The Achilles tendon connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heal bone and is the most common injured tendon in the body. An Achilles tear or rupture is most common in those who take part in recreational activities like dancing or physical sports like basketball or football. In this article will talk about the causes of the injury, some of the common symptoms and treatment options.
An Achilles tendon tear is commonly caused by physical activities. Here are some of the common causes of the injury.
- Not stretching enough or thoroughly before exercise
- Overuse of muscles
- Increasing level of activity too quickly
- Muscles or tendons in the leg that are too tight
There are some common symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear and unfortunately a tear or rupture to the tendon can be very painful and debilitating. For some people the pain may start along the heal area of the foot and there may be swelling or tenderness. For others, a tear can happen during a physical activity and usually there is a popping or snapping noise. Many people think they have strained there calve or another muscle in the leg.
If you tear your Achilles tendon, you will typically have two options for treatment, non-surgical or surgical.
Non-Surgical – Your injured foot will likely be put in a cast and immobilized for 6 to 10 weeks. This option usually takes longer for a full recovery due to the long period of time in the cast. In addition tot eh longer recovery, the probability of re-injuring your Achilles is also greater with a non-surgical treatment.
Surgical – An orthopedic surgeon will make an incision to the back of your leg and stitch together the torn tendon. The surgical option reduces the probability of re-injury and you are likely to recover faster than non-surgical treatment. Many athletes go the surgery route as it is important they get back to their sport as quickly as possible.
Regardless of the type of treatment you utilize non-surgical or surgical, for a full recovery rehabilitation is required. Consistent physical therapy will help you make a full recovery in 4 to 6 months.
Although an Achilles tendon injury can be painful, it’s also common and possible for you to make a full recovery with proper treatment and rehabilitation. If you are suffering from any pain in the Achilles area it may be best to see an orthopedic specialist. At IBJI our physicians may be able to help diagnose your injury or help prevent your Achilles tendon tear from becoming a full rupture. Make an appointment today with IBJI.
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