An Achilles Tendon Rupture can be a debilitating injury for anyone, regardless of age or fitness. This injury occurs when the tissue connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone is stretched beyond its limit, causing a complete or partial tear. The Achilles tendon is used in almost every movement of the foot, so it is important to clear up any symptoms immediately.
Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture include a sudden sharp pain, which feels like a kick or a stab in the back of the ankle or calf. A popping or snapping sensation is often reported, followed by swelling, and difficulty walking or rising on the toes. These symptoms can range from minor to severe and need urgent medical attention.
Until you have the chance to visit a doctor, the R.I.C.E method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation can be applied. It is essential to stay off the injured foot and ankle to prevent further damage. Applying a bag of ice covered with a towel can reduce swelling and pain, and wrapping the foot and ankle in an elastic bandage will prevent further swelling. The leg must remain elevated to reduce swelling, ensuring it is even with or slightly above heart level.
When you consult a foot and ankle specialist, they will evaluate the severity of the rupture based on your medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic imaging tests. The surgeon will then decide whether to proceed with surgical or non-surgical treatment.
Non-surgical treatment, which may be associated with a higher risk of re-rupture, involves the use of a cast, walking boot or brace to restrict your foot and allow the torn tendon to heal. This option is selected for minor ruptures or for those who have medical conditions that prevent surgery.
Surgical treatment is a vital aspect of treating Achilles Tendon Rupture. Besides decreasing the likelihood of re-rupturing, surgery often increases push-off strength, improves muscle function, and overall movement of the ankle. The surgery varies depending on your surgeon and the severity of the rupture. Following surgical treatment, the foot and ankle must remain immobilized in a cast or walking boot. When you can begin weight-bearing is determined by your surgeon.
Whether you have had an Achilles Tendon Rupture treated surgically or non-surgically, physical therapy is a vital part of the healing process. Physical therapy employs exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve the range of motion of the foot and ankle.
Consulting a specialist like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, a podiatrist with extensive knowledge and experience in treating Achilles tendon rupture, can be helpful. Treatment options vary from case to case, and Dr Huang can help you make the correct decision regarding the necessary treatment.
To summarize, an Achilles Tendon Rupture is a severe injury that requires urgent medical attention. Although it may occur during activities such as sports, it can also occur due to illness or medication. Symptoms include sudden sharp pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement. Treatment options are available, in surgical and non-surgical methods. Following any type of treatment, physical therapy is crucial to recovery. Don’t take the risk of ignoring these symptoms – make sure to consult a specialist as soon as possible.