Achilles Tendon Rupture

Typical Symptoms

Rupture (complete tear) of the Achilles tendon (AT) usually causes sudden pain around the posterior (rear) aspect of the foot, together with swelling, reduced mobility and bruising.

What causes it?

Tears usually occur when pushing off with force, such as during sports or when suddenly needing to run. It is often described as being kicked in the back of the heel. Sometimes people consider tendinopathy of the AT to be a risk factor but this need not be the case.

How can I help myself?

It is useful consider when the symptoms occurred and what activities were being undertaken. If there is considerable pain or swelling, offloading with crutches will reduce exacerbating it and also measures such as PRICE can help to reduce swelling. Pain killers can make the symptoms more tolerable.

When to seek help?

If you are having significant symptoms, particularly if it has affected your mobility, it would be good to have your problem assessed as soon as possible.

What are the treatment options?

Once your clinician assesses you with a thorough history and examination, they may undertake an X-ray to look for any associated bony injuries, or an ultrasound scan to look at the AT and assess the tear.

Treatment is usually with immobilisation either in a boot or cast for conservative treatment or surgical if it is an active individual. With partial injuries, a PRP injection may be discussed. Once the tendon has healed, rehabilitation is essential to restore normal strength to the calf and mobility.

Related treatments