You may not realize it until you suffer an injury to this largest tendon in your body, but your Achilles tendon is an essential part of your anatomy that makes it possible for you to move your foot and walk or run. This tendon allows you to rise up on your toes when you are walking or exercising and allows you to push off with your toes for every step you take. When a sudden injury such as a tear or break happens to this tendon, it can really ruin your day and many months thereafter and often requires Achilles surgery to repair.
The symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include:
- Unremitting pain and swelling in the heel area
- Inability to rise up on your toes
- Inability to bend your foot down or put weight on it
- When the tendon breaks, a loud snapping sound is often heard
Achilles tendon damage often occurs after a sudden increase in activity level following a long period of sedentary behavior. Accidents can also stress and injure your Achilles tendon to the point where it may break.
Other things that could increase your risk of a severe Achilles tendon injury include:
- Age—The majority of people that have this injury are between twenty-five and fifty.
- Steroids—The practice of injecting joints with steroids to relieve pain and inflammation can have the side effect of weakening the tendons and ligaments leading to possible tears.
- Certain antibiotics—including Cipro are thought to create an increased risk of Achilles tendon problems.
- Gender—men are much more likely to suffer this injury.
If you feel your heel pop from an Achilles tendon injury, you will be unable to walk normally afterward. You should seek medical care as soon as possible and make an appointment with your foot doctor after the initial trauma to address the long recovery process. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, such as sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Foot doctors Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.