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Did you know the Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body? The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, allowing you to run, walk, and jump. Though this tendon can withstand a great deal of stress due to running and jumping, it is also prone to injuries related to overuse and degeneration.

There are several factors that can lead to an Achilles tendon injury. A quick change in exercise intensity, failure to stretch prior to a workout, overuse, and tight muscles and tendons can all contribute to injury.

Characterized by swelling, pain, tenderness, and stiffness at the back of the ankle, an Achilles tendon injury can be as minimal as a strain and as severe as a complete rupture of the tendon.

Minor to Moderate Injuries 

These injuries can often be treated using nonsurgical methods. Resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the leg, as well as taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and stretching the calf muscles regularly, can all help the tendon heal on its own. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy, supportive shoes, or orthotics.

Severe Injuries

If you suffer a severe tendon tear or your pain does not improve for more than six months, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. This may involve a surgical lengthening of the calf muscles to reduce the stress placed on your Achilles tendon. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may require a tendon repair or tendon transfer.

Have you suffered an Achilles injury and wondering what the best treatment plan for you should be? Contact a DMOS foot and ankle physician today.

*Disclaimer: The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional for any medical questions. While we make every effort to ensure the information we share is accurate, we welcome comments, suggestions, or corrections of errors. This blog should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing a “standard of care” in legal sense or basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on this blog or website. In no way does listening, reading, emailing, or interacting on social media with our content establish a doctor-patient relationship. This blog is not medical advice. If necessary, please seek treatment immediately*

Melissa Merrifield

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