Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AN EXERCISE IN ORTHOPEDICS: Trebek's Achilles Tendon in Jeopardy

George Alexander "Alex" Trebek, the nation's renown host of hit game show Jeopardy! since 1984, has been awarded multiple Emmy awards and earned his star on Hollywood's walk of fame.

On July 27th, Alex was hosting a world championship in San Francisco when his hotel room was robbed. While chasing the burglar down the hallway, he felt a snap in his heel. He was only able to limp back to the room since he ruptured his Achilles tendon. 

He was able to call security and the robber was charged with a felony burglary and stolen property. She got away with some cash and jewelry from his mother. Alex is expected to undergo surgery this week to repair the tendon. He will be in a cast for 6 weeks after.

The Breakdown

The strong fibrous chord in the back of the heel is called the Achilles tendon. It connects the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone. If this tendon is overstretched, patients will feel and hear a snap with immediate pain. Other common symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include swelling over the heel, unable to stand up on the toes and push off with the injured foot to walk. 

What is...Alex's Recovery?

An MRI may be ordered to determine the extent of the tendon tear. Surgical repair of the tendon is the most common treatment for a complete rupture. Alex will undergo this procedure where the torn tendon is stitched back together. Afterwards for 6-8 weeks, a cast or walking boot would be used. 

Physical therapy will also be implemented Post-Operatively to strengthen the leg muscles and tendon. Alex will return to hosting in no time!

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