The Achilles tendon is the thick tendon at the back of the leg. It is the thickest tendon in the body and attaches the calf muscles to the calcaneus (heel bone). The achilles tendon’s main function is plantarflexion of the foot at the ankle joint such as with walking, running, and jumping. The three most common painful conditions affecting the achilles tendon are Achilles Tendinitis, Insertional Achilles Tendinitis, and Retrocalcaneal Bursitis/Haglund Deformity.
Signs and symptoms of achilles tendinitis are pain, inflammation, and sometimes thickening of the tendon. The pain may be located at 2 different locations; at the insertion where the tendon connects to the heel bone or higher up behind the ankle. Pain is typically aggravated by weight bearing activity, running, jumping, and direct pressure.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis/Haglund’s deformity
Signs and symptoms of bursitis or Haglund’s deformity include pain, inflammation, and a painful bump to the back of the heel where the tendon inserts into the heel bone. Pain is typically aggravated by activity and direct pressure from shoe gear.
Treatment includes NSAIDs for pain and inflammation control, rest, ice, and a heel lift to decrease the stress. If the achilles tendinitis is not at the insertion and higher behind the ankle, studies have shown great results with the Alfredson eccentric exercise protocol. In more severe conditions that are not treatable or do not respond to conservative treatment then an MRI may be ordered to determine if there are any tears present in the tendon. Tears in the tendon or conditions that do not respond to conservative treatment may respond to a new treatment called amniotic injection therapy. Severe conditions may require surgical intervention.
Your foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in Mckinney and Prosper TX will perform a thorough history and physical exam. They will order any necessary X-rays and/or MRIs. A treatment plan will be outlined to get you back on your feet pain free as quickly as possible.
If you have achilles tendon, ankle, and/or heel pain then call us at (972) 542-2155 to schedule your appointment today!