It was bad enough that you had to take weeks off of work to recover from your broken ankle. But now that your physical therapy sessions are coming to an end, you realize your foot may never be quite the same again. You can barely stand on the foot without wobbling, and any sudden movements may it feel like your leg might “give way” from under you. Is there anything you can do to get your ankle working again?
Why Do Patients Need Tendon Repair Surgery?
While the muscles and bones may mend after a joint injury, the tendons in the joint may not repair themselves as easily. These stretchy, band-like tissues connect the muscles to the bones in the legs and feet. When you flex your muscles, the muscles pull on your tendons to move the limb. If the tendons are torn or are stretched too thin, patients may not be able to control the foot as well as they could before the accident.
If you are having trouble walking or balancing after an ankle injury, you may need surgical tendon repair to bring back normal movement. There are many different procedures to restore ankle function, including:
Tendon repair. Severe sprain or ankle injury may cause tendons to tear, commonly called a tendon rupture. Some tendons may have a small tear while others will sever completely, but many will need to be repaired to allow the ankle to heal properly. Doctors can restore proper function to the ankle by sewing the ends of a torn tendon back together, or by surgically shortening an overstretched tendon to allow greater control over ankle movements.
Tendon grafting. If your injured tendon is not strong enough to bear your weight, a podiatrist may recommend a tendon graft. This process works like a skin graft, taking a tendon from another part of your body (such as the foot or toe) and attaching it to the tissues in your ankle. This gives the ankle added stability.
Tendon degeneration. Some patients have not suffered a serious injury, but are having difficulty walking or balancing due to tendon degeneration. The tendons in the ankle may weaken over time, causing instability and increasing the risk of falls. A podiatrist may increase mobility by surgically removing degenerated sections of the tendon and suturing any tears.
Tendon debridement. Tibial tendonitis is common in patients who have suffered severe ankle sprain. The tendon along the inside of the ankle may become inflamed, causing pain and instability in the joint. Some surgeons may recommend tendon debridement, a way of “shaving down” the tissues surrounding the tendon to ease the pressure.
Our Podiatrists Can Help You Get Your Strength and Balance Back
At Podiatry Care Specialists, PC, our podiatrists can provide a variety of surgical solutions in a comfortable outpatient environment. We can use our sophisticated diagnostic equipment to discover which treatment method will work best for you, and our flexible scheduling allows us to see patients as quickly as possible.
Call us today to find out which of our eastern Pennsylvania offices is closest to you, or visit our contact page to schedule your appointment online!
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