Most people attribute Achilles tendon ruptures to elite athletes. As more and more weekend warriors hit the trail, pavement, or court, the injury has become more commonplace than you might expect.
The Achilles tendon is a strong tendon that connects the muscles of the lower leg to the heel bone. The tendon allows the foot to bend downward and is very important in walking. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest tendons, but can be partially or completely ruptured if it is overstretched. Most patients report feeling a pop or snap during the injury along with the feeling of being kicked in the back of the leg. Extreme pain usually arises quickly. Swelling typically occurs around the heel and the lower part of the calf. Depending on whether the tendon is partially or completely ruptured, the tendon may still have some function.
The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture must be made and treated immediately by your Houston podiatrist. Although a decreased ability to bend the foot downward is indicative of an Achilles tendon rupture, it is important to rule out any other injuries, such as broken bones. In most cases, an MRI will be ordered to assess the extent of the damage.
Treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures varies depending on the extent of the injury. Most partial ruptures will be able to be treated with a special boot and using crutches. In more extensive injuries, surgical intervention may be required.
This is a serious injury that will take you away from your regular activity. The recovery varies, however, based on the extent of the injury and the treatment you receive. As the tendon heals, you are slowly returned to their usual activities, often with the assistance of physical therapy, and most can expect to obtain a full recovery.
If you suspect that you may have sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, you should contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider as soon as possible, so that you have the best possible chance of a speedy recovery.