Achilles Tendon Rupture
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
An Achilles tendon rupture is when part or all of your tendon is torn. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle in your lower leg to your heel bone. It allows you to point your foot down and to rise on your toes. This allows you to push your foot toward the ground, such as when you walk, run, or jump.
- Pain medicines can help decrease pain and swelling.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Go to physical therapy:
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
Brace, splint, or cast:
- A cast may be needed for 2 months or more. Your foot will be positioned in the cast with your toes pointing slightly down. Your PHP will change your cast and your foot position several times while your tendon heals. Do not move or put weight on your foot until your PHP tells you it is okay.
- A leg brace or splint may be needed to help keep your foot from moving while your tendon heals.
- Heel lifts are wedges put into your shoe or cast. Heel lifts help decrease pressure and keep your foot in the best position for your tendon to heal.
Use support devices as directed:
You may need crutches or a cane for support when you walk. These devices help decrease stress and pressure on your tendon. Your PHP will tell you how much weight you can put on your leg. Ask for more information about how to use crutches or a cane correctly.
Start activity as directed:
Your PHP will tell you when it is okay to walk and play sports. You may not be able to play sports for 6 months or longer. Ask when you can go back to work or school. Do not drive until your PHP says it is okay.
Follow up with your PHP or orthopedist as directed:
You will need to return to have your cast adjusted. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your PHP or orthopedist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your symptoms do not get better with treatment.
- You feel another pop, snap, or crack.
- The muscles in your leg become weak.
- Your leg feels numb, tingly, or hot.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have trouble standing up or walking.
- You cannot move your leg or foot.
- You feel like you may have broken a bone.
- You have severe pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.