Your Achilles tendon plays a big role in your ability to walk. This long band of tissue runs down the back of your lower leg, connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. It helps you walk by enabling you to lift your heel off the ground. A rupture or tear in the tendon can result in your heel bone being partially or completely separated from your knee. At Gentle Professional Foot Care we see a whole range of injuries to the Achilles tendon. Below are some facts you should know about treating and preventing these types of injuries:
·Symptoms of an acute injury to the Achilles tendon, such as a complete or partial rupture, are fairly obvious. They include moderate to severe pain in the heel, muscle weakness and difficulty pushing off with your foot and walking.
·Achilles tendon ruptures are more likely to occur playing high impact sports such as basketball or sprinting, where you tend to explode off your foot with great force.
·Tendon ruptures occur more commonly in men than women. Scientists believe this is due to the fact that women have more flexible and elastic tendons overall than men.
·Chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendon is a less dramatic condition but is potentially nearly as debilitating as a rupture. Known as Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis, this disorder occurs due to overuse of the tendon which results in microscopic tears that cause chronic pain and weakness. Increasing your activity level too quickly or too intensely are primary causes of tendon disorders.
·Patients with Achilles tendon inflammation are more likely to rupture the tendon in the future.
·There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options available to treat Achilles tendonitis disorders. If you are suffering with pain or weakness in your lower leg due to an Achilles issue, our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will be able to determine the best treatment for you. If you are young, healthy and physically active, a surgery to repair the tendon may be recommended. Patients who are treated non-surgically have a 10% higher re-rupture rate. Surgery, however, has a longer recovery time and comes with its own risks.