Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: achilles tendon rupture

Stunning Seattle weather this past weekend sent many people outdoors including weekend warriors. You know who you are. You're most likely a 45 year old guy who hides out all winter attached at the hip to your computer. Then when the weather hits the 60s you're out there with everyone else working off those pounds you gained while hibernating. Unfortunately you're in the exact population most at risk for Achilles tendon injuries including Achilles tendon rupture.

Sitting all day and getting little exercise can shorten the Achilles tendon, making it more vulnerable to rupture. This is one part of our body not designed to go from 0-70 without any warm-up or stretching.

One study written up in the journal Foot Ankle International in 2013, found that the most common sports associated with Achilles tendon rupture (the most extreme injury of the Achilles) were basketball, tennis, football, volleyball, and soccer. This was more likely found in those playing at the community level instead of those involved in professional sports. Men topped the charts with this injury at 83% and in women it occurred 17% of the time.

Stretching is the top recommendation for those anxious to hit the court. But just like working out your muscles over the winter to keep them in shape, it's equally important to keep stretching on a daily basis to keep your tendons from getting tight.

One excellent way to accomplish this is by participating in yoga which benefits the whole body. Be sure to include a runner's stretch as part of your yoga routine. It's also important to do the runner's stretch if you've been diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.

If you think you've ruptured your Achilles tendon our doctors will evaluate the severity and then present you with the best treatment options. For more information or to make an appointment, call 206-368-7000 or request one online.

Four hundred meter national record holder, Tabari Henry of the Virgin Islands who is still recovering from an Achilles injury, is chomping at the bit to start competing once again. This semi-finalist at the London 2010 Olympic Games who has more than a passing resemblance to Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman also appears to have a similar sense of grit. “It's more (about) getting my confidence back. It has been a rough roller-coaster ride for the past year for me. But I stuck with a plan and set goals, and now I'm on the high end of recovery." Not one to wallow with an injury he took it as an opportunity to complete his studies at Texas A & M.

An Achilles tendon rupture is often seen among weekend warriors and baby boomers. Sprinting, such as running to first base, pivoting, or other rapid acceleration can cause the tendon to stretch beyond its capacity causing it to tear. Injury can also be the result of tripping or falling.

Signs and Symptoms
A person with a ruptured Achilles tendon may experience one or more of the following:

  • Sudden pain (which feels like a kick or a stab) in the back of the ankle or calf – often subsiding into a dull ache
  • A popping or snapping sensation
  • Swelling on the back of the leg between the heel and the calf
  • Difficulty walking (especially upstairs or uphill) and difficulty rising up on the toes

From American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Apply the R.I.C.E. Protocol

As soon as possible follow the RICE Protocolas discussed in my previous blog “American Snowboarder Competes At Olympics Despite Broken Ankle”. Immediately follow up with a call to your physician or podiatrist.

It’s important to follow the example ofTabari Henry by staying off your injured foot and setting some goals for your recovery. We’ll help you do that at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City where our Seattle podiatrists are skilled in conservative and surgical procedures to help you get back to doing what you love.  Call us at 206-368-7000.