Achilles Tendon Specialist

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Propel Foot and Ankle

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH

Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Oakland, CA

The Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon in your body, but it’s also vulnerable to inflammation and injuries. Bay Area podiatrist Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH, treats the full spectrum of Achilles tendon injuries at her practice, Propel Foot and Ankle in Oakland, California. If you think you have an Achilles tendon injury, call or book an appointment online today.

Achilles Tendon Q & A

What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. This large tendon helps you walk, run, jump, climb stairs, and stand on your tiptoes. Though the Achilles is strong enough to endure great stresses, this tendon is a common site of injury.

 

What are common Achilles tendon injuries?

Dr. Nair treats all types of Achilles tendon injuries, including:

Achilles tendonitis

This condition occurs when your Achilles tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. There are two main types of Achilles tendonitis:

  • Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis, which affects the middle portion of the tendon
  • Insertional Achilles tendonitis, which involves the lower part of the tendon that attaches to the heel bone 

The insertional type of Achilles tendonitis may cause a bony projection called a bone spur to develop on the heel.

Achilles tendon rupture

If the Achilles tendon stretches too far, it can tear (rupture). This is most common during sports and physical activities.


What are the symptoms of Achilles tendon injuries?

Symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury vary depending on the type and severity of your condition. Common signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury include:

  • Pain and stiffness behind your heel
  • Pain along the Achilles tendon that worsens with activity
  • Thickening of the Achilles tendon
  • Severe pain after exercising

If you hear a popping or snapping noise at the time of injury or experience severe pain that makes it difficult to walk, you may have an Achilles rupture and should seek emergency care right away.

 

How are Achilles tendon injuries diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Nair reviews your symptoms and medical history. Then, she carefully examines your foot and lower leg to check for signs of an Achilles tendon injury, like pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.

She may use a noninvasive imaging test, like a musculoskeletal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Then, Dr. Nair recommends the best treatment for your specific condition. Treatment for Achilles tendon injuries may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Supportive shoes and orthotics
  • Cortisone injections
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

If your Achilles tendon is torn, you may need surgery to repair it. To learn more about treatment for Achilles tendon injuries, call Propel Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.