Foot and Ankle Specialist in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY

Achilles Tendinitis / Tear

Your Achilles tendon is located in the back of your ankle / heel. You use it for many activities and it allows you to flex your ankle during walking and running. However, overuse of this tendon through frequent, intense exercise or regular participation in sports increases your chances of developing Achilles tendinitis and even a complete tear. At Flex Foot and Ankle in the Midtown Manhattan area of New York City, dual board-certified Podiatrist / Foot and Ankle surgeon E. Giannin Perez, DPM, FACFAS, has extensive expertise in treating foot and ankle conditions. If you’re suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon, call her office or book your appointment online today.

Achilles Tendinitis / Tear Q&A

Your Achilles tendon is the cord of tendons that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone in the back of your calf. Overuse of your Achilles tendon through physical activity, particularly running, can lead to Achilles tendinitis. Your Achilles tendon unfortunately weakens with age, making you more susceptible to injury if you have an active lifestyle. It is important to stretch to prevent injuries.

Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Aching in the back of the calf or heel
  • Tenderness and stiffness along the tendon in the morning
  • Swelling or thickening of the tendon

Symptoms of Achilles tendon tear include:

  • Feeling of “getting kicked in the back of you ankle”
  • Swelling / bruising
  • Inability of flexing and extending ankle / foot
  • Inability of putting weight on your foot

You use your Achilles tendon when you walk, run, jump, or stand on your toes. When you participate in physical activity that places intense or repetitive strain on your tendon, you may form Achilles tendinitis.

To prevent overuse of the Achilles tendon, it’s important to let your body rest when exercising or participating in sports. If you plan to increase the intensity of your workout, such as running a longer distance than usual, you should do so gradually. This lets your body adjust to the change in your workout, decreasing your chances of a strain or tear.

During activity (soccer, basketball, etc) you will feel like someone kicked you in the back of the ankle / leg and you will feel a pop. These are tell, tell signs that you have suffered and Achilles tendon tear. It is imperative that you seek a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. Perez immediately.

You need to be place in a splint with the ankle extended (as in pointing toes) and not put weight on your foot. The majority of achilles tendon tears require surgery, specially if there is a significant gap between the 2 ends of the tendon. Dr. Perez might order an MRI to assess the extent of the tear and form a surgical plan if needed. At times a tendon transfer might be required.

Dr. Perez will perform a physical examination to identify the issue, followed by X-rays to see if there is bony involvement such as a heel spur and assess your foot type. Recommendations after may include rest,  stretching, using ice on the back of your leg where you experience the most pain, and taking anti-inflammatory medicine.

Conservative treatment includes, stretching, tapping, physical therapy and orthotics to support your foot type and realign your foot and ankle allowing the Achilles tendon to function properly. You can read more about orthotics by clicking here.

Injections are another form of conservative treatment where we use your own blood to promote healing! The procedure is done in the office and you can read more about it by clicking here.

If your pain worsens or continues, Dr. Perez may obtain an MRI to further assess your injury. After determining the severity of your Achilles tendinitis, she will discuss all possible options which might include surgery.

Dr. Perez will discuss surgical options which include, lengthening your calf muscle increasing the motion of your ankle or removing the damaged part of your Achilles tendon. The Tenex procedure is a minimal invasive procedure that will remove the diseased tendon. If there is bone spur in the back of the heel, we might need to remove the spur. In severe cases, she might suggest moving the tendon that supports your big toe to your heel bone to strengthen the damaged tendon.

If you’re suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon, call Flex Foot and Ankle in Midtown Manhattan or book online today to schedule an evaluation.


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