Reasons for Procedure
A tendon attaches muscle to bone. If a tendon tears, the muscle will no longer be able to work properly. This will cause weakness. Reattaching the tendon can fix the weakness.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potention problems like:
If your age is 60 years or older, it may increase risk of complications. Other factors include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will perform a physical exam. You may also need some tests. These may include:
Leading up to the procedure:
Depending on where the tendon is located, you may be given:
Description of the Procedure
The doctor will make a cut in the skin over the injured tendon. The torn ends of the tendon will be sewn together or reattached to the bone. If you have a severe injury, a tendon graft may be needed. In this case, a piece of healthy tendon will be taken from another part of the body. This healthy tendon will be used to reconnect the broken tendon. The doctor will examine the area for injuries to nerves and blood vessels. Lastly, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Immediately After Procedure
The doctor may put you in a splint or cast. This is to keep the injured area in position for proper healing. The splint or cast will usually stay on for a period of weeks.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on where the tendon is located and the severity of the injury.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will keep you pain-free and comfortable during the procedure. To reduce pain after the procedure, your doctor may recommend pain medication.
At the Care Center
After the procedure, you will be in a recovery room. The staff will monitor your progress. You may also get pain medication.
When you return home, take these steps:
Follow these guidelines to care for your splint or cast:
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Rheumatology Association
Achilles tendon rupture. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: http://www.foothea.... Updated April 27, 2010. Accessed April 22, 2013.
Achilles tendon rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated March 18, 2013. Accessed April 22, 2013.
Rupture of the biceps tendon. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00031. Updated May 2009. Accessed Accessed April 22, 2013.
Last reviewed April 2013 by John C. Keel, MD; Brian Randall, MD