Achilles Tendon Injuries

There are many foot injuries we see at our office, however, one coming up more often than not is injury to the Achilles tendon. Your Achilles tendon consists of thick tissue, which connects the heel to the calf muscles. The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in one’s body. When the calf muscles are contracted, it pulls the Achilles tendon and pushes the foot downward. Because of this action you are able to stand on your toes, walk, run, and even jump. Luckily, these injuries are easier to diagnose because pain is located in the Achilles tendon.

The most common causes for Achilles tendon injuries are from:
• Overuse in sports-related or day-to-day activities, such as running and walking. These activities also include speed and length of the activity.
• Misalignment of the foot. With the misalignment of the foot it includes: one of your legs being longer than the other, tight or short calf or Achilles tendons, weak calf muscles, and other defects of the foot.
• Wearing the wrong footwear. If you are active in sports, training, and the like, it’s important to wear footwear that has arch support, heel support, and cushioning. In addition to that, high heels, and worn out shoes can also lead to an Achilles tendon injury.
• Side effects from specific antibiotics (used to treat bacterial infections), and cortisone use. As far as cortisone goes, it can weaken the Achilles tendon. Having cortisone injected into the Achilles tendon can cause it to become too relaxed and stretch, ultimately causing it to rupture.
• Accidents that lead to injury of your feet. These can include car, sports, and
machinery accidents.

Symptoms for Achilles tendon issues include:
• Swelling in the ankle area.
• Mild or severe pain, which may happen only when you walk or run.
• Less range of motion in your ankle.

Types of Achilles Tendon Injuries
Achilles Tendinosis
Achilles tendinosis happens when pain and swelling has not been treated in a timely manner. The symptoms consist of soreness and stiffness that comes on gradually, but gets worse over time. When this happens the tendon starts to get tiny tears that eventually develop into scar tissue. The tendon and scar tissue will get bigger, and cause pain. The good news is that if Achilles tendinosis is caught early physical therapy and orthotics ,special shoes and advanced EPAT /shockwave therapy can help with scar tissue and pain. However, sometimes surgery is needed, but is dependent on a case by case basis.

Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is one of the more common conditions associated with the Achilles tendon. This condition happens from repetitive stress to the tendon. It can happen to active and inactive people, however, other causes include increasing physical activity, tight calf muscles, and bone spurs. If you are to have Achilles tendonitis it causes pain
at the back of the leg near  the heel, and stiffness. There are ways to treat this condition without surgery, but it may take up to three months for the symptoms to subside.

Achilles Tendon Rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture is when a partial or complete tear happens through the tendon. A rupture happens about 2 inches above the heel bone. This condition is more common in people who have Achilles tendonitis. It’s common to occur during sports that require jumping, pivoting, and running. As far as knowing when the Achilles tendon
has ruptured, you may feel sudden and severe pain at the back of your ankle or calf, hear the sound of a loud pop or snap, and walking and standing could be difficult. Treatment options include surgical and non-surgical.

How to prevent Achilles tendon injuries:
• Wear the right footwear. Make sure to have shoes that provide heel cushioning, anti-pronation, flexible sole at the forefoot, and arch support.
• Warm up before and after you begin to stretch or exercise. Definitely focus on your leg and calf muscles.
• After you’re done with physical activity, check for injuries by lightly pinching different spots up and down your Achilles tendon. If the area is sore then you will want to have it checked out.

You probably feel like the pain in your Achilles tendon came on suddenly, but these problems happen over time from the tiny tears to the tendon. If you visit Dr. Perlstein with an Achilles tendon injury, he will listen to the problem, examine the area, and provide a plan for treatment.

Dr. Michael Perlstein’s podiatry office is located at 4414 14th Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. He serves patients throughout the greater New York City area, including those residing in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Dr. Perlstein’s office is open Monday through Friday as well as on Sunday.

Blog for Achilles Tendon Injuries

Library for Achilles Tendon Injuries:

  • Achilles Tendonitis   
    Achilles tendonitis is a common foot condition, especially with those involved in sports. Dr. Michael Perlstein at Brooklyn Foot Doc offers patients treatment for the pain, tenderness and swelling caused by Achilles tendonitis.
  • Worried about your Achilles tendon? Here’s what you need to know.   
    Dr. Perlstein discusses what you need to know about symptoms and prevention of Achilles tendon injuries.

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