Achilles Tendon Disorder

The Achilles tendon can suffer from tendonitis, tendonosis, or rupture. Tendonitis is often a brief inflammation of the tendon. It sometimes progresses to tendonosis, which is a degeneration of the tendon that can cause structural problems and microscopic tears. In rare instances, chronic tendonosis can lead to a partial or complete rupture of the tendon. Disorders of the Achilles tendon frequently are caused by repetitive activity and, therefore, place athletes at especially high risk.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the back of the heel, often in the morning or after rest or increased activity
  • Tenderness and stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Enlarged tendon

For Achilles tendon rupture:

  • Sudden, sharp, severe pain
  • Popping sound
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Inability to rise up on the toes

Treatment

    For Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis:
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Rest from intense activity
  • Stretching exercises/physical therapy
  • Cold therapy
  • Orthotics/night splints
  • Immobilization

For Achilles tendon rupture:

  • Surgery to reattach the tendon ends