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"It feels like I’ve been kicked in the back of my calf!"

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture). The tendon can rupture completely or just partially.

Your Achilles tendon helps you point your foot downward, rise on your toes and push off your foot as you walk. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot, explains Safet Hatic II, DO, an orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in foot and ankle conditions at Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio.

"If you have an Achilles tendon rupture, you might feel a pop or snap, followed by an immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg that usually affects your ability to walk properly," said Dr. Hatic.

Most people experience:

  • Pain, possibly severe, and swelling near your heel
  • An inability to bend your foot downward or "push off" the injured leg when you walk
  • An inability to stand up on your toes on the injured leg
  • A popping or snapping sound when the injury occurs

Dr. Hatic recommends that you should seek medical advice immediately if you feel a pop or snap in your heel, especially if you can't walk properly afterward. "The best treatment for a ruptured Achilles tendon often depends on your age, activity level and the severity of your injury," he said. Recent studies, have shown fairly equal effectiveness of both surgical and non-surgical management.

If you have pain in your calf that won't go away, you can schedule an appointment in one of our offices to discuss your options.


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