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Achilles Tendon Rupture – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Achilles Tendon rupture

Have you recently felt a pop in the back of your heel while you were walking or running, and since then, you aren’t able to walk properly? Also, your leg hurts, and there is some discomfort.

If this is the case, then you probably are suffering from Achilles Tendon injury or rupture.

What is Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It is the biggest and longest tendon in the body, and it is designed to withstand a great deal of strain.

What is Achilles Tendon rupture?

When the tendon stretches and reaches its breaking point, it suffers an acute (sudden) injury. It most frequently occurs while participating in sports. An Achilles tear can also be caused by tripping, falling, or twisting your ankle. Most commonly occurring after sudden push-off motion during exercise.

What can cause Achilles Tendon rupture?

As you walk, your Achilles tendon assists you in pointing your foot downward, rising on your toes, and pushing off your foot. You use it whenever you walk or move your foot.

Rupture usually occurs within 2 1/2 inches (about 6 centimetres) of the point where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. This section may be prone to rupture due to poor blood flow, which can also impair its ability to heal.

Ruptures are frequently caused by an abrupt increase in the stress on your Achilles tendon.

Typical examples include:

  • Increasing the intensity of sports participation, particularly in jumping sports
  • Sudden push-off during spriting
  • Pushing heavy loads

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendon injury?

Feeling or sometimes hearing a pop or snap sound at the back of your ankle is a classic sign of an Achilles tendon rupture. People frequently believe they have been hit when, in fact, they are feeling a tendon snap.

Other common symptoms are as follows:

  • Sharp pain in the back of the ankle, near the heel
  • Walking causes pain, especially when going upstairs or uphill
  • Tenderness in the area where the tendon has been torn
  • Back of the ankle swelling and bruising

How is Achilles Tendon rupture treated?

Even before seeking medical attention, you can use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method to reduce pain and swelling in the injured tendon:

  • Rest by avoiding using the injured leg.
  • Ice should be applied to the injured area.
  • Compress your ankle to reduce swelling by wrapping the injured area
  • Elevate your leg up to the height of your chest to reduce swelling

A torn Achilles tendon usually takes four to six months to heal completely.

Treatment for an Achilles tendon

Conservative (non-surgical) Surgical
Walking cast or brace – The injured foot and ankle must be immobilised during nonsurgical treatment for a torn Achilles tendon. Your foot, ankle, and calf will be braced or cast by your provider. So that the Achilles tendon can heal and your foot and ankle flex downward. This method of treatment typically takes around 12 weeks, followed by 2-3 months of Rehabilitation.Advantages: No risk of surgical complications Doctors generally recommend surgical repair of a torn Achilles tendon for people who are active, middle-aged or at a young age. A surgeon stitches the two ends of the torn tendon back together during surgery. After surgery, you’ll be prescribed to wear a cast on your lower leg to keep the tendon immobilised while it heals.

Rehabilitation therapy

Whether you had surgery or not, you will need physical therapy to get back strength and mobility in your Achilles tendon.

Consult the best orthopaedic consultant for your bone and tendon injuries

Dr Sabri is one of only a few surgeons who has had great success performing minimally invasive percutaneous Achilles Tendon Repair. His procedure is usually performed as a day-case operation. It has lots of advantages including tiny scars, quicker recovery, lower re-rupture rates in the first 3 months, and earlier return to sport. 

If you are looking for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, contact Dr Sabri.