tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury that tends to occur in recreational athletes. Overuse of
the Achilles tendon can cause inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling. Achilles tendonitis is differentiated from another common Achilles tendon condition called Achilles tendinosis. Patients
with Achilles tendinosis have chronic Achilles swelling and pain as a result of degenerative, microscopic tears within the tendon.
Although a specific incident of overstretching can cause an Achilles tendon disorder, these injuries typically result from a gradually progressive overload of the Achilles tendon or its attachment to
bone. The cause of this chronic overload is usually a combination of factors that can put excess stress on the tendon: being overweight, having a tight calf muscle, standing or walking for a long
period of time, wearing excessively stiff or flat footwear, or engaging in significant sports activity.
Achilles tendinitis symptoms present as mild to severe pain or swelling near the ankle. The pain may lead to weakness and decreased mobility, symptoms that increase gradually while walking or
running. Over time, the pain worsens, and stiffness in the tendon may be noted in the morning. Mild activity may provide relief. Physical exam may reveal an audible cracking sound when the Achilles
tendon is palpated. The lower leg may exhibit weakness. A ruptured or torn Achilles tendon is severely painful and warrants immediate medical attention. The signs of a ruptured or torn Achilles
tendon include. Acute, excruciating pain. Impaired mobility, unable to point the foot downward or walk on the toes. Weight bearing or walking on the affected side is not possible.
Confirming Achilles tendonitis may involve imaging tests. X-rays provide images of the bones of the foot and leg. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for detecting ruptures and degeneration of
tissue. Ultrasound shows tendon movement, related damage, and inflammation.
The initial aim of the treatment in acute cases is to reduce strain on the tendon and reduce inflammation until rehabilitation can begin. This may involve, avoiding or severely limiting activities
that may aggravate the condition, such as running or uphill climbs. Using shoe inserts (orthoses) to take pressure off the tendon. Wear supportive shoes. Reducing Inflammation by icing. Taking
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Heel cups and heel lifts can be used temporarily to take pressure off the tendon, but must not be used long term as it can lead to a shortening of the calf.
Calf Compression Sleeves. Placing the foot in a cast or restrictive ankle-boot to minimize movement and give the tendon time to heal. This may be recommended in severe cases and used for about eight
When the tendon tears or ruptures the variety of surgical techniques are available to repair the damage and restore the tendons function. Recent research that is done at Emory University Department
of orthopedics have perfected the repair of the Achilles tendon. The procedure is generally involves making an incision in the back of your leg and stitching the torn tendon together using a
technique developed and tested by Dr. Labib. Depending on the condition of the torn tissue the repair may be reinforced with other tendons.
To lower your risk of Achilles tendonitis, stretch your calf muscles. Stretching at the beginning of each day will improve your agility and make you less prone to injury. You should also try to
stretch both before and after workouts. To stretch your Achilles, stand with a straight leg, and lean forward as you keep your heel on the ground. If this is painful, be sure to check with a doctor.
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Whenever you begin a new fitness regimen, it is a good idea to set incremental goals. Gradually intensifying
your physical activity is less likely to cause injury. Limiting sudden movements that jolt the heels and calves also helps to reduce the risk of Achilles tendonitis. Try combining both high- and
low-impact exercises in your workouts to reduce stress on the tendon. For example, playing basketball can be combined with swimming. It doesn?t matter if you?re walking, running, or just hanging out.
To decrease pressure on your calves and Achilles tendon, it?s important to always wear the right shoes. That means choosing shoes with proper cushioning and arch support. If you?ve worn a pair of
shoes for a long time, consider replacing them or using arch supports. Some women feel pain in the Achilles tendon when switching from high heels to flats. Daily wearing of high heels can both
tighten and shorten the Achilles tendon. Wearing flats causes additional bending in the foot. This can be painful for the high-heel wearer who is not accustomed to the resulting flexion. One
effective strategy is to reduce the heel size of shoes gradually. This allows the tendon to slowly stretch and increase its range of motion.