How to avoid Achilles Rupture

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas Physical Therapist at AHS

You’ve probably heard in the news or saw firsthand Kevin Durant rupturing his Achilles during an NBA finals game last week. If you haven’t seen it you can check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN/videos/1092710160930076/

An achilles rupture is a serious injury to the strongest tendon in the body. Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-2020 season. A complete rupture of the achilles tendon requires surgery and it is a long recovery.

 

What’s its function?
The Achilles tendon forms from two muscles in the back of the calf, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, about 15 cm to 6 inches above the ankle joint and spirals as it crosses the ankle joint to attach to the heel bone (calcaneus). A sheath surrounds the tendon, allowing it to glide easily as the ankle moves through its range of motion.
Since the calf muscles originate above the knee and the Achilles attaches below the ankle, the function of the muscle-tendon unit is critical for walking and running. When the calf muscles contract, it causes the ankle to point the foot downward and the foot to turn inward and up). The tendon needs to be strong. Running and climbing stairs generates force inside the tendon equal to 10 times the body’s weight. If you suspect a tendon rupture seek medical attention immediately. Early intervention increases likelihood of a full recovery. Extensive physical therapy is necessary for a full and speedy recovery.

 
 

An achilles rupture is a serious injury to the strongest tendon in the body. Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-2020 season. A complete rupture of the achilles tendon requires surgery and it is a long recovery.

Symptoms of tendon rupture

  • Patients with an Achilles tendon rupture will often complain of a sudden snap in the back of the leg. The pain is often intense and patients will describe it as if being shot.
  • With a complete rupture, the individual will only be able to ambulate with a limp. Most people will not be able to climb stairs, run, or stand on their toes.
  • Swelling around the lower calf may occur.
  • Patients may offer a history of recent sudden increase in exercise or intensity of activity.
  • Some patients may have had recent corticosteroid injection or prescription or a course of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
  • Some athletes may have had a prior tendon inflammation or injury.
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