Achilles tendonitis refers to soreness, pain or aches at the tendon in the back of the ankle or leg. It is typically caused by overuse of the tendon (in more athletic patients), a physical bony deformity (ex. Haglund's deformity), tightness within the tendon, or certain types of shoe gear. The Achilles tendon is composed of 2 major muscle groups in the back of the leg responsible for plantarflexion (downward motion, such as pointing toes to the floor) of the foot.
Typically, conservative treatment will be initiated. If indicated, an X-ray will be taken to further assess potential spurs or physical causes of pain. Depending on the root cause of the issue, therapy includes rest/immobilization, heel lift, injections, cushioning/padding, stretching, ultrasound (to name a few options).
Should conservative therapy be insufficient to alleviate pain, then surgical options may be further pursued. Note that in an instance of an acute Achilles rupture or severe injury, surgery is typically considered in a more immediate manner.
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