An Achilles tendon rupture often presents suddenly, typically accompanied by a sharp pain in the back of the leg and sometimes an audible snapping sound. Many people with this injury mistakenly believe they have been hit in the calf. When examining for an Achilles rupture, the presence of swelling and bruising varies and is not entirely reliable. The gap in the tendon that indicates a rupture is often not easily palpable due to local swelling. In terms of mobility, patients can usually still perform some active movement in the ankle because other tendons also connect the calf to the foot. Pain affects passive movement but does not always limit it. Despite a ruptured Achilles, those affected can often still walk and may even be able to stand on tiptoes when using both feet, though not on the injured limb alone. The Simmonds' calf squeeze test is a reliable way for podiatrists to check for an Achilles tendon rupture. The test is done by having the patient kneel or lie prone with dangling feet. The healthy calf is used to see the foot flex, while no movement on the injured side indicates a ruptured Achilles tendon. If you believe you may have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Montgomery, AL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.