Understanding Achilles Tendon Rupture: Causes, Symptoms, and Rehabilitation Strategies

An Achilles rupture can be a daunting and painful injury that most commonly affects middle aged males with more active lifestyles. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, however, is the most commonly injured tendon. It plays a crucial role in various physical activities such as walking, running, and jumping. When this tendon is overstressed or subjected to sudden force, it can tear or rupture.

achilles rupture

Causes and Symptoms:

Achilles ruptures often result from a sudden, forceful push-off motion, such as during a sprint or a jump. However, it can also develop over time due to chronic overuse or degeneration of the tendon as it loses tensile strength. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy or deconditioned calf muscles, or those with a prolonged use of corticosteroids may be more susceptible to rupturing their Achilles tendon.
Common symptoms of an Achilles rupture include a sudden onset of pain in the back of the ankle or calf. A pop or a snapping sound is often heard and feels as if someone has kicked you in the back of the leg. Swelling, and difficulty walking or pushing off the affected foot are also signs you may have ruptured your Achilles tendon.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

If you suspect an Achilles rupture, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist will conduct an assessment and be able to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury. Treatment options vary based on the severity of the rupture but often include both surgical and non-surgical approaches.

Rehabilitation:

Studies show positive functional results for both surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment and both interventions have their pros and cons. There is a higher re-rupture rate with conservative management compared to a surgical approach. Receiving surgery to repair the rupture can cause complications such as infections, wound healing problems, and nerve injury.
However, studies reveal that the outcomes after either intervention are comparable and regardless of the chosen treatment approach, rehabilitation is a critical aspect of the recovery process. Physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in restoring flexibility, strength, and functionality to the affected ankle and calf muscles.

Conclusion:

It can most certainly be upsetting and challenging following an Achilles rupture, but with early management and appropriate treatment, individuals can often regain their mobility and return to their normal activities. If you suspect an Achilles rupture, consult with a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist immediately so that you can achieve the best possible outcome.

Book an Appointment Now!

You can request a call now or book an appointment online through our website or request a call from us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

If you or a loved one need help is suffering from Achilles pain and leg strains, you might want to get in touch with our team. Our professional Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists can work when you book with us via call:

  • Precision Physio Concord: 02 9736 3950
  • Precision Physio St Marys: 02 9623 2220
  • Precision Physio Mt Druitt: 02 9188 2552
John Sung Physio St Marys

John joins our team as a graduate of Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Western Sydney University. Along with his caring and energetic nature, he combines exercise-based rehabilitation and evidence-based treatments to provide the best possible outcome for all injuries and conditions.

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