University Foot and Ankle Institute is an internationally-recognized leading organization for the treatment of foot and ankle problems. Our team of foot and ankle specialists comprehensively treat all foot and ankle problems from simple achilles tendonitis, bunions, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, neuroma pain, ankle sprains and fractures to the most complex reconstructive surgery and limb salvage of the foot and ankle.
Achilles tendon tears occur in all age groups are in all levels of athletes. With the world-wide popularity of sports, it is a common injury in Los Angeles and internationally. Often, the patient will feel as if they have been kicked in the ankle during walking or sport and feel a mild to moderate pain at first with limited pain after a small period of time.
The actual cause of an Achilles tendon tear is not fully understood but is thought to be related to overuse of a weak or tired tendon. The most common group affected is the weekend athlete who goes out and exercises for one to two days heavily and strains the tendon causing a tear to occur.
Often patients will state that they felt like they got kicked but turned around to see that no one was behind them. There is not always pain with an Achilles tear once a full tear occurs.
Patients will continue to feel unstable and have swelling and weakness in the back of the leg. Often patients are able to walk with little to no pain as the tendon is fully torn. The feeling of push off is weak and there is often poor or no ability to stand on the toes with one leg.
Diagnosis of an Achilles tear or rupture is fairly easy with examination. The patient has a difficult time getting up on their toes and a squeeze of the calf muscle does not work on pulling the foot down on the torn side.
A palpable gap may be noted in the tear area.
MRI is the best diagnostic test to see the level of Achilles tendon tear and the location and size of the rupture.
Clinical picture showing the appearance of the back of the leg when there is an Achilles tendon rupture. Notice the loss of definition in the left leg.
It is essential to treat Achilles tendon tears rapidly to avoid retraction or spread of the gap in the tendon ends which may cause problems. Surgery is often outpatient and the patient is allowed to walk on the foot in a cast in three weeks or so. University Foot and Ankle Institute performs both open and percutaneous Achilles tendon repairs with excellent and rapid recovery standards and physical therapy services specialized for Achilles healing and strengthening.
Following surgery, it is important to keep casting to a minimum and to return the patient to physical therapy as soon as possible. This allows the Achilles tendon to be strengthened rapidly and loss of muscle tone is limited. It is essential to get an outstanding solid repair of the Achilles tendon in order to return the patient to physical therapy quickly.
Our foot and ankle surgeons and physical therapists are the very best in California. Request an appointment with a doctor at our Los Angeles or other Southern California offices.