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Athletic Training

How quickly to operate on achilles rupture?

04/25/2006

Question:

My orthopedic surgeon could not operate my achilles rupture (total rupture) due to schedule conflicts until next week, a full week after the injury occurred. His demeanor worried me because you can tell he really wanted to operate sooner and then said it "should be ok". What is the norm delay in surgery for this type of injury and what are the risks of waiting too long (i.e. 1 full week)? Thanks!

Answer:

The risks of delaying too long relate to the ability of the surgeon to try and "pull the pieces"  together to repair the tendon.  The longer you wait, the more chance there is for separation of the ends of the tendon which may make the  repair harder to do.  I don't know if there is a magic number of days, but the preference is to do the repair as soon as able. Many times, a 7 to 10 day window is typical, but longer than that may affect the surgeon's ability to repair the tissue as well as they would like.  Good Luck!

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Response by:

Janine   Oman, MS, PT/ATC Janine Oman, MS, PT/ATC
Assistant Athletic Director
Instructor at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University