Achilles Tendon Injuries: What You Need to Know

The Achilles tendon, which runs down at the back of your lower leg, connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. The calf muscles and Achilles tendon play a huge role when you walk, jump, sprint, or climb.

Achilles Tendonitis vs. Achilles Tendinosis
Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendinosis are the most common Achilles tendon injuries. The former has to do with inflammation of the tendon and is almost always short-lived in nature. When the inflammation is chronic, it could progress to Achilles tendinosis wherein microscopic tears and scar tissue form in the tendon, making it weaker and less stable.

Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
Overuse is the most common cause of Achilles tendon injuries. Men and women who engage in work, sports, or activities that constantly stress the ankles have an increased risk of developing issues with their Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is quite common among individuals who engage heavily in recreational sports on nights and weekends.

Achilles tendonPain, which is often accompanied with tenderness within the tendon, is the primary symptom of an Achilles tendon injury. Most patients refer to the pain as more severe upon rising in the morning or when they’re engaged in heavy physical activity.

Achilles tendon injury diagnosis normally occurs during a physical examination. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may not be necessary.

Treatment Options for Achilles Tendon Injuries
Often a non-surgical treatment approach is initially employed for treating Achilles tendon injuries, including ice application, oral medications for pain, immobilization with a cast, night splints, and physical therapy. Surgery, which involves sewing the torn ends of the Achilles tendon, is recommended when the aforementioned non-surgical approaches fail to provide symptom relief.

For more information on Achilles tendon injuries, call Plancher Orthopedics at 212.876.5200!