Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. You can feel it: a springy band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. It lets you point your toes toward the floor and raise up on your tiptoes.

It’s common for this tendon to get injured. It can be mild or moderate and feel like a burning pain or stiffness in that part of your leg. If the pain is severe, your Achilles tendon may be partly or completely torn. Achilles tendinitis is another type of injury in which some part of your tendon is inflamed.

The Achilles tendon – where Achilles tendon disorders occur – is the band of tissue that runs down the back of the lower leg, connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the heel cord, the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground. Achilles Tendonitis and Achilles Tendonosis are Two common disorders that occur in the heel cord are which is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This inflammation is typically short-lived. Over time, if not resolved, the condition may progress to a degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis), in which the tendon loses its organized structure and is likely to develop microscopic tears. Sometimes the degeneration involves the site where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. In rare cases, chronic degeneration with or without pain may result in rupture of the tendon.
As “overuse” disorders, Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are usually caused by a sudden increase of a repetitive activity involving the Achilles tendon. Such activity puts too much stress on the tendon too quickly, leading to micro-injury of the tendon fibers. Due to this ongoing stress on the tendon, the body is unable to repair the injured tissue. The structure of the tendon is then altered, resulting in continued pain. Athletes are at high risk for developing disorders of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are also common in individuals whose work puts stress on their ankles and feet, such as laborers, as well as in “weekend warriors”—those who are less conditioned and participate in athletics only on weekends or infrequently. In addition, people with excessive pronation (flattening of the arch) have a tendency to develop Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis due to the greater demands placed on the tendon when walking. If these individuals wear shoes without adequate stability, their overpronation could further aggravate the Achilles tendon
The symptoms associated with Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis include: Pain—aching, stiffness, soreness or tenderness—within the tendon. This may occur anywhere along the tendon’s path, beginning with the tendon’s attachment directly above the heel upward to the region just below the calf muscle. Pain often appears upon arising in the morning or after periods of rest, then improves somewhat with motion but later worsens with increased activity. Tenderness, or sometimes intense pain, when the sides of the tendon are squeezed. There is less tenderness, however, when pressing directly on the back of the tendon.When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and may develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged. There are many options with conservative therapy first option. A detailed, instructed and physical exercise treatment program with icing and other non- invasive treatment are successful if caught and offered in the acute stages
Advance therapies have also been proven to help and we offer. These include PRP (platelet rich plasma) and amniotic injections. Both have been shown to assist and speed up the healing of tendonosis and partial tears.

Debridement with Graft Application: this procedure reduces the bulky tendonosis to normal tendon tissue with application of allograft ( arthrex amnion matrix, wright medical graftjacket, Osirus graft jacket, just to name a few ) Achilles tendon surgery greatly helps in the process of the surgery as well.

Topaz MicroDebrider: The Topaz is a minimally invasive, state-of-the-art procedure used to treat chronic tendon and ligament conditions such as chronic Achilles tendonitis and chronic plantar fasciitis. Topaz is typically intended for patients who have not responded to more traditional conservative treatments. The picture here presents the location of the MIS percutaneous procedure that does not require incisions or sutures.

Tenex: The Tenex procedure is a non-surgical, procedure used to treat chronic pain associated with tendinitis (tendon inflammation). The minimally invasive technique can reduce tendon pain by breaking down and removing damaged tissues with high-frequency ultrasound energy. Also known as percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy and percutaneous ultrasonic fasciotomy, the Tenex procedure is commonly used to treat tendinitis of the elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, and ankle, as well as plantar fasciitis foot pain.

In general there are many options to address Achilles pain, schedule a consultation with us and ALWAYS see one of our doctors at DocMartins to discuss your condition and create a treatment plan.

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Foot And Ankle Experts In Michigan

For our patient’s convenience, we offer foot and ankle treatments for all kinds of conditions such as Achilles tendonitis in Adrian, MI, Achilles tendonitis in Ann Arbor, MI, and Achilles tendonitis in Jackson, MI. We have our own digital x-ray, MRI, Cat-scan, and ultrasound equipment at many of our podiatry clinics. Our on-site podiatric physical therapy clinics allow for constant communication between the physicians and physical therapists, ensuring the most effective therapy and successful recovery for our patients.

Related Case Studies

Some of the case studies related to Achilles tendon injuries are listed below. If you want to learn more about them click on the button below:

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