What’s worse than a torn Achilles tendon? Two. After sitting out last season due to a torn left Achilles, Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy now very likely has torn his right one as well. After missing one season it looks like he’s going to miss another one. What a bad break or I should say a “bad tear”.
Achilles tendonitis, a ruptured or torn Achilles,and other Achilles related injuries are common. According to the website achillestendon.com in 2002 there were an estimated 232,000 Achilles tendon sports related injuries in people over six in the U.S. That’s a lot of folks suffering from injuries located in this part of the foot.
The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone and is located down the back of the lower leg connecting to the calf muscle at the heel bone. It’s the largest tendon in the body and although it can tolerate up to forces of up to 1000 pounds or more it’s not infallible and so will rupture when stretched beyond its capacity. That’s why it’s particularly common in football players and other athletes who pivot during play or make rapid accelerations.
Although I do see ruptured Achilles here at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, much more common is Achilles tendonitis which occurs in weekend warriors and other athletes but is easier to treat and has a faster healing time.
Some signs of an Achilles rupture are:
- Stabbing pain in the back of the heel or calf
- A popping or snapping feeling
- Swelling on the back of the heel or calf
- Difficulty walking
If this occurs it’s important to apply the RICE technique (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) until you or your little athlete can get to your local Seattle podiatrist. A ruptured Achilles will usually require surgery.
To get in for a same day appointment with our office call 206-368-7000.