If you have any pain or discomfort in the back of your ankle, it is possible that you have a torn Achilles tendon or Achilles tendonitis.
The team of sports medicine experts and leading orthopaedic surgeons at Capital Orthopaedics have decades of experience in treating Achilles tendon tears and all other conditions of the ankle.
For a fast, efficient consultation and diagnosis at one of our state of the art London clinics, contact Capital Orthopaedics here.
The Achilles tendon is the thickest, strongest tendon in your body, and it connects your calf muscle to the back of your ankle at the heel bone (calcaneus). It powers and stabilises your lower leg.
It can be partially or completely torn – usually at the attachment point on the bone (Achilles tendon rupture). Tiny tears, or micro-tears, can form along the tendon – resulting in inflammation and muscle weakness.
An Achilles tendon tear or Achilles tendonitis can be extremely painful and debilitating.
An Achilles tendon rupture is usually the result of an explosive movement from standing to running or jumping. It is common in sprinters or basketball players but can affect anyone who hasn’t warmed up their calf muscles properly before impact exercises.
The micro-tears leading to Achilles tendonitis are the result of overuse. Repetitive actions that put stress on the tendon, such as walking, running, jumping or going on tiptoe, can lead to this inflammatory condition.
Diagnosis will start with patient history and a physical examination, followed by scans including MRI or ultrasound, and sometimes an x-ray or CT scan to assess bone damage.
Treatment depends on the severity of the Achilles tendon tear.
Minor tears and Achilles tendonitis may be treated with rest and a splint or walking boot while the tendon heals.
You may be offered injection therapy to stimulate your body’s healing process and reduce pain and inflammation.
Physiotherapy will start gently, working at building up calf strength and flexibility.
If you have suffered a complete rupture of your Achilles tendon, you will usually require surgery. This involves re-attaching the tendon into the bone and may involve using graft tissue to replace the badly damaged tendon.
It is carried out by our expert consultant orthopaedic surgeons using arthroscopic (keyhole) or minimally invasive techniques.
Full recovery from Achilles tendon rupture usually takes 4-6 months.
If you have any symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear or Achilles tendonitis, contact the sports medicine team at Capital Orthopaedics here to book an appointment, or to discuss your ankle pain.
Anterior ankle impingement causes pain in the front of your ankle. Soft tissues can get pinched between the bones as you flex your foot upwards as a result of repetitive kicking or flexing actions. Pinching occurs as a result of scarring or inflammation, or a bone spur forming as a result of repeated jarring.
Repetitive impact, injury or ageing can lead to damage to the surfaces of your bones. The slick cartilage coating can wear away or get torn – and the exposed bones begin to degenerate. As your bones try to heal, they can also form lumps called bone spurs. Osteoarthritis in your ankle leads to soft tissue damage, pain, swelling and instability as the muscles around it weaken.
Pain in the back of your ankle may be caused by soft tissue getting pinched between the bones as you point your toes. It’s common in ballet dancers, footballers, gymnasts and fast bowlers, but can also be the result of a sprain or chronic ankle instability. In some cases, it can be treated conservatively; bone spurs and thickened tissues may require surgery.
The tendon that runs under the bony lump on the outside of your ankle can get displaced – particularly after a sprain. This can lead to pain and swelling, along with instability. Physiotherapy to build up the muscles and improve stability can solve the problem. Arthroscopic surgery is often needed to fix the tendon back in place.
A sprained ankle can usually be treated with physiotherapy to build up strength while the torn ligament heals. Serious tears, chronic ankle instability, or those associated with other conditions may need surgery to repair ligaments, the smooth damaged bone and stabilise your ankle.
Whether you have surgery or not, it usually takes between 4-6 months to fully recover from a town Achilles tendon.
No – it is possible for a minor tear (partial rupture) to heal without surgery. The micro-tears of Achilles tendonitis rarely need surgery.
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