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Why Are Achilles Tendon Ruptures More Likely With Age?

Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00

The Achilles tendon is a strong band of fibrous tissue that runs along the back of the leg, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. An Achilles tendon rupture can occur when this tendon is injured and fully torn. Achilles tendon ruptures have become increasingly common in recent years, and are seen particularly often as a sports-related injury. It is most common in men in their 40s and 50s due to the wear and tear on the tendon that occurs naturally with age. As we age, blood flow to the Achilles tendon decreases and stiffness increases, thereby raising the risk of injury. Participating in strenuous running, jumping, and agility activities can lead to an Achilles tendon rupture if preventive measures such as wearing the appropriate footwear and increasing intensity and duration of physical activity slowly are not taken. If you notice sudden pain and swelling in the back of your leg and have difficulty walking, you may have sustained an Achilles tendon injury and should seek the care of a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Karl Michel of Genesis Foot & Ankle Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Palm Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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