As the summer progresses, there has been an upsurgence of Weekend Warriors, which are people who are most active on the weekend. This has increased the number of sports related injuries, especially those of the Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon of the body. Although it is so strong, it is extremely vulnerable to disease and injury. The Achilles tendon is extremely important as it plays a large factor in how we walk, jump, run by allowing us to spring up on our toes.
There are Several common ailments of the Achilles tendon:
- Tendonopathy is a common term used to describe tendonitis or tendonosis (cellular damage of the Achilles tendon)
- Tendonosis presents as a slight thickening of the Achilles tendon which weakens the tendon and makes it tendon vulnerable to injury or rupture. There is usually no inflammation associated with this condition.
- Peritendonitis is similar to Achilles tendonitis, but inflammation and pain occur in the tissue surrounding the tendon, often two or more inches above the heel.
- Tendonitis is when the ends of the tendon can be inflamed due to frequent activity leading to pain and stiffness at the back of the heel.
- Tears: Tears of the tendon can vary in size from extremely small to large They may occur suddenly during activity, or gradually over time with inciting factors such as causing pain, swelling, and impaired movement.
- Rupture of the Achilles tendon may make a popping sound, followed by pain and swelling of the lower leg.
- Calcaneal bursitis is when the fluid filled sac which cushions the Achilles tendon becomes irritated. This is felt most often with the shoes on as the most common contributing factor is low-riding shoes.
Treatment options can vary depending on the condition and extent of injury. Conservative therapy includes immobilization, physical therapy and rest. Surgical management is occasionally the treatment of choice. A complete physical examination of Achilles Tendon ailments will be performed by Dr. Jacqueline R. Buckley in our Renton, Washington location