The largest, thickest, and strongest tendon in the body is the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon supports all stress, exertion and force of exercise. Common activities like running can stress your tendon up to three times of your body weight. Overuse, and specifically repetitive stress is a main culprit of Achilles tendonitis. But, inactivity does not necessarily spare you from Achilles pain. Achilles tendonitis affects a wide range of individuals with varying activity levels from sedentary to very active. If nonsurgical treatment is not an option, it is possible Achilles pain tendonitis surgeons will recommend a surgical approach to achieve recovery.
- Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis is found at the midpoint of the tendon and is more frequently found in those that are younger and active.
- Insertional Achilles tendonitis is located right above the heel.
The first step to reduce the inflammation of the Achilles tendon should be nonsurgical. Methods to treat Achilles tendonitis include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, physical therapy, orthotics, and dexamethasone iontophoresis. Cross-treatments are vital. Through these treatment methods, calf muscles will be strengthened, ankle mobility should increase, and the tendon itself should be given the rest it needs to heal.
The first step to reduce the inflammation of the Achilles tendon should be nonsurgical. Methods to treat Achilles tendonitis include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, physical therapy, cortisone injections, orthotics, and possibly extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Cross-treatments are vital. Through these treatment methods, calf muscles will be strengthened, ankle mobility should increase, and the tendon itself should be given the rest it needs to heal.
Factor One: Timing
Achilles pain tendonitis surgeons advise patients to explore the possibilities of nonsurgical treatments thoroughly before a surgical
procedure will be recommended to you. A typical situation is the patient has consistently applied himself or herself to their conservative treatment plan, only to realize six months have passed without significant improvement or relief. The patient may have rested as much as they could afford, applied persistent physical therapy exercises to their routine outside of their regular appointments, and have been taking medication without seeing any changes. The longevity of the pain will be an indication to your doctor that surgical treatment may be necessary. A qualified doctor will give you a course of treatment that adapts to the receptivity of your injury, and duration of pain is the biggest indicator of the need to move beyond conservative options.
Factor Two: Severity
Two main factors that determine the severity of the injury are the amount of damage to the tendon and the location of the tendonitis. Severity can manifest itself in chronic Achilles pain (longevity) or acute damage. A doctor will counsel you from the point of injury to its progression, and will continue to offer counsel throughout the different stages of healing. The purpose of an initial examination from medical experts is to clarify your starting point, as well as to outline a personalized treatment plan. If you communicate the stagnation or worsening of your injury, Achilles pain tendonitis surgeons may recommend procedures such as debridement and repair, or debridement with tendon transfer.
Factor Three: Risks
Before committing to surgical treatment, you must consider the risks. One risk we strive to avoid is infection. An infection of the Achilles tendon can be difficult to treat because of its location. Another factor to weigh is moderate to severe pain after surgery which complicates recovery. But rest assured, Achilles pain tendonitis surgeons at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute are world-renowned specialists and leaders in the orthopaedic field. We utilize the most cutting-edge technology, and offer expert advice for the diagnosis and treatment of Achilles pain tendonitis.
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute welcomes you to visit any one of our locations
to discuss the next steps in your treatment plan. Please make an appointment today by calling 1.800.321.9999.