What is the Achilles Tendon?

Posted on June 11, 2018

The longest tendon in the body is referred to as the Achilles tendon. Its location lies in the back of the foot and its purpose is to connect the heel bone to the calf. Research has shown that it may become damaged or torn as a result of a sudden injury, and it’s advised to seek treatment as soon as possible. Typical symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture may include difficulty in standing on tiptoes in addition to bruising and swelling at the point of an injury. In order to obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may use a method referred to as the Thompson’s test. This involves squeezing the calf muscles while lying face down so movement in the ankle can be observed. For severe tears, surgery may be a necessary option as a permanent solution which may prevent the tendon from re-rupturing. For less severe tears, it may be advantageous to wear a brace or a cast so healing can commence. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about Achilles tendon injuries.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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