A sudden onset of pain, weakness, and swelling along the achilles tendon could be a sign of an achilles tendon rupture. Sometimes you may feel a pop in the back of your leg with this injury and notice rapid swelling of your lower leg and ankle area. If you suspect this injury, it is important to seek urgent evaluation and treatment. Frequently, an achilles tendon rupture needs surgery to repair the tendon.
Achilles tendon rupture
A sudden onset of pain, weakness, and swelling along the achilles tendon could be a sign of an achilles tendon rupture. It is more common in competitive athletes during sprinting or jumping movements as can be seen in track and field, basketball, and soccer. This injury can also be more common in individuals in their 30s and 40s due to tendinopathy and chronic degenerative changes to the achilles tendon.
The achilles tendon can be prone to rupture during stop and go sports like tennis and basketball, futsal, soccer, and softball, which are popular in Portland. Some individuals report hearing or feel a “pop” in the back of their leg when this injury happens
If you have experienced sudden pain along with a “pop” type of injury in your achilles area, it is important to see a sports medicine specialist for a careful history and physical paying close attention to your achilles tendon.
Initial management of an achilles tendon rupture includes Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate (RICE). Rest by using crutches and staying off the injured leg. If a complete rupture is present, surgery may be necessary especially in young active individuals.
Most individuals get back to full activity following achilles tendon rupture, but it can take several months. If you suspect this injury, it is important to seek urgent evaluation and treatment.