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Written by Kristen Fischer on June 13, Achilles Tendonitis. How to Fall Asleep in 10, 60, or Seconds. Read this next. Esports Is Booming — So Are Injuries to Players As competitive video game squads increase at colleges, experts say players are developing hand, neck, and wrist injuries.
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The Man Who Fell to Earth. The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover. If the tendon is intact, the ankle will move when the calf muscle is squeezed.
Most people can feel the defect. A doctor can do an exam and some perform an MRI to view the extent of the damage, noted Dr. Alan M. Reznik , the chief medical officer at Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists. Mark Bullock , a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon in Michigan. An Achilles tendon rupture most often occurs during strenuous exercise and will produce a popping noise.
Why It’s So Hard to Recover from a Torn Achilles Tendon
The tendon can experience a strain, which can refer to a partial tear of the tendon or Achilles tendinosis. Achilles tendinosis is a degeneration of the tendon from repetitive strain. While Achilles tendon ruptures most often occur with strenuous exercise and high-impact injury, they can also occur with minor tensile stress to the tendon if there is underlying Achilles tendinosis. Rupture after a minor stress is more common in elderly individuals, Bullock said. Not all Achilles tendon injuries require surgery. The ideal treatment varies among individuals and is based on several factors including the extent of the injury.
If the ruptured ends of the tendon can reseal themselves quickly after the injury and the ankle is properly immobilized, it may heal on its own. Usually, the best position for healing is with the toes pointing down for one to two months. But holding that position can be hard to sustain for that amount of time, though.
In other cases, leaving the tendon to heal on its own without surgery is problematic. Blood clots and scar tissue can form between the two ends of the torn tendon depending on how bad the injury is. While the tendon may heal without surgery, it may be thinner than before and prone to recurring injuries. A tendon tear that does not properly heal can cause a wider tear gap. In some cases, if surgery is done long after the initial injury it might mean worse outcomes for the patient. Achilles tendon repair surgery is typically an outpatient procedure.