The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is the biggest tendon in the human body. The Achilles tendon allows you to rise up on your toes while walking or push off of your foot to engage in a run. It withstands a large amount of force with each foot movement.
The Achilles tendon can rupture with blunt force or overtime with overuse. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the tendon is completely torn in two. When this happens, your leg will be sore and very weak…and walking may be extremely painful and difficult. You may not be able to stand up on your tippy toes.
An Achilles tendon rupture is usually treated with surgery or by using a cast, splint, brace, walking boot, or other device that will keep your lower leg and ankle from moving. This is called immobilization. Both surgery and immobilization are usually successful. The advantage of Achilles tendon surgery is that another rupture is less likely to occur after surgery than after immobilization, but immobilization has fewer risks. The biggest risk of either type of surgery is wound infection.
The success of your surgery depends on many things, including:
- how badly your tendon is damaged,
- how soon after your rupture you have surgery, and
- how soon you start and how well you follow a rehabilitation program.
If you are younger or are physically active in sports or require the use of your legs at work, surgery is often advised. If you are older or are inactive, immobilization is often advised.
Ortho El Paso treats injuries of the Achilles tendon. If you are suffering from pain of the calf muscles or heel, give us a call for a consultation. Early treatment can help you avoid increased pain and a more severe injury. Call the orthopedic surgeons of Ortho El Paso at 915-249-4000 or visit us at www.orthoep.com.