Achilles Tendon Injuries

Achilles Tendon Injuries

What is it?

The Achilles tendon is fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the calf muscles. Common Achilles tendon problems are inflammation or ruptures (partial or complete tears), which is referred to as tendinosis.

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Tendinosis is tiny tears of the tendon and tends to result from overuse, such as repetitive motion or normal wear and tear associated with age. Symptoms of Achilles tendinosis include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness that gets progressively worse

Tendinosis is a common injury among athletes, particularly runners.

An Achilles tendon rupture is a more significant tear, either partial or complete. A full rupture severs the tendon so the heel is no longer connects to the calf muscles. Again, athletes, such as runners, basketball players and those participating in racquet sports, are at particular risk of suffering an Achilles tendon rupture.


A doctor will diagnose an Achilles tendon injury by examining the leg, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI.


Treatment for Achilles tendinosis or slight tears includes:

  • Resting and reducing the stress on the patellar tendon
  • Taking medication or injections
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Stretching leg muscles
  • Strengthening the Achilles tendon and muscles through exercise

If the pain and discomfort do not subside with these treatment methods or if the Achilles tendon is severely or completely ruptured, the doctor may recommend surgery to repair the tendon.

Have Questions?

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Orthopaedic Specialists

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