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
- 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.
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
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.