Most people may have only heard of the Achilles heel as an expression to describe someone’s point of weakness. But anyone who has sustained an injury or developed a condition affecting the Achilles tendon learns how painful and debilitating it can be. The doctor of podiatric medicine at Princeton Regional Foot and Ankle Associates has expertly cared for many people with Achilles problems, deploying a range of treatments and techniques to relieve pain and start the healing process.
The Achilles is the body’s largest tendon, a band of tissue running down the back of the leg that connects the calf muscle and heel bone. Because it’s involved in so many everyday activities — walking, climbing stairs, standing on your toes, and running — it withstands quite a bit of wear and tear. A number of factors can lead to developing conditions like tendonitis and tendinosis, including a sudden increase in physical activity, tight calf muscles, or if your feet have flattened arches. If you’re wearing poorly made footwear for sports or everyday activities, that also may contribute to these conditions, which cause pain, stiffness, and tenderness.
An Achilles rupture occurs when there is a tear in the tendon after it becomes stretched beyond its capacity. It’s marked by a sharp, sudden pain that may be accompanied by a popping or snapping feeling. It’s most common among athletes — especially part-time enthusiasts like middle-aged “weekend warriors” — who make sudden motions like accelerating or jumping.
Our podiatrist will determine the severity of the condition or injury by conducting a thorough examination and possibly imaging. We will then recommend treatment options that may include custom-made orthotics, wearing night splints, medication, and, if other approaches don’t yield results, surgery to repair the tendon.
If you’re suffering from Achilles tendon pain, our podiatrist at Princeton Regional Foot and Ankle Associates can reduce your discomfort and devise a plan to get you on your feet and back to the activities you love. Please contact us today for an appointment.