Treatment of partial Achilles tendon ruptures with a Spring Plate
Our Medically Guided Shopping Team forwarded me a question this week from a customer who had ruptured their Achilles tendon. The customer described undergoing surgery to repair the tendon. He stated that his surgeon had used a graft from the tendon to the great toe. His outcome was good and he was back to playing basketball. His complaint was that he had no spring in his step. He could play but wasn't satisfied with being less than 100%.
A normal, healthy calf and Achilles tendon will have a spongy, soft end range of motion. When you exam a healthy calf and Achilles with the patient sitting and knees extended, pushing against the ball of the foot, the end range of motion at the ankle will bounce or feel spongy. What had happened to our customer was that the scar tissue from his injury and surgery had taken away that spongy, bouncy end range of motion. The end range of motion was now stiff. That stiffness of the end range of motion is what took the spring out of our customer's step. What could we do to help this?
My recommendation was to use a Spring Plate. The forefoot rocker in the Spring Plate affects that end range of motion of the Achilles tendon by changing the way that the ball of the foot pushes off at the toe off phase of gait. In a traditional shoe, the toe off phase of gait results in a focus of load that can be used to push off aggressively, resulting in an abrupt transfer of load. With a healthy Achilles tendon and calf, that's the optimal biomechanical response for the lower leg. The rocker on the Spring Plate changes that forceful, abrupt push-off. Rather than an abrupt forceful push-off, the rocker on the Spring Plate creates a smoother push-off and a sense of spring in gait. This was the perfect solution for this customer's Achilles tendon injury.
The scar tissue that forms following repair of an Achilles tendon rupture is a normal part of the healing process. Unfortunately, that scar tissue also results in stiffness of the injured tendon. Fortunately, use of a Spring Plate is a simple solution to this problem that can be used in everyday activities including sports.
This is how we solve individual foot and ankle problems for our customers. We call it Medically Guided Shopping - only at Myfootshop.com.