How Serious is a Ruptured Achilles For an Athlete?

Most Utah Jazz fans realize that the injury that has sidelined Mehmet Okur is not one to be taken lightly. After having surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon he is definitely out for the remainder of the play-offs and will be healing for months to come. His future in professional basketball is in jeopardy if the injury does not heal correctly and if he cannot regain his basketball playing abilities. The outcome is uncertain. He won’t know, the doctors won’t know and the fans won’t know until the healing is complete and his Achilles is tested on the floor.

David Beckham, the soccer great, is also recovering from a similar injury that was sustained while he was playing on loan for AC Milan. Originally, the expectations were that he would be playing again by September, but he now is being told that it will likely be November before he will be able to see any action. He had the surgery in March so that makes for quite a long recovery period. This injury occurs when the tendon is stretch beyond its’ capacity and sustains either a partial or a complete tear. Some people choose to let this injury heal on it’s own but most doctors agree that surgery can help the Achilles to heal correctly and is a preferable mode of treatment.

Most experts agree that four to six months is the normal amount of recovery time for this type of injury but indicate that conditioned athletes may be able to return to normal activity within a 3 months period if they work hard to rehab their injury. This injury most often occurs without warning when the activity that one is participating in requires bursts of jumping, pivoting or running so there is not much that one can do to avoid having this occur. Although people who participate in athlete activities on a very irregular basis and are perhaps not in as good of physical condition probably stand a greater risk of sustaining this injury, it can and does happen to conditioned athletes often as well.