Your Achilles tendon is a strong cord that connects the muscles at the back of your calf to the bone in your heel. And when it’s injured, everything from walking around your house to playing sports can be almost impossible. Thankfully, appropriate treatment can go a long way.
Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and his team in Cumming, Buford, and Braselton, Georgia, diagnose and treat these common ankle injuries to help you heal effectively and get safely back on your feet.
Read on to learn more about Achilles tendon conditions, including what to expect from your recovery process and ways we can help.
Types of Achilles tendon injuries
There are two main types of Achilles tendon injuries: acute rupture and chronic tendinitis. To rupture your Achilles means tearing it, typically as a result of sudden injury, overuse, or arthritis.
With tendinitis, the Achilles tendon stays intact but becomes inflamed, usually because of overuse over time.
Symptoms of a ruptured Achilles tendon include:
- A popping sound, followed by sharp pain
- Pain that radiates up your leg
- Feeling as though you’ve been kicked in the calf
- Swelling near your heel
- Difficulty bending your foot downward
- Inability to stand on your toes using the injured leg
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
- Swelling and warmth
- Thickening or hardening of the tendon
- Pain in your heel and along the tendon when you walk or run
- Pain and stiffness when you wake up
- Sensitivity to touch and movement
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, we can help you heal.
Healing from your Achilles tendon injury
Recovering from your Achilles tendon injury is likely to take some time and may require surgery. Without surgery, the healing process may take up to a year, including rehab or physical therapy.
Nonsurgical treatments we may recommend include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Bracing and orthotics
- Immobilization with a boot, cast, or splint
- Physical therapy
- Rest, elevation, and ice therapy
- Steroid injections
If you’ve torn your Achilles tendon, we may recommend surgery to stitch it back together.
We also offer the minimally invasive percutaneous Achilles repair system (PARS) procedure. Quicker and gentler than conventional surgery, it requires a small incision and leads to a faster recovery with little to no scarring.
After your PARS procedure, expect to wear a cast for two weeks, followed by a custom boot. You should be able to bear weight on the injured leg at the end of four weeks.
To learn more about Achilles tendon injuries or to get the treatment you need, call one of our offices or book an appointment through our website today.
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