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Ankle, Conditions, Foot

Achilles Tendon Rupture

Adjunctive treatments for an Achilles tendon rupture can be important in healing. These modalities include INDIBA® radiofrequency, Shockwave Therapy, and Extracorporeal Magnetotransduction Therapy (EMTT), as well as complementary Clinical Pilates and prescribed physical therapy exercises to enhance the regeneration and repair of your Achilles tendon. Our personalized physiotherapy approach aims to increase blood flow and nutrient delivery, reduce inflammation and pain, and enhance strength and flexibility to get you back on your feet — and moving earlier – in your recovery.

An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon, which connects your calf to your heel, is stretched beyond its capacity. The main symptom of an Achilles tendon rupture is the sudden onset of sharp pain in the heel, and a snap or “pop” may be heard as the tendon breaks. Some people describe the pain as a hit or kick behind the lower leg, and there is difficulty walking immediately. It may be difficult to push off or stand on the toes of the injured leg, and swelling may be present around the heel. 

The Achilles tendon is most often injured by sudden downward or upward movement of the foot or by forced upward flexion outside its normal range of motion. Other ways the Achilles tendon can be torn involve sudden direct trauma or damage to the tendon or the sudden use of the Achilles after prolonged periods of inactivity, such as bed rest or leg injury. Some antibiotics, such as levofloxacin, may increase the risk of tendon injury or rupture. 

Achilles tendon rupture pain relief

Treatment options for an Achilles tendon rupture include surgical and nonsurgical approaches. 

Nonsurgical treatment involves using a cast, walking boot or brace to restrict motion and allow the torn tendon to heal. At the same time, Achilles tendon rupture surgery offers important potential benefits such as decreasing the likelihood of re-rupturing the Achilles tendon and improving muscle function and movement of the ankle. Physical therapy is an important component of the healing process, whether an Achilles tendon rupture is treated surgically or nonsurgically.

Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery Time with Surgery

The recovery time for an Achilles tendon rupture typically takes a few months, whether treated surgically or nonsurgically. 

Achilles tendon rupture recovery time with surgery is expected to take 6 to 9 months. Return to active sports may take 9 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the injury and the nature of the sport the patient desires to play. At 4 to 6 months, patients should be back to full activity, but they won’t recover until about a year after surgery. Even then, complete healing may take up to a year.

When recovering from an Achilles tendon rupture, several common issues can arise. These include the tendon tearing again, damage to nearby nerves, problems with wound healing, changes in the tendon’s shape and structure, blood clots in the veins, tendon lengthening, severe pain and swelling in the limb, and pressure buildup within muscle compartments.

Achilles tendon rupture recovery time with surgery

Approximately 1 in 9 patients undergoing operative repair of an acute Achilles tendon rupture develop a postoperative complication, with risk factors such as advanced age and active tobacco use. 

Complications can also include wound healing issues, re-rupture, hematoma, nerve injury, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Whichever treatment option is followed, there is a chance that the tendon will not heal fully and further treatment, such as re-surgery, may be required.

Complications following an Achilles tendon rupture can include tendon scarring, decreased range of motion, muscle weakness, and re-rupture. The re-rupture rates vary significantly, with surgically repaired patients experiencing lower re-rupture rates (about 2.3% to 5%) compared to those treated conservatively (about 3.9% to 13%). Other surgical complications can include skin sloughing, wound infections, nerve damage, and increased scar tissue formation, which might hinder the rehabilitation process and extend recovery time.

Achilles Tendon Rupture Treatment with INDIBA Radiofrequency 

INDIBA® radiofrequency therapy works for an Achilles tendon rupture by using a stable radio frequency current of 448 kHz to increase and stabilize the exchange of ions in damaged cells, evoking a regenerative response that accelerates healing. 

The therapy can also induce thermal skin adaptation, which promotes blood circulation and metabolism of the tissues underneath, which is important for musculoskeletal rehabilitation. INDIBA Therapy has been shown to significantly improve tendon elasticity as soon as the first session and up to 3 months compared to subjects that only have rehabilitation, and can restore muscle strength, elasticity, and contractile properties after damage, improving rehabilitation times and return to sport. 

Achilles tendon rupture surgery

The therapy can be used alongside physiotherapy rehabilitation to accelerate the repair of injuries and ameliorate pain in acute/inflammatory or chronic phases, providing excellent results in just a few sessions. Renowned clubs and sports organizations like the Barcelona Football Club and the Olympics, and for elite athletes like Rafael Nadal. 

The number of INDIBA radiofrequency therapy sessions needed for an Achilles tendon rupture combined with manual therapy and soft tissue manipulation can significantly shorten the number and duration of physical therapy sessions, accomplishing in 3-4 sessions what would normally take months of physical therapy alone. 

INDIBA therapy can provide excellent results in just a few sessions for both acute/inflammatory and chronic phases of injuries. Therefore, the exact number of sessions needed may vary depending on the severity and phase of the injury for a full or partial Achilles tendon rupture treatment.

Shockwave Therapy Aids in Healing after Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgery

Shockwave Therapy is used in conjunction with an Achilles tendon and calf muscle strengthening program to improve outcomes. Focused Shockwave Therapy has been shown to induce microtrauma and stimulate new blood vessels and inflammation to cause healing of soft tissue injuries, including partial Achilles tendon tears.

For post-op rehabilitation following Achilles tendon surgeries, Shockwave Therapy reduces the adhesion process at the onset of healing to quickly restore joint function and keep the tissues flexible, strong and balanced to decrease the risk of future injury.

Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive procedure that can aid in healing after Achilles tendon rupture surgery by reducing adhesion, stimulating neovascularization and inflammation, and promoting tissue repair. 

Electromagnetic Transduction Therapy for Achilles Tendon Rupture Healing

Electromagnetic Transduction Therapy (EMTT) is a non-invasive treatment option for musculoskeletal pain and tissue degeneration, including Achilles tendon rupture healing. EMTT uses pulsed electromagnetic fields to emit short-duration high-speed impulses to evoke an electrophysical reaction in damaged cells, triggering the body’s innate healing mechanisms and jump-starting the healing process in degenerative joints and connective tissues. 

EMTT is a useful modality for tendonitis treatment that uses high-frequency oscillation to enhance nitric oxide (NO) levels, inducing the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphates – the body’s natural signal to provoke tissue repair. Nitric oxide plays a complex role in the body, influencing numerous physiological processes, including pain modulation. Its mechanism of action in relation to acute postoperative pain involves several pathways. 

EMTT for Achilles tendon rupture treatment

NO also has a dual role in inflammation, a critical component of postoperative pain. While low NO levels can have anti-inflammatory effects, high levels contribute to the inflammatory response by promoting vasodilation and increasing vascular permeability, which can exacerbate swelling and pain.

This activation of increased cellular response decreases pain and inflammation, regenerates tissues, and relaxes vascular muscles through blood flow stimulation, removing pain-inducing metabolites and promoting healing.

EMTT’s ability to promote tissue repair and regeneration makes this adjunctive treatment an effective therapy for this condition. EMTT has been shown to significantly improve pain and function in patients with tendinopathies when used in conjunction with Shockwave Therapy. The treatment has multiple advantages, including being non-invasive, painless, requiring no anesthesia or downtime for recovery, and having short treatment sessions of 15-20 minutes with only 4-8 sessions required. 

partial Achilles tendon rupture treatment

If you’ve recently experienced an Achilles tendon rupture or undergone surgery for Achilles tendon pain, schedule an appointment with our top physiotherapy clinic in Singapore. Our experienced physiotherapists and rehabilitation team will create a customized program to foster the regeneration and repair of your Achilles tendon. This program aims to increase blood flow and nutrient delivery, reduce inflammation and Achilles tendon rupture pain relief, and enhance strength and flexibility.

To learn more about our holistic approach to treating Achilles tendinopathy, please reach out to our clinics. Contact us to arrange a consultation and begin your path to recovery with our supportive team.

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