What is the Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon helps you to rise your foot on your toes and push off when you walk or run.
What are the common Achilles tendon problems?
The two main common problems found in Achilles tendon are:
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Achilles tendinitis. Inflammation to the Achilles tendon.
- Achilles tendinosis. Tiny tears to the Achilles tendon.
- Achilles tendon tear or rupture. An Achilles tendon also can partially tear or complete tear.
Problems with the Achilles tendon can appear suddenly but it is usually the result of overuse injury that causes many tiny tears to the Achilles tendon over time.
What causes Achilles tendon problems?
Achilles tendinitis or Achilles tendinosis
Achilles tendon problems are often caused by overuse injury. This injury happens when you repeatedly do an activity that causes stress to the Achilles tendon. For e.g., Sports that involve a lot of stop-and-go motions, this will result in microtears to the Achilles tendon. Tiny tears to the Achilles tendon may also occur if you change your training habit. Micro tears to the Achilles tendon may not get healed quickly or completely.
Not warming up enough before sports can also cause Achilles tendon problems.
Achilles tendon rupture
Achilles tendon rupture is often caused by sudden and forceful action that stresses the calf muscle. Intense sports or simple running can cause the Achilles tendon to get rupture. Middle-aged adults are at a higher risk to get the Achilles tendon rupture.
Achilles tendon rupture can also caused by playing sports like basketball, tennis, soccer and badminton. Achilles tendon that is weakened by inflammation or small tears to it is at a higher risk to rupture.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendon problems?
Symptoms of Achilles tendon problems include swelling and pain in the ankle. The pain can be gradual or gets worsen when you walk or run. You may have limited range of movement in your ankle.
You may feel a sudden and sharp pain to your foot if your Achilles tendon ruptures. Most of the people is able to hear or feel a “pop” sound. Shortly, you will notice swelling or bruising and you may find it difficult to move your foot.
How are the Achilles tendon problems diagnosed?
How are Achilles tendon problems treated?
Conservative treatments to treat Achilles tendon problems include:
Treatment for severe Achilles tendon problems:
- Repair of the Achilles tendon
- Fibreglass cast
What are the other Achilles tendon problems?
Other condition may contribute to the Achilles tendon problem.
- Achilles paratenonitis
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis
- Insertional Achiles tendinopathy
When to call us to see our specialist?
- Pain to your back of the heel and ankle
- Sharp pain to your Achilles tendon
- “Pop” sound heard when you injured the Achilles tendon
- Difficulty to walk normally
- The back of your foot (Achilles tendon) is swollen