The Achilles is a large tendon that runs down the back of the leg and connects to the heel of the foot. This is the largest tendon found in the body and is used when walking, running, jumping, etc. With overuse and/or degeneration, this tendon can become irritated and inflamed which is commonly referred to as tendonitis. Sometimes bone spurs can form at the heel bone (calcaneus). This condition usually develops from repetitive stress to the tendon, sudden increased intensity during exercise or other physical activity, calf muscle tightness and bone spurs. You may feel pain and stiffness along the tendon, pain that worsens with activity, thickening of the tendon, soft tissue swelling around the area, and a decreased range of motion of the ankle. Achilles tendinitis leaves the Achilles tendon vulnerable to Achilles tendon ruptures (see more on this under our “Conditions” section). Imaging usually isn’t necessary for a diagnosis; however, an x-ray may show bone spurs at the calcaneus if degenerative changes are present. Treatment is often conservative with rest, ice, NSAIDs and physical therapy focusing on stretching exercises, but it may take several months before symptoms improve. Prevention is key when avoiding this condition — stretching calf muscles before and after physical activity and wearing the correct footwear.
As our patient, you will have an in-depth consultation with one of our doctors. We will create an individualized treatment plan together, tailored to your problem and lifestyle. Our doctors prefer non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy and/or injections. If your problem ultimately does require surgery, our doctors prefer the least invasive surgical techniques possible. Our goals are the same as yours: to get you back to living your best life, pain free.