The women's Olympic beach volleyball team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their third Olympic gold medal in London last week. For the two friends it was an end of an era, with May-Treanor announcing the end of her volleyball career to focus on her family. Most incredibly, May-Treanor came back to the sport after suffering a devastating injury: a torn Achilles tendon suffered when on Dancing with the Stars in 2008.
A torn Achilles tendon is often a career-ending sports injury. The tendon is one of the strongest in the body and is responsible for every step you walk or run and every time you jump. For a professional volleyball player, it is continually used with all elements of play. Most athletes would hang it up...especially those with many world championships and two Olympic gold medals. Clearly she had nothing left to prove. However after having surgery to repair her Achilles tendon, she decided to return to her sport to once again compete with her partner and friend Kerry Walsh Jennings.
In most cases, you will know if you suffer from a torn Achilles tendon. Most people describe it as if someone suddenly kicks them in the back of the leg. There is instant pain, swelling, and profound weakness. Keep in mind, you do NOT need to be an elite athlete to have an Achilles tendon rupture. As a podiatrist in Houston who treats all sports injuries of the foot and ankle, I have seen Achilles tendon injuries on weekend warriors, casual tennis players, dancers, and even high school and college athletes.
The most important element to treating Achilles tendon injuries is to seek medical attention quickly. Whether the injury is treated with rest and medication, immobilization, or requires surgery, it is imperative that the injury is addressed early to assure a rapid and complete recovery. If you feel that you have suffered an Achilles tendon injury, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists immediately. Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate your injury and get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.