The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human anatomy. It is found in the back of the leg, at the bottom half of the calf. The Achilles consists of cords of fibrous tissue connecting the calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. This musculoskeletal structure allows you to walk, run, and move.
Common problems with the achilles tendon include tendonitis and tendon rupture. Tendonitis is related to chronic overuse, and can arise in athletes and non-athletes alike. Tendonitis tends to occur gradually and progressively worsens over time, without any notable weakness. Tendonitis is commonly treated conservatively with physical therapy and home exercises.
Achilles tendon rupture is a very different problem, usually resulting from an acute injury. It often happens without contact or impact, and feels like being struck in the back of the heel (with or without a loud pop). It is usually associated with pain, bruising, and weakness, but some patients don’t notice any symptoms after the initial injury. Achilles rupture is an urgent problem that needs acute treatment.
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