An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when this thick band, which runs from the calf muscles to the back of the heel, gets torn.
While it sometimes follows a history of inflammation or degeneration, the actual Achilles tendon tear is almost always the result of a sudden event such as pushing off hard from the toes, or a sudden bending upwards of the foot.
The symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture are immediate and obvious, and include:
- Sudden sharp pain
- Often this is accompanied by a load crack or bang
- Unable to walk properly or stand on tip toes
- You may be able to feel a gap in the tendon
- Extensive swelling
This is an injury that requires immediate treatment. Follow the RICE prescription (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and seek immediate medical help. Surgery will be required to fix this injury, and the sooner you have the operation the better - any longer than two days is likely to lead to complications.
Following surgery, the recovery period is likely to be anywhere from six to nine months. This is typically a period where you are immobilized in plaster, followed by extensive physiotherapy to restore strength and range of motion.