The Achilles tendon is the largest in your body and makes the connection from your calf muscle to your heel. The stress and pressure of sporting activities like basketball and tennis, where rapid stops and starts are common, can cause tendonitis, a tear, or even a complete break in this tendon. You may hear a snapping sound when this occurs and the pain is very severe. You will not be able to put any weight on your foot and should seek immediate treatment with your foot care professional.
Treating an Achilles tendon injury will depend upon the severity of the damage and includes the following:
- Immobilize the foot—For an Achilles tendon that is only slightly torn, surgery can be avoided by wearing a rigid walking boot or cast to keep the foot from moving while the tendon heals. The boot will need to be worn whenever you put weight on your foot over a period of weeks and perhaps months.
- Specially-made orthotic inserts—These devices will help to redistribute pressure away from the heel area to promote faster healing.
- Surgery—In cases of a complete rupture or severe tear, minimally invasive surgery will be required to reattach the tendon, and the recovery period using the above methods will be much longer.
After the initial recovery period, you will need to slowly strengthen the foot and tendon with physical therapy exercises, being careful not to cause another injury. Lower-impact activities like swimming should be substituted until healing is more robust.
For proper care of an Achilles tendon rupture, be sure to see your foot doctor.The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.