Achilles Tendon Rupture

What is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

Achilles tendon ruptures are an injury on the back of your lower leg. The Achilles tendon is a strong cord of tissue that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. It helps you do things like walk, run, jump, stand on your toes, and climb stairs.

The Achilles tendon can tear (rupture) completely or partially when it’s overstretched. This is most common when playing recreational sports, especially sports that involve jumping. It can also happen from falling from a height or stepping into a hole.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

Most people with Achilles tendon rupture have symptoms like:

  • Hearing or feeling a pop or snap.
  • Sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Being unable to stand on the toes of the foot.

If you hear or feel a pop or snap and can’t walk right afterward, see your doctor promptly.

Some people with Achilles tendon rupture don’t have any symptoms.

What Are the Treatments for an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

Treatment usually depends on your age, how active you are, and how bad the Achilles tendon rupture is. Treatments include:

  • A cast or walking boot with wedges to elevate your heel, to allow your torn tendon to heal.
  • Surgery to stitch the torn tendon together. Sometimes, the surgeon uses other tendons to repair or reinforce the Achilles tendon. Surgery is often the best option for young, active people.
  • Physical therapy after treatment to strengthen your leg muscles and Achilles tendon.