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This is surgery to repair a damaged or torn tendon.
A tendon attaches muscle to bone. If a tendon tears, the muscle will no longer be able to work properly. This will cause weakness or loss of function. Reattaching the tendon can fix the weakness or function.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems like:
If your age is 60 years or older, it may increase risk of complications. Other factors include:
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:
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.
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.
This depends on where the tendon is located and the severity of the injury.
Anesthesia will keep you pain-free and comfortable during the procedure. To reduce pain after the procedure, your doctor may recommend pain medication.
After the procedure, you will be in a recovery room. The staff will monitor your progress. You may also get pain medication.
You will start physical therapy soon after surgery.
When you return home, take these steps:
Follow these guidelines to care for your splint or
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:
Updated April 27, 2010. Accessed April 22, 2013.
Achilles tendon rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. 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 April 22, 2013.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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