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Achilles tendonitis refers to swelling and pain in the large tendon at the back of the ankle. It’s a relatively common condition which can be caused by excessive exercise or poorly-fitting shoes.
The Achilles tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and allows you to jump, walk, run and stand on the balls of your feet. Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation or swelling of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle.
There are two types of Achilles tendonitis:
A torn Achilles tendon can be caused by excessive exercise or exercising without warming up first. It can also be caused by playing sports which involve sudden movement of the leg and foot, such as tennis and football, or those that involve repeated use of the tendon, particularly running.
Wearing old, or poorly fitting shoes, or wearing high heels for long periods of time, can also cause damage, and rheumatoid arthritis is also believed to be linked to the condition.
All these scenarios can lead to damage to the Achilles tendon that isn’t able to heal properly and over a period of time this can lead to tendonitis (a swollen tendon).
General symptoms of tendonitis include:
Our team can help if you’re suffering from Achilles tendonitis symptoms.
If you’re suffering from stiffness, pain at the back of the ankle and sometimes swelling at the back of the heel, which is often worse in the morning.
We will usually be able to diagnose Achilles tendonitis after a quick examination and some questions about the pain and swelling in your heel or calf. Any further treatment will be recommended, if required. Sometimes further tests, such as an x-ray, ultrasound scan or MRI scan, may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis can range from rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) and anti-inflammatory medication to more invasive treatments such as steroid injections or surgery, if the tendon is torn or ruptured.
Your doctor may advise that you switch to a less strenuous form of exercise or recommend that you undergo physiotherapy.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis pain begins with resting your tendon and allowing your swollen tendon to heal. In more serious cases you may require crutches, medication or surgery.
You can find out more about the cost of treating your Achilles tendonitis from the orthopaedic section of our Pricing page or by calling our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.