The Achilles tendon is incredibly tough, but it’s susceptible to wear-and-tear or injury. At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, podiatrists Christyn Marshall, DPM, AACFAS and Jenny Lam, DPM, AACFAS and the team boast years of experience diagnosing and treating injured and ruptured Achilles tendons. To make an appointment at the practice in San Ramon, California, call the office today or schedule online.

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What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon connects the bones in your heel to your calf muscle, allowing you to walk, run, and jump.

Your Achilles tendon is durable and hard-working, but it isn’t invincible. If you play high-impact sports or spend lots of time on your feet, it can affect your Achilles tendon, resulting in pain, swelling, or limited mobility.

Do Achilles tendon injuries present symptoms?

If you experience an Achilles tendon injury, telltale signs include pain just above your heel, especially when stretching or standing on your toes. You might also experience bruising, swelling, or difficulty walking.

If your Achilles tendon is ruptured, the pain is sudden and intense. You might also experience a popping or snapping noise when the injury occurs.

Who is at risk of an Achilles tendon injury?

You’re more likely to experience an Achilles tendon injury if you participate in activities that involve speeding up, slowing down, or pivoting, including:

  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Dance
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Gymnastics
  • Running

Your age and medical history also play a role. For example, you’re more likely to experience an Achilles tendon injury if you’re a male over the age of 30.

How is an Achilles tendon injury diagnosed?

At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, the team diagnoses Achilles tendon injuries by reviewing your health history and asking about your symptoms, including their severity and when they first started. Next, your provider physically examines your heel and ankle, looking for signs of swelling or bruising.

Then, your provider has you perform a series of easy exercises and stretches to test your range of motion. If these steps aren’t enough to determine the underlying issue, your provider might also order imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI. These tests can rule out other, more serious injuries, like a fracture.

How is an Achilles tendon injury treated?

At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, the team treats Achilles tendon injuries using conservative, minimally invasive methods of care.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your provider might recommend ice, rest, and elevation, or taking over-the-counter pain medication. The team might also recommend physical therapy or at-home strengthening exercises.

If your pain gets worse or fails to improve, the team might recommend surgery. There are minimally invasive options that allow for less pain, reduced risk of complications, and quicker recovery.

To learn more about treatment for Achilles tendon injuries, make an appointment at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular by calling the office today or scheduling online.