How To Avoid a Ruptured Achilles Like Richard Sherman's

After a terrible defeat to the Washington Redskins the Seahawks were victorious this week against the Arizona Cardinals. But at a terrible cost. With Richard Sherman out with a ruptured Achilles tendon it will be a tough go for the Seahawks for the rest of the season. Sherman had already injured his Achilles in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Rams. So he was well aware that rupturing it later on was likely.

You may be wondering. What is a ruptured Achilles and who's at risk?

An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear of the Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It's common in football players and other athletes where jumping, pivoting, tripping, and falling are frequent actions.

It's also frequent in weekend warriors and baby boomers who aren't in the best shape and decide to play a pick-up game of basketball, for example.

How do you know if you've ruptured your Achilles?

Like Richard Sherman, you're likely to hear a distinct popping sound. The pain will feel like you've been kicked in the back of the ankle or calf.  Swelling as the result of inflammation will occur and walking uphill or upstairs will be quite difficult.

Will I need surgery if I've ruptured my Achilles?

You've probably read that Richard Sherman will need to have surgery for his Achilles rupture. But will you need it? It depends on how badly injured you are, how active, and whether you have other medical issues such as diabetes. Poor health will preclude you from having surgery.

If you're more active, surgery is the way to go since re-rupture after more conservative treatment is more likely. Other benefits to surgery include increasing your strength when pushing off your foot, improved muscle function and movement of the ankle.

How do I prevent myself from getting a ruptured Achilles?

Make sure to wear the right shoes for the activity you're engaged in. If you're playing basketball, wear basketball shoes, not running shoes or other shoes. Keep yourself in shape if you plan to take up infrequent games of basketball or other sports. Work with a trainer to find out what exercises will help you maintain your strength and flexibility for the sport you want to play.

Photo credit: Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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