Achilles Tendon Surgery for a Brain Trama Patient

by Leo
(Charlottsville, VA)

My 19 year old daughter had a car accident and received severe brain damage. As part of her recovery she had Achilles Tendon surgery to correct damage to the feet due to brain storming and toning.

Tendon lengthing surgery was ruled out because of heavy toning in the tendon. Cutting the achilles tendon in half was performed. However, the tendon remained as cut with a 4 inch gap between ends.


1. Could the tendon have been lengthened with some other approach?

2. What is her chance of walking with the tendon cut in half?

3. Is there aditional surgery that can be performed later to correct the tendon cutting?

Thanks in advance for your comments.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Leo.

Sorry to hear about the accident.

1. Could the tendon have been lengthen by any other means?

Well, they could have partially cut it, or done some chop and sew method to add more too it, but if there is neurological damage making the muscle fire hard nonstop, that's not necessarily a great option.

2. What is the chance of her walking with a totally severed tendon?

Zero chance of walking. If the Achilles is unconnected, there's literally nothing to hold the foot/leg structure 'up'.

An Achilles Tendon Rupture is bad news without reattachment surgery.

From your surgeons' point of view, her leg is the least of her worries. I don't know the details, obviously, but if the signal from brain to leg is so out of whack that they thought they should sever the tendon...

Whether tendon separation was a good idea or not is debatable (because that muscle is firing whether the tendon is attached or not), but brain damage is far from my area of expertise, and I'll give the doctors the benefit of the doubt mostly because, again, the leg is likely the least of their current worries.

3. Yes, the tendon can be reattached later if the nerve signal gets back towards normal. The longer it's unattached the less likely that will happen very well. I'd absolutely look into The ARPwave System in that scenario.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and I'll answer as best I can.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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