Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sporting activity. A key symptom of Achilles tendonitis is the sensation of pain, primarily felt in the calf muscles and extending down to the ankle. Stiffness in the calf muscles from this condition can limit the flexibility of the foot and make simple movements challenging. In some cases, bumps or nodules may form around the tendon, which can also be tender to the touch. In addition, the ankle joint may begin to swell. A podiatrist may use several diagnostic techniques to confirm the presence of the Achilles tendonitis. X-rays are typically the initial step to rule out other potential causes, but they cannot provide a direct view of the tendon. Ultrasound imaging is extremely beneficial, as it offers clear, real-time visuals of the tendon's internal structure. In severe cases, or when surgical intervention is under consideration, an MRI test is conducted to produce detailed images of the tendon's condition. Projection radiography is sometimes used to identify calcification deposits within the tendon, which can be responsible for up to 60 percent of Achilles tendonitis cases. If you suspect you may be suffering from Achilles tendonitis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and suggestions on effective treatment methods.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Mark Poplawski, DPM of Jersey Shore Podiatry, LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.