Every time you take a step, you rely on your Achilles tendon, which can make any pain in the area problematic. Whether the pain is just a minor nuisance or it’s interfering with how you make your way through the day, expert care of your Achilles tendon is extremely important.
Providing such care is the experienced podiatry team here at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center, led by Drs. Matthew Paden, Dustin Kruse, and Brett Sachs. We understand the importance of a healthy Achilles tendon, not just in terms of pain-free movement, but also what we need to do to prevent an even bigger problem from developing.
Here’s a look at how we treat Achilles tendon pain and why you shouldn’t ignore this problem.
Common causes of Achilles tendon pain
Given their integral role in enabling mobility, it’s little wonder that pain can develop in the large tendons that attach your calf muscles to your heels. The two most common causes of Achilles tendon pain include:
This condition ranks at the top of the list when it comes to Achilles tendon pain and occurs when you overuse the soft tissue, which can lead to small tears and inflammation.
Achilles tendon tears
Achilles tendons can either partially tear or completely rupture, which means the tendon has split in two. While these types of tears often occur suddenly, they’re usually the result of an overworked tendon that’s been weakened over time.
In other words, the precursor to a tear is often tendonitis, which is why you should come see us at the first signs of Achilles tendon pain.
Treating Achilles tendon pain
When you have pain in your Achilles tendon, we first evaluate the problem to determine the extent of the damage. Through a physical exam and symptom review, as well as advanced imaging, we identify the exact nature of your Achilles tendon injury so that we can design an appropriate treatment plan.
For example, if we find that tendonitis or a partial tear is the culprit, we recommend steps to help your tendon heal, which may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Targeted stretching exercises
- Custom orthotics
- Cortisone injections
If the tear is significant, we may recommend immobilization, such as a walking boot, to prevent the tendon from rupturing completely.
When your Achilles tendon ruptures completely, immobilization is the primary treatment, and then we can determine whether you may benefit from surgical repair. During this surgery, we go in from the back of your ankle and suture the two ends of your tendon back together.
If you’re experiencing pain in your Achilles tendon, we urge you to come see us sooner rather than later. To get started, contact our office that’s nearest you -- in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Thornton, or Evergreen, Colorado -- to set up an appointment.