Achilles tendonitis will often result with mechanical overload of the tendon. This is usually associated with overuse of the tendon and a tight Achilles tendon. The tendon usually becomes swollen and painful. The pain is usually localized to the back of the tendon just above its attachment to the heel bone. In the early phase of the injury no scar tissue is formed at this point and the treatment is conservative. Conservative therapy often requires removal of the mechanic problems with custom molded orthotics, heel lift, stretching and muscle training. Physical therapy and stretching is used to increase flexibility. If left unattended, this can become chronic and scar tissue in the tendon can develop, then surgery would be indicated.
In some cases of Achilles tendonitis that is not responding to conservative care, a great in-office option is platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection, this is a recent advanced technology. The blood is drawn and spun down in a device, then under ultrasound guidance and local anesthesia, the injection of the PRP is placed in the damaged tissue. This is a very minimal invasive procedure. This allows an increase of growth factor in the area which will start the healing process.
If the patient does not respond to conservative therapy measures then surgery is maybe indicated.
What is an Achilles Suture Bridge?
The Achilles Suture Bridge is specifically a procedure that repairs Chronic Achilles calcific tendonitis. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is a common problem for many athletes. Usually it resolves in 4-6 weeks. However, recurrent over use or injury can cause chronic inflammation to develop Achilles tendonitis.
If this persists chronic changes within the tendon develop causing, thickness and swelling of the tendon, which can cause secondary changes such as calcium deposits in the tendon or on the heel bone, weakness, pain and even rupture. When conservative treatment fails, surgery is required to correct these changes. This is an open procedure to remove bone at the heel (pump bump) and inflamed and degenerated tendon. The Achilles Suture Bridge is specifically a procedure to address this problem.