The Achilles Tendon is the largest, thickest and strongest tendon in the body, and as such is under tremendous pressure and strain. The most common injuries to the Achilles Tendon are Tendonitis, Tendonosis, and Tendon Rupture. These injuries occur most commonly after trauma or overuse, although rupture can occur spontaneously. All of these injuries will severely disrupt an active lifestyle.
The muscles that form the Achilles Tendon start above and behind your knee, and about halfway down the back of your leg the muscles become a tendon. This tendon attaches to the back of the heel.
Achilles Tendonitis is a painful inflammation of the tendon, usually near its’ attachment at the back of the heel. It is usually treated by medication, physical therapy, or the use of a heel lift or a custom orthotic. Sometimes immobilization with a compression boot or cast and crutches in indicated.
Achilles Tendonosis is a painful thickening of the tendon, usually above the back of the heel bone. It is often an indicator that there has been previous injury to the tendon, and the tendon has suffered some permanent damage. It can also be treated with medication, physical therapy, a custom orthotic or platelet rich plasma. Sometimes surgery is indicated to remove any damaged tissue to allow the tendon to function normally.
Achilles Tendon Rupture is either a complete or partial tear of the tendon. It is usually a sudden, painful debilitating injury that can prevent you from partaking in any form of exercise or activity. Diagnosis is usually via history, physical examination and MRI studies. Partial injuries can sometimes be treated with cast immobilization and crutches, while complete rupture often requires surgical repair. Fortunately, there are many more grafting techniques available today when repairing ruptured Achilles Tendons that reduce recovery time and help you return to your active lifestyle.
Drs. Subik and Notari treat Achilles Tendon injuries at the Emergency Rooms at St. Mary’s Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center. If you suffer an Achilles tendon injury and wish to be treated by us, either call the office or request that the Emergency Room staff contact us.
Dr. Subik is Board Certified in Foot, Ankle and Reconstructive Foot Surgery. Dr. Notari is Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery.