Achilles tendon Injuries Are Worse than You Think.

In anatomy, your Achilles tendon is the stretchy band that connects your calf muscle to the back of your ankle, the Greek legends’ mythical weak spot. Just like the war hero, Achilles, our Achilles tendon is something we need to protect. If you live an active lifestyle, you might be at risk for Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is the wearing down of the tendon through overuse or damage.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump. So if you injure or tear it, you won’t be able to do much of anything for a while.

Dr. Don Stewart from Arlington Orthopedic Associates stresses that “pain is NOT a good indicator of Injury Severity when it comes to your Achilles tendon.”

What you might feel, is weakness, or a defect in the back of the leg, significant bruising or swelling. Many times, the pain subsides in less than twenty-four hours. However, Achilles tendon injuries are time-sensitive injuries so please do not wait it out.

Ultimately, significant trauma to the Achilles tendon can even cause the tendon to rupture causing intense pain and a loss of functionality in the associated foot. Achilles Tendon Ruptures are typically seen in patients between the ages of 30 and 50, and usually caused by running uphill or on a hard surface or playing sports, like basketball, that cause you to quickly start and stop.

Patients will say it feels as if someone kicked them in the back of the ankle or that someone “shot” them in that area. In that case, it’s definitely time to make an appointment!

When you come in to see one our Foot and Ankle Specialists, they will determine the best treatment plan based on the individual. There are several options when it comes to treating an Achilles Tendon Injury, but there isn’t necessarily a “best” option. Your physician will determine a treatment plan based on injury severity, age, activity level, and other life factors.

When proper treatment and rehabilitation are undertaken, the prognosis is excellent. The majority of athletes, or the weekend warriors, can return to their previous exercise or sports as recovery allows.