Dr. Frank Collier is a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician and Pain Management Specialist who specializes in the treatment of injuries and illnesses that affect how people move and function while living with pain.VIEW FULL BIO
If you follow sports in any capacity, you’ve likely heard about a much-feared injury known as a torn Achilles tendon. However, did you know that this injury can affect professionals as well as amateur athletes?
If you experience swelling, soreness, tenderness or pain in the back of your leg right above the heel, chances are you have an injured Achilles tendon. If the strain on the tendon was bad enough at the time of injury, or if it wasn’t able to heal properly after being injured, you may even have torn or ruptured your tendon.
What Is a Torn Achilles Tendon?
First things first: What is the tendon itself? Your Achilles tendon is the thickest tendon in the human body, running from the muscles in your calf to the heel. It is crucial in flexing your foot to bring it closer to the shin and in certain knee movements, but overuse and trauma can result in serious disruption of normal function.
A torn Achilles tendon is when the tissue is partially or fully broken. This is also known as a ruptured tendon, and it can be extremely painful and difficult to heal. Luckily, you have a variety of treatment options.
Treatment Options for a Torn Achilles Tendon
Rest: Giving your leg the downtime it needs to recover is one of the best ways to move past an Achilles tendon injury. Even if you have to use crutches, rest is crucial.
Compresses: Tightly wrapped bandages help stabilize the area and reduce swelling, but be careful not to wrap so tightly that you cut off circulation.
Ice and Elevation: Putting the leg up and icing it for 20 to 30 minutes every few hours will reduce swelling and tension in the area and minimize pain during recovery.
Inserts: A shoe insert can elevate your heel and prevent strain during healing.
Exercise: Exercises can help strengthen the area and reduce the chances of irritation or tears in the future.
Surgery: In severe cases, you may need surgery to reattach separated parts of a ruptured tendon.
If you’re wondering what other options you might have for treating a torn Achilles tendon or are hoping to get a professional opinion on whether you have one, talk to a qualified orthopedic specialist at Southeast Orthopedics Specialists. The doctor will be able to diagnose your problem and recommend the best possible course of action.
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