The largest tendon in the body, the Achilles tendon connects calf muscles to the heel bone. Any activity that includes walking, running, or jumping requires the use of the Achilles. The worst-case scenario for an injury to this tendon is a tear, also known as a rupture.
What causes it?
When the tendon is stressed and stretched beyond its normal limit, a partial or complete Achilles tendon rupture may occur. These injuries frequently strike middle-aged athletes who engage in high intensity sports, known commonly as “weekend warriors.”
How do you know you have it?
An Achilles tendon tear causes a sudden “popping” sensation at the lower calf following an explosive athletic maneuver. Severe pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or pushing off with the foot results.
How we fix it
The orthopedic experts at OSI are here to listen, discuss your concerns, and examine you for signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear. While under our expert care, you may undergo the following:
- Physical exam: Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and general medical history, and then conduct a thorough examination, feeling for a tendon defect that represents an Achilles tendon tear. Range of motion and strength will be assessed.
- X-rays: X-rays can be utilized to help identify stress fractures.
With a partial tendon tear, conservative treatments include:
- Use of a cast, walking boot or brace
- Physical therapy
For a ruptured Achilles tendon, surgery is generally reserved for younger, more active patients.