What is an Achilles tendon tear?
A tendon is a thick rope of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone.
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. An Achilles tendon tear is a rip in the tendon.
The Achilles tendon can be partially or completely torn
It usually tears from running or jumping
Doctors can usually tell you have an Achilles tendon tear by examining you
You may need surgery
What causes Achilles tendon tears?
Tendons can tear when:
They are stretched too far
You contract the muscle they're attached to really hard
Achilles tendon tears happen when your foot is pushed up hard, such as when you:
Land from a jump
Tears often happen while doing sports, especially when middle-aged people start exercising too hard too quickly.
What are the symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear?
A tear in the Achilles tendon causes the following symptoms:
It feels like you’ve been kicked behind the ankle
It’s hard to walk
Your calf hurts a lot and may be swollen or bruised
How do doctors diagnose Achilles tendon tears?
Doctors can usually diagnose an Achilles tendon tear by examining you. Sometimes they do an MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more (magnetic resonance imaging).
How do doctors treat Achilles tendon tears?
For a partial tear (and some complete tears), you'll wear an ankle splint or a removable boot for 4 weeks.
If your tendon is torn completely or doesn't heal with a splint or boot, you may need surgery.
After the tear heals, you'll need to do rehab exercises Overview of Rehabilitation Rehabilitation services are needed by people who have lost the ability to function normally, often because of an injury, a stroke, an infection, a tumor, surgery, or a progressive disorder ... read more . The exercises help strengthen your leg muscles and make your ankle less stiff.