The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body and is a connector between the heel bone and calf muscles. An arthroscopic debridement of Achilles tendon wounds involves surgically cleaning and oftentimes also making repairs to wounds or injuries involving the Achilles tendon.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), if there is less than 50 percent damage to the Achilles tendon, arthroscopic debridement and repair may be a good option. In this procedure, the part of the tendon that is damaged is removed and the rest of the tendon is sutured (repaired with stitches).
If the problem is insertional tendinitis, along with the portion of damaged tendon, the bone spur that is present will also be removed. This procedure may also utilize anchors made or plastic or metal to secure the tendon to the heel bone.
If more than 50 percent of the tendon is damaged, the patient may need to undergo arthroscopic debridement and tendon transfer. In this procedure, the tendon that controls the ability of the big toe to point in a downward direction is moved in order to strengthen the Achilles tendon. The big toe will still be functioning, with little or no noticeable difference in the patient’s walking or running capabilities.