Your Health: Achilles heel healing

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:20 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Physical therapy and invasive foot surgery have long been the standards of care for repairing Achilles tendons.

There’s a less invasive procedure that repairs the Achilles tendon right in the doctor’s office.

Barbara Lakis is a tri-athlete – swimming, biking, and running long distances – but over time, she was plagued with leg and foot injuries.

“I’ve had this injury to both my Achilles since 2008, since my first marathon,” Lakis said. “And I’ve been kind of suffering through it,”

Unable to even climb the stairs, Lakis considered her standard treatment options of physical therapy and invasive surgery.

“We performed a percutaneous tenotomy procedure, which is a big mouthful for a small surgery,” said Dr. Nicholas Anastasio.

Using a small needle under ultrasound, Anastasio penetrated the scar tissue blocking the tendon.

“The procedure re-establishes that blood flow and it does mechanically break up the scar tissue to a degree,” Anastasio said. “That allows the body to take over and heal, and remodel the tendon.”

There is no general anesthesia, general surgery, or prolonged healing time and it’s performed in the office.

“I’m a very prepared person, so, I brought my crutches,” Lakis said. “I thought I wasn’t going to be able to weight bear, and I stood up and I could walk.”

Tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and hamstring injuries can also be repaired with a percutaneous tenotomy procedure, which usually only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

More: Your Health

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