Achilles Tendonitis and Rupture

Date 2007/5/2 15:33:53 | Topic: Ankle/Foot

The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle (called the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) to the heel. Excessive stress or a tight or fatigued calf muscle can result in microtrauma, degeneration, and even inflammation of the tendon- a condition called Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinosis. Prolonged walking, overtraining ( excessive running or jumping, or walking hills can cause this condition.
Recent research suggests that a gradual onset of pain and prolonged recovery might be do to a similar condition called Achilles tendinosus. Tendinosis is chronic degenerative condition and it differs from tendonitis in that there is no inflammation present. It is probably more common than tendinitis because often times tendon pain is not accompanied by the classic inflammatory signs of swelling, redness, and warmth.

Treatment usually consists of rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ice, stretching, strengthening and progressive return to function or sport.

Forceful contraction of the calf muscle may rupture (completely tear) the Achilles tendon. It occurs when during jumping, running, and cutting and is often seen in basketball and baseball players. The patient often reports the sensation of having been hit or violently kicked in the lower calf. There is pain and a “divot” in the tendon above the heel.

Treatment- non-surgical rehabilitation and surgical repair are viable treatment options. Active people may experience more benefit from surgical repair. Rehabilitation may require six to twelve months of progressive care.

Possible Treatments
Aerobic/Endurance Exercise
Active Range of Motion (AROM)
Active Assistive Range of Motion (AAROM)
Cryotherapy or Cold Therapy
Electrotherapeutic Modalities
Gait or Walking Training
Progressive Resistive Exercises (PRE)
Passive Range of Motion (PROM)
Proprioception Exercises
Physical Agents
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Stretching/Flexibility Exercise

Possible Treatment Goals
Improve Balance
Improve ability to bear weight/stand on the leg(s)
Decrease Risk of Reoccurrence
Improve Fitness
Improve Function
Improve Muscle Strength and Power
Increase Oxygen to Tissues
Improve Proprioception
Decrease Postoperative Complications
Improve Range of Motion
Self-care of Symptoms
Improve Wound Healing

This article comes from Chicago Rehabilitation Services, Inc. - Physical Therapy

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