The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. Stretching from the heel to the calf it plays a crucial role in movement. It works when we walk, run, climb stairs, stand on tiptoes and jump. Whilst it can withstand great stress, injuries to the Achilles are common. They are normally the result of sudden sharp movements, such as in sport or when sprinting to catch a train where great force shocks through the tendon. The Achilles can also become inflamed from repetitive stress over a number of years as that causes tendon degeneration.
Achilles pain can develop over time but in the case of a rupture, where fibres are torn or completely severed, there will be an immediate pain and it will be difficult to generate power to move the foot. Rest, elevation, ice and refraining from exercise can help along with medication to reduce any swelling and pain. Physiotherapists and podiatrists can advise on stretches and shoe-inserts to correct poor foot posture to improve the condition. A rupture can be treated conservatively with a cast or boot to protect the tendon as the natural healing process takes place over six to eight weeks before a comprehensive rehabilitation programme.
Achilles repair or reconstruction involves a small incision at the back of the leg with the ends of the tendon sewn back together; a graft from another tendon in your body maybe needed to reinforce the damaged area. The operation is a reliable and trusted procedure that takes place under general anaesthetic with the patient allowed home after around 48 hours. A cast will be needed with a rehabilitation programme normally scheduled for two months’ post operation.
To ask a question, make an enquiry or book an appointment, contact our specialist team on 0207 806 4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org, the team are available between Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Our foot and ankle team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.
If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.