Associated Foot Specialists
Podiatrists located in Holden, MA & Hudson, MA
An Achilles tendon rupture or tear can keep you off your feet and out of the swing of normal daily routines. Fortunately, help is available through the care of Anthony Tickner, DPM, and Steven Quan, DPM, of Associated Foot Specialists in Holden and Hudson, Massachusetts. If you’re experiencing pain in your heel or calf, call to book a diagnostic exam, or schedule an appointment online in just moments.
Achilles Tendon Q & A
What is the Achilles tendon?
Tendons are bands of tough connective tissue that bind muscle tissue to bone. Your Achilles tendon is a large tendon that connects your heel bone to the muscles in your calf. It’s a critical component of walking, running, jumping, and virtually all means of mobility.
Your Achilles tendon allows you to point your toes, rise up on the balls of your feet, and push off the floor as you take every step. Because it’s such an integral part of daily tasks, your Achilles tendon is subject to injury.
What are some common types of Achilles tendon injuries?
The mildest form of Achilles tendon injury is called tendonitis. This is a type of overuse injury and often occurs after a period of unusually intense physical activity. Older people are more likely to develop Achilles tendonitis, as well as those who only engage in athletic activities on an infrequent basis.
An Achilles rupture, or tear, is a more serious matter and can cause significant pain. Some people hear a distinct “popping” sound at the time of the rupture, while others notice a rapid onset of symptoms like pain, swelling, or inability to walk normally after an injury.
What kinds of treatments can help a ruptured Achilles tendon?
In some cases, nonsurgical treatment offers a path to relief from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Some of the ways you can support your body’s natural healing process include:
- Resting the area by using crutches to help you get around
- Icing the area to reduce swelling and minimize discomfort
- Using over-the-counter pain medication to relieve pain
- Wearing a cast or special walking boot for a few weeks to avoid placing undue pressure on your Achilles tendon
In some cases, these conservative treatments aren’t enough to repair the damage. Surgery may be the only way to fully restore a damaged Achilles tendon.
Your specialist can repair damaged tendon tissue by suturing the tendon back together in the area of a tear. This procedure can often be done arthroscopically, an approach that requires just a few small incisions and has a lower risk of bleeding and other complications. In some cases, however, an open surgical technique is the best way to correct a ruptured Achilles tendon.
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