Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis is the painful rupture and inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The largest tendon in the human body, the Achilles takes the brunt of all movement and can withstand tremendous force. Despite its resilience, the Achilles tendon is also the most frequently-ruptured, often during strenuous sports activity.

Causes

  • Repetitive overuse of the calf muscles
  • Stair- and hill-climbing
  • Increasing a running or jogging routine too quickly
  • Resuming a sports routine too quickly, without proper stretching
  • Trauma from unusual exertion
  • Improper footwear and/or flatfoot

Symptoms

  • Recurring pain during or after physical exercise such as running
  • Tenderness located above the point where the tendon connects to the heel bone
  • Difficulty moving the affected leg
  • Swelling of any kind
  • Stiffness (may subside as the tendon warms)

Treatments

Achilles tendonitis almost always requires outpatient surgery under local anesthetic. A small incision is made above the torn tendon, which is then sewn back together. After surgery, patients typically wear a cast or walking boot for six to twelve weeks.