Advances in Achilles Tendon Surgery Speed Procedure and Recovery

New minimally invasive procedures offer alternatives to open surgery.

The Greek warrior Achilles, according to mythology, was felled by a poison arrow shot into the one place he was vulnerable-his heel. Fast-forward 2,700 years to today, when cutting-edge medical care can not only repair an injured Achilles tendon but can have you walking without casts or aids in mere months. "New radio-frequency treatments and other minimally invasive procedures are now among the methods we can use with patients who injure or rupture their Achilles tendon," says Brian G. Donley, MD, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Cleveland Clinics Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. As with any medical procedure, the latest surgical advances wont work for all patients with Achilles tendon problems. Some procedures are targeted for tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon. Others treat tendonosis, in which scar tissue develops on the tendon or the tendon weakens and develops microscopic tears. And some procedures focus on treating a tendon rupture, in which the tendon actually tears.
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