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Do I need surgery for a ruptured tendon?

Q: I am 65 years old. I had a fall and ruptured the tendon of my left ankle. I have been advised surgery by my orthopaedic doctor. Please let me know the risk factors, duration of the surgery and the recovery period? Will I be able to fully recover and walk normally?

A:When you say that you have rupture the tendon of your ankle, I presume it is your Achilles tendon (tendo-achilles). Spontaneous rupture of tendon can occur in the elderly, however, more often this occurs as a result of some steroid injection given for heel pain. Did you have any steroid injection on your tendo-achilles? If yes, then that can explain your vulnerability to have this injury. This tendon normally needs to be repaired and it is a major surgical procedure. Some patients with close rupture do get away with braces however, that is an exception rather than the rule. If adequate reconstruction of the tendon has been done you should be able to walk normally. Running may be difficult. This may take up to six months.

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