An injury that we see at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, which affects both “weekend warrior” and serious athletes, is Achilles tendonitis or a rupture of the Achilles tendon. Although the Achilles tendon is one of the strongest in your body, it is also one of the most frequently injured. It is vital to your ability to walk, however, so proper care and treatment is essential.
How Injuries Occur
Your Achilles tendon runs down the back of your lower leg and connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. Also known as the heel cord, this tendon is what allows you to raise your heel off the ground. There are 3 types of injuries that can occur to your Achilles tendon:
- Tendonitis—this is an inflammation of tendon which can usually be resolved fairly quickly.
- Tendonosis—without rest and a chance to recover from the inflammation the tendon may begin to degenerate and develop microscopic tears.
- Rupture—this refers to a partial or complete tear in the tendon.
Achilles injuries result from overuse. Typically, either an increase in the intensity or duration of an exercise or sport, or, in the case of a rupture, a big, explosive push off as in making a shot in basketball or pushing off at the start of a running race.
Symptoms of Achilles problems include:
- Pain anywhere along the tendon. This pain can be acute (especially in the case of a rupture) and severe or dull, aching and/or sore. In chronic conditions (tendonitis or tendonosis) the pain may subside with rest and then get worse with activity.
- Tenderness, particularly on the sides of the tendon
- Enlargement of the tendon with pronounced nodules
- In the case of a rupture, walking may be difficult
If you believe you have damaged your Achilles tendon the first step is to have one of our foot doctors, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko do a complete examination of your foot and lower leg which may include an x-ray or other digital imaging study. A number of treatments, both surgical and non-invasive, are available. The podiatrist will explain your options and help you choose the best one for your condition and lifestyle. If you have symptoms, don’t delay in contacting our Valley Stream or Lake Success office by calling: (516) 825-4070 or (516) 327-0074 to schedule an appointment.