Achilles Tendon

Advanced Foot and Ankle Center

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeons & Podiatry located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

Your Achilles tendon can tolerate 1,000 pounds of force or more, yet it’s frequently torn or ruptured due to overuse and athletic injuries. Dr. Mario Voloshin at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center specializes in repairing damaged Achilles tendons, which often require expert surgery to ensure they heal and regain optimal strength. If you have pain or swelling in your Achilles tendon, call one of the offices in Brooklyn, New York, or use online booking to schedule an appointment.

Achilles Tendon Q & A

What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon — the cord of tissue behind your heel — attaches the bottom of the calf muscle to your heel bone. It’s responsible for lifting your heel when you walk.

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed. Inflammation may develop in the middle of the tendon or where the tendon attaches to your heel. In both locations, the problem develops from repetitive activities that create small tears in the tendon.

As you continue to use the tendon, ongoing stress further irritates the tears, leading to inflammation. Over time, the connective tissue can degenerate or break down, a condition called Achilles tendonosis.

The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Pain along the tendon, often worse after your rest
  • Tenderness when you squeeze the sides of the tendon
  • Nodules when degeneration develops

How is Achilles tendonitis treated?

Dr. Voloshin customizes your treatment based on the amount of tendon damage. Your treatment may include immobilization with a cast or removable walking boot, ice to reduce inflammation, or orthotics to correct structural problems or gait abnormalities.

Physical therapy also is an important part of treatment. Your physical therapy regimen helps strengthen and stretch muscles. You also may benefit from therapeutic massage to boost circulation, reduce swelling, and relieve pain.

When your tendonitis doesn’t heal or your tendon doesn’t regain normal function, Dr. Voloshin may recommend surgical intervention.

What causes an Achilles rupture?

A rupture is a complete or partial tear of the Achilles tendon. It occurs when you stretch the tendon too far, often while jumping, pivoting, or suddenly accelerating when you run.

You also can develop a ruptured tendon when you fall or, less often, from medications such as steroids and antibiotics that weaken the tendon.

When your tendon ruptures, you experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Sudden pain in the back of your ankle or calf
  • Popping sensation
  • Swelling between your heel and calf
  • Difficulty walking or rising up on your toes

How is an Achilles rupture treated?

Ruptures need prompt medical attention to prevent further damage. Dr. Voloshin may treat a minor rupture with a cast or walking boot to immobilize the tendon and give it time to heal.

Achilles tendon ruptures often heal better with surgery. Surgical repair lowers your risk of a future rupture, increases strength, and improves ankle motion.

If you suspect an Achilles tendon injury, call Advanced Foot & Ankle Center or book an appointment online.