Say it ain’t so Suggs!

Bad news for the Baltimore Ravens with the unfortunate left Achilles tendon tear of Terrell Suggs. Suggs is one of the leading pass rushers in the NFL and emotions are high due to this season ending injury. It does not help that the Raven’s lost the game

Achilles Tendon
Picture Credit http://nfl.com

19-13 against the Denver Broncos. Suggs is a 32 year old 6’3” linebacker and is an integral part of the Baltimore Ravens. The all-pro player is not unfamiliar with these types of injuries. In fact, he suffered a partial Achilles’tendon tear during training before the 2012 season started. His recovery was quick and Suggs went on to perform at one hundred percent. Now with a complete tear, the recovery time may be prolonged.

Achilles’ tendon tears are one of the most common types of sports injuries, especially in males age 35-40 who engage in sporadic high intensity sporting activities. The amount of force generated by the muscles connected to the Achilles tendon is the strongest in the body. This is why the forces cause these debilitating tears. In Suggs case, he is an elite athlete who unfortunately pushed too hard and caused an injury. When reviewing the replay of the injury, it looks as though the injury occurred as Suggs was attempting to cut around a Bronco player in an attempt to sack Peyton Manning. You can see that he is applying a high amount of force to the tendon during this maneuver and also hyper-extending his ankle joint as well.

The options for Suggs now are surgery verses no surgery. With an elite athlete, doctors tend to lean towards surgical repair of the tendon so that the athlete can return to his training quicker. Surgical repair entails sewing the tear back together and sometimes applying a tendon graft around the injury to reinforce the repair. This procedure is then followed by a period of non-weight bearing and rigorous physical therapy.

The other option is to cast the injured limb for a 6-12 week period and hope that the body can fix itself. This option is not typically used to repair complete ruptures of the Achillles’ tendon of an elite athlete. This treatment is reserved for sedentary individuals or people who are too sick to undergo surgery.

An option we at Advanced Podiatry like to use is Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP). The use of PRP for this injury is typically done after conservative treatment. The patient would be placed in a boot and would be non-weight bearing to the injured limb. The PRP, which is essentially growth factors that are harvested from the patient’s own blood, are reintroduced into the injured area to help with healing. This option is ideal for people who do not want to undergo surgery or are not able to. PRP treatment is also applicable to other injuries such as plantar fasciitis, bunion pain, tendinitis, and ankle pain.

Please feel free to call 813-875-0555 so that the doctors of Advanced Podiatry can help you with your foot and ankle pain. We are always willing to preserve the busy lifestyle of our patient’s by picking the treatment method that accommodates best.