Achilles Tendonitis Treatment
Tendonitis Treatment & Repair Surgery
Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that can cause pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. This tendon is located in the back of your ankle and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone.
What is Achilles tendinitis and what are the symptoms?
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It attaches to the heel bone, also known as the calcaneus. The Achilles tendon is made up of 3 separate tendons that come together to form one bigger tendon. It is made up of the gastrocnemius muscle, soleus muscle, and sometimes a smaller tendon that is not always present called the plantaris tendon.
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain, swelling, and inflammation around the tendon and adjacent structures. Pain can be worsened by increased activity and in severe cases may even make activities of daily living like walking difficult.
Causes of Achilles tendinitis
There are many causes of Achilles tendinitis. Usually, it is caused by overuse like with a new athletic sport or training for a marathon.
Risk factors for Achilles tendinitis would be a tighter Achilles tendon and calf muscles. There is also a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones which have a black box warning for tendinitis including the Achilles tendon.
How to treat Achilles tendinitis – conservative treatment methods
Conservative treatments for Achilles tendinitis include activity modification, heel lift, anti-inflammatories, icing, physical therapy, and bracing.
More advanced options for Achilles tendinitis would include radial shockwave treatment and platelet-rich plasma injections.
How to treat Achilles tendinitis – surgical treatment methods
There are a variety of surgical options to address Achilles tendinitis but in most cases, this can be avoided with good conservative care and aggressive rehabilitation protocol. In severe cases, sometimes the tendon needs to be cleaned up surgically, or the calf muscle can be lengthened, and sometimes a tendon transfer has to be performed.