Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Patients with an Achilles tendon rupture will often complain of a sudden
snap in the back of the leg. The pain is often intense.
With a complete
rupture, the individual will only be ambulate with a limp. Most people will not
be able to climb stairs, run, or stand on their toes.
Swelling around the calf
Patients may often have had a sudden increase in exercise or
intensity of activity.
Some patients may have had recent corticosteroid
injections or use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Some athletes may have had a
prior injury to the tendon.
When Achilles tendon injury is suspected, the entire lower lag is examined
for swelling, bruising, and tenderness. If there is a full rupture, a gap in the
tendon may be noted.
Patients will not be able to stand on the toes if there
is a complete Achilles tendon rupture.
Several tests can be performed to look
for Achilles tendon rupture. One of the most widely used tests is called the
Thompson test. The patient is asked to lie down on the stomach and the examiner
squeezes the calf area. In normal people, this leads to flexion of the foot.
With Achilles tendon injury, this movement is not seen.
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 9/10/2013