The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the calf muscles to heel bone. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs most often in middle-aged athletes participating in sports that involve running, pivoting, and jumping. Recreational sports that may cause an Achilles rupture include tennis, racquetball, basketball, and badminton.
If an Achilles tendon is ruptured, the patient will experience severe pain in the back of their leg, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty when walking. A popping or snapping may be felt when the injury occurs. You may also feel a gap in the tendon at the site of injury.
Your doctor diagnoses the rupture based on symptoms, history of the injury and physical examination.
An Achilles tendon rupture is treated using non-surgical method or surgical techniques. Non-surgical treatment involves the use of a cast or special brace. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve the strength and flexibility of the Achilles tendon. Surgical treatment involves suturing the torn tendon together. Surgery may help to decrease the recurrence of the Achilles tendon rupture as compared to non-surgical treatment.