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Achilles Tendonitis

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the muscles of the calf to the heel.

Achilles tendonitis is also called tendonitis of the heel.

What Causes Achilles tendonitis?

Inflammation of the tendon can be caused by overuse, trauma, arthritis, and infection. The most common cause is overuse.

Tendonitis is common walkers, runners, and athletes who do a lot of jumping and running.

Arthritis located around the heel can cause Achilles tendonitis. This occurs because when extra bony growths develop around joints, the tendon can become inflamed and painful.

Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis

Some of the most common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis are:

  • Severe pain in the heel when walking or running
  • Swelling
  • Warm tendon

How is Achilles tendonitis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will give you a physical examination, and maybe x-rays and an MRI to determine if you have Achilles tendonitis.

Treatment Options for Achilles tendonitis

The most common treatments are: pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen) and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

Complications of Achilles tendonitis

Sometimes complications will occur. The worst complication is tearing of the tendon. This occurs because the inflamed tendon is abnormal and weak and continued activity can cause it to rupture. If tearing occurs, surgical repair is necessary.

Can Achilles tendonitis be prevented?

Yes. Prevention is very important in this disease. Maintaining strength and flexibility in the muscles of the calf will help reduce the risk of tendonitis. Stretching your muscles before activity will also help.

 

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