The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the leg above the heel. This tendon connects the

calf muscle to the heel bone and is responsible for several activities including walking.

Tendinitis can occur with the strain of suddenly increased activity levels, overuse and

degeneration. That means weekend warriors, elite athletes and the middle aged are all prime

candidates. Strain or injury to the tendon can result in painful swelling that makes walking,

running and related activities difficult.

It is important to see your podiatrist for an examination if you suspect Achilles tendinitis. The

pain is usually felt at the back of the ankle. Our Atlanta podiatrist can determine the extent of

your injury and recommend a home management program. At home care for Achilles tendinitis

includes:

  •  Rest
  •  Ice
  •  Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen

With proper care you can expect to recover from tendinitis in as little as a few days or as many as

six weeks. Communicate with your podiatrist if you are not progressing normally. Additional

options for relief include supportive shoes and orthotics – for example a heel lift or walking boot.

In some cases, tendinitis persists. If after six months you have not been able to find relief surgery

may be the right option for you. Talk with us about the range of options. Surgery is often

followed by physical therapy.

Tendinosis

Left untreated Achilles tendinitis can lead to tendinosis. Repeated overuse without the

opportunity to heal can cause degeneration of the collagen within the tendon. Tendinosis results

from scar tissue that forms as the tendon endures ongoing damage. Here the problems stems

from scarring rather than inflammation as is the case with tendinitis. With tendinosis, the scar

tissue thickened tendon generally requires 3 to 6 months of care for recovery. Our Atlanta

podiatrist can work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your unique needs and

concerns.

Achilles tendon rupture

Achilles tendon rupture can result from trauma to the tendon. The tendon may be fully or only

partially separated – complete ruptures are more common. The rupture is painful and will reduce

your ability to complete activities that require flexing of the ankle. Achilles tendon rupture is

common among those with a history of tendinitis. The rupture is also more common with age as

the tendon weakens over time. Sports related activities are a common factor in many ruptures.

When you experience a rupture you may hear a loud popping sound and feel a sharp pain as if

you sustained a blow a couple of inches above your heel. You may also be able to feel a gap in

the tendon if you place a finger two inches above your heel. Achilles tendon ruptures must be

addressed immediately. Our Atlanta podiatrist provides comprehensive care for all conditions of

the tendon, including tendinitis and ruptures. Call us at the first sign of tendon trouble. Early

intervention yields the best outcomes.

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Dr. Fui Dawson

Podiatrist in Marietta, GA, Dr. Fui Dawson, is a Harvard trained Foot & Ankle Specialist treating patients in Marietta, GA and in the surrounding communities. Our clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia, offers treatment for all foot and ankle conditions.