Achilles Tendon Rupture

(Rupture, Achilles Tendon; Severely Torn Achilles Tendon)

Definition

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. A rupture occurs when there is a tearing or separation of the tendon fibers.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Achilles tendon rupture can be caused by:
  • Overuse
  • Overstretching
  • Overworking an inflamed tendon
  • Injury from an accident or fall

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of getting Achilles tendon rupture include:
  • Achilles tendonopathy
  • Recent increase in activity level
  • Weak or inflexible calf muscles
  • Previous Achilles tendon rupture
  • Involvement in sports that involve running, jumping, twisting, or lunging
  • Improper footwear
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications, such as quinolone antibiotics or corticosteroids, which weaken the tendon
  • Collagen vascular diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Popping or snapping noise when the injury occurs
  • Sudden, extreme pain at the back of the heel
  • Swelling near your heel
  • Inability to push off from the ball of the foot
  • Inability to walk on the affected leg

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Images may be taken of the affected area. This can be done with:

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