Inflammation and pain to the Achilles, a large tendon that runs down the back of the leg and connects to the heel of the foot.
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, however 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.
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.