What is an Achilles Tendon?
The achilles tendon is a robust band of tissue that runs from the back of the leg and inserts on the back of the heel bone. It is responsible for plantar flexion motion and propulsion.
Causes and Symptoms
The achilles tendon is especially prone to injury due to a poor blood supply just above its insertion. Overuse, sports injuries and biomechanical imbalances can stress the tendon leading to inflammation, degeneration, tears and possible ruptures. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, weakness and difficulty walking.
Treatment for an achilles tendon injury depends on its severity. Mild cases are best treated non-surgically which involves a period of cast immobilization coupled with physical therapy. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated to repair the integrity of the tendon. Following surgery, there will be a period of cast immobilization followed by aggressive physical therapy to help restore strength, flexibility and range of motion.
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