Achilles tendon rupture and tendinitis is one of the leading lower extremity injuries in the active population. Various injuries can lead to pain in the back of the ankle or heel bone. This can significantly affect your ability to walk, run, jump, or perform at a high level of athleticism.
Achilles tendinitis, or an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, is one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Tendinitis can result from an injury or over-use. Improper stretching prior to exertion or incorrect form during physical activity can also contribute to the development of tendinitis. Some people, including those with “flat feet,” tight tendons or arthritis, are particularly prone to tendinitis.
Pain is the most prominent symptom of tendinitis. The pain will be most noticeable when you try to move that part of your body. The involved tendon may swell.
Rupture of the Achilles tendon can be a daunting injury to the young athlete or the “weekend warrior”.
Achilles tendon ruptures can be caused by overuse or traumatic injuries. Overuse tends to be the leading cause, leading to microscopic damage to a weak portion of the Achilles tendon. Over time, this weak portion weakens further with minimal symptoms to the unaware athlete. The Achilles eventually fails and ruptures during activity, usually upon landing after a jump or during take-off before a sprint.
Pain is commonly encountered however not significantly bothersome. The most common symptom is in the lack of ability to plantarflex, or “gas pedal down” the ankle joint. This will lead to complete inability to perform athletic activities or walk without a limp in your step.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dr. Keshishyan will ask you some questions about your pain and general health and perform a complete physical examination of your feet and ankles. Ultrasound or an MRI might be ordered to rule out any other problems, such as a fracture or torn tendon.
Tendinitis treatment will focus on relieving the pain and preventing further injury. Often, 2-4 weeks of immobilization are needed for the tendon to heal. Medication can help too in some cases.
Achilles rupture will require surgical repair in most instances involving an athlete. Aggressive physical therapy will then be started immediately after surgery.
Minimally Invasive Achilles Repair
Dr. Keshishyan, Glendale Foot Surgeon, performs his Achilles Tendon Rupture Repairs using Minimally Invasive Techniques. This leads to a small incision with minimal pain. These techniques used by Dr. Keshishyan have been thoroughly investigated in scientific literature and shown to have improved patient outcomes and return to activity/sports.