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Achilles Tendonitis Treatment in New York City

Achilles Tendonitis

Muscles taper into tendons, which attach to bones, allowing us control over our movements. When muscles contract, they operate very much like a pulley system. Three muscles in the calf taper together to become the thick, cord-like Achilles tendon.

These calf muscles include the soleus muscle and the two gastrocnemius muscles. The soleus muscle originates in the lower leg and crosses two joints (the ankle and the subtalar joint) as it becomes part of the Achilles tendon. The two gastrocnemius muscles begin in the upper leg and cross three joints (the knee, the ankle, and the subtalar joint).

This three-muscles-into-one-tendon construct exerts significant force when we stand, walk, jump. However, while the Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body, and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more, it is among the most frequently injured tendons.

Achilles Tendonitis

Runner running on the street

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Trauma to the Achilles tendon is most often due to leg and foot movements made when standing, walking, jumping, running during sports, and participating in other rigorous activities.

Professional and “weekend-warrior” athletes alike can suffer from injuries to the Achilles tendon and the region around it’s insertion into the lower leg, ankle and foot.

Common causes of Achilles tendonitis:

  • A lack of flexibility in the calf muscles
  • Hill running or stair climbing
  • Excessive jumping
  • Starting exercising too quickly/vigorously after a layoff period
  • Increasing your mileage or speed too rapidly
  • Trauma caused by sudden or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort, such as in a final sprint

Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis tends to affect active young adults. When small tears develop in the middle of the tendon, it begins to break down, causing calf pain and swelling.

Insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs where your tendon and heel bone meets. This can affect individuals of any age regardless of their activity level.

A ruptured Achilles tendon happens when small tears in the fibers become large enough to cause a complete or partial break in the tendon. Often accompanied by a “pop” from the back of the calf or heel, a ruptured Achilles tendon requires immediate medical attention.

Call Chelsea Foot and Ankle at (646) 929-4149 in New York City for Achilles tendonitis treatment.

How Do I Know if I Have Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendinitis often begins with mild pain after athletic activity, exercise, or running that worsens gradually. Other symptoms include:

  • Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running
  • Morning tenderness above where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone
  • Sluggishness or tightness in your leg
  • Mild or severe swelling at the lower leg/ankle
  • Stiffness that diminishes to some degree as the tendon warms up

Other painful conditions that may affect the Achilles tendon include:

  • Paratenonitis – Inflammation of the connective tissue surrounding the tendon
  • Paratenonitis with tendinosis – A combination of tendinosis and inflammation of the connective tissue
  • Insertional tendinosis – The degeneration tissue connecting the tendon to the bone, often becoming calcified
  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis – Inflammation of the fluid-filled sac between the heel bone and tendon
  • Chronic tendon ruptures – Weakened areas of the tendon experience compounding tears from non-treatment or poor healing.

Why Choose Chelsea Foot and Ankle to Treat Achilles Tendonitis?

Dr. Ethan J. Ciment has extensive skill and experience with a wide range of podiatry issues, including Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis. The entire team at Chelsea Foot and Ankle shows the immense respect we have for our patients by taking the time to listen carefully to all questions and answer them as thoroughly as possible.

We value your time and do not overbook to ensure all our patients receive the care they need. You can count on our New York City podiatrist to consider every aspect of your well-being during your in-depth consultation before he creates a custom treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

Choosing Dr. Ciment as your podiatry professional means you can expect to be treated like family and the VIP you are. Because of our commitment to our patients, Chelsea Foot and Ankle offers comprehensive treatments at reasonable prices with a friendly staff ready to help with any questions or billing issues.

What Are Your Non-surgical Achilles Tendonitis Options?

A conservative approach, whenever possible, is preferential and includes these non-surgical treatments:

  • The area is bandaged to restrict tendon movement.
  • Rest and exercise modifications are advised to reduce stress or overuse of the tendon.
  • Orthotics may be inserted into your shoes to help support the muscle and relieve pressure on the tendon.
  • Physical therapy, including exercises and stretching techniques designed to strengthen the weakened muscle group, as well as massage and ultrasound treatments
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed, or over-the-counter NSAIDs recommended, such as Voltaren gel, oral Ibuprofen, Motrin, or Aleve.

What if You Need Surgery for Achilles Tendonitis?

Early treatment with physical therapy and other non-invasive techniques is highly beneficial and can typically shorten the duration and severity of the injury. While this is the ideal method of getting our patients back to their normal activities and even participating in their preferred sports, sometimes patients get to us too late and have a long-standing tendon injury.

In cases where there is a rupture or degeneration of the tendon, removing fibrous scar tissue and repairing tears require surgery.

What Is Recovery From Achilles Tendonitis Surgery Like?

While recovery from surgery to repair a severely injured Achilles tendon can take six weeks, after an intense physical therapy program, our patients can usually return to their lives stronger than before, with no loss of athletic ability or endurance.

How Can You Prevent Achilles Tendonitis?

You can condition your calf muscles and Achilles tendon by practicing the following habits:

  • Wear supportive footwear.
  • Always stretch and warm up before engaging in strenuous exercise or sports.
  • Gradually increase the intensity of your athletic activities.
  • Perform regular calf-strengthening exercises.
  • Cross-train to alternate the types of pressure being exerted on different muscle groups.

New York City Achilles Tendonitis Treatment

You can trust the doctors at Chelsea Foot and Ankle to take your concerns seriously, diagnose your condition, and create an appropriate treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

We also treat the following conditions:

Have Questions?

Contact us with any questions you may have.

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Foot and Ankle Tendinitis in Runners and Athletes

Achilles Tendonitis FAQ

What are the most common causes of a torn Achilles tendon?

A torn Achilles tendon is often caused when an individual suddenly changes position or pivots while participating in sports. Some people have flat feet or short calf muscles, which can make them more vulnerable to developing problems with the Achilles tendon due to the additional pressure put on the tendon while walking or running.

Overuse and repetitive activities can also put excessive stress on the Achilles tendon and result in pain and inflammation.

Is surgery always necessary to repair a torn Achilles tendon?

Immobilization, ice, and oral medications to relieve pain and reduce swelling, as well as other non-surgical techniques, like physical therapy and orthotics, can be used early on. Imaging with X-rays, ultrasound, or MRI can determine the extent of the injury to your Achilles tendon and whether surgery is needed to restore it to health.

What’s involved in the surgery for a torn Achilles tendon?

If the damage isn’t too extensive, a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving several small incisions being made in the tendon may be used. Otherwise, the surgeon may remove damaged tissue and reattach the healthy tendon areas with sutures.

In more severe cases, the surgeon might suggest a partial or total replacement of your Achilles tendon by using a tendon from a different part of your foot.

What are the risks associated with Achilles tendon surgery?

All surgeries carry some risks of complications. While rare, Achilles tendon surgery can cause bleeding, infection, blood clots, nerve damage, weakness, poor healing, anesthesia complications, or a recurrence of pain.

Are You Interested in Treating Your Achilles Tendinitis?

If you seek treatment for foot and ankle problems, including Achilles Tendinosis in central New York City, call our office today at (646) 929-4149!

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