Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon is a dense band of tissue that passes behind the ankle joint. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. A partial or complete rupture of the tendon can cause immense pain at the back of the foot in the vicinity of the heel.
The Achilles tendon plays a significant role in enabling us to walk, run, stand on our toes, and jump. Although the tendon is strong, it can only be stretched so far before it tears or ruptures. It is one of the most frequently ruptured tendons in the body, and most commonly occurs in middle-aged men, often while playing basketball or tennis.
- Individuals who suffer an Achilles tendon rupture frequently experience:
- A loud audible pop when the tendon is injured
- Pain and swelling of the ankle
- An indentation above the ruptured tendon
- Swelling, tenderness and possible bruising in the Achilles tendon region
- A feeling of the ankle “giving out”
- Difficulty or inability to move around or walk
- Inability to lift the toes
The foot and ankle team at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will review your medical history and thoroughly examine your heel. An X-ray and MRI can be extremely helpful in determining the degree of inflammation, and whether a partial or complete tear is present.
In the case of a partial Achilles tendon rupture, the foot and ankle may be flexed downward in a cast to immobilize it. There are surgical options for repairing a completely ruptured Achilles tendon.