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Posts for tag: tendon rupture

Last week we focused on ligaments and the ways we can sprain, tear, and stretch them. Today, we focus on our tendons, specifically the Achilles tendon. Achilles was a great hero of ancient Greece and the battle for Troy. Legend has it that he couldn’t be defeated in battle, but a single arrow to the back of the heel was enough to bring him down. If you’ve ever torn or ruptured your Achilles tendon, you know exactly why.

 

READ MORE: High Heels and Your Achilles Heel

A tendon is a strong cord that connects muscles to bones. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and is the biggest tendon in your body. During recreational sports or heavy activity, the tendon may overstretch (causing pain) or tear/rupture (causing lots of pain). If your tendon ruptures, you might hear an audible “snap” or “pop” followed by severe pain and an inability to walk on the affected limb. While minor injuries can recover with rest and time, an Achilles tendon rupture may need to be surgically repaired to ensure proper healing.

 

Diagnosing an Achilles Tendon rupture is relatively straightforward. Your podiatrist may ask you to try pointing your toes, or they may feel around the calf for the tendon itself. In cases of a complete rupture, they may be able to feel a gap between the two ends. If there is any question about the severity of your injury, they may request additional tests such as an MRI or ultrasound to get a better look. Strains and ruptures can be treated with surgical or non-surgical options. Which you choose depends on a lot of factors so be sure to discuss your options thoroughly with your podiatrist.

 

Non-Surgical

Nonsurgical treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture involves complete immobilization of the foot and ankle. You may wear a cast or walking boot in combination with crutches to avoid weight-bearing. This path requires a minimum of six weeks for healing and can often take months with many follow up visits to your doctor. Tendons left to repair naturally are not as strong as surgically repaired ones so physical therapy and ankle strengthening will be important parts of your treatment plan. The chances of re-rupture are higher with non-surgical treatment.

 

Surgical

The surgical solution for an Achilles tendon rupture is to have your podiatrist stretch and sew the two pieces of your tendon back together. While this sounds gross and invasive, it’s a fairly simple procedure. Surgical repair of tendons makes them stronger, lessening the chances of another rupture, and gives you more range of motion than a non-surgical option. Recovery time is shorter with a surgical fix meaning you’ll be back to the activities you love in no time! All of our doctors are well trained in the repair of Achilles tendons and can answer any questions you may have about your procedure or healing.

 

READ MORE: Achilles Heel Injuries in Gymnasts

 

Keeping your Achilles tendon strong and protecting your feet and ankles during activity can help reduce the chances of a strain or rupture. Perform calf-raises to keep muscles in shape and vary your activities, so you aren’t putting the same stresses on your feet all the time. Watch yourself during high-risk activities such as jumping or running. If you think you have strained or ruptured your Achilles tendon, call the FAAWC today. Our urgent care access means getting the care you need, right when you need it. Call 740-363-4373 today!

The MLB season just ended with a stunning Championship win by the Houston Astros, but the hitting, throwing, running, and catching of 7 baseball games can really do a number on a player’s joints and lead to tendonitis in several different areas. While most of this tendonitis occurs in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists the symptoms and treatments are the same as if it occurred in your feet.

Tendonitis is an overuse injury brought on by a repeated motion that leaves joints, muscles, and of course tendons strained and weak. This can occur as it’s own injury or along with an acute injury, but tendonitis is definitely more common in athletes and especially older athletes. Our tendons lose elasticity as we get older (like a rubber band wears out), so the more we use it, the faster this may happen. Tendons connect muscle to bone and work between both, absorbing and releasing energy on both sides to move the parts of our bodies. Because they experience the stress you put on your bones and the strain you put on your muscles, tendons are very prone to damage.

Usual symptoms for tendonitis include general and achy pain, swelling, and tenderness. If these symptoms happen once they can be easily treated with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). However, if a player develops tendonitis they would feel theses symptoms all the time and a chronic condition will develop. The longer this goes on the bigger chance there is of a sudden rupture.

There are over 100 tendons in your legs, ankles, and feet so tendonitis has many places to manifest. The most common types of tendonitis in the feet are:

Achilles Tendonitis: Pain between the heel and the calf

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis: Pain on the inner side of the foot

Peroneal Tendonitis: Pain on the outer ankle

Extensor Tendontis: Pain on the top of the foot

Anterior Tibial Tendinitis: Pain at the front of you foot

Whether you play baseball with your kids in the backyard or you’re walking onto the field for the playoffs, repeated overuse can lead to chronic pain. See your podiatrist today if you continue to have pain in one area. We’re here to keep you in the game!

The flips, the turns, the spangled leotards…. That’s right, the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship is taking place right now (October 2nd-8th) in Montreal. While these ladies and gentlemen are incredible athletes and constantly amaze us with their tricks, gymnastics is a sport heavy with foot and ankle injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the more common injuries these athletes face.

Achilles Tendon

The repeated strain of jumping and landing can mean very bad things for your Achilles tendon. This tendon stretches from the calf muscle to the heel and although it is the strongest tendon in the body, it is still prone to overuse injuries. The constant motion of running on pointed toes, jumping and landing during floor routines, and trying to stick that landing on the four inch wide beam all put this tendon under tremendous stress. Tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon and related bursae sacs, can lead to stiffness in the calf and limited range of motion. Tendons may also suffer small or large tears, which can occur gradually or suddenly. In a worst-case scenario, the Achilles tendon may rupture completely, usually with a loud “pop” sound. Unfortunately, a ruptured Achilles tendon means surgery and long-term recovery.

Stress Fractures

While tendons and muscles bend and stretch, your bones are rigid and when young athletes put continual stress on their bones, stress fractures can occur. A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone brought on by repeated direct stress to that spot. The impact that a front handspring has on your body is incredible. Now multiply that by 50 front handsprings a day for months on end and you’ve got a serious risk to your feet. It’s a good idea to mix up your workouts or practices to give parts of your body rest. If your feet need a break, try a few days of practicing just the uneven bars. Proper nutrition is also a big contributor to stress fractures. If athletes are not consuming proper amounts of vitamin D and other essential nutrients, their bones may become more brittle and subject to fracture. Don’t try and just “play through the pain” with a stress fracture; if it grows, you could be looking at a full bone break which will mean goodbye to your gold medal.

Youth Injuries

Gymnastics is a sport that many children begin at a very young age. Unfortunately, when you add stress and pressure to already changing bones and muscles, you can come up with some strange injuries. One common injury seen in very young gymnasts is called Sever’s Disease. The heel bone grows faster than most bones in the body and reaches adult size before the surrounding muscles and ligaments do. When young athletes experience pain, swelling, and tenderness of the heel bone, it’s a sign that they are overusing this area. Luckily, Sever’s Disease goes away quickly with rest, stretching, and growth.

The beauty and grace of these athletes combined with the jaw-dropping flips and tricks have made gymnastics one of the world’s favorite sports, but for the athletes who perform, a myriad of foot and ankle issues and injuries can pop up. If you’re a gymnast, pay attention to what your feet are telling you and get any pain or injury checked out immediately. Your podiatrist can keep you flying high and going for the gold.