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Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Achilles Tendon Ruptures services offered in Austin, Lakeway and Cedar Park, TX

Achilles tendon ruptures are one of the most common sports-related injuries, affecting thousands of Americans each year. At Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, in Austin, Lakeway and Cedar Park, Texas, board-certified orthopedic surgeons Pedro E. Cosculluela, MD, and Andrew M. Ebert, MD specialize in treating Achilles tendon ruptures. They have extensive training in open and minimally invasive surgical techniques that can relieve pain and treat acute and chronic injuries. Call the nearest office to request treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture today, or make an appointment online

Achilles Tendon Ruptures Q&A

What are Achilles tendon ruptures?

An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when your Achilles tendon––a band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone––tears or snaps in half. Anyone can experience an Achilles tendon rupture, but they’re most common in runners and athletes, especially the "weekend warrior".

What are the symptoms of Achilles tendon ruptures?

Symptoms of a ruptured Achilles tendon include:

  • Feeling like someone kicked you in the calf
  • Intense, throbbing pain near your heel
  • An inability to bend or “push off” the affected foot
  • An inability to stand on the toes of the affected leg

If the injury occurs during activity, you may hear a popping or snapping sound.

Who experiences Achilles tendon ruptures?

Anyone can experience an Achilles tendon rupture, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Being male (men are five times more likely than women to suffer Achilles tendon injuries)
  • Undergoing routine steroid injections
  • Playing sports, such as soccer, basketball, or tennis

Taking certain medications may increase your risk of an Achilles tendon rupture. For example, some antibiotics cause the tendons to weaken.

How are Achilles tendon ruptures diagnosed?

Dr. Cosculluela and Dr. Ebert will review your health charts and asks about your symptoms, including when your heel first started hurting, what the pain feels like, and if it’s worse when you stand or walk.

Next, they examine your calf, ankle, and heel, checking for tenderness and swelling. They may press on the back of your heel, finding sensitive areas, and feels for a gap in the back of your tendon.

Your doctor then completes several tests, assessing the function of your tendon. If they are unable to tell whether it’s fully or partially ruptured, they will order diagnostic imaging.

How are Achilles tendon ruptures treated?

Treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures depends on the severity of the injury, your age, and your activity level. Most Achilles tendon ruptures are treated surgically with repair of the tendon. The reasons for this are the following:

  • Decreased rerupture (repeat tear) rate
    • 2% rerupture rate in surgically treated patients
    • 18% rerupture rate in patients treated without surgery
  • Restoration of the proper tension of the Achilles
  • Allows for quicker physical therapy rehabilitation

Dr. Cosculluela and Dr. Ebert are well-versed in both open and percutaneous techniques for repair of the Achilles tendon. During tendon repair surgery, your doctor uses special tools to stitch your torn tendon back together, relieving pain and restoring your range of motion.

Call the nearest Austin Foot & Ankle Institute office to receive treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture today, or make an appointment online.

In addition to performing a thorough history and physical examination, we will obtain new radiographs of the foot and/or ankle during your visit. If radiographs have already been done, our physicians will review those radiographs and any additional studies - MRI, CT, bone scans, etc - that are available through our PACS access to local facilities. We also offer durable medical equipment - braces, boots, OTC casts - at the office. We have relationships with local orthotic and prosthetic shops for those who need more specialized bracing and orthotic care. Additional services include diagnostic and therapeutic injections with steroids, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and other stem cell preparations.