tendons running along the outer ankle bone), posterior tibial tendon (the tendon attached to the posterior tibialis muscle on the back of your calf), and Achilles tendon (a strong fibrous cord that attaches the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone).

A woman experiencing achilles tendon pain in Columbus, OH.

Why Is Tendon Repair Surgery Performed?

A woman with cast after foot and ankle tendon repair surgery.

Tendon repair surgery may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including sports injuries such as ankle sprains that can lead to damaged tendons and ankle instability. 

Ankle sprains can occur when the ankle joint is forcefully twisted or rolled, causing damage to the ligaments and tendons that support the joint. In some cases, the posterior tibialis tendon may become stretched or torn during an ankle sprain, leading to ankle instability and other symptoms such as pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. 

If conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and medication do not provide relief from symptoms, tendon repair surgery may be recommended. The damaged tendon may be sutured back together during the surgery or reattached to the bone using special surgical techniques.

What Foot & Ankle Conditions Does Tendon Repair Surgery Treat?

Tendon repair surgery can be used to treat a wide range of foot and ankle tendon injuries, including:

  • Posterior tibial tendon injuries: This large tendon along the inside or “medial” ankle supports the arch. It can tear from overuse or can gradually stretch out and lead to a collapsing arch or flatfoot.
  • Achilles tendon injuries: The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendon injuries can be caused by overuse, trauma, or degenerative conditions such as tendinopathy.
  • Peroneal tendon injuries: These two tendons along the outside or “lateral” ankle stabilize the ankle joint and are often injured during ankle sprains.  Chronic pain along the lateral ankle after a sprain could be a sign of peroneal tendon damage.
  • Toe flexor and extensor tendon injuries: Tendons that bend and straighten the toes can become damaged due to overuse, injuries, or improper shoes. Painful toe contractures known as bunions in the big toe, or hammer toes and claw toes in the smaller toes can result. Tendon procedures are commonly used to treat these conditions.

What Does Tendon Surgery Involve?

Tendon surgery repair surgery may involve a variety of techniques, including tendon transfer and reconstruction of the affected area.

In cases where a tendon is completely torn or ruptured, tendon surgery may involve reattaching the damaged tendon to its original attachment point. This may be done through sutures or other methods to hold the tendon in place while it heals.

In other cases where the tendon is severely damaged, a tendon transfer procedure may be necessary. This involves taking a healthy tendon from another part of the body and transplanting it to the damaged area. This procedure is often used in cases where the original tendon cannot be repaired or reattached.

Tendon surgery may also involve reconstructing other structures in the affected area, such as the ankle ligaments. For example, in cases of ankle instability, the foot and ankle surgeon may need to reconstruct the outer ankle bone and ligaments to restore stability to the joint.

Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery Process

The recovery process after tendon repair surgery typically involves a combination of rest, immobilization, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. 

After surgery, the patient’s foot and ankle will be immobilized with a cast or a brace to allow the tendons to heal properly. The length of time that the foot and ankle are immobilized will depend on the specific type of tendon repair surgery that was performed. The patient will need to keep the affected area elevated and rest as much as possible to minimize swelling and discomfort.

Once the initial healing process is complete, rehabilitation and physical therapy are crucial in helping the patient regain mobility, strength, and function in the affected ankle and foot. The physical therapist will work with the patient to develop an individualized rehabilitation program based on their specific needs and goals.

What Are the Benefits of Tendon Repair Surgery?

Tendon repair surgery can offer several benefits for patients who are suffering from tendon injuries, including:

  • Restoring Function: One of the primary benefits of tendon repair surgery is that it can help restore function to the affected area. The damaged tendon can be repaired, allowing the patient to regain the ability to move and use the affected body part. This can help improve the patient’s quality of life and will enable them to return to their normal activities.
  • Reducing Pain: Tendon injuries can be very painful and can interfere with the patient’s ability to perform daily activities. Tendon repair surgery can help reduce or eliminate pain associated with tendon injuries, allowing patients to resume their normal activities without discomfort.
  • Preventing Further Damage: If a damaged tendon is left untreated, it can lead to further damage or complications. Tendon repair surgery can help prevent further damage by repairing the damaged tendon and allowing it to heal properly.
  • Improving Appearance: Some tendon injuries can cause visible deformities or changes in the affected body part’s appearance. Tendon repair surgery can help improve the appearance of the affected area by restoring normal tendon function.
  • Shortening Recovery Time: Tendon repair surgery can often result in a shorter recovery time than non-surgical treatment options. By repairing the damaged tendon, patients can usually resume their normal activities sooner than they would with non-surgical treatment options.

Visit Our Foot and Ankle Specialists Today!

If you’re experiencing pain or limited mobility due to a tendon injury, be sure to visit Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Columbus, Ohio. Our team of experienced surgeons specializes in tendon repair surgery. Contact us today!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Patrick E. Bull

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