Posted On: May 6, 2020
The achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. It allows you to move your foot downwards and upwards.
Pain in the achilles tendon can be caused by overuse or tightness of the tendon and can lead to a painful thickening of the tendon known as achilles tendinitis or tendinosis.
If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, or you were involved in an accident that ruptured or cut the Achilles tendon, it could get damaged completely or partially.
Achilles tendon injury mainly occurs in people that are involved in sporting activities and athletes.
An achilles tendon rupture usually occurs in the part where the tendon is closer to the heel bone. This part is about 6 centimeters from the heel bone. Rupture or injury normally occurs at this part because there is limited blood flow in that part of the tendon.
Achilles tendon ruptures or injuries are often caused by a sudden increase in the stress exerted on the Achilles tendon or injuries from accidents. It is more common in men than in women.
If patient is experiencing achilles tendon tendinitis/tendinosis they may have the following symptoms:
Partial or complete rupture can include the follow symptoms:
During diagnosis, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to inspect your lower leg for tenderness and swelling. A series of physical tests will be performed to determine the extent of injury.
Your doctor may also order that you undergo imaging scans such as MRI scan, X-ray, or ultrasound to be able to see the internal structure of your leg and evaluate the quality of your Achilles’ tendon.
Treatment for Achilles tendon rupture often depends on your age, severity of the condition, and activity level.
Younger people may require surgery to repair a completely ruptured Achilles tendon while older people may require nonsurgical management and treatment.
Treatment for partial tears and minor ankle injuries includes home remedies such as:
In most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are enough to relieve the pain.
Avoid high-impact activities and limit your movement to help improve your condition.
Engaging in physical therapies and exercises such as stretching, and muscle strengthening exercises can help improve your condition.
Nonsurgical and home remedies treatments are commonly used for partial rupture of the Achilles tendon. If your tendon is completely ruptured, you most likely require a surgical procedure to get it amended.
Surgical procedure to amend a completely ruptured Achilles tendon generally involves making an incision in the back of your lower leg and then stitching the torn tendon together. The torn tendon may also be reinforced with other tendons if the condition of the torn tendon is severe.
Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis can be treated with surgery to remove the thickened fibrous tissue from the healthy achilles tendon.
After the surgery, you may need to engage in physical therapy exercises to strengthen your Achilles’ tendon and leg muscles.
It could take as short as 2-3 weeks or as long as 6 weeks to heal. You will likely return to normalcy within four to six months.
There are different ways to manage and treat achilles tendinitis. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition. You can treat mild conditions with home remedies but severe conditions will likely require surgery.
Walking short distances can help in the treatment of your Achilles tendonitis. Walking short distances can help strengthen your calf muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce pain.
If left untreated, the condition of Achilles tendinitis usually gets worse. You will likely begin to feel chronic pain and the tendon may get ruptured. The condition could become very serious and could lead to serious injury.
Gently rub the inflamed or ruptured tendon back and forth at the point where you feel increased tenderness. The directions of your massage should be perpendicular to the fibers of the tendon. Apply gentle pressure with your fingers and thumb when massaging.
You should go see a doctor for treatment if you feel serious pain in the back of your leg between your calf and heel. You should see a doctor if your ankle or leg becomes stiff or sore. Also, see a doctor if your heel, ankle, or leg gets inflamed.