Signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include:
- Pain, possibly severe, and swelling near your heel
- An inability to bend your foot downward or walk normally
- An inability to rise on your toes on the injured leg, if you’ve ruptured the tendon completely
Often people report hearing a popping or snapping sound when the injury occurs. With a partial rupture, you may still be able to move your foot, and you may experience only minor pain and swelling.
Your Achilles tendon helps you point your foot downward, rise on your toes and push off your foot as you walk. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot. Injuries to your Achilles tendon — also called your heel cord — result from repeated stress on the tendon, which may be caused or aggravated by:
- Running on hills and hard surfaces
- Poor stretching habits
- Tight calf muscles
- Weak calf muscles
- Worn-out or ill-fitting shoes
Injuries to your Achilles tendon can often result from taking part in an activity involving stop-and-start footwork for which you are not conditioned or for which you have not stretched properly. This might include playing tennis, racquetball or basketball for the first time after a long break.
Treatments and drugs:
Treatment for Achilles tendon ruptures can be surgical or nonsurgical.
- Surgery: The torn tondon is repaired and post surgery. You’ll need to spend about six to eight weeks with your leg in a walking boot, cast, brace or splint. To promote healing and to avoid stretching the surgical repair, your foot may initially be pointed slightly downward in the boot or brace, and then moved gradually to a neutral position.
- Nonsurgical treatment: This approach typically involves wearing a cast or walking boot, which allows the ends of your torn tendon to reattach themselves on their own. This method can be effective, and it avoids the risks, such as infection,associated with surgery. However, the likelihood of re-rupture is higher with a nonsurgical approach,and recovery can take longer. If re-rupture occurs,surgical repair may be more difficult.
After treatment, whether surgical or nonsurgical, you will have to go through a rehabilitation program involving physical therapy exercises to strengthen your leg muscles and Achilles tendon. Most people return to their former level of activity within four to six months. Recovery depends not only on the quality of the rehab program, but also on your commitment.
To help prevent an Achilles tendon injury, gently stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles before taking part in physical