The Achilles tendon, the largest in your body, allows you to lift your foot to walk and run. If you injure your Achilles tendon, talk to a Capital Foot & Ankle office in Sacramento, Roseville, or Folsom, California. Their highly skilled team provides conservative and surgical treatment to address Achilles tendon injuries. Call Capital Foot & Ankle today or book an appointment online to benefit from specialized Achilles tendon injury care.
The Achilles tendon (heel cord) is the band of tissue running down the back of your lower leg. It connects your calf muscle to your heel bone, enabling you to walk by allowing you to raise your heel off the ground.
An Achilles injury happens when something damages the tendon. This results in Achilles tendinitis, Achilles tendinosis, or an Achilles tendon rupture.
Achilles tendinitis is inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Without treatment, Achilles tendinitis can cause long-term tissue degeneration (Achilles tendinosis). The tendon can also rupture during physical activity, completely tearing away from the bone.
Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis are often caused by repetitive strain. A sudden increase in activities that stress the Achilles tendon leads to tendon fiber microinjuries. Ongoing tendon stress prevents your body from adequately repairing the injured tissue, eventually changing the tendon’s structure.
Athletes, weekend warriors (people who only take part in sports on weekends or infrequently), and those who do jobs involving regular manual labor have a higher risk of developing Achilles tendon injuries. Having flat feet and not wearing stable, supportive footwear can also increase your chances of an Achilles tendon injury.
Achilles tendon injuries cause pain, aching, stiffness, tenderness, and soreness within the tendon. The ankle is often painful when you get up in the morning or after prolonged rest periods. Symptoms can improve when you move but get worse with increased activity.
You might also have tenderness or intense pain when you squeeze the tendon’s sides but noticeably less discomfort when pressing the back of the tendon. Tendinosis can cause tendon enlargement, and nodules (small growths) can develop in the damaged tissue. A tendon rupture will likely be extremely painful and limit your mobility.
Treatments your Capital Foot & Ankle doctor might recommend for Achilles tendon injuries include:
You might need surgery if nonsurgical treatments don’t heal your Achilles injury. This is particularly likely with a rupture. Your surgeon can reattach the tendon using anchors that fit into the bone. Or they might reconstruct the tendon using grafted tissue from another part of your body or a donor.
Call Capital Foot & Ankle today or book an appointment online for expert Achilles tendon injury care.