Researchers find minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic Achilles tendon disorder

Researchers find minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic Achilles tendon disorder

A minimally invasive procedure to treat a common foot and ankle disorder can reduce pain, recovery time, and postsurgery complications while improving functional outcomes, according to a report published in the journalĀ Foot and Ankle Surgery.

The procedure treats insertional Achilles tendinopathy, a common and chronic orthopaedic disorder in which patients experience pain at the Achilles tendon. The chronic degenerative condition can be particularly painful for athletes who perform push-off activities, such as basketball and football players.

The key-hole procedure, known as percutaneous Zadek osteotomy (ZO), can significantly decrease pain and provide a patient with relief in as little as six weeks after this technique, compared to 23 weeks for recovery after the traditional openĀ surgery.

ā€œThe traditional surgery requires larger incisions and inevitably carries a higher rate of infection, while this minimallyĀ invasive procedureĀ has a low infection rate and less risk of tissue damage, helping to better preserve the tendon ā€“ and achieve a faster recovery and rehabilitation for the patient,ā€ said Ettore Vulcano, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, anĀ orthopaedic surgeonĀ at Mount Sinai West, and co-author of the report, which was published online in November.

ā€œAs a result of cutting-edge technology and the latest techniques at Mount Sinai, patients experience much less pain and improved function at a quicker rate. Even athletes can resume previous levels of sports activity at a much quicker rate compared to the traditional surgery.ā€

Dr Vulcano, one of a few doctors in the nation to revolutionise the minimally invasive approach, said the procedure includes making two very small incisions in the heel and removing a 5mm wedge of bone, which alters the orientation of the tendon fibres and is believed to decrease stress across the tendon.

The short recovery period includes protecting the foot in a splint or walking boot for two weeks, then resuming weight bearing while wearing a removable walker boot for an additional four weeks. Physical therapy can also begin two weeks after surgery.

 

Source: Mount Sinai

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