The Achilles Tendon: What is it? The location of the Achilles tendon insertion point is shown in a foot anatomy diagram. The band of tissue that runs down the back of the lower leg, linking the calf muscle to the heel bone, is the Achilles tendon, where Achilles tendon problems manifest. The Achilles tendon, often known as the heel cord, aids in walking by helping to lift the heel off the ground.
Tendonitis and osteonecrosis of the Achilles
Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendinosis are two conditions that frequently affect the heel cord medical term for inflammation of the Achilles’ tendons is “Achilles tendonitis.” Usually, this inflammation subsides quickly. However, if the problem is not treated, it could eventually lead to Achilles tendinosis. In this tendon degeneration, the tendon loses its perfectly ordered structure and is more susceptible to experiencing microscopic rips. Occasionally, the region where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone can deteriorate. However, rarely can tendon rupture occur by persistent deterioration with or without pain.
Disorders of the Achilles tendonitis causes
Achilles tendonitis and tendinosis are “overuse” illnesses typically brought on by an abrupt increase in an Achilles tendon-related repetitive activity. Such exercise causes micro-injury to the tendon fibers because it overstretches them too quickly. The body cannot repair the damaged tissue due to this constant strain on the tendon. The structure of the tendon is subsequently changed, which causes the discomfort to persist.
Achilles tendon diseases can be quite dangerous for athletes. Additionally, laborers who regularly strain their ankles and feet and “weekend warriors”—those who are less fit and engage in athletics only sometimes or on the weekends—are prone to developing Achilles tendonitis and tendinosis.
Additionally, due to the increased pressures placed on the Achilles tendon when walking, individuals with severe pronation (flattening of the arch) are more likely to get Achilles tendonitis and tendinosis. If these people wear unstable shoes, their overpronation could exacerbate their Achilles tendon problems.
Achilles tendonitis disorders symptoms
The following are the signs of tendinitis and tendinosis of the Achilles tendonitis:
Internal tendon pain, including aching, stiffness, tightness, or tenderness. This could happen anywhere along the tendon’s course, from the area below the calf muscle to where the tendon attaches directly above the heel. Pain frequently starts when you wake up in the morning or after a period of rest, then it becomes a little better with movement, but it worsens with more action later.
When the tendon’s sides are squeezed, there may be tenderness or severe pain. But when you press straight on the tendon’s back, there is less pain. The tendon may swell up and produce nodules where the tissue is injured as the condition advances to degeneration.
Diagnosis of disorders of the Achilles tendonitis
The surgeon will check the patient’s foot, ankle, and range of motion to determine whether the tendon has tendonitis or tendinosis. X-rays or other imaging modalities can be used to determine the severity of the illness.
Disorders of the Achilles tendonitis treatment
Depending on how long the injury has been present and the extent of the tendon damage, treatment methods for Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis are chosen. When an inflammation appears suddenly (acutely) in the early stages, one or more of the following options may be advised:
- Immobilization. To lessen forces through the Achilles tendon and encourage recovery, immobilization may involve using a cast or removable walking boot.
- Ice. Apply a tiny towel-wrapped ice pack to the area to the affected area for 20 minutes every hour you’re awake to reduce swelling brought on by inflammation. Never apply ice to the skin directly.
- Drugs taken orally. In the early stages of the illness, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, may be useful in lowering pain and inflammation.
- Orthotics. Custom orthotic devices may be prescribed for people with overpronation or gait disorders.
- Night braces. The Achilles tendon is stretched as you sleep, thanks to night splints.
When is surgery necessary?
Surgery can be required if nonsurgical methods fail to return the tendon to its healthy state. The surgeon will consider the injury’s degree, the patient’s age and activity level, and other considerations while deciding the best approach to repair the tendon.
After surgical or nonsurgical therapy for Achilles tendonitis or tendinosis, the foot and ankle surgeon could advise regular calf muscle stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent a recurrence. Another significant factor in keeping the problem from returning is wearing the right shoes for your foot type and activity.
Contact Bayshore Podiatry for Achilles tendonitis
At Bayshore Podiatry, the Podiatry team handles everything from the straightforward to the complex patients of all ages; they can treat anything from fungal toenails to foot surgery. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Tampa, FL. You can also use our online form to request an appointment.