Dealing with an Achilles Tendon Rupture

Athletes and active individuals run the risk of injury with every practice, training session, and sporting event. The Achilles tendon is a part of the body that can be easily ruptured or torn, and orthopaedic surgeons say that coming back from this type of injury is quite a challenge. Here’s more on Achilles ruptures.

What is the Achilles?

Your Achilles tendon is the cord-like tendon that runs up the back of your ankle, connecting your heel bone and calf muscle. The Achilles is responsible for your ability to point your toes downward, standing on your toes, running, jumping and basically every aspect of moving your foot.

What Can Cause Achilles Trouble?

While it is more commonly found in athletes or those participating in aggressive activities, an Achilles rupture or tear can also happen to non-athletes. People who wear high heels frequently, who try to start an exercise regimen without proper technique or conditioning, or who have flatfeet may also be prone to this painful injury, in which the tendon tears either partially or completely, or detaches from the heel bone.

SymptomsOrthopaedic_Surgeons

When you’ve ruptured your Achilles tendon, you may hear a pop or a snap. Directly afterward, the back of your ankle will be very painful, radiating into your lower leg. It will be very challenging, if not impossible to walk on the injured leg. Your doctor will examine you and look for traits of a rupture, then may also perform an MRI for diagnosis.

Treatments

Though milder cases might be treated with casting, orthopaedic surgeons most frequently must repair an Achilles tendon rupture or tear via surgery since there is limited blood flow, and therefore healing capability to this tissue. The surgeon will try to mend the tendon back together, and may need to graft in other tendon material to strengthen the repair. Extensive physical therapy and rehab will follow, with a 4-6 month typical recovery period.

Achilles ruptures can be quite painful and debilitating. Orthopaedic surgeons see this injury quite frequently, so take the time to stretch and condition yourself before partaking in aggressive activity to protect yourself against the an Achilles rupture.

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