Achilles Tendon Rupture: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 2/18/2020

Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear in the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the large band that connects the calf muscle to the heel cone. The Achilles tendon is critical for walking because it lifts the heel off the ground.

Signs and symptoms of Achilles tendon rupture include

  • sudden stabbing pain in the back of the heel,
  • hearing or feeling a popping or snapping of the tendon,
  • swelling of the back of the leg, and
  • problems with walking or standing on the toes.

The sudden pain may change to a dull, aching pain over time.

Causes of an Achilles tendon rupture

Trauma or injuries (like falling, tripping, excessive jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations in running) cause an Achilles tendon rupture.

Other achilles tendon rupture symptoms and signs

  • Hearing or Feeling a Popping or Snapping of the Tendon
  • Problems With Walking or Standing on the Toes
  • Sudden Stabbing Pain in the Back of the Heel
  • Swelling of the Back of the Leg


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.