Possible Achilles Tendonitis?


Q: Hello! I've been having a bit of trouble with my left ankle. The first time I hurt it from exercise, I think it slightly swelled up, but a little bit of bruising. It mainly hurt at the back of my ankle. I thought I was fine after putting a load of ice on it for ages, but I did more exercise and it seems I'm not. The problem is now worse and I'm not sure weather to go to a Doctor. And, I'm not even sure if it is my Achilles Tendon! It hurts to walk, so I limp and it hurts a tiny bit when I'm resting. What would happen if I have got Achilles Tendonitis? Would I have to have a support? Would I have crutches? How long it is before I can go back to the normal actives that I do? Thanks alot, Nikki


A:   Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the heel tendon, usually resulting from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear, extreme stretching or intensity of an activity. Sometimes called the heel cord, it is the largest tendon in the human body. When the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon is tightened, pulling the heel. This allows you to point your foot and stand on tiptoe. Certain illnesses (such as arthritis and diabetes) and medications (such as corticosteroids and some antibiotics) can also increase the risk of rupture. Injury can happen in these situations: You make a forceful push-off with your foot while your knee is straightened by the powerful thigh muscles. You suddenly trip or stumble, and your foot is thrust in front to break a fall, forcefully overstretching the tendon or as in your case a forceful stretching of the calf muscles. Treatment must reflect a balance between protection and early motion: Protection is necessary to allow time for healing and to prevent re injury. Moving your foot and ankle is needed to prevent stiffness and loss of muscle tone. I advise you a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon to determine the treatment and follow-up that is right for you.

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