Achilles tendon injuries

The Achilles tendon connects the back of the heel to the calf muscle. It’s the largest tendon in the body and is instrumental in walking. An injury can be extremely painful and debilitating.

While most Achilles tendon injuries are caused by gradual wear and tear, they can come on suddenly due to quick acceleration and sudden jumps.

How is an Achilles tendon injury treated?

An Achilles tendon injury is often treated without surgery, and may require several months of treatment and careful rehabilitation.

After an examination, the patient may need to wear a cast or brace for up to six weeks. During this period, a physical therapist may work with the patient to begin movement exercises.

After about three weeks, the cast may be changed so a therapist can work with the patient to begin to stretch the tendon to its original length.

Therapy will continue after the cast is removed, and the patient may need to wear a special heel device for support. A physical therapist may also use ultrasound or electrical stimulation to aid in healing.