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Achilles Tendon Rupture

What is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

An Achilles tendon rupture is tear of the Achilles tendon. It is a common condition. A rupture can be partial or complete. Usually the rupture occurs just above your heel bone, but it can happen anywhere along the tendon.

The Achilles tendon is a large, strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. It helps you point your foot downward, rise on your toes and push off your foot as you walk.

The Achilles tendon is also called the heel cord.

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The most common symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture are:

  • Popping or a snapping sounds.
  • A sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg makes it impossible to walk properly.
  • Pain near your heel.
  • Swelling near your heel.
  • Inability to bend your foot downward or walk normally.

If the Achilles tendon is completely ruptured, you will not be able to rise on your toes on the injured leg

What Causes an Achilles Tendon Rupture ?

A ruptured Achilles tendon may occur when the tendon has been structurally weakened by an ongoing tendonitis, or when a completely healthy tendon is subjected to a sudden, unexpected force.

A rupture can occur from simply overstretching your Achilles tendon in the course of a simple activity, such as gardening. Movements involving repeated stop-and-start footwork can also cause the Achilles tendon to rupture.

Can an Achilles Tendon Rupture be Treated?

Yes. A ruptured Achilles tendon usually requires surgical repair. Medication may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling. Your doctor may suggest wearing a cast or walking boot, which allows the ends of your torn tendon to reattach themselves on their own. The likelihood of re-rupture is higher with a nonsurgical approach, and recovery can take longer.


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