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Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

If you suffer from Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis?

Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis affect the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. Overuse often causes Achilles tendinitis, leading to tendon inflammation frequently seen in athletes or individuals who suddenly increase their physical activity. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the heel, especially after exercise.

Achilles tendinosis involves the chronic degeneration of the tendon due to repetitive stress or untreated tendinitis. This condition breaks down tendon fibers, resulting in persistent pain, stiffness, and sometimes a noticeable lump along the tendon.

Both conditions can severely impact mobility and quality of life if left untreated. Proper diagnosis and treatment, including rest, physical therapy, and sometimes medical interventions, are crucial for recovery and preventing further damage. Early intervention and appropriate management help restore tendon function and alleviate pain.

Indication of Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis commonly affect individuals who engage in activities involving repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon, such as running, jumping, or sudden increases in physical activity. Key indications include pain and tenderness along the tendon, typically felt in the back of the heel or lower calf. This pain often intensifies during or after physical activity and may be accompanied by stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Swelling along the tendon or at its insertion point on the heel can also occur.

In Achilles tendinosis, a more chronic condition, patients may notice a thickening of the tendon, sometimes accompanied by a palpable lump. This is due to the degeneration and buildup of scar tissue within the tendon. Both conditions can severely limit mobility and performance, highlighting the need for early diagnosis and intervention. Rest, physical therapy, and, in some cases, medical treatments are essential for effective management and recovery.

Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

The treatment of Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis aims to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

Rest and modify activities to avoid exacerbating symptoms and allow the tendon sufficient time to heal. Apply ice packs to the affected area to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Doctors may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to manage pain and inflammation. Engage in physical therapy, which includes exercises to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles, as well as eccentric exercises targeting the Achilles tendon directly. Modalities such as ultrasound or laser therapy may complement these exercises. Utilize orthotic devices, such as supportive footwear and shoe inserts, to provide necessary cushioning and support to the heel and arch of the foot. In severe cases, immobilize the affected area with a walking boot or cast to limit movement and facilitate healing.

Recovery from Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

    Recovery from Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis requires a comprehensive and active approach to rehabilitation. Patients begin by resting the affected tendon to reduce inflammation and prevent further damage. Physicians often recommend physical therapy, which includes stretching and strengthening exercises tailored to the Achilles tendon. These exercises help improve flexibility and rebuild strength, promoting healing. Anti-inflammatory medications or ice application can alleviate pain and swelling during the initial recovery phase.

    As symptoms improve, patients gradually increase their activity levels under medical supervision. Orthotic devices, such as heel lifts or supportive footwear, may be used to reduce strain on the tendon. In some cases, advanced treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) might be considered to accelerate healing.

    Throughout the recovery process, regular follow-up appointments ensure proper healing and prevent recurrence. By adhering to the prescribed rehabilitation program and making necessary lifestyle adjustments, patients can effectively recover from Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis and return to their normal activities.

     

     

    If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.

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