Best Life: Healing the Achilles heel

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 5:52 AM CDT
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BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Physical therapy and invasive foot surgery have long been the standards of care for repairing Achilles tendons.

There’s a much 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, and I’ve been just, kinda, suffering through it,” Lakis tells Ivanhoe.

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 Nicholas Anastasio, MD, Mercy Medical Center non-surgical orthopedics doctor.

Dr. Anastasio used a small needle under ultrasound to penetrate 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. That allows the body to take over and heal, and remodel the tendon,” said Dr. Anastasio.

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. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to weight bear, and I stood up and I could walk!” said Lakis.

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.

Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor

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