What do Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers,) Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers,)Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins,) Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens,) Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta Hawks,) Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers,) Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers,) and David Beckham (AC Milan) all have in common? Each of them has suffered an injury during their professional careers that is called a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Your Achilles tendon runs from 2 muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. You may have heard about athletes rupturing their Achilles tendon in sports such as football and basketball, but generally, most of these injuries happen outside of the professional arena.
Who typically gets a ruptured Achilles tendon?
People who are more likely to get an Achilles tendon rupture are:
- Recreational Athletes
- Older Adults
- Anyone with a previous Achilles tendon tear or rupture
- Anyone who has received steroid injections in their Achilles tendon
- Anyone taking quinolones (a type of antibiotic)
- Extreme increase in physical activity (the “weekend warrior”)
- Changes in the type of athletic activity
Most of the cases are due to a traumatic sports injury. Males outnumber females 20 to 1, and most are between the ages of 29 – 40.
What does it feel like when you rupture your Achilles tendon?
According to people who have experienced a ruptured Achilles tendon, it feels like you are being kicked or shot in the back of your ankle.
What is the treatment for a ruptured Achilles tendon?
It depends on the type of patient you are. If you are less active, have a minor rupture, or have medical conditions that prevent you from undergoing surgery; your doctor will use conservative care to treat you. This may include a cast for 6 – 8 weeks or a fixed/hinged boot.
If you are a candidate for surgery, there are 2 types. For more sedentary patients who have problems with healing, your doctor may consider percutaneous surgery. This includes several small incisions in order to stitch the Achilles tendon back together. The other type of surgery is an open procedure, which consists of one larger incision.
By: Clair Bello III