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Achilles Tendon

Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgery NYCNamed after the Greek hero Achilles, your Achilles tendon is the largest fibrous cord in your body. It’s a strong tissue that helps keep you mobile. But if something happens to compromise this tendon, the injury can affect your whole life.

Achilles was the son of a mortal man and a sea nymph in Greek mythology. When he was a baby, so the myth goes, Achilles’ mother dipped him in a river, the waters of which were designed to keep him safe. The strengthening waters touched him everywhere except where his mother held him as she dunked — the spot on the back of his foot, just above his heels.

Today, a foot doctor Manhattan-based may tell you that story is a myth. Your Achilles tendon is not only the longest, but also one of the strongest tendons in your entire body. It’s a length of inelastic, yet flexible string of collagen that runs from the back of your heel up through your calf on each leg. Your Achilles tendons are always in motion when you walk, run and stand — anytime you use your legs.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Foot Pain and Strain

When you start feeling foot pain from an overused or damaged Achilles tendon, you may argue with even the best New York podiatrist and insist that the gods have it in for you. While your Achilles tendons play an integral role in your everyday movement, they actually are fairly sensitive and highly prone to damage.

The degeneration and overuse of the Achilles tendons is one of the main issues that your podiatrist in New York sees on a regular basis. The stresses of running, jumping and extensive overuse lead to the common injury called Achilles tendinitis. A foot doctor Manhattan-situated defines tendinitis simply as an inflammation of the tissue.

The Body’s Responses

When damaged, the body responds by triggering your immune system to send antibodies to the damaged area. When your Achilles is damaged or begins to degenerate, your body responds with:

  • Irritation
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Thickening
  • Hardening
  • Tenderness

You can suffer from two basic types of Achilles tendinitis. Your foot doctor can tell the difference between the two with an examination and some tests. But you may have either:

  1. Insertional Achilles Tendinitis, which occurs near the bottom of your heel at the very end of the tendon. It may be accompanied by additional bone growths called bone spurs and heel pain. Damage that happens where the tendon connects to the bone can occur even in people who aren’t active.
  2. Noninsertional Achilles Tendinitis, which you feel in the middle of your heel. This is the most common form; it attacks athletes and active adults. Your New York City podiatry doctor can explain that the pain you feel is in response to little tears that cause your tendon to degenerate. With this type of tendinitis, your podiatric doctor notices your swelling and inflammation.

Causes for Podiatrists to Consider

Rarely is tendinitis the result of a single accident. It’s considered by your foot specialist to be more of a repetitive stress injury. When you push yourself with excessive running or exercise or bend and twist your ankles for years on a physically demanding job, you can develop this condition.

Most common causes of Achilles tendinitis seen by your NYC podiatrist include:

  • Small pieces of bone growing on your heel, which lead to bone spurs that can tear and aggravate the tender tissues of your tendon
  • Increases in the demand on your tendons — such as when you go from running three miles a day to 10 miles without a gradual build-up
  • Not allowing your body to warm up to an increase in activity
  • Beginning to walk or run long distances without stretching
  • Tight calf muscles that you put into action without sufficient warm-up

Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis

You can feel it when you start developing tendinitis in your Achilles tendons. Visit your foot doctor as soon as you experience any discomfort; it’s possible you can limit the amount of damage you do with preventive measures. Tell your podiatric doctor in NYC when you begin to feel:

  • Your tendons grow thicker
  • The tendons just behind your heel become extremely sensitive to the touch
  • A small hard lump (or bone spur) on the back of your heel
  • Stiffness and discomfort when rising in the morning
  • More severe pain after you exercise
  • Pain that gets worse as you move around
  • Inflammation that stays all through the day

Call 911 and then your podiatry doctor if you feel a sudden “popping” in the back of your heel. You may have a torn or ruptured tendon — and that requires immediate attention. The pain from Achilles tendonitis is debilitating; you’ll have difficulty walking on it.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Foot Doctor Tests

Explain your symptoms to your podiatry doctor, including:

  • When your discomfort began
  • When you feel it most
  • How long it lasts
  • How you feel after resting
  • What kinds of warm-ups you do before exercising
  • What kinds of exercise you do
  • How much you walk for work

Your foot doctor likely can tell just by touching your Achilles tendons if you are having problems there. To confirm a diagnosis of Achilles tendinitis, however, you may need to undergo imaging tests. X-rays show any calcification or hardening of your tendons around your heel. X-rays also help to pinpoint the origin of the hardening to determine whether you have insertional or noninsertional tendinitis.

Your New York City podiatrist may also order a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, test to determine the extent of the damage. Your foot doctor doesn’t need an MRI to diagnose your pain; he needs it if he deems you a candidate for Achilles tendon surgery.

Treatment Varies

Which treatment your podiatric doctor pursues depends on how much damage you have. Your podiatrist in New York City typically begins with non-invasive treatments such as:

  • I.C.E., or rest, ice, compression and elevation
  • Various stretching exercises as determined by a podiatric or sports specialist or physical therapist
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Physical therapy, which is best suited for insertional Achilles tendinitis
  • Steroid injections
  • Special shoe inserts or orthotic footwear
  • Noninvasive shockwave therapy
  • Surgery, which is the last resort for your podiatrist

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Achilles Tendon? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 389-9918

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.