Foot & Ankle Specialty
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles Tendon Rupture Treatment in Columbia, SC
What is Achilles Tendon Rupture?
The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord in the back of your lower leg that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. When you have an Achilles tendon rupture, it means this tendon has torn or completely broken.
This usually happens when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity, such as during a sudden jump or turn, especially during sports. An Achilles tendon rupture can make it difficult or impossible to walk, run, or climb stairs. It’s like the snapping of a rubber band, and it often comes with a sharp pain in the back of the ankle or calf.
Achilles Tendon Rupture Symptoms
If you’ve ruptured your Achilles tendon, you may experience several symptoms. These might include:
- A sudden and sharp pain, like being hit or kicked, at the back of your ankle or calf
- Swelling near your heel or a visible gap or depression where the tendon has torn
- Difficulty walking, running, or climbing stairs
- Trouble moving your foot or standing on your toes on the injured side
- Hearing a ‘pop’ or ‘snap’ at the time of injury
- Bruising around the area after a few hours
These symptoms can vary from person to person. If you notice any of them, it’s important to seek medical help right away.
What Causes an Achilles Tendon Rupture?
An Achilles tendon rupture is typically caused by a sudden, forceful motion that stresses the tendon, such as jumping or sprinting. These high-impact movements can cause the tendon to tear if it’s stretched beyond its limit.
Factors that may increase the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture include age (it’s more common in people aged 30 to 40), being male, having a history of Achilles tendinitis, or having a certain type of antibiotic medication.
Additionally, people who participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, or tennis, which involve sudden starts and stops, are at higher risk. But, remember, even with these factors, most people do not experience an Achilles tendon rupture.
At Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, our goal is simple. We want to help you get back to your best shape in the safest and quickest way possible, so you can enjoy the activities you love most.
Achilles Tendon Rupture Treatment
Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture aims to reconnect the torn tendon and restore its function. The right approach can depend on your age, activity level, and the extent of the injury. Here are a few options:
- Non-surgical treatment – This often involves wearing a cast or walking boot with wedges to elevate your heel, which allows the Achilles tendon to heal
- Surgery – This involves stitching the torn tendon back together. Foot surgery may decrease the risk of re-rupture and is often chosen for active individuals or those with complete ruptures
- Physical therapy – After surgery or during non-surgical treatment, exercises to strengthen your leg muscles and Achilles tendon will be important to regain full function
- Pain management – Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with pain and swelling
Achilles Tendon Rupture Care in Columbia, SC
At Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, we’re focused on helping you return to your favorite activities quickly and safely. If you’re dealing with the mentioned symptoms, reach out to our foot and ankle specialists today and make an appointment at one of our locations.