Achilles Tendon Treatments & Surgery
What is Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, joining the lower portion of the calf to the heel bone. Although it is able to withstand forces of around 1,000 pounds, it is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the body. Typically, injury of the Achilles tendon is caused by athletic activities. Because you can easily injure this weight-bearing tendon during sports, exercise, work, or even trauma, expert podiatrist Ruth Kosak, DPM, of Arizona Foot and Ankle Physicians in Scottsdale offers comprehensive Achilles tendon care in Phoenix metro area.
What causes Achilles tendon pain?
Your Achilles tendon runs down the back of your lower leg, so if you feel pain in this area, you may have injured this tendon. Sometimes, Achilles tendon pain stems from overuse. For instance, if you work out regularly or run on hard or uneven surfaces, your Achilles tendon can become inflamed. This condition is known as Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendon injuries can stem from:
• Sports trauma
• Slips and falls
• Excessive pronation
• Regularly wearing unsupportive shoes
• Suddenly increasing your workout intensity, which is common with weekend warriors
What is achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, typically caused by overuse of the tendon during physical activity. This can include hill running, stair climbing, improper footwear, trauma caused by the sudden contraction of the calf muscle, etc.
What are the Achilles tendon pain symptoms?
Symptoms include pain after exercise that generally worsens, recurring pain in the calf area, mild to severe swelling, and stiffness or sluggishness of your leg. Experiencing pain and inflammation around your Achilles tendon isn’t something you should ignore.
Dr. Kosak, a foot doctor in Scottsdale, and her friendly team of certified podiatric medical assistants want to evaluate you as soon as your Achilles tendon discomfort begins. It’s particularly important to come in right away if you experience:
Difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg
• Worsening pain or stiffness
• Pain that isn’t improving
• Extreme tenderness
What are the effective Achilles tendonitis treatments?
Dr. Kosak evaluates you and looks at any essential digital X-rays or ultrasound imaging to diagnose the cause of your Achilles tendon pain. Depending on your diagnosis, your training and daily lifestyle, and any current symptoms, your effective Achilles tendon treatments plan may include:
- Wearing specialized bandages
- Laying off physical activity involving the tendon
- Night splints
- Physical therapy
- Custom orthotics
- Bracing or casting
- Compression wrapping
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
In extreme cases, surgery may be used to repair tears and remove fibrous tissue.
Peroneal tendon dislocation/dysfunction happens when the tendons supporting the arch of your foot malfunction. These muscles (called peroneus Brevis and peroneus Longus), act like a stirrup gripping the arch of the foot, helping hold it up. Dislocation of the peroneal tendon is found in people who play basketball, soccer, football, and those who ski.
Xanthomas of the Achilles tendon are cholesterol deposits on the Achilles tendon, which appear as small lumps. Although they are painless, the deposits originate from high cholesterol.
When the tendons dislocate, there may be swelling behind the outside of the ankle. A physical exam is required for diagnosis. Nonsurgical treatments include crutches to keep all weight off the foot, anti-inflammatory medications, or a cast/removable boot. Surgery may be advised in severe cases to reposition the tendons.
What are the Achilles tendonitis treatments?
Achilles tendon surgery is typically the absolute last resort for instances of an Achilles tendon rupture, or cases where conservative therapies aren’t enough. Using minimally invasive measures, Dr. Kosak can repair damaged tissues and perform tendon tissue grafts, so you can recover and get back to 100% functionality.
Before your Achilles tendon pain gets any worse and lowers your quality of life, book an exam at Arizona Foot and Ankle Physicians in Scottsdale. You can conveniently schedule online or over the phone.