In Greek mythology, Achilles was a mighty warrior, but when you develop Achilles tendonitis or worse, a ruptured Achilles tendon, you feel anything but mighty.
Your Achilles tendon is the tissue band that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. Unfortunately, this tendon is prone to injury and inflammation from overuse.
The caring team of podiatrists at Premier Foot & Ankle treat Achilles tendonitis expertly by creating a treatment plan customized for you and you alone. They deliver advanced care for many other foot and ankle conditions from their nine convenient Texas locations, and they’ve earned the trust of countless patients in the area.
Vulnerabilities of your Achilles tendon
Your Achilles tendon is actually thick and strong, and it’s your body’s largest tendon. It allows you to walk, jump, and run.
Problems and discomfort occur when the tendon gets very inflamed—usually as a result of degeneration from overuse or simply getting older. Your risk of Achilles tendonitis increases if you suddenly engage in more physical activity than is typical, or if you happen to have short calf muscles.
You can also injure your Achilles tendon by rupturing or tearing it. This happens through:
- Forceful activity that causes injury
- Pivoting on your foot suddenly
- Having feet that naturally point outward
If you rupture your Achilles tendon, you typically experience pain and swelling on the back of your heel as well, and if it’s severe, you may not be able to move your foot in a downward motion.
What causes Achilles tendonitis?
Repetitive stress is a primary cause of the condition, and examples of activities that strain your Achilles tendon include long-distance running, performing a job that requires you to be on your feet for extended periods of time, and vigorous sports in general.
Keeping your weight in check, wearing shoes that fit properly, and toning down your activities can lower your risk. Some antibiotics also contribute to the condition, so switching medications can help too.
Some risk factors are non-modifiable. These include your age and having flat feet.
What if I need a surgical solution for my Achilles tendon problem?
You shouldn’t live in discomfort because of Achilles tendonitis or injury. If you experience pain and inflammation, especially if it’s localized at the back of your heel, the cause is likely Achilles tendonitis. Other signs include increased stiffness after you’ve been more active and having trouble putting weight on your affected foot.
It’s imperative to get evaluated at Premier Foot & Ankle because ignoring a problem can lead to worse challenges, such as a rupture or Achilles tendinosis, a chronic condition where you suffer tiny tears on your Achilles tendon.
For some, more conservative approaches such as stretching exercises, physical therapy, medical devices like night splints, and Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPATS) don’t solve their Achilles tendonitis pain and swelling. In those cases, surgery may be necessary.
Achilles tendonitis repair surgery is a transformative solution if typical treatments haven’t helped you. Whenever possible, our team performs minimally invasive surgery, which requires a small incision rather than a large one. For this procedure, your surgeon makes the incision through the skin and muscle of your calf.
Minimally invasive surgery presents patients with many benefits, including faster recovery time and reduced pain, bleeding, and scarring.
During this type of procedure, a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the incision so your surgeon gets a clear view of the targeted treatment area. Your surgeon also uses small instruments to perform the surgery. During your surgery, they remove any inflamed, damaged Achilles tendon tissue or repair the rupture if necessary.
Sometimes your surgeon may take another of your foot tendons and use it to replace what they remove from your Achilles tendon. They might replace just a bit of the tendon or the entire tendon, depending on your condition.
After your surgeon makes all the necessary repairs, they close the incision, and you typically return home the same day as your surgery.
Surgical preparation is critical to success
The Premier Foot & Ankle staff is dedicated to explaining in detail what is involved with your surgical procedure, how to prepare for it, and what to expect during recovery. You learn about what pain management steps will be used during and after your procedure, and what amount of activity will be appropriate after surgery.
Remember: We’re here to answer any and all questions!
If you’re suffering pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility because of your Achilles tendon, call the Premier Foot & Ankle office most convenient to you to schedule a consultation, or book one online.