Chinara Alizade

11.04.2019 Warsaw soloist of the Polish National Ballet

Disease / injury: Achilles tendon rupture

She is the first soloist of the Polish National Ballet. Chinara has had leading roles in such plays as “Don Quixote”, “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” and has performed for 11 years at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. She suffered a serious injury during the performance in May 2019 when she severed her Achilles tendon. The treatment was entrusted to specialists from the Carolina Medical Center.

Most professional dancers start their adventure with this sport as children. The perfection they strive demands years of training, arduous repetition of the same movements, which requires exceptional flexibility, strength and endurance. This makes ballet a highly contusive discipline. Our patient, Chinara Alizade, a ballerina of the Polish National Ballet, experienced this.

My profession requires very hard physical work and is associated with frequent injuries. Until now, I was lucky to avoid serious injuries. I recovered from minor injuries quickly, mainly thanks to my cooperation with Dr. Urszula Zdanowicz, who took care of me throughout the ballet season. However, in May of this year, I tore my Achilles tendon. This injury completely excluded me from further training.

The Achilles tendon connects the calf bone with the calf muscles. Thanks to it, we can stand on our toes, run and jump.

The Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the human body, and at the same time one of the most commonly damaged. Injuries often affect young, active people and athletes. The truth is, a healthy Achilles tendon practically never gets damaged. If it ruptures spontaneously, it is often the result of many years of degenerative changes that the patient was not aware of  – explains Urszula Zdanowicz, specialist in orthopedics and traumatology at the Carolina Medical Center.

Chinara decided to undergo treatment at the Carolina Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. Urszula Zdanowicz. – I know that she is a great specialist in the reconstruction of the Achilles tendon and I have full confidence in her.

Step-by-step treatment of the Achilles tendon

Operation of a ruptured Achilles tendon

Returning to full fitness after an Achilles tendon rupture is a multi-stage process that usually takes many months. The first step is surgery. The surgeon reconstructs, that is, very precisely recreates the anatomical configuration of the fibers that are in the tendon.

Rehabilitation of a ruptured Achilles tendon

Immediately after the procedure, the patient should begin to move this tendon to prevent the formation of adhesions with the surrounding tissues. – The greatest enemy of proper Achilles tendon healing is immobilization and lack of rehabilitation. At the Carolina Medical Center, patients start working with a physiotherapist the day after the reconstruction – explains Dr. Zdanowicz. During rehabilitation, the tendon is subjected to appropriate forces, therefore it heals better, faster, and the reconstructed tissues are of better quality.

Training after surgery of a ruptured Achilles tendon

It is extremely important in the orthopedic treatment of athletes to keep their body in shape so that the moment of healing the injury is in fact the moment of returning to full fitness. Therefore, at our clinic, we recommend supplementing rehabilitation with training.

Thanks to training, we can speed up the entire rehabilitation process, because physical activity increases blood flow through the tissues, and this in turn accelerates regeneration. Very often, after undergoing such a process – rehabilitation combined with training – they return to sport much stronger, more agile, and the risk of injury recurrence is much smaller – explains Dorian Łomża, trainer of motor skills preparation at the Carolina Medical Center.

Chinara Alizade with Dorian Łomża during training at the Carolina Medical Center Training Center.

Monitoring after surgery of a ruptured Achilles tendon

Both rehabilitation and training must be carried out gradually, with great sensitivity and under the supervision of the attending physician. At first, we must not overuse the tendon – we must allow it to heal initially. We constantly monitor the treatment process – we do ultrasound examinations, magnetic resonances to adjust the load to the patient and the healing rate – says Dr. Urszula Zdanowicz.

As part of the treatment process planned in this way, Chinara began physiotherapy, supplemented with training, immediately after the operation.

I am at the Carolina Medical Center almost every day – I undergo rehabilitation with Magdalena Syrek , who specializes in working with patients after Achilles tendon reconstruction, and I train hard under the supervision of Dorian Łomża. I know I’m in the best hands! – Chinara concludes.

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