Achilles Tendon Rupture

Seek professional opinion and treatment about your Achilles Tendon Rupture today. Experience Orthopaedic Surgeon with most advanced treatment. Call us +65 97731458 to schedule for an appointment.

Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg. It most commonly occurs in people playing recreational sports.

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture) completely or just partially.

If your Achilles tendon ruptures, you might feel a pop or snap, followed by an immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg that is likely to affect your ability to walk properly. Surgery is often the best option to repair an Achilles tendon rupture. For many people, however, nonsurgical treatment works just as well.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Rupture

Although it’s possible to have no signs or symptoms with an Achilles tendon rupture, most people experience:

  • Pain, possibly severe, and swelling near your heel
  • An inability to bend your foot downward or “push off” the injured leg when you walk
  • An inability to stand on your toes on the injured leg
  • A popping or snapping sound when the injury occurs

Causes of Achilles Tendon Rupture

Your Achilles tendon helps you point your foot downward, rise on your toes and push off your foot as you walk. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot.

Rupture usually occurs in the section of the tendon located within 2 1/2 inches (about 6 centimeters) of the point where it attaches to the heel bone. This section may be predisposed to rupture because it gets less blood flow, which also may impair its ability to heal.

Ruptures often are caused by a sudden increase in the amount of stress on your Achilles tendon. Common examples include:

  • Increasing the intensity of sports participation, especially in sports that involve jumping
  • Falling from a height
  • Stepping into a hole

Test and Diagnosis of Achilles Tendon Rupture

During the physical exam, our doctor will inspect your lower leg for tenderness and swelling. In many cases, doctors can feel a gap in your tendon if it has ruptured completely.

The doctor may also ask you to kneel on a chair or lie on your stomach with your feet hanging over the end of the exam table. He may then squeeze your calf muscle to see if your foot will automatically flex. If it doesn’t, you probably have ruptured your Achilles tendon.

If there’s a question about the extent of your Achilles tendon injury whether it’s completely or only partially ruptured, our doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI scan. These painless procedures create images of the tissues of your body.

Treatments of Achilles Tendon Rupture

Treatment for a ruptured Achilles tendon often depends on your age, activity level and the severity of your injury. In general, younger and more active people often choose surgery to repair a completely ruptured Achilles tendon, while older people are more likely to opt for nonsurgical treatment. Recent studies, however, have shown fairly equal effectiveness of both operative and nonoperative management.

Nonsurgical treatment
This approach typically involves wearing a cast or walking boot with wedges to elevate your heel, which allows your torn tendon to heal. This method avoids the risks associated with surgery, such as infection. However, the likelihood of re-rupture may be higher with a nonsurgical approach, and recovery can take longer. If re-rupture occurs, surgical repair may be more difficult.

Surgery
The procedure generally involves making an incision in the back of your lower leg and stitching the torn tendon together. Depending on the condition of the torn tissue, the repair may be reinforced with other tendons. Surgical complications can include infection and nerve damage. Infection rates are reduced in surgeries that employ smaller incisions.

Rehabilitation
After treatment, whether surgical or nonsurgical, you’ll go through a rehabilitation program involving physical therapy exercises to strengthen your leg muscles and Achilles tendon. Most people return to their former level of activity within four to six months.

Prevention of Achilles Tendon Rupture

To reduce your chance of developing Achilles tendon problems, follow these tips:

  • Stretch and strengthen calf muscles. Stretch your calf to the point at which you feel a noticeable pull but not pain. Don’t bounce during a stretch. Calf-strengthening exercises can also help the muscle and tendon absorb more force and prevent injury.
  • Vary your exercises. Alternate high-impact sports, such as running, with low-impact sports, such as walking, biking or swimming. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your Achilles tendons, such as hill running and jumping activities.
  • Choose running surfaces carefully. Avoid or limit running on hard or slippery surfaces. Dress properly for cold-weather training and wear well-fitting athletic shoes with proper cushioning in the heels.
  • Increase training intensity slowly. Achilles tendon injuries commonly occur after abruptly increasing training intensity. Increase the distance, duration and frequency of your training by no more than 10 percent each week.

Seek professional opinion and treatment about your Achilles Tendon Rupture today. Experience Orthopaedic Surgeon with most advanced treatment. Call us +65 97731458 to schedule for an appointment.

Posted in Foot and Ankle Pain and tagged , , , , , .