The Patient’s Guide to Achilles Tendon Rupture

Antique Medical Illustration | Lower leg muscles

Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel and facilitates motions such as pointing your toes and walking. When overstretched, this tissue can be partially or completely torn. Your orthopaedic doctor may suggest surgical or non-surgical treatments, depending on your individual case.

What Causes an Achilles Tendon Rupture

Injuries to the Achilles tendon may be incurred during sports or exercise, especially when the intensity of activity is suddenly increased. Traumatic accidents such as stepping into a hole, catching the foot on an object, or even falling can also result in an Achilles tendon rupture.

How an Achilles Tendon Rupture Feels

Most people describe an Achilles tendon rupture as a pop or snap felt below the calf. This is often followed by pain and swelling near the heel of the foot. You may be unable to bend your foot properly or stand on your toes. Normal walking may become difficult, painful, or even impossible depending on the extent of your injury.

What Your Orthopaedic Surgeon Will Do to Treat an Achilles Tendon Rupture

Injuries to the Achilles tendon can be treated via surgical or non-surgical means. Elevation of the heel in a cast or walking boot may facilitate healing of the tendon. Non-surgical recovery may take longer and carries with it a slightly higher risk of re-injury to the tendon. Surgical treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture will repair the tendon by stitching the torn ends back together. Your orthopaedic surgeon may strengthen the tendon by grafting other tendons onto it as well. Regardless of your treatment choice, physical therapy and rehabilitation will be needed to strengthen your leg muscles and the healing Achilles tendon. Normal activity can usually be resumed in four to six months.

If you have suffered an Achilles tendon injury, call MK Orthopaedics today at (815) 741-6900 to discuss your treatment options. Whether you choose surgical or non-surgical care, we will help you through your treatment and rehabilitation. Visit our website for more information on your orthopaedic care options in Joliet and Bolingbrook.

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