If you have a
ruptured Achilles tendon, instead of having surgery you may use a cast, splint,
brace, walking boot, or other device that will keep your lower leg from moving
(immobilization). When immobilized over a period of months, the Achilles tendon
can slowly reattach and heal.
Immobilization is a wise treatment choice for some people, but not
for others. When deciding on treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture, consider
your level of activity, your need for leg strength at home or at work, and your
age and medical condition.
Think about the following when deciding whether surgery or
immobilization is best for you:
There are no surgical risks associated with
After immobilization, an Achilles tendon is more
likely to rupture again than it would be after surgical treatment. But if
you are not physically active in sports, at home, or at work, then your risk of
rerupturing the tendon is minimal, and immobilization may be sufficient
treatment for your needs.
After immobilization, your leg may be more
likely to be weaker than after surgery.
The recovery period after
immobilization is about the same (as long as 6 months) as after surgery.
Immobilization is usually followed by a rehabilitation program,
which may include stretching, exercising, and