On the back of the ankle, there is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf to the heel bone. This is known as the Achilles tendon. If this tendon becomes inflamed near the heel bone, usually due to overuse, it is known as Achilles tendonitis. Patients who have Achilles tendonitis often experience stiffness in the Achilles area, pain in the back of the heel, and swelling. If left untreated, this can cause the tendon to degenerate resulting in Achilles tendinosis. If the fibers in the tendon tear (either partially or completely), it is known as an Achilles tendon rupture, which is one of the most severe injuries that can occur to that area. Patients who have pain or stiffness around their Achilles tendon should have it looked at by a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat their condition.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of the podiatrists of Bayshore Podiatry Center. Our doctors 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 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
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- 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 Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.