Achilles Tendonitis

achilles tendon

The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and helps to lift the heel off the ground during walking. 

Achilles Tendinitis is the acute inflammation of the tendon.  Achilles Tendinosis is the chronic inflammation of the tendon with small micro tears.  Nodules may begin to form around the zone of injury or damage that gives it a clinical bulbous appearance.  Continued stress can lead to Rupture of the Achilles tendon. 

Common symptoms include pain associated with achiness, stiffness, soreness, or tenderness.  Range of motion of the Achilles tendon can be affected.  Overuse of the Achilles tendon through constant repetitive movements especially during a sudden increase in activity can put the tendon at risk for injury.

Diagnosis involves evaluating the range of motion as well as the physical condition of the tendon.  Imaging studies are used to evaluate extent of injury and integrity of the tendon.

Treatments may include immobilization, ice, oral medication, and physical therapy for acute injuries. If non-surgical procedures fail to address the problem, surgery is required to address the condition and repair the tendon.  Chronic injuries and ruptures would require surgical repair. 

Preventing Achilles tendon injury involves stretching and strengthening of the calf muscles through daily exercises. Appropriate shoe wear and support will improve gait to prevent recurrence of the condition.

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