A major ankle injury can limit your ability to work, care for yourself, and live your life normally. If you’ve experienced an ankle injury while working for your Georgia employer, you may need a special medical procedure such as an achilles tendon repair. Having an understanding of what achilles tendon repair is, the benefits and risk of this surgery, and how it may fit into your life is essential for making an appropriate recovery.
The cause of your injury, and the right treatment for you, will vary. However, it’s important to build a strong case around your workplace injury to get the coverage you need for important medical care from your Georgia employer. We understand that the workers’ compensation system can be very difficult to navigate and may limit your ability to get the benefits you deserve.
With one of our workers’ compensation attorneys at Gearhart Law, we can help you build the best case possible to make sure that your workplace ankle injury is covered by your employer and their insurance company.
What is Achilles Tendon Repair?
Achilles tendon repair is a surgical procedure to correct damage to the achilles (calcaneal) tendon located at the back of your ankle. This surgery is necessary when there has been overstretching, tearing, or rupture of the tendon that is limiting your physical activity or quality of life. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need a partial or complete achilles tendon repair. The surgery itself involves stitching back together the torn ends of the tendon, which helps to restore normal strength and flexibility in your ankle.
The length of recovery for an Achilles tendon repair procedure will depend on the severity of your tendon injury and the type of surgery that was performed. It is typically recommended that patients take 3-6 months to fully recover from an achilles tendon repair surgery, but this can vary depending on factors like your age and health history.
If your job involves a lot of heavy lifting, it is especially important to make a full recovery before returning to work. Be sure to talk with your surgeon about your activity goals and how much time you’re able to take off of work before deciding if this surgery is the best option for your situation.
What is Achilles Tendon Repair Used to Treat?
Achilles or calcaneal tendon repair is used to treat the pain and disability caused by a damaged achilles tendon. The achilles tendon connects your calf to your heel, and tears of this tendon are common in athletes who participate in sports that require running, jumping, and sudden stops. However, an achilles tendon injury can also happen during an accident at work such as trips and falls. In some cases, your achilles tendon may become progressively weaker over time due to repetitive work-related stress and then suddenly “snap” during a heavy lift or sudden movement.
The symptoms of an achilles tendon strain, tear, or rupture can vary depending on the stage and severity of the injury. Generally, you may experience sharp pain in the back of your ankle or calf, as well as difficulty walking or standing on your toes. There may also be tenderness around your achilles tendon, or bruising and swelling with more severe injuries. You may also notice difficulty maintaining the arch of your foot, or straightening your foot.
In the case of a sudden achilles tendon rupture, a distinct “popping” sensation is typically felt when the injury occurs. If you experience any of these symptoms, or a loud pop in your ankle that prevents your ability to walk normally, it is important to seek medical attention for testing.
Is Achilles Tendon Repair Safe?
In many cases, achilles tendon repair surgery is a relatively safe and routine procedure. This means that the success rate of this surgery is generally high and most patients make a full recovery from their injury with few complications. However, like any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with an achilles tendon repair. Potential risks include infection, nerve damage, long-term flexibility issues of the ankle, and scarring. Your doctor should fully discuss all the risks of this procedure with you before scheduling any surgery. It’s especially important to follow all post-operative instructions from your surgeon to ensure the best recovery possible.
After an achilles tendon repair surgery, you will likely experience swelling and pain around the surgical site, along with significant stiffness. This is all normal and should begin to improve as you gradually heal and begin moving your ankle more. Additionally, you will need to wear a boot on your ankle for several weeks to protect your repaired tendon and prevent any tearing of the repair. You may also feel some numbness or tingling in the area, but this should improve over time as you heal. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any excessive pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms after surgery.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
Following an achilles tendon repair surgery, your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy to help you make a full recovery. Physical therapy is an important part of rehabilitating your achilles tendon and regaining full range of motion in your ankle before returning to work. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your specific needs while taking into account the specific instructions from your surgeon. Your sessions may involve strengthening exercises, stretches, and gait training to improve strength and mobility in your ankle.
Depending on the severity of your injury and what your work responsibilities are, you may need to go through several months of physical therapy to regain adequate strength and flexibility in your ankle for a full return to work. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend specialized treatment approaches or anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce pain and swelling during your recovery process.
It is important to follow all instructions from your doctor and physical therapist to ensure you make a full recovery from surgery. Additionally, you should always take care to avoid any uncontrolled strenuous activity or heavy lifting while your achilles tendon is healing to prevent the risk of another tendon injury. If you have any questions about your achilles tendon or achilles tendon repair, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Getting important procedures such as an achilles tendon repair covered can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right legal representation on your side, you can make sure that you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve for your workplace ankle injury.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Attorney
Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group represent victims of work-related injuries and help them get the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve. Our lawyers understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to save money by denying or underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits that you need. Call us now so we can evaluate your specific case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring that you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.