What are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis can vary depending on the severity of inflammation or injury to the tissue. However, the following are common symptoms of the condition:
- Pain – aching, stiffness, soreness, or tenderness – within the tendon. It can occur anywhere along the tendon’s path, from the tendon’s attachment on the heel bone to the region below your calf muscle. The pain can worsen with increased activity.
- Intense pain or tenderness when sides of the tendons are squeezed
- Enlargement of the tendon or development of nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged when the condition progresses to degeneration.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Achilles Tendonitis
Before administering treatment, a physician must first ascertain that you’re suffering from Achilles tendonitis through a systematic diagnostic procedure. The physician will examine your foot and ankle and evaluate the tendon’s range of motion and condition. In some cases, the physician will use an x-ray or other imaging modalities to assess your Achilles tendon’s condition further. It is advisable to perform a proper diagnosis to not mistake the disorder for a sprained ankle or other conditions.
The treatment of Achilles tendonitis can vary depending on the degree of damage to the tendon or how long you’ve had the condition. In its early stages, a doctor may recommend any of the following options:
Apply a bag of ice over a thin towel to the affected area for about 20 minutes of each waking hour to reduce swelling resulting from inflammation. Avoid putting ice directly against the skin.
It involves using a removable walking boot or cast to reduce forces through the Achilles tendon to promote healing.
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen may help reduce the pain and inflammation in the early stages of Achilles tendonitis.
You can use a wide range of physical therapies such as massage, controlled stretching exercises, mobilization, gait and running re-education, and ultrasound therapy.
Useful in maintaining a stretch in the Achilles tendon during sleep.
When is Surgery Needed?
If the nonsurgical interventions above fail to restore the tendon to its normal condition, your physician may recommend surgery. The younger and more physically active you are, the more likely surgery will be the best option. The surgeon will make a small incision in the back of your ankle and sew the Achilles back together, sometimes; they will need to sew other tendons into the Achilles tendon to make things even stronger. 80 to 90% of the procedures are usually successful and should be performed within the four weeks of the injury.
Why Choose Expert Foot Care from Total Foot and Ankle?
At Total Footok and Ankle, we have a team of experienced foot and ankle professionals, and Dr. Shields is certified in foot surgery and has many years of treating this and other conditions. We handle everything from simple to complex foot and ankle issues through our personalized approach to care that prioritizes safety and effectiveness. In addition, we enjoy a rich history of happy patients of all ages who have overcome their Achilles tendon disorder through our treatments.
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