Talking With A Bone Specialist

Signs Your Achilles Tendon Is Ruptured

The Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, is crucial for activities like walking, running, and jumping. A rupture in this tendon can be a debilitating injury, often requiring a lengthy recovery process. Understanding the signs of an Achilles tendon rupture is essential for seeking timely medical intervention. Here are some key indicators that you may have ruptured your Achilles tendon.

Sudden, Sharp Pain

One of the most telling signs of an Achilles tendon rupture is a sudden, sharp pain at the back of the ankle or calf. Many describe it as feeling like they've been kicked or hit in that area. This pain can be intense and may diminish after the initial injury, but it typically lingers as a dull ache. The abrupt onset of pain, especially during activities such as sprinting or jumping, should be taken seriously and evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Audible Snap or Pop

Another classic symptom of an Achilles tendon rupture is hearing an audible snap or pop at the time of the injury. This sound is often unexpected and alarming. It signifies that the tendon has been torn. People who experience this sensation usually know immediately that something significant has happened to their Achilles tendon. This audible cue, combined with the sharp pain, is a strong indicator of a rupture.

Inability to Bear Weight

Following a rupture, you might find it extremely difficult or impossible to bear weight on the affected leg. Walking, standing, or even pushing off with the toes can become highly challenging. The inability to perform these basic movements suggests that the Achilles tendon is no longer providing the necessary support and function. If you encounter this symptom, immobilizing the leg and seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent further damage.

Visible Deformity and Swelling

A ruptured Achilles tendon can cause noticeable changes in the appearance of the leg. Swelling and bruising often occur around the ankle and calf. In some cases, a gap or indentation may be visible just above the heel, where the tendon has snapped. This deformity is a clear visual sign that the tendon has been compromised. Swelling can exacerbate the pain and limit mobility, making prompt medical evaluation essential.

Early detection and treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture are vital for a successful recovery. If you experience any of these signs, it's important to consult a healthcare provider immediately. They can confirm the diagnosis through physical examination and imaging tests and then recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include rest, immobilization, or surgery. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to complications and prolonged recovery time, so swift action is always the best course.

Contact a provider like Dr. Mark Drakos Orthopedic Surgeon to learn more.