Achilles Tendon Specialist

Centennial Foot and Ankle Specialists

Podiatrists located in Aurora, CO

An injured Achilles tendon can cause severe pain that keeps you from participating in sports or other activities you love. Board-certified podiatrist Erik J. Thelander, DPM, FACFAS, and the expert team at Centennial Foot and Ankle Specialists treat Achilles tendon injuries in patients of all ages at their location in Aurora, Colorado. If you or a loved one has foot or heel pain, call or book an appointment online today.

Achilles

Centennial Foot and Ankle Specialists

What are Achilles tendon injuries?

The Achilles is the largest tendon in your body. It’s a thick band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. This tendon is at work whenever you walk, run, jump, or stand on your tiptoes.

Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great levels of stress, it’s also prone to injury. Dr. Thelander and his team treat common Achilles tendon injuries, including:

Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis happens when the Achilles tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. With treatment, this inflammation is usually short-lived and improves in a few months.

Achilles tendonosis

Without proper treatment, tendonitis can lead to degeneration of the Achilles tendon. This condition is called tendonosis. Severe cases of Achilles tendonosis may result in a torn tendon.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury?

Signs and symptoms that indicate you may have injured your Achilles tendon include:

  • Pain and stiffness along the back of the heel
  • Heel pain that worsens after exercise or activity
  • Swelling in the Achilles tendon

If you have severe pain or hear a “pop” in your Achilles tendon, you should seek medical care immediately. This may be a sign of a torn (ruptured) tendon.

What causes Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is more likely to occur from repetitive stress on the tendon than from an acute injury or fall. Certain factors may increase your risk of getting Achilles tendonitis, such as:

  • Tight calf muscles
  • A sudden increase in amount or intensity of physical activity
  • Having a bone spur — a bony growth — on your heel

Dr. Thelander helps you prevent future Achilles tendon injuries by teaching you ways to stretch and warm up before exercise.

How do you diagnose and treat Achilles tendon injuries?

First, Dr. Thelander performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. He may take an in-office X-ray to determine the cause and severity of your Achilles tendon injury.

Then, he discusses the best treatment for your particular Achilles tendon injury. This may include:

  • Physical therapy to improve the strength and flexibility of the Achilles tendon
  • Immobilization with a removable cam walker boot
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling

For Achilles tendon injuries that don’t improve with treatment, Dr. Thelander may recommend surgery.

If you have Achilles tendon pain, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online for prompt treatment.