Translated from English by This website translates English to other languages using an automated tool. Achilles Tendon Injuries Not what you're looking for? Start New Search. What are Achilles tendon injuries? What causes Achilles tendon injuries? There are 2 main types of tendonitis: Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis.
Small tears in the middle fibers of your tendon start to break it down. This causes pain and swelling. This type of tendonitis usually affects active, younger adults. Insertional Achilles tendonitis. This damage occurs in the spot where your tendon meets your heel bone. Bone spurs extra bone growth often form with this type. This type of tendonitis can happen at any age, even in people who are not active. Who is at risk for Achilles tendon injuries? The most common risk factors are: Increased amount or intensity of an activity or sport Starting a new sport Tight calf muscles when starting an exercise or sport, this can place more stress on your tendon Bone spurs on your heel, which can rub against the tendon Wearing the wrong shoes when you exercise Exercising on an uneven surface Treatment with fluoroquinolone, an antibiotic.
What are the symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury? How is an Achilles tendon injury diagnosed? Your healthcare provider will consider the following when making a diagnosis: Your overall health and medical history A description of your symptoms A physical exam of your Achilles tendon to check for bone spurs, pain, and swelling A test to see if you can move your ankle properly range of motion Imaging tests, such as X-ray or MRI. An X-ray shows bones and can show if the tendon has become calcified or hardened, and can show bone spurs.
Your healthcare provider will usually use MRI to see how severe the tendon damage is and what treatment is best for you. How are Achilles tendon injuries treated? It may include: Rest Ice Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs for pain relief such as ibuprofen or naproxen Specific exercises to strengthen your calf muscles Physical therapy A type of exercise that helps strengthen your calf muscles to take pressure off your tendon called eccentric strength training Low-impact activities, such as swimming Heel lifts in shoes, orthotic shoes, cast, splint, or a walking boot Extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
This treatment uses high-energy shockwave impulses to help stimulate the healing process in damaged tendon tissue. However, your healthcare provider may recommend it to see whether you can improve without surgery If these treatments do not work, or if the injury is severe or complete, surgery may be considered. Some of the surgical procedures used include: Surgery to lengthen your calf muscles gastrocnemius recession Debridement surgery to remove damaged tendon tissue or bone spurs and repair the tendon Surgery to remove your damaged tendon tissue, fix the remaining tendon, and give it extra strength by moving another tendon to the heel bone.
What are possible complications of Achilles tendon injuries? Complications of an Achilles tendon injury may include: Pain, which can be severe Difficulty walking or being active Warping of your tendon area or heel bone Tendon rupture from re-injury Other complications can happen because of the treatments used to treat an Achilles tendon injury. For instance: Sometimes, cortisone injections can cause the tendon to tear Surgery can lead to pain and infection.
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How can I prevent Achilles tendon injuries? These steps can help prevent injury to your Achilles tendon: Warm up before exercising or before sports or other repetitive movements. Increase activity slowly, rather than all at once. Wear the correct shoes for your activities. Do not exercise on uneven surfaces. Stop activities that cause pain. Choose other ways to be active. Try low-impact activities that do not place a lot of stress on your tendon, such as swimming or bicycling, rather than a high-impact exercise like running.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Key points about Achilles tendon injuries Your Achilles tendon can develop tendonitis. This is when it becomes inflamed, swollen, and irritated. This needs immediate medical attention. Achilles tendon injuries often cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of your leg near your heel.
Achilles tendon injuries can be treated with rest and medicines to help with the inflammation. Exercises often help too.
If needed, surgery can be done to repair the tendon. You can help prevent these injuries by doing things like increasing activity slowly, wearing the correct shoes for your activities, and not exercising on uneven surfaces. Next steps Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
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Before your visit, write down questions you want answered. Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you. At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you. Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are. Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean. Your surgeon will stitch your Achilles tendon together using the strongest possible sutures, so it can heal well. Having surgery rather than non-surgical treatment means the tendon is less likely to rupture again. But with surgery there is a chance of complications, including that the wound may become infected or scar tissue may develop. At the same time, you can start to gently exercise it.
Doing the exercises and slowly starting to get around helps to give you the best chance of a full recovery. You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy.
Once the tendon has healed usually after 8—12 weeks , you may need to do progressive calf-strengthening exercises. Your physiotherapist or doctor will give you advice on how long it will take to get back to playing sport or doing regular activity. Many people get back to jogging and non-contact sports about four or five months after the rupture. If you play a contact sport, then it will probably take longer to get back to playing. For some people, getting back to regular activity may take longer.
Depending on your type of job, you may need to take time off work to allow the tendon to heal. Most people will be off work for between four and eight weeks. Your doctor will be able to give you specific advice. You may be able to reduce your risk of injuring your Achilles tendon by making sure you warm up well before you exercise. But experts are not all convinced that warming-up does help to reduce this risk. Many people fully recover and can return to running or other sports after an Achilles tendon rupture.
It can take some time to become fully fit though and to get back to the same level of fitness you had before the rupture. Athletes may need a year to return to their full activities and some are never able to get back to their previous level of fitness.
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The period of time resting, healing the tendon and being out of training can affect your muscle strength and the way you walk. These factors as well as the ruptured tendon can affect how well you recover. Our short survey takes just a few minutes to complete and will help us to improve our information. At Bupa we produce a wealth of free health information for you and your family. This is because we believe that trustworthy information is essential in helping you make better decisions about your health and wellbeing.
Our information is guided by the principles of The Information Standard and complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. We are also a proud member of the Patient Information Forum. Achilles tendinopathy is injury to the band of tissue tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg to your heel.
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We should all be getting active — and it may be easier than you think. Here we give you tips and advice for getting started. This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals.
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