The Achilles tendon is considered the strongest tendon in your body. It connects your calf muscles on the heel bone, therefore transfers the loads from your calf muscles through to the foot for walking and running. One considerable anatomical downside of this Achilles tendon can it be plus the leg muscles is a two-joint design. Because of this the Achilles tendon along with the calf muscles traverses two joints – the knee joint and the ankle. If in the course of exercise the 2 joints can be moving in opposite directions, in this case the ankle is dorsiflexing simultaneously that the knee is going to be extending, then the strain on the Achilles tendon is actually high and if there is some weakness or problem with the tendon it may well tear or rupture. This tends to take place in sports activities for example tennis or boxing in which there is a rapid stop and start activity.
When the Achilles tendon will rupture it is typically very dramatic. Sometimes there is an perceptible snap, yet other times there could possibly be no pain and the athlete merely falls to the ground while they loose all power in the leg muscles through to the foot. There are various videos of the tendon rupturing in athletes to be found in places like YouTube. A straightforward search there will find them. The video clips clearly show just how striking the rupture is, just how simple it seems to take place and exactly how instantly debilitating it can be in the athlete as soon as it occurs. Clinically a rupture of the tendon is rather clear to diagnose and assess, as when they contract the calf muscles, the foot won't move. While standing they are unable to raise up on to the toes. The Thompson test is a examination that whenever the calf muscle is compressed, then your foot should plantarflex. When the Achilles tendon is ruptured, then this does not occur.
The initial treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture is ice and pain relief and also for the athlete to get off the leg, usually in a walking support or splint. You will find mixed thoughts and opinions on the specified approach to an Achilles tendon rupture. One option is surgical, and the alternative option is to using a walking splint. The research evaluating the 2 options is quite clear in indicating that there is no distinction between the 2 regarding the long term consequences, so that you can be relaxed in understanding that whatever treatment is used, then the long terms consequences are exactly the same. For the short term, the surgical approach should get the athlete returning to sport faster, however as always, any surgical treatment may carry a minor anaesthetic danger and also surgical wound infection risk. That risk has to be weighed against the necessity to come back to the activity quicker.
What is almost certainly more significant in comparison to the selection of the operative or non-surgical therapy is the actual rehab after. The evidence is extremely clear that the faster weight bearing and movement is done, the more effective the outcome. This has to be carried out gradually and slowly but surely to allow the tendon along with the calf muscles to build up strength before the resumption of sport.