The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in your body, but that doesn’t mean that it’s immune from injury. Your Achilles handles immense stress as you run, jump and push off your feet, and if it becomes overloaded in a moment of stress or as a result of repetitive trauma over the years, the tendon can partly or fully rupture.
Achilles tendon tears can be managed conservatively or with an operation, but surgery tends to produce better results while also reducing the risk of a re-rupture. The standard operation involves an open technique, but more orthopedic surgeons are switching to a minimally invasive technique for a number of reasons. Below, we take a closer look at some of the benefits of minimally invasive Achilles tendon repair and explain why more surgeons are opting for the less invasive technique.
Laparoscopic Achilles Tendon Repair
Here are some of the unique benefits of the minimally invasive procedure for Achilles tendon repair compared to the open technique.
- Smaller Incision – As you might imagine considering the fact that it is called a minimally invasive technique, this procedure only involves an incision of about 1-2 cm in length. With the open technique, the incision is anywhere from 10-15 cm or larger. Many of the benefits of minimally invasive Achilles tendon repair stem from the fact that the incision is smaller, and while we’ll touch on those below, a smaller incision also means that there will be less visible scarring.
- Quicker Recovery and Less Pain– Because the incision is smaller and there is less damage to nearby tissue, you’ll be able to get back on your feet sooner after surgery, and pain is typically less compared to the open techniques. Less tissue damage means you can start physical therapy sooner, which is what will drive home your recovery.
- Reduced Infection Risk – A smaller incision site also means that there will be a reduced risk of wound site complications. There’s less of an opening for bacteria to make its way into the open wound, and patients report that it’s easier to care for a smaller wound compared to a larger incision, which also helps to reduce infection likelihood.
- Potentially Decreased Patient Costs – Finally, a minimally invasive operation can actually help save a patient some money in the long run. The patient can typically be discharged sooner when minimally invasive techniques are used, which helps to save costs, and the same can be said if it helps to reduce your total rehabilitation time. And since your likelihood of a re-rupture is much lower if you elect to undergo surgery, you’re less likely to need to pay for surgery to correct a subsequent injury to the Achilles.
To learn more about Achilles tendon repair, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today.