Achilles Tendon Tears
By Andrew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES
Achilles Tendon Tears
By: Andrew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon present in the body, and spans from the heel to the middle of the lower leg. Its function is to attach the calf muscle, which comprises of the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle to the heel bone called the calcaneus.
These structures combine to allow for the ankle to perform the movement of plantar flexion, or pointing your foot away from you. Plantar flexion is involved in:
- standing on your tiptoes
- pushing off to run
- landing from a jump
Despite the size and strength of the Achilles tendon, it is prone to injury because of the high stress that is placed on the tendon because of its inherent function. Certain conditions can increase a person’s risk of serious injury. The effect of aging can weaken the tendon, as well as chronic tendinopathy from disuse or poor gastroc-soleus muscle length.
A torn Achilles tendon is an injury that can result from a weakened state, and can be a partial or full tear (most common). Typical mechanism of injury includes a sudden change of direction, requiring a push off, or landing from a jump. In this condition, the ankle is forced into dorsiflexion, resulting in high-tensile forces resulting in the tendon failing.
What are the common signs and symptoms of Achilles Tendon Tears?
- sudden onset of severe pain (feeling of being kicked in the back of the leg)
- an audible “pop”, swelling/bruising, and severe weakness in the ankle
Seeking medical advice immediately is important, as early intervention typically improves the outcome of any intervention.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, go to: JOIonline.net or call 904-858-7045
Where is Telemedicine frequently used?
All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home. If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.
- To schedule a new patient or follow up patient appointment with your MD, please call (904)JOI-2000 or read more here about our orthopedic telemedicine providers.
- To schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call 904-858-7045 or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.
JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.