Achilles tendonitis is a relatively common aggravation of the Achilles tendon. As a result, Achilles tendonitis treatment is usually something patients can address with homecare, typically by changing habits and behavior.
However, more serious cases of Achilles tendonitis–such as when the tendon ruptures–may require surgical intervention. Your treatment will vary depending on the severity and progression of your Achilles tendonitis.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis is a condition that’s usually brought about by overuse. The Achilles tendon connects your calf to your heel–and as such, this tendon gets quite a bit of use when you’re walking, running, or engaged in other physical activity. Stress on the tendon can eventually cause tiny tears in the tissue.
As a result, you may notice a throbbing heel on the tennis court or after your morning run. When able, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of this condition so you can engage in some Achilles tendon strain treatments and stretches.
As you age, the Achilles tendon starts to wear out, making “overuse” a little easier to achieve. That susceptibility to strain makes it even more important to be watchful for the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Those symptoms include:
- A mild ache above the heel
- Tenderness or stiffness of the heel (especially in the morning)
- Increased severity of pain with running, stair climbing, or intense activity.
Severe cases of Achilles Tendonitis, if not treated, can eventually lead to an Achilles rupture. Symptoms of an Achilles rupture include:
- You aren’t able to bend your foot downward
- You experience pain and swelling near the heel
- You feel pain in the calf, almost like you’ve been kicked in the calf.
- You hear a popping sound
- You aren’t able to stand on your toes
How We Diagnose Achilles Tendonitis
There are two primary methods that the orthopedic physicians at Yankton Medical Clinic will use to evaluate your heel injury, neither of which are mutually exclusive:
- Manual tests: Your physician will press gently on the injured area to determine the source of the pain and swelling. Your doctor may also ask you to make a range of motions with your foot, to the degree that you’re able.
- Imaging tests: Our orthopedic surgeons may also order a series of imaging tests–such as CT scans, MRI scans, or simple X-rays–to determine the extent and location of your injury with greater accuracy. These tests are usually available onsite here at Yankton Medical Clinic.
Once properly diagnosed, you’ll be better able to develop an Achilles tendonitis treatment plan–whether that means home treatments or medical interventions.
Possible Treatments for Achilles Tendonitis
Once your Achilles tendonitis has been diagnosed, you’ll be able to focus on treatment. Your Yankton Medical Clinic orthopedic surgeon may recommend specific Achilles tendon pain treatment protocols and at home care if your Achilles tendonitis is mild.
Partially torn Achilles tendon treatment options may include staying off your feet (you’ll be given crutches), a walking boot, or possible surgery. In combination with over the counter pain relievers, giving your body a chance to repair the tendon may be enough to get you walking again.
In the case of a full tear or Achilles tendon rupture, surgery will be required to repair the damage. Surgery to repair the Achilles tendon can be performed on an outpatient basis by your Yankton Medical Clinic orthopedic surgeons. In most cases, patients will come in, have the surgery, and return home the same day. Full recovery from the procedure may take anywhere between 4-6 months.
We Keep You Moving!
When something goes wrong with your Achilles tendon, your mobility can suffer significantly. Achilles tendonitis treatment is designed to get you back to your workout routine as quickly as possible. Sometimes that means rest in the short term so you can experience health in the long term.
The orthopedic surgery team at Yankton Medical Clinic will be able to determine the severity of your Achilles tendonitis and help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. We keep you moving!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.