The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. A rupture, or tear, can occur when the tendon is overstretched. This injury is very painful. You may hear a popping or snapping noise when the tendon is torn.
Surgery is the most common treatment for this condition. The doctor makes an incision in the lower leg. Then, she sews the tendon back together. A
, splint, walking boot, or brace is worn for 6-8 weeks. One of the benefits of surgery is that it lowers the risk of re-rupturing the tendon. Surgery may also be a better option if you are very athletic.
The other option is to allow your tendon to heal without surgery. In this case, you also need to wear a cast, splint, walking boot, or brace for 6-8 weeks. A heel lift decreases force on the tendon. It may take longer to heal, though. You also may have different exercises to do. If you are less active or have a chronic illness that prevents surgery, this option may be better for you.
During rehabilitation, you will:
. Often these will focus on the body as a whole.
Progress to weight-bearing exercises, using support devices (eg,
Most people can return to normal activity in 4-6 months.
To help reduce your chance of getting Achilles tendon rupture, take the following steps:
Do warm-up exercises before an activity. Cool down with ice to the area.
Maffulli, N. Current concepts review—rupture of the Achilles tendon.
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.
28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005: B9;B13
Frontera: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Philadelphia, PA; Hanley and Belfus; 2002: chap 72.
van der Linden P, Sturkenboom C, Herings R, et al. Increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture with quinolone antibacterial use, especially in elderly patients taking oral corticosteroids.
Arch Intern Med.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a