The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Thankfully, Achilles tendon rupture is not very common (estimated at 18 per 100,000 people). It is quite likely that a certain degree of degeneration is established within the achilles tendon in order for an achilles tendon rupture to occur.
When this degeneration is present within the tendon, achilles tendon rupture may occur with jumping, take off with running or a forced movement of the foot. Symptoms usually include feeling a “snap” at the back of the Achilles that is associated with pain and a sensation of having been kicked. In fact with an achilles tendon rupture patients often report looking behind them immediately after the injury to see “who kicked them!”
This is followed by a significant difficulty rising up onto the toes on the affected side and an inability to push off while walking.
Swelling and bruising are typically present. It is important to seek assessment by your chartered physiotherapist or doctor urgently if an Achilles tendon rupture is suspected.
If it is confirmed on examination, you will receive an urgent referral to an orthopaedic doctor who will discuss the best management option with you.
Early intervention is important to achieve a good outcome and return to sports and physical activity.