What is Achilles Tendon Injury: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
The Achilles tendon is the thickest in the human body. This is in the calf, about two inches above the heel bone. It connects the heel to the large muscles of the calf and controls the movement of the foot.
The tendons will tighten when the calf muscles contract. This is what makes a person able to tiptoe on the toe. This also helps someone run when starting a running race.
If it is stretched too wide, the Achilles tendon can be injured and broken. This condition causes pain that feels sharp and severe, which makes the sufferer unable to walk properly. This injury is more common in middle-aged men who exercise with fast movements and are very powerful. These sports include tennis, basketball, running racing, and badminton.
Tendon injuries can be cured through treatment without surgery and with surgery. The prognosis for both is generally good. Many patients can return to their normal activities after undergoing treatment.
# Causes of Achilles Tendon Disconnected
The Achilles tendon will break if it stretches excessively to the tear point limit. Broken tendons can occur when full powered movements exert great pressure on the calf muscles. An example is when an athlete runs away to run fast. In that situation, the tendon does not have enough time to adjust to this great force without hurting the tendon itself. Generally, injuries are experienced by people who do sports that require them to jump often and run. Muscles can also break up due to suddenly increased exercise intensity. Another possibility is due to not stretching and warming up before exercise.
Weakened and thinned tendons can also trigger injury. This is affected by aging as a result of aging or rarely moved legs. This makes the tendon more easily damaged. People who suffer from tendinitis or inflammation of the tendons are more susceptible to this condition. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, and arthritis. Wearing high-heeled shoes regularly and having flat soles increases your risk of an Achilles tendon breaking.
# Main Symptoms of a Severed Achilles Tendon
A broken Achilles tendon causes extreme pain. This makes the patient unable to walk properly. The pain can be felt immediately when the tendon is torn. Some patients express it as if they were hit by a rock or kicked very hard. Many patients report gnashing or popping before they feel the pain. Then the area will swell and become stiff. This is followed by reduced ankle strength and range of motion. Often, a broken tendon can be felt about two inches above the heel.
The patient is recommended to rest the part of the leg where the Achilles tendon is injured. If the patient experiences inflammation and spasm, cold water compresses can help alleviate it. Then the patient must immediately see a doctor. Rapid treatment can prevent the injury from getting worse.
# Who Needs to See and Types of Treatment Available
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed through physical tests. Imaging tests, such as x-rays, are often not needed. However, the doctor will ask the patient to walk and stand on tiptoe. Then the patient lies on his stomach, and the doctor will examine the area above the patient’s heel.
Treatment can involve physiotherapy, medication, and surgery. Older people and those who are less active often choose the method without surgery. This method will paralyze the tendon. Medicines will be used to treat pain and swelling. By selecting this, the patient avoids many surgical risks. However, the selection process can take quite a long time. The risk of recurring conditions is very high.
While surgery is a more popular choice for young patients, this includes those who want to resume physical activity as soon as possible. The operation can be carried out through conventional methods by making a large incision in the calf. Whereas minimally invasive techniques use small incisions and surgical equipment. Surgery also involves suturing the ends of the tendon. The operation allows patients to return to their routine activities more quickly. However, there are some operating risks. Among these include blood clots in the legs. Blood clots become dangerous if they enter the lungs and disrupt blood flow. Other risks include bleeding and injury to surrounding nerves. There is also a risk of infection and skin damage. Also, surgery is far more expensive compared to non-surgical treatment.
Surgery is followed by physical therapy. Patients are taught how to do strengthening exercises and range of motion. This helps the patient to recover quickly.
The prognosis for Achilles tendon injury is generally reasonable. Many patients can recover fully. Many also do not suffer from prolonged health problems. Most patients can resume their active lifestyle within three to six months postoperatively.