Achilles Tendon Rupture Specialist Q&A
The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Overstretching the Achilles tendon can result in a total or partial tear, known as a rupture, which is a common injury among those who participate in recreational sports, but it can happen to anyone. If you are experiencing acute pain and difficulty walking due to an Achilles tendon injury, our experienced healthcare professionals, Dr. John W. Scivally, DPM, and Dr. Robin K. Lie, DPM at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates can provide a thorough diagnosis and treatment to help you regain your mobility and alleviate your pain. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Brentwood CA & Walnut Creek CA.
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An Achilles tendon tear, a painful and often debilitating injury, can be caused by several factors, with overuse and sudden, forceful movements being the primary culprits. This tendon, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, can weaken over time due to repetitive stress from activities such as running, jumping, or intense sports. Additionally, the tendon can become less flexible and more prone to injury, particularly in those who don’t engage in proper stretching and conditioning.
Another common cause is a sudden, powerful contraction of the calf muscles, like pushing off for a sprint or jumping. This force can overload the tendon, leading to a partial or complete tear. Furthermore, aging plays a role as tendons naturally lose their elasticity and strength with time, making them more susceptible to injury.
Moreover, factors like inadequate warm-up and improper footwear can contribute to Achilles tendon tears. Understanding these causes is crucial for prevention. We emphasize the importance of proper training, footwear selection, and injury awareness to help our patients avoid this condition. By addressing these risk factors, you can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing this painful injury.
An Achilles tendon rupture is a medical concern that should be treated promptly. Whether it constitutes an emergency depends on the circumstances. A complete rupture, where the tendon tears totally, is considered more urgent. This injury often causes sudden and severe pain, along with an audible “pop” or snapping sensation.
In such cases, it’s recommended to seek immediate medical attention. Swift intervention enhances treatment outcomes and reduces the risk of complications. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional promptly for an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive guidance, as the severity of the rupture and other factors will influence the urgency of treatment. Ignoring an Achilles tendon injury or delaying medical evaluation can lead to complications and a longer recovery period.
An Achilles tendon tear and a ruptured Achilles tendon are terms often used interchangeably, however, there is a slight difference between the two conditions. An Achilles tendon tear is a broader term that includes various degrees of damage to the tendon. Tendon tears can be partial or complete. A partial tear involves damage to a portion of the tendon, while a complete tear means that the tendon has torn entirely. An Achilles tear is like a spectrum, ranging from mild to severe injuries.
A ruptured Achilles tendon, on the other hand, specifically refers to a complete tear of the tendon. In this case, the tendon has snapped or torn through completely, creating a gap between the two severed ends. Ruptures are more severe than tears and require more immediate medical attention and intervention, often involving surgery to repair the tear.
How long you’ll need to stay off a ruptured Achilles tendon depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury and the chosen treatment approach. Generally, when an Achilles tendon ruptures, it is a serious injury that requires a lengthy recovery period.
If you opt for non-surgical treatment, which typically involves wearing a cast or walking boot, you will need to stay off the affected leg for several weeks. The exact time varies but typically ranges between 9 to 12 weeks. During this period, you’ll need to use crutches to keep weight off the injured leg.
If you undergo surgical repair for the Achilles rupture, the recovery process still involves a period of non-weight-bearing. Following surgery, your foot and ankle will likely be immobilized in a cast or brace. You’ll need to stay off the affected leg for a few weeks, after which a gradual transition to weight-bearing will begin. The total recovery time commonly extends from several months to a year. The specialist will be able to provide you with a more accurate timeline based on your specific circumstances.
Achilles Tendon Rupture Specialists are available at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Brentwood CA & Walnut Creek CA. We serve patients from Walnut Creek CA, Brentwood CA, Concord CA, Pleasant Hill CA, Pittsburg CA, Antioch CA, Alamo CA, Danville CA,Oakley CA, and surrounding areas.
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