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Achilles Tendonitis

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 Elizabeth Anthony

What is Achilles Tendonitis? 

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, that often causes pain on the back of the ankle near the heel. It is due to a repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon, which is used when you walk, run, and jump off of your toes.

Symptoms/Diagnosis

Swelling, tenderness, and pain may all be present along the back of the ankle along the course of the Achilles tendon. It is very common in runners, and also people who have recently increased their activity level. The pain may begin as a mild ache in the back of the ankle, which then progresses to sharper pains during increased levels of activity.

The doctor will examine the patient by lightly pressing to determine the exact location of pain and tenderness. The patient will also be examined for amount of flexibility, range of motion and reflexes of the foot and ankle.

Xrays are usually taken to rule out any other bony deformities that may cause similar symptoms.

MRI’s are the most accurate way to visualize the Achilles tendon. It allows the physician to see the thickness of the tendon as well as any tears. It also will show any inflammatory fluid present in the affected area.

Treatment

  • Nonsurgical
    • Over the Counter and Prescription strength NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen), are often very effective at reducing pain and inflammation int he Achilles tendon.
    • Physical therapy: Home exercises or treatment by licensed physical therapist is always recommended. Stretching and strengthening of the Achilles tendon and supporting structures tremendously aides in healing.
    • Orthotics: A custom insert for your shoes can be made with an added heel lift to reduce the strain on the Achilles tendon.

 

  • Surgical
    • If several months of conservative treatment fails to provide adequate pain relief, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the achilles tendon. Open and minimally invasive options are both available.

The licensed podiatrists at Innovative Foot and Ankle are all thoroughly trained in treating Achilles tendonitis conservatively and surgically. We have offices in Union County, Hudson County, Essex County  and Bergen County New Jersey.