Achilles Tendonitis

Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois

Podiatrists & Laser Center located in Springfield, IL & Decatur, IL

Achilles Tendonitis can be a mild form of tendonitis or more severe condition if the tendon is torn or ruptured. In either case, it requires immediate diagnosis and treatment to reduce the chance of further complications and restore mobility. Treatment for this condition depends on your age, activity level, and severity of the injury. Our surgeons will provide an accurate assessment of your condition and review your non-surgical and surgical options. Schedule a consultation today at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois online or by calling the office nearest you in Springfield, Decatur, Taylorville, Carlinville, Shelbyville, and Sullivan, Illinois. If surgery is required, it is usually done on an out-patient basis. Minimally invasive procedures are used to minimize infection and rehabilitation is provided to foster recovery and enhance outcomes.

Achilles Tendonitis Q & A

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is the medical term for a strained calf. This condition stresses the soft tissues below your knee, that extends down the back of your leg. When the tendon that connects your calf to your heel bone becomes inflamed and injured, you’ll feel pain, which can range from mild to severe.

Achilles tendonitis most commonly affects runners who suddenly switch their routine and increase the intensity of their workouts. But you can also develop achilles tendonitis if you play basketball, tennis, or another sport that requires you to change directions and the intensity of your runs — especially if you don’t warm-up and cool-down properly.

How do I know if I have Achilles tendonitis?

Severe pain running down the back of your lower-leg is a common sign of Achilles tendonitis. But you may experience other warning signs that indicate that it's time to see a specialist, like those at Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois.

For example, you may experience:

  • Stiffness in the back of your lower leg
  • Lower-leg pain that worsens with activity
  • Severe lower-leg pain the day after an intense workout
  • Lower-leg swelling
  • Bone spurs

While Achilles tendonitis causes severe pain and swelling, you should be wary of any popping sounds in your heel or in the back of your calf when you sustain the injury. This sound is a telltale sign that you may have torn or ruptured your tendon, which requires immediate medical attention.

Will I need surgery for Achilles tendonitis?

Possibly, although the surgeons at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois will first provide an accurate assessment of your condition before reviewing your non-surgical and surgical options. If surgery is the only option, your surgeon will inform you about the severity of your injury and what to expect from surgery. If surgery is required, it's typically performed on an outpatient basis, using minimally invasive techniques to minimize your chances of infection and improve your recovery times. Rehabilitation is also provided to foster your recovery and enhance your surgical outcomes.

Some men and women still have trouble with foot flexing after extensive physical therapy, and in these cases, their surgeon might need to extend their calf muscle.

If your Achilles tendon is only slightly damaged, your provider might be able to repair it. But if it’s severely injured, your provider will likely have to perform a tendon transfer. With this type of surgery, your surgeon relocates the tendon that helps your big toe move up and down.

Your surgeon will attach the new tendon to your heel bone to strengthen your damaged tendon. Because tendon transfers can be invasive and require extensive healing time, you may not be able to return to competitive sports afterward.

To learn more about treatments for Achilles tendonitis, call Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, or request an appointment online today.