Achilles Tendon Injuries
Treating common tendon injuries
Strong and flexible, the Achilles tendon helps you walk, run, and jump. Unfortunately, this tendon endures a lot of stress every day, which is why Achilles tendon injuries are so common. The team at Innovation Medical Group specializes in diagnosing and treating Achilles tendon injuries.
Frequently asked questions
There are two main types of Achilles tendon injuries: tendonitis and rupture.
Achilles tendonitis causes inflammation, pain, and swelling of the tendon. This type of injury usually occurs from overuse.
Achilles tendon rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear of the tendon. With this type of injury, you may hear a pop and then feel sudden intense pain in the back of your calf or lower leg.
Playing sports that require quick foot movements, such as basketball or tennis, may cause an acute Achilles tendon rupture. This injury may also occur if you have chronic Achilles tendonitis, which weakens the tendon and makes it more susceptible to tears.
An Achilles tendon rupture requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury may vary, depending on the type of injury you have. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the back of your leg
- Heel pain
- Stiff or sore ankle when you first wake up
- Achilles tendon pain after exercising
- Swelling and worsening pain after activity
- Thickening of the tendon
- Problems flexing your foot in the affected leg
Anyone can develop an Achilles tendon injury. If you have these symptoms, schedule an appointment at Innovation Medical Group to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
The Innovation Medical Group team performs a comprehensive clinical exam to diagnose your Achilles tendon injury. Your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and daily routine during the exam.
To diagnose an Achilles tendon rupture, your podiatrist performs the Thompson test. During this test, you lie face down with your leg straight. Your podiatrist squeezes your calf muscle, which would normally cause your foot to point.
If your foot doesn’t point, you may have an Achilles tendon rupture.
The team also performs imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI to assess the location and severity of your injury.
The Innovation Medical Group team individualizes treatment for your Achilles tendon injury based on the type and severity of the injury. Initially, the team may recommend conservative treatments such as:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Activity modification
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Custom-made orthotics or assistive devices
Not all Achilles tendon ruptures require surgery. The team may not recommend surgery if you’re inactive or at risk of developing complications from surgery.
However, if you have an Achilles tendon tear and lead an active lifestyle, the team may recommend surgery to reattach the tendon.
Get to the Root of Your Pain
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