The Achilles tendon is one of the most vulnerable tendons for injuries. As a rule, even a small amount of force is sufficient, since there are usually wear-related prior damages. Rarely, a crack occurs due to direct, sharp violence. Often affected are footballers, but also amateur athletes around the age of 40 years, who usually without appropriate prior knowledge, exercise or warming up their sport. Explosive muscle contractions trigger sudden, extreme tensile and shear forces. The tendon can tear completely or incompletely.
The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone with the calf muscles. It only has a length of 10-12 cm and is practically inextricable. With a diameter of 0.5-1 cm, it withstands a tensile load of 500 kg / cm under static load up to 1,000 kg / cm under dynamic load. In running and jumping, the tendon is loaded up to 9 times the body weight. Mostly, the tendon tears 2-6 cm above the attachment to the heel bone in the transition region of muscle and tendon. But it can also lead to a tear at the attachment of the tendon on the heel bone.
The Achilles tendon is poorly supplied with blood. Heavy stress can lead to small tears and inflammations. Because of the poor circulation, they heal slowly. Frequently occurring accompanying pain is usually trivialized, resulting in a chronic state of irritation in the area of the heel (achillodynia). An Achilles tendon rupture can be the result.
- whip-like pain in the middle of the movement (jump, sprint), also as a punch or knife touch felt
- often at the same time loud popping noise
- The pain usually lags quickly
- Walking is impossible, as well as walking on your toes
- with fresh injury palpable dent at the tear
In Achilles tendonitis, the Achilles tendon is swollen in its entire length. In case of an incomplete (partial) tendon tear, a small knot can be felt at the injured site. The distinction is difficult.
Athletes are recommended for surgical treatment. The Achilles tendon is restored with various special suture techniques. Healing usually takes six to twelve weeks because of poor circulation. The full everyday workload is usually reached again after 3 months. Conservative treatment by gypsum treatment over six weeks is even more protracted and involves many risks due to immobilization. So it can lead to a breakdown of the musculature, scar adhesions and growths or joint stiffening.
A physiotherapeutic treatment follows. This is primarily about maintaining and rebuilding muscles, coordination and endurance.