Understanding an Achilles Tendon Rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that happens when there is sudden and overwhelming pressure put on the Achilles tendon – the band of fibrous tissue that links the muscles of the calf to the heel. There will usually be a popping noise and intense pain with this injury and the area may burn and become swollen and stiff. You will have trouble standing and pushing off from that leg. Rest, cold compresses, physical therapy, and attention to a proper diet can all help, but this condition is slow to heal. A podiatrist can perform what is known as the Thompson Test to determine if you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. This test consists of a simple manipulation of the back of the calf, specifically, your soleus complex muscle group. If the area does not tense up and bend (a natural reflex of the manipulation), you may have ruptured this major tendon or there has been a detachment of the tendon from the muscle or bone. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested if you suspect you have injured or ruptured your Achilles tendon for a proper treatment plan.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.