Achilles Tendon Rupture

  • Medical Author: Steven S. Bhimji, MD, MSc, PhD
  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    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.

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How can an Achilles tendon rupture be prevented?

To prevent Achilles tendonitis or rupture, the following tips are recommended:

  • Avoid activities that place an enormous stress on the heel (for example, uphill running or excessive jumping).
  • Stop all activity if there is pain at the back of the heel.
  • If pain resumes with one particular exercise, another exercise should be selected.
  • Wear proper shoes.
  • Gradually strengthen calf muscles with sit-ups if prior episodes of Achilles tendonitis have occurred.
  • Always warm up with stretching exercises before any activity.
  • Avoid high-impact sports if prior episodes of Achilles tendon injury.

Are there any home remedies for an Achilles tendon rupture?

Once the Achilles tendon is partially damaged, one should exercise great care. The risk of rupture is high and if pain is associated with walking, one should consult with an orthopedic surgeon or a sports physician. A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon is never treated at home. It is important to understand that there are no minerals, nutrients, or herbs to treat Achilles tendon injury and any delay just worsens the recovery.

What is the prognosis of an Achilles tendon rupture?

When proper treatment and rehabilitation are undertaken, the prognosis is excellent. The majority of athletes can return to their previous exercise or sports. However, those who undergo nonsurgical care should be aware that recurrence of tendon rupture is much higher than surgical therapy.

Individuals should be aware of proper techniques of warming up prior to any exercise. For those who develop pain at the back of the heel during sporting activities, it is highly recommended that one wear proper-fitting shoes and discontinue the exercise if pain persists.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

REFERENCES:

Hess, G.W. "Achilles tendon rupture: a review of etiology, population, anatomy, risk factors, and injury prevention." Foot Ankle Spec 3.1 Feb. 2010: 29-32.

Thompson, J., and B. Baravarian. "Acute and chronic Achilles tendon ruptures in athletes." Clin Podiatr Med Surg 28.1 Jan. 2011: 117-35.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2016

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