An Achilles rupture occurs when the calf muscle tendon, a band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles in the back of the leg to the heel bone (Calcaneus), is torn.
For most people, the problem will start suddenly with a “pop” or “snap” sensation, often with no warning. Symptoms may include severe pain near the heel or an inability to bend your foot downward. It may also be impossible to stand on the toes of your injured leg.
Pronated feet, specifically flat feet, increase the risk of a shortened Achilles tendon which is more likely to rupture. Recreational sports activity, particularly without appropriate conditioning, is a primary risk factor for Achilles rupture. The risk increases with age, and is more likely to occur in men than women. Some medications may also cause increased risk including prior steroid injections into or near the tendon or antibiotics.
Ruptures are often caused by a sudden stress on the tendon from activities such as jumping or a long fall.
After diagnosis, which usually requires an MRI scan, treatment options include:
- Non-surgical – Wearing a cast for six to eight weeks reduces stress on the tendon and gives it time to heal. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are required as part of this treatment.
- Surgery – This option requires making an incision in the back of the leg and repairing the torn tendon. After surgery, physical therapy is essential to regain as much function as possible. Rehabilitation may take from two to six months.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
Because Achilles rupture involves damage to soft tissue, an MRI may be required to clearly define the extent of the injury. We use Hoag-affiliated service providers to ensure the highest quality MRI.
Laser options can reduce the swelling and speed healing. Regenerative medicine regimens are also available when appropriate. Surgical options may be required. At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain any treatment options before beginning any course of treatment.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue