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David Beckham's Achilles injury - 6months at least

Everyone is asking me “how long will David Beckham be out for”- a long time I keep telling them!  It sounds like he has a ruptured achilles tendon, this is very easy to diagnose with 1 very simple test (the need for MRI’s and advanced scans etc is a nice bonus, but mainly useful if you suspect a partial tear only).

The achilles tendon is the very strong and tough sinew that attaches that big calf muscle (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the calcaneus (heel bone).  Ruptures (where the tendon snaps completely) of the achilles tendon are a common injury in over 35 year olds, making David Beckham a prime candidate for a rupture.  It is a common injury it football, but also in tennis, squash and basketball due to the explosive push-off (and also in fathers and sons races at school sports day as a good friend of mine will testify).

So what is the treatment- well it aint gonna grow back by itself- so surgery it is.  I’ve personally diagnosed and sent for surgery 4 cases of ruptured achilles tendon that have been missed by GPs.  The surgery stitches the tendon together and then usually involves immobilising the leg from the below the knee down to the toes for 6 weeks.  Then is the slow process of physiotherapy to recover the movement and strength.  Like I said 6 months out of sport at least.

One of my patients had surgery in Israel for a ruptured achilles tendon which was very successful- this involved a per-cutaneus stitching of the tendon.  Per-cutaneus is where there is only a very small hole made in the skin, rather than a big incission to perform the traditional operation.  This led to much quicker rehab and recovery time- reduced by approximately 1/3.  I suspect that in David Beckham’s case a traditional procedure will be performed (probably today) because it is critical that the tendon is repaired very strongly and this may not be the case with the per-cutaneus procedure.

So in short David Beckham will not be able to attend the world cup in my opinion.

Steven Berkman- the Boost Blogger

The BOOST Blogger- Steven Berkman

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