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Achilles Tendon Ruptures – Not Just For Pro Athletes

Over the weekend Kobe Bryant had surgery on his torn Achilles tendon, ending his season with two games left in the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff chase. Lakers' star likely will need six to nine months for recovery from the most serious injury of his 17-year NBA career.

Houston achilles tendon ruptureMost people attribute Achilles Tendon Ruptures to elite athletes. As more and more weekend warriors hit the trail, pavement, or court, the injury has become more commonplace than you might expect.

The Achilles Tendon is a strong tendon that connects the muscles of the lower leg to the heel bone. The tendon allows the foot to bend downward and is very important in walking. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest tendons, but can be partially or completely ruptured if it is overstretched. Most patients report feeling a pop or snap during the injury along with the feeling of being kicked in the back of the leg. Extreme pain usually arises quickly. Swelling typically occurs around the heel and the lower part of the calf. Depending on whether the tendon is partially or completely ruptured, the tendon may still have some function.

The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture must be made and treated immediately by your Thomas Podiatrist. Although a decreased ability to bend the foot downward is indicative of an Achilles tendon rupture, it is important to rule out any other injuries, such as broken bones. In most cases, an MRI will be ordered to assess the extent of the damage.

Treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures varies depending on the extent of the injury. Most partial ruptures will be able to be treated with a special boot and using crutches. In more extensive injuries, surgical intervention may be required.

This is a serious injury that sometimes can be avoided.  Often times patients ignore symptoms of achilles tendonitis which often responds very well with conservative treatment with ice, stretching, physical therapy and treatment with EPAT at our office.

If you suspect that you may have sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, you should contact Thomas Podiatrist Dr. Mark Olsen immediately, so that you have the best possible chance of a speedy recovery and not be sidelined with Kobe Bryant.