Achilles tendon issues are a common cause of heel pain and discomfort, especially if you’re physically active. Reduce your pain and get back to the activities you love with care from the podiatry experts at Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. The team offers conservative and surgical treatment of all Achilles tendon issues at their locations in Oxnard, Palmdale, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Camarillo, California. Call or schedule an appointment online now.
The Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. The Achilles tendon is important for walking and running and is responsible for lifting your heel off the ground when you take a step.
The Achilles tendon is important for normal motion of your ankle joint when walking and running. The most common cause of Achilles tendon problems is overuse. Common conditions that affect the Achilles tendon include:
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, often brought on by a new increase in physical activity — like training to run a marathon for the first time. This can cause swelling, redness, and pain at the back of your ankle above your heel bone.
If Achilles tendonitis is left untreated, it can turn into Achilles tendinosis. Tendonosis is degeneration of the tendon that causes the tendon to lose strength and may lead to microscopic tears. Achilles tendinosis may predispose you to Achilles tendon tears.
It is possible to tear some or all of your Achilles tendon. The tear can occur where the tendon attaches to your calf muscles, at the attachment on the heel bone, or somewhere along the length of the tendon. Partial tears only cross part of the tendon, whereas full tears cross the entire tendon.
The Foot & Ankle Concepts team bases diagnosis of an Achilles tendon issue on a physical exam and imaging, if needed. Your doctor asks about your symptoms, when you experience the pain, and how long it has been bothering you. During the exam, your doctor feels the muscles and joints in your lower leg, ankle, and foot and assesses strength and flexibility.
If imaging is needed, your doctor may order an MRI or CT scan to determine if you have swelling of the tendon or a tear. Based on your exam and any imaging, your doctor makes a diagnosis and recommends an appropriate treatment strategy.
In most cases, Achilles tendon problems resolve with conservative care from the Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. team. Common treatments may include rest, icing the area, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and wearing ankle braces. Your doctor may also recommend a course of physical therapy to relieve inflammation, strengthen the tendon, and relax the surrounding muscles.
In severe cases of Achilles tendon tears, your doctor may recommend surgery to reattach the tendon. In this case, you’ll be in a walking boot for several weeks after surgery while your tendon heals.
Decrease your Achilles tendon pain with reliable treatment at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. Call or schedule a visit online now.