Achilles tendon rupture
Achilles tendon rupture Open the popup dialog
Achilles tendon rupture (uh-KILL-eez) is an injury that affects the lower leg. It mostly occurs in people who do recreational sports, but it can happen to anyone.
The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of the calf to the calcaneus. If you stretch your Achilles tendon too much, it can tear (tear) in whole or in part.
If your Achilles tendon tears, you may hear a crack, followed by immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg, which will likely affect your ability to walk properly. Surgery is often done to repair the break. For many people, however, the nonsurgical treatment works just as well.
While it is possible not to have any signs or symptoms when an Achilles tendon ruptured, most people have:
The feeling of being kicked in the calf
May be severe pain and swelling near the heel
Inability to bend the foot down or push back the injured leg while walking
Inability to stand on toes on the injured leg
A click or click when the injury occurs
Your Achilles tendon helps you straighten your foot down, step on your toes, and push your foot off as you walk. You rely on it practically every time you walk and move your foot.
The break usually occurs in the section of the tendon that is less than 2 1/2 inches (about 6 centimeters) from where it attaches to the calcaneus. This section can be prone to rupture as the blood flow is poor, which can also affect the ability to heal.
Often times, ruptures are caused by a sudden increase in the load on your Achilles tendon. Common examples are:
Increase the intensity of participating in sports, especially in sports that involve jumping
Fall from a great height
Enter a hole
Factors that can increase the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture include:
Age. The maximum age of the Achilles tendon rupture is 30 to 40 years.
Sex. Achilles tendon ruptures are up to five times more common in men than in women.
Recreational sports. Achilles tendon injuries are more common in sports that require running, jumping, and sudden starts and stops like soccer, basketball, and tennis.
Steroid injections. Doctors sometimes inject steroids into an ankle to reduce pain and inflammation. However, this drug can weaken nearby tendons and has been linked to Achilles tendon ruptures.
Certain antibiotics. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or levofloxacin (Levaquin) increase the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture.
Obesity. Being overweight puts more strain on the tendon.
Illustration shows a calf stretching exercise
Pop-up dialog for opening the calf stretch
To reduce your risk of Achilles tendon problems, follow these tips:
Stretch and strengthen the calf muscles. Stretch your calf until you feel a noticeable pull, but no more pain. Don’t jump while stretching. Exercise to strengthen the calves can also help muscles and tendons absorb more strength and prevent injuries.
Vary your exercises. Alternate high impact sports like running and low impact sports like walking, cycling, or swimming. Avoid activities that put undue stress on your Achilles tendons, such as: B. Mountain running and jumping activities.
Choose the treads carefully. Avoid or limit walking on hard or slippery surfaces. For cold weather workouts, dress properly and wear well-fitting athletic shoes with adequate cushioning in your heels.
Slowly increase the intensity of the workout. Achilles tendon injuries usually occur after a sharp increase in exercise intensity. Increase the distance, duration and frequency of your exercise by up to 10% per week.