Your Achilles tendon is the largest in your body. It has the very important job of connecting your heel to your calf muscle, and when this tendon becomes stressed, stretched, and inflamed, severe swelling, stiffness, and pain can occur in the heel area and up into the calf.
Treating Achilles tendonitis as soon as you feel any symptoms will help avoid a more serious injury that could require surgery to repair.
Minor to moderate injuries of the Achilles tendon can be treated by the following methods:
- The RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)—Immediately stop doing the activity that caused the injury. Try to take the weight off the foot until you can lie down and rest your foot while it is elevated above your heart. Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. A compression wrap will also help.
- Physical therapy exercises—After the initial healing period (which will vary considerably depending upon the severity of the injury) you will need to slowly strengthen your foot and ankle with physical therapy exercises while avoiding another injury.
- Custom orthotic inserts—Orthotic inserts that raise the heel can help shift some of the stress from the Achilles tendon, relieving stress and allowing for rapid healing.
For a more severe injury, your foot doctor will perform imaging studies (x-ray and MRI) to determine the extent of the damage. Surgery will most likely be required for a badly torn or broken Achilles tendon.
You can count on the foot doctors at Foot & Ankle Specialists, PC to provide fast relief for your aching feet using a full range of both conservative and surgical therapies. Our expert team, including board-certified podiatrists Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, and Dr. Christine I. Tumele, serve patients of all ages with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies including onsite digital x-ray, ultrasound, diabetic shoes, and digital scanning for custom orthotics.
For any questions or to make an appointment, please contact us at one of our Southeast Michigan facilities in Monroe (734-241-0200) and Lambertville (734-856-8900) (Bedford and Monroe counties). We also offer convenient housecalls Monday through Thursday, so give us a call!