Achilles tendon injuries are a common tendon injury. Patients rupture the Achilles tendon when pushing off forcefully while participating in sports. The rupture frequently feels like being hit or kicked. Patients have pain in their calf and the back of their ankle, but can usually walk with a limp.
Diagnosis is made on physical examination. MRI is sometimes utilized to help plan treatment. Both operative and nonoperative treatment options are available. If surgery is chosen, a minimally invasive technique is utilized to repair the tendon. Compared to a traditional “open” repair, the risk of infection and wound healing problems is lower. After surgery early weight bearing and early motion protocols are utilized to provide optimal return of function. If a nonoperative treatment protocol is followed, early motion and early weight bearing are utilized after a brief period in a splint. Good outcomes can be obtained with both operative and nonoperative treatment. The choice between operative and nonoperative treatment is made based upon each patients activity level and numerous characteristics unique to each individual.