Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center
Podiatrists located in Laveen, AZ, Chandler, AZ & Mesa, AZ
Achilles Tendon Q & A
What is the Achilles tendon?
Your Achilles tendon joins your calf and your heel. It's a critical part of walking and running, so Achilles tendon injuries can cause serious problems and even immobility if not treated.
What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse or stress injury that usually develops in athletes, heavy labor workers, or others who put excessive stress on their feet and ankles regularly. Men and women who have very flat arches may also develop Achilles tendonitis because the flatter your arches are, the more your Achilles tendon has to stretch.
Overuse or stress causes inflammation and may eventually cause microtears in your Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis can cause pain and swelling. If you try to ignore the problem, you run the risk of more severe problems like tendon degeneration or rupture.
What is an Achilles tendon rupture?
When your Achilles tendon gets stretched too far, it can cause a tear known as an Achilles tendon rupture. Usually, an Achilles tendon rupture happens after a sudden strong movement, such as a jump, a swerve, or an increase in running speed. Achilles tendon ruptures sometimes happen during trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents.
How are Achilles tendon disorders treated?
Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo generally starts by assessing your Achilles tendon physically, discussing your symptoms and imaging tests, if needed. Once the doctor has a clear picture of your injury, they can prescribe Achilles tendon treatment suited to your needs. This may include:
- Immobilization like an air cast or a night splint
- Custom orthotics to relieve pressure on your tendon
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen your tendon
- Stem-cell injections to encourage tendon healing and relieve pain
Of course, it's also important that you rest as much as recommended while you're recovering from Achilles tendinitis. It takes some time to achieve full healing, but it's well worth it when you get full function back again.
If non-invasive treatments don't work, Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo can perform surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. But, in most cases, advanced therapies like stem-cell injections are a powerful and effective solution that negates the need for surgery.
To regain full Achilles tendon function safely through the most advanced techniques and procedures available today, click the online scheduler or call Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center to make your appointment today.
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