There are many issues relating to the Achilles tendon. It does not always result in the wince-inducing highlight reels from professional sports. While the tears and ruptures are the most notable and produce the best stories, there are other types of injuries that are just as common and not as severe. Many go undiagnosed as basic soreness and temporary injuries.
The Achilles tendon is the largest and toughest tendon in the body and it connects the heel to the calf muscles. Because it connects those two, it is responsible for moving the foot up and down, which is a motion used in just about every movement of a standing body. Because of its usage, it is very susceptible to injury, but also usually easy to diagnose and treat.
There are three basic types of Achilles tendon injuries:
There are many different words used to describe this condition. It has been referred to as tendinosis and tendinopathy. In this condition, the terminology which will be used is a degenerative tendinopathy. This term is used because it is a chronic condition, and is associated with gradual degeneration of the Achilles tendon.
There are times when the Achilles tendon does not function correctly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon and the limited ability of the tendon to heal and repair itself. The blood circulation to the Achilles tendon in some patients is not always as good as it should be and microscopic tears begin to occur inside the tendon approximately six-centimeters from the attachment on the heel bone. Because of poor blood supply, the ability to heal these microscopic tears is limited and tearing of the tendon continues. Eventually, the tendon begins to thicken and weaken, and gets quite painful.
This injury is a result of continual stress on the tendon over time and can affect athletes and those not-so-athletic. Tight calf muscles, bone spurs, and increased physical exertion can lead to increased pain in the heel.
Achilles Tendon Rupture:
This is the Achilles injury that is often seen sidelining professional athletes. This is when the tendon tears partially or completely, and can result in inability to walk or even stand. It is often a result of Achilles tendonitis.
If you or someone you know has any questions and/or is seeking treatment for an Achilles tendon injury please give one of Our Offices a call.