A complete tear of the Achilles tendon, 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. While this tendon is very strong and can withstand a great deal of stress, a partial tear or rupture can still occur if that stress becomes too great (i.e. forceful jumping or pivoting, sudden accelerations or decelerations, tripping or falling). While anyone can experience an Achilles tendon rupture, these are most often seen in those who exercise infrequently (sometimes referred to as “weekend warriors”), those taking certain medications which can affect the integrity of the tendons in the body (i.e. some steroids and antibiotics), and those with Achilles tendinitis. Patients often feel a sudden snap or “pop” with immediate pain to the back of the ankle followed by swelling and difficulty walking. This injury tends to be an obvious diagnosis but in some cases an MRI may be obtained to evaluate the degree of the tear. Surgery to repair the tendon is often performed in a timely manner to ensure optimal healing and functionality. In some cases, if the tendon is not completely torn or the patient is not an optimal surgical candidate, non-surgical treatment may be implemented. In either case, physical therapy is an important component to the overall healing process.
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.