In Greek Mythology, Achilles was the great hero of the Trojan War. When he was born, his mother, in an attempt to make him immortal, held him by one heel and dipped him head first into the River Styx. The one point on Achilles body that he remained vulnerable was on the heel, where his mother grasped him. This is why you come to associate the term “Achilles Heel,” as a weakness.
The Achilles tendon is such a vital part of your structure, that without it you could not walk. This tendon connects calf muscles to the back of the heel. If your Achilles tendon ruptures, your foot becomes weak. You wobble and cannot support yourself.
Your Achilles tendon may rupture in part or completely. Sometimes treatment for a partial rupture stops short of surgery. But for a complete tear you would require surgical repair. When the injury initially occurs, you may hear a pop or snap sound. Do not confuse this with your Rice Krispies. Most people then experience severe pain, swelling in the heel area and an inability to push off of the affected leg in order to walk.
The most frequent cause of Achilles tendon rupture is sports activity. These are considered serious injuries and you need to be treated by a podiatrist as soon as possible. Drs. Brook and Northcutt at Dallas Podiatry Works can diagnose a rupture by physical examination, but will probably get imaging tests in order to substantiate the diagnosis and view the severity of your injury. You will probably be fit with a boot or cast that will stabilize the injury unless your tendon is completely torn. If torn, it will require surgery to repair, then several weeks immobilized followed by physical therapy to strengthen to pre-injury status.
The success of your rehabilitation is dependent on immediate medical attention. Call our Dallas office at (972) 566-7474 or Plano at (972) 943-3323 if you think you have an Achilles tendon rupture, or for any of your foot or ankle concerns.