Achilles tendon rupture

Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg. It most commonly occurs in people playing recreational sports.

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) completely or just partially.

If your Achilles tendon ruptures, you might feel a pop or snap, followed by an immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg that is likely to affect your ability to walk properly. Surgery is often the best option to repair an Achilles tendon rupture. For many people, however, nonsurgical treatment works just as well.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Prevention

Although it's possible to have no signs or symptoms with an Achilles tendon rupture, 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 on your toes on the injured leg
  • A popping or snapping sound when the injury occurs

When to see your doctor

Seek medical advice immediately if you feel a pop or snap in your heel, especially if you can't walk properly afterward.

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