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The Management of Achilles Tendon Ruptures

The Achilles tendon is considered the strongest tendon in your body. This tendon connects our leg muscles to the heel bone, so transmits the loads in the calf to the foot for running and walking. One significant physiological problem with the Achilles tendon is that it along with the leg muscles are a two-joint structure. Because of this the tendon along with the calf muscles passes across two joints – the knee joint and the ankle. When throughout activity the 2 joints are moving in opposite directions, in this case the ankle joint is dorsiflexing simultaneously that the knee will be extending, then the stress on the tendon is actually substantial and when there is some weakness or problem with the tendon it may tear or rupture. This can take place in sports for example basketball or badminton where there are lot of rapid stop and start motion.

In the event the Achilles tendon does rupture it usually is quite dramatic. Sometimes there's an audible snap, but other times there could possibly be no pain and the athlete simply drops down as they loose all strength from the calf muscles through to the foot. There are plenty of video clips of the Achilles tendon rupturing in athletes available in places like YouTube. A straightforward search there will probably find them. The videos show just how dramatic the rupture is, just how simple it appears to happen and ways in which immediately debilitating it is in the athlete when it takes place. Clinically a rupture of the Achilles tendon is quite obvious to diagnose and evaluate, as when they contract the calf muscles, the foot will not move. While standing they can not raise up on to the toes. The Thompson test is a examination that whenever the calf muscle is squeezed, then the foot should plantarflex. If the tendon is torn, then this does not happen.

The first aid treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture is ice and pain relief and also for the athlete to get off the leg, normally in a walking support or splint. You will find mixed thoughts and opinions on the definitive treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture. One choice is surgical, and the other choice is to wearing a walking brace. The research reviewing the 2 options is really clear in demonstrating that there's no difference between the 2 about the long term outcomes, so that you can be comfortable in knowing that whatever treatment is used, then the long terms outcomes are the same. In the short term, the surgical method will get the athlete back to sport faster, but as always, any surgery treatment may carry a small anaesthetic risk as well as surgical wound infection risk. That risk needs to be compared to the requirement to return to the sport quicker.

What's quite possibly more important compared to choice of the surgical or non-surgical therapy is the rehabilitation just after. The research is extremely clear that the earlier standing and walking and motion is completed, the more effective the end result. This needs to be carried out gradually and slowly to permit the Achilles tendon as well as the calf muscles to develop strength before the return to sports activity.