Achilles tendon rupture

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The most commonly injured tendon.

Usually occurs while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration, such as pushing off or jumping.

The male to female ratio for Achilles tendon rupture varies between 7:1 and 4:1 across various studies.

Sudden pain that occurs in the calf or the back of the ankle and patients frequently hear a pop.

Typically occurs in recreation athletes.

The recent use of fluoroquinolones or corticosteroids may increase the risk.

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body.

It can become weak from age or lack of use.

Middle-aged men who don’t regularly exercise are most at risk for this injury.

Occurs five times more often in men than in women.

Symptoms include severe pain in the back of the ankle, swelling, and bruising, a loud pop or snapping sound, a gap in the tendon about 2 inches above the heel, and difficulty walking.

Risk factors include: being a male ages 30 to 50, not getting regular exercise, obesity, playing recreational sports that require running, jumping, and sudden stops and turns.

Diagnosis based on medical history, physical exam, and ultrasound and MRI.


The Simmond’s test is used in lower limb examination to test for the rupture of the Achilles tendonThe patient lies face down with feet hanging off the edge of the bed. 

With a positive test there is no movement of the foot on squeezing the corresponding calf, signifying likely rupture of the Achilles tendon.

Treatment may include: 

Wearing special casts, braces, and orthotics

Surgery 

Physical therapy 

Pain relievers

Surgery, special casts, and physical therapy help the tendon heal, and most people can resume normal activities after 4 to 6 months.

Nonsurgical treatment involves wearing special casts and braces that help the tendon heal on its own.

Physical therapy can effectively restore strength and function to the injured foot in about 4 to 6 months.

Surgery to reattach the tendon helps to return to activities more quickly, and it has a lower risk for reinjury than nonsurgical treatment.


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