Nikola Pekovic - Achilles tendon injury - Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

Minnesota Timberwolves’ center Nikola Pekovic is not immune to the numerous foot injuries suffered during this NBA season. The center will be out indefinitely after undergoing debridement and repair of his right Achilles. His team hasn’t given up on him and they believe that Pekovic will be his old self again once he is fully recovered. But what is an Achilles tendon injury?

The Achilles' tendon allows the foot to extend. It is also one of the most injured tendons affecting both professional and amateur athletes. It is important that you consult with a podiatrist for the first signs of a foot injury. Dr. John Schilero is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with foot pain and other types of foot conditions.

What causes Achilles tendon injury?

Exposure to strong forces or stress can damage or cause tearing of the Achilles tendon. Activities that may involve a forceful push off with the foot such as football, basketball, tennis, running, and even diving can cause injury. These activities require strong force on the calf muscles that can stress the Achilles' tendon. It can also be damaged by injuries like falling or deep cut at the back of the ankle. There are also times the Achilles tendon itself may weaken making it prone to injuries and rupture. Wearing high heels is also a cause of Achilles tendon injury.

What does an Achilles tendon injury feel like?

  • Pain when stretching
  • Swelling
  • Hearing a snapping or popping sound during the injury
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness, and
  • Difficulty flexing your foot

What are the treatments for Achilles tendon injury? 

Always check with your podiatrist first before treatment

  • Avoid putting weight on your leg by using crutches
  • Ice your injured foot until the pain is gone
  • When sitting or lying down, elevate your foot using pillows
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers to help with pain and swelling
  • Use a heel lift to protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching

How to prevent Achilles tendon injury?

  • Wear an appropriate shoe that fit well and provides proper support
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain on your heel
  • Cut down uphill running
  • Slowly increase the intensity of your physical activity

At Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute located in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Wellington, we specialize in helping people with Achilles tendon injury.  To schedule an appointment, call 561-694-7776 EXT. 2112.