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Achilles tendon rupture

We often see a rupture of the Achilles tendon in sports such as football but also in sprinters. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the calf muscles are suddenly exposed to a large force. A rupture of the Achilles tendon can occur due to degeneration of the tendon. A rupture of the Achilles tendon frequently occurs in men between 30 and 40 years of age. At the time of rupture, a sharp pain is often felt as if the back of the ankle is being kicked. In some cases, it may be impossible to stand on the toes of the ankle. Sometimes, there is an inability to walk on the affected leg. There are various degrees to which a rupture can occur. The degree says something about the severity of the rupture. It is important to have a physiotherapist look at whether there is an Achilles tendon rupture and to what degree the tendon is torn.

Cause

The calf consists of two large muscles. The gastronemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles are both responsible for the ability to stand on tiptoe. Both muscles have their attachment to the heel bone and run into the Achilles tendon. We often see a rupture of the Achilles tendon in sports such as football but also in sprinters. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the calf muscles are suddenly subjected to great forces. A rupture often occurs at the start of a sprint, and it feels like someone is kicking the back of the ankle. A rupture in the Achilles tendon can occur due to degeneration of the tendon. This means that the quality of the tendon tissue has deteriorated. Because the tendon is already of poorer quality and the calf is suddenly subjected to high levels of activity, it can rupture.
Achilles tendon rupture

Symptoms

A rupture of the Achilles tendon often occurs in men between 30-40 years of age. At the time of rupture, a sharp pain is often felt as if the back of the ankle is being kicked. With a rupture of the Achilles tendon, stretching the ankle is not possible. painful. In some cases, toe position of the ankle may be impossible. Sometimes there is an inability to walk on the affected leg.

Diagnosis

To diagnose Achilles tendon rupture, the physical therapist will start with an interview to gather more information about the complaint. Once the physical therapist has gathered enough information, he or she will perform a number of tests to confirm or deny whether there is an Achilles tendon rupture. There are different degrees to which a rupture can occur. The degree says something about the severity of the rupture.
Grade 1: There is a small hairline fracture of the tendon due to overstretching.
Grade 2: There is a partial rupture of the tendon.
Grade 3: Complete rupture of the Achilles tendon. This means that the tendon is completely torn.

Treatment

The first 7 days the body is busy with the recovery and the body is in the inflammatory phase. This means that the body is busy cleaning up damaged tissue. The first 7 days it is therefore important to rest and to follow the RICE principle. This means rest, cooling, applying pressure (bandage) and elevating the ankle. After approximately one week, the ankle can often be loaded again, slowly. It is important to have a physiotherapist assess whether there is an Achilles tendon rupture and to what extent the tendon is torn.

In most cases, an Achilles tendon rupture can be treated conservatively by a physiotherapist through exercise therapy and advice. If there is a complete rupture, the physiotherapist will refer you to a specialist who will decide whether or not surgery is necessary to reattach the tendon.
Below you will find a exercise which is often used in case of complaints and is important for strengthening the calf muscles.

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