Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle (gastrocnemius) and the soleus muscles of the lower leg to the heel. While tendons are strong, they are not particularly flexible, and thus can only be stretched so far before becoming inflamed, or even tearing/rupturing. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the force on the tendon is greater than the strength of the tendon.

Most ruptures occur during a forceful stretch of the Achilles tendon while the calf muscles contract. A rupture is especially likely to occur if the foot is ‘dorsiflexed’ (i.e., the toes are drawn away from the ground, up toward the shin) while the lower leg moves forward and the calf contracts.

Treatment: Partial tears are sometimes treated by surgery followed by time in a cast. A completely ruptured Achilles tendon requries surgery followed by up to 12 weeks in a cast. Since the tendon shortens as it heals, a heel lift is typically used for six or more months starting when the cast comes off. Physical therapy is also initiated at that point to help restore flexibility and strength.
Alphabetical Index:

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Concussion
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis, Little League Elbow)
  • Groin Pull, Strain, or Tear
  • Hamstring Pull, Strain, or Tear
  • Separated Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

  • Coming soon:

    » Heel Spurs (Bone Spurs)
    » Plantar Fasciitis
    » Runner’s Knee (Chondromalacia Patellae)
    » Shin Splints
    » Sprained Ankle
    » Torn Rotator Cuff