If you don’t visit a podiatrist after sustaining an Achilles tendon injury, then you may be putting yourself at risk of complications that make treatment considerably more difficult.
Even if you just suspect that your Achilles tendon has been injured, it’s best to contact the professional team at Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic located in New Lenox & Homer Glen.
Achilles Tendon Injury Podiatrist
Podiatry Clinics in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL
Achilles tendon injuries are very common, especially in athletes where sudden pivots or rapid changes in speed can cause damage to the Achilles tendon. However, injuries can also occur due to simple overuse, when damage is sustained to the area, or when people are taking up new sports.
All types of injury to the Achilles tendon can be very painful and limit your ability to walk or participate in sports, as the tendon is responsible for bearing a lot of stress during motion. If you’ve suffered from an Achilles tendon injury, then seeking professional treatment is very important to restore function and flexibility, and reduce pain.
At the Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic in New Lenox & Homer Glen, IL, we specialize in a range of effective treatments for Achilles tendon injuries that can help you to get back on your feet as quickly and safely as possible. To speak to one of our skilled podiatrists about diagnosing and treating your Achilles tendon injury, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
What is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon, or calcaneal tendon, is the body’s strongest, thickest, and largest tendon. The Achilles tendon is located at the lower end of the calf and extends down the ankle to the heel, connecting muscles in the calf (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone.
As the muscles in the calf flex, the heel is pulled by the Achilles tendon, making the tendon a key part in almost every movement of the foot. Walking, jogging and jumping all rely on the Achilles tendon, so the consequences of injuring the tendon can be severe.
The Achilles tendon is comprised of a thick band of very tough tissues, which are incredibly strong and can handle a significant amount of pressure. However, too much stress can lead to injuries, ranging from inflammation to serious tears.
Main Causes of Achilles Tendon Injuries
A number of different activities can result in an injury to the Achilles tendon. Depending on the cause of the injury, the symptoms and treatment can vary. Some of the most common causes of Achilles tendon injuries, include:
- Climbing stairs or running up hills
- Sudden overuse of the calf muscles
- Rapid or unusual changes in pace
- Pushing off from your foot
You may be at an increased risk of sustaining an Achilles tendon injury if:
- You’re just starting a sport
- You’re playing a sport on an uneven surface
- You have increased your training amount or intensity
- You don’t wear suitable footwear
- Your calf muscles are tight when you exercise
If you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, then it’s important to seek medical attention from an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. For support diagnosing and treating Achilles tendon injuries in New Lenox and Homer Glen, you can contact the Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic at any time.
Types of Achilles Injuries
Achilles tendon injuries can come in many forms and range from minor to severe. The most common types of Achilles tendon injuries are ruptures and tendinitis, which can also range from slightly disabling to very disabling, depending on the extent of the injury.
- Achilles Tendon Rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture, or tear, is a common injury often sustained by athletes; it can be very serious and immediate medical attention should be sought if a rupture is suspected. This injury can range in severity from a partial tearing of the tendon to a complete tearing of the tendon fibers.
- Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, often accompanied by pain and swelling, as well as a thickening of the tendon. There are two types of Achilles tendinitis, insertional and non-insertional.
Insertional Tendinitis can cause additional bone growth and is located where the heel bone and tendon meet.
Non-insertional Tendinitis is a tear, or multiple tears of the middle fibers. This injury is normally caused by overuse and excessive stress; it can become chronic if it’s not treated properly.
Ruptured Achilles Injury Symptoms & Treatment in Homer Glen & New Lenox
The first sign that you may have suffered from a ruptured Achilles tendon is a popping sound when the injury is sustained, followed by a sharp pain that originates in the lower leg and ankle area. There are also other symptoms that you may experience in the event of a mild tear or complete rupture of your Achilles tendon, such as:
- Severe pain in your foot
- Swelling of the foot
- Inability to move your foot or serious discomfort during movement
- Difficulty bending your foot
- Inability to stand on your toes
- Foot / Ankle Tenderness
Treatment after a ruptured Achilles tendon injury should be sought quickly, to prevent any further damage being caused to the tendon, or to your foot or leg. Depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the patient, the treatment will vary. The common types of Achilles tendon treatment that may be advised, include:
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation)
- Pain medication
- Walking boots
- Surgery to repair the tendon/repair and reinforce the tendon
- Rehabilitation & physical therapy
Recovery time after an Achilles tendon rupture will depend on the extent of the injury and whether the treatment was surgical or non-surgical, as well as how quickly the patient heals. Commonly, recovery can take multiple months, with surgical treatments often having recovery times of up to around 6 weeks, followed by physical therapy.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms & Treatment in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL
Experiencing an Achilles tendinitis injury can be extremely painful, but you’ll also likely experience a number of additional symptoms, such as:
- An ache or pain in the lower leg
- Heel pain
- Leg weakness
- Pain that increases when climbing stairs
- Thickening/hardening of the tendon
Some minor Achilles tendon injuries can heal over time without intervention, but more severe injuries will require professional treatment.
Common Types of Achilles Tendinitis Treatments:
- RICE (Rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
- Anti-Inflammatory Medication
- Physical Therapy
- Foot & Ankle Casts
- Walking Boots
- Strengthening Exercises
- Steroid Injections
- Surgery in instances were the pain is persistent
Recovery time for most cases of Achilles tendinitis is around 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury and how quickly the treatment was administered.
Achilles Tendon Injury Treatment and Diagnosis at Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic
Achilles tendonitis is a common disorder that can cause pain that keeps lingering, and also swelling, and sometimes requires surgery if not treated.
Activities and Situations that can Result in Achilles Tendonitis:
- Unusual and sudden stops and starts when running, sprinting, jogging, or even walking
- Lack of flexibility in the calf muscles and sudden overuse activities
- Not wearing the right footwear or having overpronation
- Stair Climbing or Aggressive Hill Running
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis starts initially with minor pains after exercising or running that gradually worsens and tightens over time. Here are some symptoms:
- Sluggishness in the legs
- Stiffness in muscles in an unusual way
- Specific areas tightening and pain
- Consistent tenderness in the area when waking up in the morning
Achilles Tendon Injury Treatment and Diagnosis at Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic
When you book an appointment at the Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic, you’ll receive expert care throughout the diagnostic and treatment process, and ongoing support as you recover from your Achilles tendon injury. We’ll review your medical history, perform a physical exam to assess your injuries, test your range of motion, and if required, x-ray the injured area, before establishing the best treatment plan for your fast, safe, and successful recovery.
If you suspect that you have an Achilles tendon injury, either a rupture or tendinitis, then the Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Contact us today for more information about effective Achilles tendon treatment in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL.