Did I Really Rupture My Achilles Tendon?
What does Achilles Tendon Rupture actually mean and what should I do about it?
If you’re dealing with sudden pain, swelling, and stiffness in your heel or back of your ankle, you may have just ruptured your Achilles tendon. This important tendon at the back of the ankle connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. When it ruptures, it’s no longer able to properly transmit forces from your leg to your foot.
Achilles tendon ruptures most often occur during recreational sports that require sudden acceleration or pushing off with your foot, like tennis, basketball, football, and soccer. But they can really happen to anyone at any time.
At Boston Orthopaedic and Spine, we know Achilles tendon ruptures can be scary and debilitating. But don’t worry – with proper treatment guided by our orthopaedic experts, you can get back on your feet again.
Signs Your Achilles Tendon Ruptured
- You can hear or feel a “pop” in your calf or heel area when the rupture happens.
- Severe pain in your heel and difficulty walking normally. It may feel like you’ve been shot or kicked in the back of your ankle.
- Swelling, bruising, or stiffness of your Achilles tendon. You may see a divot or gap in the tendon.
- Inability to point your toes or lift your heel off the floor.
First Steps for Achilles Tendon Rupture If you suspect you’ve ruptured your Achilles tendon, it’s important to seek prompt medical evaluation. Here’s what to do:
- See a doctor as soon as possible – Early treatment leads to better outcomes.
- Rest your ankle and avoid putting weight on it. Use crutches if needed.
- Apply ice packs to reduce pain and swelling.
- Elevate your ankle above the level of your heart.
- Compress your ankle with an elastic bandage.
How Achilles Tendon Ruptures Are Treated Depending on the severity of your rupture, your age, activity level, and other factors, treatment options may include:
- Immobilization casting or splinting to stabilize and re-appose the torn ends of the tendon while it heals. This is typically done for 6-8 weeks.
- Physical therapy to strengthen your ankle and improve range of motion once the cast comes off.
- In some cases, minimally invasive surgery to stitch the ends of the tendon back together. This is followed by rehabilitation therapy.
Trust the “Achilles Tendon Experts” at Boston Orthopaedic and Spine! If you believe you’ve ruptured your Achilles tendon, call us today to schedule an urgent appointment. Our skilled orthopaedic team will create a customized treatment plan to help you heal properly and get back on your feet!