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What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendons are thick, strong bands of fibrous tissue that connect your calf muscles to your heel bones. The tendons are some of the largest and strongest tendons in the body and are crucial for helping you walk, run, and jump. This puts them under a lot of stress, making injuries to the Achilles tendons common.

Types of Achilles tendon injuries:

  1. Achilles Tendonitis is due to overuse and is most common in younger people. It can occur in walkers, runners, or other athletes. Tendonitis from arthritis is more common in middle-aged and older adults.
  2. Achilles Tendinosis is a chronic condition caused by the degeneration of the Achilles tendon due to repetitive stress, without any inflammation. The symptoms include pain and stiffness in the tendon, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods.
  3. Achilles Tendon Rupture is a severe injury where the Achilles tendon tears completely. It can occur due to sudden forceful movements or repeated stress on the tendon. Symptoms include a sudden and severe pain in the back of the leg, swelling, and the inability to walk or stand on the affected foot.
  4. Insertional Achilles Tendinitis is a type of Achilles tendinitis that affects the area where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. It can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness at the back of the heel.

Treatment of Achilles tendon injuries:

If you have injured an Achilles tendon, it is important to get proper care to prevent ongoing problems. Some injuries can be treated with rest, medications, orthotics, and physical therapy. If you have torn your tendon, you may need a surgical repair, or may heal from the non-surgical use of a walking boot or cast. It’s often difficult to know on your own how severe the injury is. Consult with your OrthoConnecticut orthopedic surgeon for the appropriate orthopedic evaluation and treatment plan.

The animation content provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any specific questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.