Your Achilles tendon sustains extensive daily stress, making it vulnerable to overuse and inflammation. The longer your inflammation lasts, the more it damages and weakens the tissues, leading to Achilles tendon injuries. At Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics in Sarasota, Florida, Adam Bright, MD, offers skilled and comprehensive care for all types of Achilles tendon injuries. If you develop heel or tendon pain, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call the office or use the convenient online booking tool today.
Your Achilles tendon connects the bottom of your calf muscle to your heel bone. The tendon’s job is to lift your heel every time you take a step, a job that causes significant stress.
Although the Achilles tendon is strong, it’s also susceptible to repetitive use injuries and inflammation, leading to three common problems: tendonitis, tendonosis, or rupture.
Achilles tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. This problem usually develops due to repetitive stress. You can also trigger the problem by suddenly increasing the intensity of your training or athletic activities.
When tendonitis goes untreated, the ongoing inflammation causes tissue degeneration. Eventually, the degeneration leads to small tears in the tendon, which is tendonosis.
You can partially or complete rupture or tear the Achilles tendon by overstretching the tissues. This often happens when you suddenly start running, accelerating so rapidly that you pull the tendon.
You can also rupture your Achilles tendon during any activity if the tissues are already weak from an injury, tendonosis, or long-term steroid use.
If you have Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis, you can expect to have symptoms such as:
When you rupture the Achilles tendon, you’ll experience sudden, and often severe, pain at the back of your ankle or calf. Swelling usually develops and you will have a hard time walking or rising up on your toes.
Whenever possible, Dr. Bright treats Achilles tendon injuries with rest, activity modification, and immobilization with a splint, cast, or walking boot.
You’ll also have physical therapy to strengthen the tendon. Prescription orthotics can help correct problems such as gait abnormalities that place too much stress on the tendon.
If you have a complete rupture, or a partial tear doesn’t heal with conservative treatment, Dr. Bright recommends surgery to repair the tendon.
If you have heel pain or pain along your Achilles tendon, call Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.