Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute
Comprehensive Care for Achilles Tendon Injuries
Achilles tendinitis is a medical condition that causes pain along the back of the leg near the heel. This happens when the Achilles tendon is constantly abused. This condition is common among athletes and middle age people who are actively engaged in sport activities.
The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. It allows a person to extend the foot and point the toes to the floor. This is also the thickest, longest and strongest tendon of the body.
Common Causes of Achilles Tendinitis
The condition may occur if the Achilles tendon is subjected to:
- Repetitive activities
- Postural problems such as flatfoot
- Jumping on hard surfaces
- Shoes with improper support
- Excessive running
Tight calf muscles and bone spur are factors that may contribute to the development of Achilles tendinitis.
Signs and Symptoms
A leading symptom of Achilles tendinitis is sharp pain along the back of the tendon closest to the heel. Most of the symptoms are common and can be seen in people suffering from foot injury.
- Pain when flexing the ankle
- Tenderness in the feet
- Redness over the painful area
- Burning sensation around the joint
- Nodule formation on the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Cracking sound when the ankle moves
- Trouble standing up on one toe
- Lower leg feels stiff
Treatment and Management
Generally, tendons such as the Achilles tendon do not heal rapidly or completely. A lifestyle change is sometimes needed to prevent the recurrence of Achilles tendinitis. The aim in treating Achilles tendinitis is to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. Treatment of the symptoms includes:
- Resting the leg
- Cold compression therapy
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Heel lift
- Using of a brace or cast to keep the heel and tendon still
Surgery may be needed if the symptoms do not improve. It is best to consult a podiatrist or foot specialist for him to assess the severity of the condition and select the best procedure to repair the Achilles tendon.