Achilles Problems

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles 2

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It also is the most frequently ruptured tendon, usually as a result of a sports injury. Both professional and weekend athletes may suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.

Events that can cause Achilles tendonitis may include:

  • Hill running or stair climbing.

  • Overuse, stemming from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.

  • Rapidly increasing mileage or speed when walking, jogging, or running.

  • Starting up too quickly after a layoff in exercise or sports activity, without adequately stretching and warming up the foot.

  • Trauma caused by sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort, such as in a sprint.

  • Improper footwear and/or a tendency toward overpronation.

Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Other symptoms include:

  • Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running.

  • Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone.

  • Sluggishness in your leg.

  • Mild or severe swelling.

  • Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use. 

Achilles

Treatment normally includes:

  • A bandage specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon.

  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.

  • Orthotics, which are corrective shoe inserts designed to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon. Both nonprescription orthoses (such as a heel pads or over-the-counter shoe inserts) and prescribed custom orthotics may be recommended depending on the length and severity of the problem.

  • Rest and switching to exercises that do not stress the tendon (such as swimming).

  • Stretching and exercises to strengthen the weak muscle group in front of the leg, calf, and the upward foot flexors, as well as massage and ultrasound.

In extreme cases, surgery is performed to remove the fibrous tissue and repair any tears.

Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/Dysfunction

Peroneal tendons are two tendons that support two important foot muscles (peroneus brevis and peroneus longus) that originate on the outside of the calves. These two muscles allow you to roll to the outside of the foot while standing.

Peroneal tendons are also called stirrup tendons because they help hold up the arch of the foot. The two muscles are held in place by a band of tissue, called the peroneal retinaculum. Injury to the retinaculum can cause this tissue to stretch or tear. When this happens, the peroneal tendons can dislocate from their groove on the back of the fibula. The tendons can be seen to roll over the outside of the fibula, which damages the tendons.

Skiing, football, basketball, and soccer are the most common sports activities leading to peroneal tendon dislocation. In some cases, ankle sprains have also caused this condition. Patients usually have to use crutches after such an injury, in order to allow the retinaculum tissue to heal and the tendons to move back to their natural position on the fibula. Sometimes a splint or compression bandage is applied to decrease swelling. Anti-inflammatory medications and ice are often part of the treatment. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.

In moderate to severe cases of injury, when the peroneal retinaculum is torn or severely stretched and susceptible to dislocation, surgery may be required.

Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon

Xanthomas are cholesterol deposits that appear in the Achilles tendon. High cholesterol levels can cause the formation of these cholesterol deposits, which appear as small lumps. Aside from treating the underlying cholesterol problem, treatment for xanthomas may require taking a biopsy of the lesion but leaving the nodules intact.

See the Foot Doctor!

Services

Tenex Health TX™
  • Tenex Health TX™

    Plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis, an inflammation, irritation and swelling of the tendon, comes from an injury or doing the things you love or need to do—over and over again. Repetitive motions, no matter how ordinary, can cause small micro tears that occur each time you use your tendon. When the micro tears do not heal properly, tendinosis (tendon degeneration) can occur.

    Percutaneous tenotomy or percutaneous fasciotomy, using ultrasonic energy powered by the Tenex Health TX™ System, is a safe and quick procedure specially designed for those who are suffering from painful conditions associated with chronic tendon damage. The procedure treats tendinosis or fasciitis in the ankle and foot.

    Tenex Health TX is based on advanced technology developed in collaboration with the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

     

    Tenex Health TX™ benefits:

    If you have tried physical therapy, cortisone injections, medication, or just taking time to ice, stretch and rest and are still in pain, talk to us. We now have a solution that does not involve general or open surgery, may give you quick pain reduction and should have you back to enjoying the things you love in a few weeks to a few months.

    Patient benefits may include:
    ∙ Quick pain relief
    ∙ Rapid return to normal activities
    ∙ Local anesthetic used instead of general anesthesia
    ∙ No sutures, no stitches (requires only a small, adhesive bandage)
    ∙ 20­minute, minimally invasive procedure (not open surgery)
    ∙ Coverage by most insurances

  • How does Tenex Health TX™ work?

    Precisely targets your damaged tissue. Your doctor uses ultrasound imaging, just like the kind used to see babies in the womb, to visualize and identify the specific location of the damaged tendon tissue.

    Gently removes damaged tissue. Once the source of your tendon pain is identified, your doctor numbs the area with a local anesthetic, allowing you to stay awake the entire time. Many people say after the numbing process—which feels like a bee sting—they felt only a slight pressure during the procedure (if they felt anything at all). Your doctor then uses gentle ultrasonic energy designed to safely breakdown and remove the damaged tissue. The ultrasonic energy is applied with the TX MicroTip, which requires only a microincision to reach the damaged tissue. Because the incision is so small and the ultrasonic energy precisely treats only the damaged tendon tissue, the surrounding healthy tissue is left unharmed.

    Requires no stitches. When the procedure is completed, your doctor applies a small adhesive bandage; no stitches are required. Because you are awake during the procedure (no general anesthesia), many people are able to drive home after the procedure.

    Can offer nearly instant pain relief with a rapid recovery. Recovery is rapid with many people being back to normal activity within 6 weeks or less. Because the surrounding healthy tissue is not disturbed, and no stitches or general anesthesia is required, there is minimal downtime and less discomfort compared to open surgery. The speed of your recovery depends on the location of your tendinitis and your individual results may vary.

     

    What areas of the body does our practice treat with Tenex Health TX™?

    Our practice treats the ankle and foot with Tenex Health TX.

  • VIDEO: Learn more about Tenex Health TX™

    As a percutaneous tenotomy or percutaneous fasciotomy procedure, Tenex Health TX is typically covered by Medicare­approved and private health insurers. It is always recommended that patients consult the treating physician and individual health plan. For more information, visit www.tenexhealth.com.

    MKT112. Rev. C


  • LAPIPLASTY® Procedure Patient Education Video from Treace Medical Concepts on Vimeo.

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