Achilles tendon rupture
When your Achilles tendon snaps it is known as an Achilles tendon rupture. This can often occur spontaneously and may be associated with the feeling of a ‘pop’ or ‘snap’. Middle-aged male athletes are those who are most likely to experience an Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles rupture often occurs during sports that involve jumping, running and pivoting. Sports that involve these kinds of movement include basketball, tennis, soccer and softball.
An Achilles rupture can occur when:
- You fall from a considerable height
- You forcefully push-off with your foot as your knee is in a straightened position. An example of this may be when jumping or starting a race.
- You experience a trip or stumble and in while doing so you put your foot in front to stop this occurring and therefore stretch the tendon. Also known as a deceleration injury.
- Previous history of Achilles tendonitis results in a degenerative tendon, which can grow thin and weak with age and lack of use. This can cause injury and rupture. Other factors that can increase the risk of rupture are certain medications (such as corticosteroids and some antibiotics) and certain illnesses (such as diabetes and arthritis).
Pain and swelling are typical symptoms. An inability to stand on the toes of the affected side will also occur.
Achilles rupture is treated with both surgical procedures to repair the tendon and physiotherapy for rehabilitation.