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Achilles tendon rupture

The Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It is responsible for allowing us to walk, run, and jump. A rupture of the Achilles tendon is a complete tear of the tendon. This can be a very painful injury and can make it difficult to walk or put weight on the affected leg. The most common symptom of an Achilles tendon rupture is a sudden, sharp pain in the back of the heel. There may also be swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking. In some cases, the tendon may actually be visible through the skin. The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture is usually made by a foot and ankle specialist. We will examine the injured leg and look for the signs and symptoms of a rupture. In some cases, an ultrasound or MRI may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. The treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture depends on the severity of the injury. For a complete rupture, surgery is usually recommended, especially in active people. This involves stitching the tendon back together. For a partial rupture, non-surgical treatment may be possible. This may involve wearing a cast or brace, resting the leg, and physical therapy. Recovery from an Achilles tendon rupture can take several months. The amount of time it takes to recover depends on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment. With surgery, most people are able to return to their normal activities within 6-9 months. High level athletes usually will need up to 12 months to return to pre injury function. With non-surgical treatment, recovery may take longer and there is a higher chance of the tendon rupturing again Preventing Achilles tendon ruptures There are a few things you can do to help prevent Achilles tendon ruptures. These include: Stretching your calf muscles regularly Warming up before exercise Avoiding activities that put a lot of stress on your Achilles tendon, such as running on hills or jumping Wearing proper footwear If you experience pain in your Achilles tendon, it is important to see me to get a diagnosis and treatment. With proper care, most people make a full recovery from an Achilles tendon rupture. Here are some additional tips for preventing Achilles tendon ruptures: Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your activities. Don't overdo it, especially when you're first starting out. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Wear shoes that fit properly and provide good support. If you have any risk factors for Achilles tendon rupture, such as age, obesity, or a history of tendon problems, talk to us about ways to reduce your risk.

Author
Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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