Types of Achilles Tendon Injuries & How to Fix Them

The Achilles tendon runs from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles and is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It’s quite common for this tendon to become injured and there are a few different types of injuries that the tendon can sustain.


This is caused by overuse or damage to the area and results in pain down the back of the leg and the heel. Achilles tendonitis is typically a result of repetitive stress versus a specific injury. Although it may take some time, nonsurgical treatments are usually effective in providing pain relief. Decreasing your activities and allowing yourself to rest is a crucial part of healing. Icing the area and taking NSAIDs are also beneficial for reducing inflammation.


An Achilles tendon rupture is a full or partial tear to the tendon. This happens from a sudden injury that causes the tendon to stretch to a breaking point. An Achilles tendon rupture is a common sports injury and is most common in those ages 30 to 40. The telltale sign of an Achilles tendon rupture is a popping sound or sensation in the back of the ankle. Unlike tendonitis, a rupture is a traumatic injury that requires a physician’s attention. We’ve listed some treatments below:

  • Before going to see a physician, following the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method can help to reduce your discomfort
  • Bracing or using a walking cast encourages immobilizing the injured tendon. Your physician does this so that the foot and ankle are flexed downward for the tendon to heal
  • Surgery is often recommended for a torn Achilles tendon when the patient lives an active lifestyle. The physician can stitch the torn ends of the tendon together and then cast the lower leg to allow the tendon to heal
  • Physical Therapy is an important step for regaining strength and mobility in the tendon after an initial treatment plan is determined

Achilles Tendinopathy

The symptoms associated with Achilles tendinopathy are almost identical to tendonitis, but there are some key differences. Tendinopathy is a degeneration of the collagen protein that forms the tendon. There are several ways to reduce your pain, such as the ones suggested for tendonitis, but a combination of home treatment and physical therapy is typically the most successful solution. As with any injury, if do not see any improvement, a physician can help find the correct solution for you.

Does your foot & ankle need some professional attention? Call today and schedule an appointment with Southeast Orthopedic Specialists.


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