Injuries to the Achilles tendon are common sports-related injuries.
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. We place tremendous demand on the tendon when walking and especially when running or jumping. Unfortunately, because of overuse, it’s one of the most frequently injured tendons. Achilles tendon injuries can be categorized into either paratedonitis, tendonitis or tendonosis:
- Parartendonitis: Inflammation of the covering of the Achilles tendon (Paratendon) that allows the tendon to glide smoothly.
- Achilles Tendonitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
- Achilles Tendonosis: This is a chronic condition whereby the body is unable to heal a tendon injury and frequently results in a build-up of scar tissue and micro-tears of the tendon fibers. This frequently occurs in active or overweight people over 40 years old when the tendon’s blood supply is reduced.
- Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
- Decreasing activities that stress the tendon
- Brace or walking boot to immobilize the tendon during the healing
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and provide pain relief
In this treatment the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma is injected into the affected tendon. The growth factors in the platelets spur healing and recovery.
Patients’ own stem cells are injected into the damaged region of the Achilles where they quickly begin to multiply. These regenerative stem cells are responsible for regenerating and rebuilding the body. This treatment is well tolerated and virtually pain-free.
When non-operative treatments are successful, there are both minimally invasive and traditional surgery options available.
The Topaz Procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that is done in the operating room. Small holes are made in the tendon to stimulate the body to send growth factors to help heal the tendon and to reduce scar tissue.
Tenex uses ultrasonic energy that targets scarred and damaged tissue and breaks it down without disturbing the surrounding healthy tissue.
This is available when someone who requires surgery for their Achilles but is not a candidate for minimally invasive procedure because of the extensive nature of their Achilles injury. This type of surgery involves removing scar tissue and diseased tendon.