China hurdler Liu Xiang won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Since that time, however he suffered his share of injuries. Unfortunately two of these injuries came at the most inopportune times. During that same event four years later in front of his home crowd in Beijing, he fell during the event, which led to a serious Achilles tendon injury. Looking for redemption in the 2012 London Olympic Games, a similar injury occured while competing in the same event. He fell over the first hurdle in the qualifier and tore his Achilles tendon.
A ruptured Achilles tendon is one of the most devastating sports injuries. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest tendons in the human body. It functions in a significant way with everything that we do, whether it be walking, running, jumping, riding a bike, or swimming. A torn tendon leads to serious pain and loss of strength in the tendon. Many people describe an Achilles tendon tear as if someone kicked them in the back of the leg.
A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon will prevent you from pointing your toes. You will know if this happens, because of the emmense pain associated with it. If this is the case, visit your Houston podiatrist immediately or your local emergency department. In most cases, an injury such as this will require surgery to repair the tendon. If the ends of the tendon are in good position, however, it is possible that an extended period of casting and immobilization may be sufficient.
More common is a partial tear of the Achilles tendon. This injury still serious but not as debilitating as a complete tear. There is not complete loss of function, but you will feel considerable pain. In most cases, immmobilization will be sufficient for the tendon to completely heal.
Of course, not all Achilles tendon injuries are tears. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, or Achilles tendonitis, is a very common injury, particularly among runners, triathletes, and other injuries. There is pain and swelling around the Achilles tendon causes pain during exercise and may even cause you to limp when simply walking. Don't minimize this injury! Recovery from Achilles tendonitis can often be long and frustrating!
If you suddenly feel Achilles tendon pain, or if you have felt the pain for some time, don't wait to get help! Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider. Dr. Schneider will evaluate your injury and advise you the quickest and most complete way to return you to full health, full strength, and back to the activities you love!