|Definition||Inflammation of the tendon behind the ankle that connects the leg and ankle to the heel bone|
|Details||The achilles tendon is a strong band of tissue that is the continuation of the large calf muscles. It serves as the power source for pushing off with the foot. Long standing achilles tendonitis (inflammation) can lead to tendonosis which is a degeneration of the tendon fibers.|
|Causes||Excessive running or jumping especially without proper stretching and strengthening are the most common causes of achilles tendonitis. Uphill running in particular can cause this condition.|
|Diagnosis||Achilles tendonitis is diagnosed by a history of pain behind the ankle when engaging in running or jumping. It is confirmed by tenderness over the achilles tendon and weakness when testing the calf muscles.|
|Treatment||Nonoperative: Most cases of achilles tendonitis can be treated without surgery. Rest, antiinflammatory medications
and stretching are the initial nonoperative measures. Physical therapy in combination with orthotics (shoe inserts)
may also be needed.
Operative: Patients with severe tendonosis unresponsive to conservative treatment may need surgery. The surgery consists of removing the degenerated portions of the tendon followed by an aggressive post operative rehabilitation program.
Warming up before exercising and proper stretching are essential to the prevention of achilles tendonitis.