We have heard about various orthopedics concerns, among them, one such issue is Achilles tendinitis which is a sports injury and addressed by doctors or surgeons for sports injuries. The Achilles tendon is a strong and fibrous tissue band located at the back of the lower leg connecting calf muscles and heel bone. In medical terms, the heel bone is termed calcaneus thus Achilles tendon is also sometimes referred to as the calcaneal tendon.
Its magnitude can be explained through its position as the largest tendon in the human body. Flexion of calf muscles causes the Achilles tendon to pull the heel because of which we can stand on our toes while running, jumping, or walking. However, this tendon can also be subject to injury as the blood supply to the Achilles tendon is limited and it endures great stress.
Initially, light pain is experienced at the back of the lower leg or right above the heel after sports or running. This gradually develops into more severe aches if activities like running or climbing stairs are prolonged. The area may also feel stiff and tender specifically early morning which gradually improves with light movement.
What causes it?
The Achilles tendon aids in actions like running, jumping, walking, and also helps to push on toes when required. Repetitive use or stress over this band of tissue leads to a condition entitled Achilles tendinitis. People who are active in sports are more prone to this injury. Also, its probability increases with growing age as tendons become weak steadily. A drastic increase in the intensity of running while sports could injure the Achilles tendon. Other risk factors include physical build, like those who have a flat arch foot by birth are much more susceptible to getting this ailment. Moreover, obesity and taut calf muscles are also the reasons. Your training picks also contribute to Achilles tendinitis like running while wearing worn-out or misfit shoes, sports practice in cold weather, and running on uneven ground.
Visit an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore without a delay. The doctor will do a physical and internal examination to evaluate the condition. He will press the injured area gently examining visible symptoms like bruises, redness, pain, swelling, and tenderness. Further, he will gauge the alignment of joints, check the range of motion, and flexibility. Your consultant will ask about the routine activities and how you get hurt. Imaging tests are prescribed for internal diagnosis these include:
Imaging tests help to rule out other possible orthopedic concerns that may be a reason. X-rays give an internal view of soft tissues which makes it easy for a doctor to examine the tendon injury.
For a detailed analysis, Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is recommended. With this, your consultant can have a close look at the Achilles tendon. An in-depth study could be made through MRI images to reach the exact cause.
An ultrasound device uses sound waves to produce real-time images from inside, over a computer screen. Soft tissues like the Achilles tendon are well observed through this method, also color-Doppler ultrasound facility let the doctor assess blood flow near the tendon.
The treatment strategy is built over conditions that prevail, mild injury could be made better through RICE therapy I.e. rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
The cutoff to activities that put stress over the Achilles tendon is advised until the tendon becomes healthy again. Crutches or other supporting elements can be used to keep the tendon relax.
Cold compresses like applying a pack of ice help reduce pain and swelling. Apply it for 15 to 20 minutes when pain is experienced.
An elastic bandage should be wrapped around to prevent swelling and restrict tendon movement.
Another method to Putting a swelling is through elevation. Raise the injured leg above your heart level when lying down and while sleeping at night. Putting a leg over a pile of pillows could be a solution.
Self-care usually helps to make Achilles tendinitis better but when symptoms still endure orthopedic surgeon brings in other treatment options for relief.
In any case, oral medicines such as pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for pain relief. The doctor may put you on stronger doses for fast relief.
An orthopedic surgeon directs his patient toward a physical therapist who suggests and guides patients through various exercises to practice at home for muscles strength. Physical therapy improves joint motion, its flexibility, and promotes healing of the Achilles tendon.
Put a shoe insertion so your heel is slightly elevated. This helps to relieve stress over the tendon and also provides soft padding for the heel so you can walk with less force employed on the Achilles tendon.
Surgery opts as a last resort when a condition doesn’t get better through the above-mentioned treatments or the injury is severe. Surgeons for sports injuries usually repair torn Achilles tendons through surgery. A tendon is sewn back and the lower leg is immobilized to ensure proper healing.
Consult an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore if the pain is hard to relieve because negligence to Achilles tendinitis ache weakens the tendon making it vulnerable to tear which then calls for surgical repair. To keep yourself innocuous from such injury gradually increase the intensity of exercise. Warm-up your body before a major workout and stop when the Achilles tendon feels painful. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid stress over heels and lower leg muscles.