Tearing Your Achilles Tendon
Updated: Feb 26
An In-Depth Look on The Achilles Tendon Tear
Achilles tendon also referred to as the calcaneal tendon, is the largest and also, the strongest tendon in the body. It is best defined as a rope-like band that is made up of fibrous cords or tissue. It runs from behind your ankles connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, which is also known as the calcaneus.
Regardless of its size and strength, the pressure applied to it on a daily basis increases its vulnerability to injury. Additionally, it’s limited blood supply is another major contributing factor to its susceptibility to injury. From Achilles tendon rupture and Achilles tendon tear to Achilles tendonitis, there are a number of conditions that can result from an Achilles tendon injury.
The best way to identify the exact problem is by visiting a professional Ankle Doctor in your area. For the purposes of this article, we shall be focusing on one particular condition: the Achilles tendon tear.
Achilles Tendon Tear
An Achilles tendon tear is a condition in which a tear occurs in the Achilles tendon. The tear can either be small or large. Regardless of the size, the tear does cause pain or swelling, which can interfere with mobility.
Individuals like to think that athletes are more susceptible to this type of injury or condition. However, anyone from any walk of life can suffer from the condition. This, begs the question, what causes it?
As previously mentioned, the Achilles tendon has a limited supply of blood and is often an area where an extreme amount of pressure is placed on a daily basis. Placing sudden tension or stress on your tendon that happens as a result of falling, suddenly steeping onto uneven ground on jumping can also cause a tear in the area.
All those factors brought together, result in the weakening of the Achilles tendon or the sudden tear. The limited blood supply makes the tear harder to heal, further complicating issues.
If you or a family member suspects a problem with the Achilles tendon, below are the top signs to look for:
· Pain, especially near the heel area
· Unable to stand on the toes of the affected leg
· During the initial occurrence of the injury, you are likely to hear a snapping or popping sound near the ankle area
· Unable to walk properly
· Swelling near the heel
· Inability to point your toes
If you exhibit all the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s time to visit a foot doctor. You always want to make sure that you are visiting a Foot and Ankle Institute that is certified and approved. Treasure Valley Foot + Ankle is one such institute that is backed by a team of Ankle doctors that are certified and educated in podiatry.
Diagnosis often involves a physical examination. In this particular examination, you may have to walk for the doctor to see. Another test that is often done is the Calf Squeeze test. This is where the doctor squeezes the calf muscles on both legs to gauge how they react.
There are a number of methods that are used to effectively treat a torn Achilles tendon. Non- surgical methods often work for most people, especially if the condition is not advanced.
Non- Surgical Treatments
· Taking anti-inflammatory drugs
· Leg elevation while sitting down
· Compress the affected area with an elastic bandage
· Icing the affected area for 20 minutes at a time
· Avoid placing too much pressure on the affected foot. Some doctors will recommend using crutches
· Physical therapy
Surgery often involves making an opening in the back of your leg. Once this is done, the foot doctor should be able to stitch the torn part of the Achilles tendon back together. After your surgery, you should undergo physical therapy to help you heal and get back to using your leg properly again.
In conclusion, the Achilles tendon plays a vital role in the body. It aids functions such as jumping, running and even walking. The simple act of pointing your toes is facilitated by this tendon. Therefore, it is imperative that you take care of it.
If you are looking for a professional and certified Foot and Ankle Institute, book with Treasure Valley Foot + Ankle today.