Achilles Tendon Conditions
The possible cause of your foot pain
As the strongest tendon in the human body, the 20 to 25 cm long Achilles tendon plays an important role. The tendon allows us to push our foot down to the ground when walking or running. A tear or rupture from too much stress is usually the cause of pain in the area near the Achilles tendon.
When walking, running or jumping, each individual step exerts force on your tendon in amounts greater than your body weight. When there is too much stress on the tendon, a tear or rupture can occur in the tendon. It is possible that this sort of injury is the result of years of overworking the tendon or incorrectly exerting stress on it. Those most affected by this are usually physically active males, between 30 and 50 years of age.
An Achilles tendon tear is usually clearly audible and sounds like the crack of a whip. When this happens, a sharp, stabbing pain in the lower calf muscle near the heel will be felt. Bruising is also possible. In all cases, an injury of the Achilles tendon will have the same result: you will be unable to walk normally, specifically you will not be able to walk on your toes. This is because of the now missing link between the calf muscle and the trailing edge of the heel bone. .
An examination by palpation, functional testing, x-ray or ultrasound followed by a conservative or surgical treatment is required in all cases of an Achilles tendon rupture or tear.
There are two treatment methods to choose from in the case of an Achilles tendon tear:
- The conservative treatment route consists of stabilising the foot in the position of least resistance so that the tendon remains relaxed and the torn part can grow back together. A complete recovery is possible in six to eight weeks.
- The surgical treatment is common in younger, more athletic patients. In this type of operation the skin is cut open and the two ends of the tendon are sewn back together. With the help of a cast, the leg and foot will be immobilised in the equinus position (with the foot bent downward at the ankle), allowing for the tendon to heal without stress. Every two weeks, the cast will be redone and repositioned to account for progress made in the treatment. The approximately 6 to 8 weeks of treatment are accompanied by physical therapy.
If you feel pain in your Achilles tendon – especially after you’ve exerted a lot of force on it – you should seek immediate medical attention. Make your appointment with Professor Lill today. This renowned orthopaedic surgeon will do everything in his power to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible after an Achilles tendon injury.