Managing Your Time With An Orthopedist

Treating an Achilles Tendon Rupture: Signs and Symptoms to Recognize

An Achilles tendon rupture can be a painful injury that requires proper diagnosis and treatment. The Achilles tendon, one of the body's largest tendons, links the heel bone to the calf muscle. It acts as a spring, aiding in propelling the body forward during movement. When this tendon is torn or ruptured, it can greatly affect mobility and lead to chronic pain. Here, we'll dive into how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture and discuss various treatment options to aid in your recovery.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Rupture:

A sudden, sharp pain in the back of the ankle or calf during physical activity is one of the most common symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture. Other symptoms include swelling, stiffness, and difficulty in pointing the toes upward or downward. Some people report feeling a popping or snapping sensation at the moment of injury. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to stop physical activity immediately and seek medical attention.


A physical examination is usually the first step in diagnosing an Achilles tendon rupture. Your doctor will examine the area for swelling and tenderness and check your range of motion. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan may be ordered to get a closer look at the tendon and confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, an ultrasound or X-ray may be used to rule out other potential injuries.

Treatment Options:

There are a number of treatment options available depending on the severity of the injury. For a minor rupture, non-operative treatment such as the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) may be recommended, along with wearing a brace or cast to immobilize the tendon. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are also common treatments that can help improve mobility and prevent future injuries. For a more severe tear, surgery may be required to repair the tendon and restore full functionality. Your doctor will discuss the best course of treatment based on your individual needs and the extent of the injury.

Recovery and Rehabilitation:

The recovery period for an Achilles tendon rupture can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the chosen treatment method. A minor tear may take several weeks for the inflammation and swelling to subside, while a more severe tear may require several months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation exercises may include range-of-motion and stretching exercises, strengthening and balance exercises, and gentle massage or manual therapy to help improve mobility and decrease stiffness. Your doctor and physical therapist will help guide you through the recovery process to ensure that you regain full functionality and prevent further injury.

For more information, contact a service provider like Dr. Mark Drakos Orthopedic Surgeon.