The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body, connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. It is responsible for the flexion and extension of the foot, allowing us to walk, run, and jump. However, when cholesterol buildup occurs within the Achilles tendon, it can cause a condition called xanthomas.
Xanthomas are small lumps that appear in the Achilles tendon due to the accumulation of cholesterol. Xanthomas can occur in people of all ages but are more commonly found in older adults or individuals with high cholesterol levels. Though they are usually painless, they may cause discomfort if they grow too big.
High cholesterol levels are the primary cause of xanthomas; however, other factors may contribute to their development, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and liver disease. People with a family history of high cholesterol levels or xanthomas are more likely to develop them.
Some xanthomas remain small, while others may grow and become more noticeable. When xanthomas appear in the Achilles tendon, the lumps may protrude, causing cosmetic concerns, but usually don’t impact tendon function. However, in rare cases, these cholesterol deposits can weaken the Achilles tendon and cause a rupture.
Therefore, it is essential to seek treatment for xanthomas, especially for those with underlying cholesterol issues. Treatment may require taking a biopsy of the lesion, but the nodules are usually left intact.
Fortunately, there are actions you can take to prevent and manage high cholesterol levels. These include eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and taking medication as prescribed by your doctor.
If you have xanthomas, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM specializes in foot and ankle care and can provide proper care for any issues related to the Achilles tendon.
In conclusion, xanthomas are cholesterol deposits that appear in the Achilles tendon. High cholesterol levels are the primary cause of xanthomas, but other factors may contribute to their development. Treatment for xanthomas may be necessary and should include addressing underlying cholesterol issues that may exist. Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider, like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, can help ensure proper management and treatment for this condition. Remember, prevention and early diagnosis are key to preventing complications from xanthomas.