OrthoVirginia Blog

Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Almas Abbas, PA-C, works in our Arlington and Tysons offices.

“I felt someone kick the back of my leg, and when I turned around no one was there.”

It happens to all weekend warriors…we get older, we still try to keep up with the sports we love, and then our body reminds us that maybe our plans need to get adjusted just a bit, almost like a little kick in the head (or in this case, a kick in the calf!)

The Achilles tendon is both the strongest and, unfortunately, most likely torn tendon in the body. Your Achilles tendon attaches the calf (or gastrocnemius) muscles to your heel bone (or calcaneus).

An Achilles tendon rupture (or tear) is most likely to occur with activities involving planting and pushing off of the foot especially in sports. Though not usually very painful, ruptures often will have associated swelling, bruising, and patients will have difficulty rising up on their toes.

Risk factors: Achilles ruptures occur most commonly in males (in, at best, a 4 to 1 ratio), as well as most often in the 30-50 age bracket. Previous history of Achilles tendinitis, overuse, sudden increase in activity level, and recent fluoroquinolone antibiotic use can all increase the risk of rupture.

Treatment options most often include surgery and casting/splinting.

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