Dr. Iliya Beylin and Dr. Natalia Cardona help patients from in and around Plantation and Coral Springs, Florida, who experience Achilles’ tendon ruptures. This painful injury can lead to mobility issues and requires professional treatment to facilitate healing. Call or schedule an appointment online at the Foot and Ankle Associates of South Florida for effective treatment.
What is an Achilles’ tendon rupture?
When your Achilles’ tendon tears, it’s known as a rupture. Most patients say it feels like being kicked or shot behind the ankle. Achilles’ tendon ruptures cause significant pain and mobility issues.
Your Achilles’ tendon is the thick, ropey band of tendon that connects your calf muscles to your foot. It is the thickest tendon in your body, but also bears the brunt of your body weight or more with every step you take. The tendon is at risk of inflammation and injury due to the amount of stress and strain it carries every day.
What causes an Achilles’ tendon rupture?
Your Achilles’ tendon becomes weaker as you get older and your lifestyle becomes more sedentary. Once weakened it is more prone to injury or rupture. Certain illnesses (such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and diabetes) and medications (such as corticosteroids and some antibiotics) can also increase your risk of a rupture.
Rupture most commonly occurs in the middle-aged male amateur athlete who spends most of his time sitting. Injury often occurs during recreational sports that require bursts of jumping, pivoting, and running (basketball, tennis, baseball, racquetball). Achilles’ tendon ruptures also affect women, and anyone whose lifestyle leads to a weakened tendon can experience a rupture.
How are Achilles’ tendon ruptures diagnosed?
Diagnosis is typically made by obtaining your clinical history and administering an exam. Dr. Beylin or Cardona will feel and manipulate your tendon and ankle. It is possible that Dr. Beylin or Cardona will feel a gap in your tendon, just above the heel.
He also performs the Thompson test, where he squeezes the muscles on the affected leg while you lay face down on a treatment table with your feet hanging off the end. If your feet do not move or respond to the manipulation of your calf muscle, you most likely have an Achilles’ tendon rupture.
Dr. Beylin or Cardona also examines your gait and mobility. Walking is usually impaired, as you are unable to step off the ground using the injured leg. You are also unable to stand up on the toes of that leg, and pointing the foot downward will be difficult. Pain may be severe, and swelling is common.
Sometimes an ultrasound and/or MRI can also be used to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the extent of the tear.
How are Achilles’ tendon ruptures treated?
Achilles’ tendon ruptures are treated with immobilization, using a cast or boot, and physical therapy. However, depending on the severity of your injury, additional surgical treatment may be necessary. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Beylin and Cardona deliver the procedure to reconnect your tendon.
Dr. Beylin and Cardona also recommend PRP injection therapy to flood your injured tissue with restorative platelets. These injections harness your body’s natural ability to heal and amplify its effectiveness.