The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NHL News: What’s the Prognosis for Tyler Seguin’s Achilles Injury Recovery?

Posted by on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

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Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars is one of the top scorers in the league – with 234 points, he trails only Sidney Crosby, Jamie Benn, and Patrick Kane. When we heard Tyler Seguin suffered a gruesome sliced Achilles on March 17th, the news hurt in more ways than one. And his recovery was recently sidelined by another injury during his first game back. What does the future hold for this all-star, and what can people recovering at home expect from a similar Achilles injury? Our team at The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC offer their insight.

achilles injury recovery
A hockey skate can be as good as a weapon, slicing the Achilles like a knife during game play. (Image Credit: Flickr CC user Paul L Dineen)

What Happened to Tyler Seguin?

It was a bad tango with Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman, with 22 seconds left in the game (which Dallas still won 4-3). An errant skate sliced the back of Tyler Seguin’s ankle like a Ginsu knife. This “paper cut,” as Seguin called it, went through 15% of his ankle tissue and required surgery and stitches. Doctors initially gave him a prognosis of 3-4 weeks in recovery. All told, Seguin was out for 11 games.

He made it 15:40 into his April 16th  return against Minnesota when he sustained a fresh injury, and reportedly “has not skated since.” Stars General Manager Jim Nill  was vague about the most recent accident and what it means for the rest of the season, saying Seguin is taking it “day to day.” He’s out for at least the first two games in the series against the Blues, but as Sports Day put it: “In your heart, you know it means he will probably miss more than that.”

According to ESPN“Ruff has said that the injury was different but related to the Achilles injury, and indicated that it could be the result of trying to play at a high pace suddenly after missing a month.”

An Achilles Injury Is Notoriously Slow to Heal

As New Zealand sports physician Dr. Ruth Highet explains, the Achilles tendon is “notoriously slow to heal” due to its relatively poor blood supply, heavy load bearing, and slow metabolic rate. Like most foot and ankle injuries, icing, compression, and elevation are common initial treatments. One you’ve been fitted with a walking boot or  a cast, Achilles rehabilitation also involves many physical therapy exercises.

A common setback during Achilles recovery is tendonitis – an inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding the tendon. Tendonitis causes burning and aching sensations and sometimes occurs as the result of a sudden activity increase after being off your feet for awhile – like returning to a competitive sport too quickly after an injury. If you don’t take tendonitis symptoms seriously, you could end up with a chronic condition that’s challenging to treat, so pay close attention to symptoms of discomfort.

While Seguin’s “nasty cut” may not have looked as bad as a full Achilles tear, the recovery protocol is still the same – he had to endure surgery and take a good month off. A couple of weeks would certainly not be enough time to build back his lost strength.

If you’re not Tyler Seguin, we might tell you it’s reasonable to expect a good six to nine months off following surgery. For most patients, slow and steady offers the most sustainable recovery and better insurance against re-rupture in the future. However, we understand the weight of this prognosis for professional athletes and do our best to put players on the fast-track to recovery. When future surgeries pale in comparison to time off the ice or the court, we can often cut the rehabilitation timetable in half by using certain surgical techniques combined with platelet rich plasma injections.

NYC Achilles Repair

If you live in the New York City area and are suffering from an Achilles injury, come see our board-certified podiatric surgeons, podiatrists, and sports medicine doctors to get back on your feet and back on the court. Contact us today for an appointment.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.