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Ways to Diagnose Achilles Tendon Injuries

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Pain behind the heel is often a sign of an injury to the Achilles tendon. However, finding the exact cause of the pain may require a number of tests. To diagnose an Achilles tendon injury, a podiatrist will start by examining the injured area. A Thompson test involves squeezing the calf to determine the health of the Achilles tendon. The doctor then may ask you to perform a series of physical activities, such as hopping, jumping, or leg lifts, to determine whether the activity causes pain and where it is located. Next, a patient history will be conducted to note any past Achilles tendon injuries or inflammation, as well as a list of your activities. An MRI (magnetic resource imaging) or ultrasound test may also be used to get a detailed look at the tendon or to rule out other injuries or conditions. An X-ray may be used to identify still other factors, such as bone spurs, heel bumps, or stress fractures, that could be causing the pain. If you believe you have injured your Achilles tendon, or are experiencing pain in that area, please visit a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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