Sports Injuries: The Achilles Tendon

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There are many famous athletes that have injured their Achilles tendon including Kobe Bryant and David Beckham.  

A torn Achilles tendon can lead to prolonged period of not able to participate in the sport. In many instances the torn tendon requires surgical repair and rehabilitation that likely requires 6-9 months before the athlete is able to return to competitive play. Patients that have torn Achilles tendon may be regular people in the community, team sports athletes and professional athletes.

Achilles tendon injury can be misdiagnosed, neglected and sometimes we may see ruptures that might be diagnosed as partial and this may lead to full tear. This can lead to future problems with daily activities and sports activities.

The Achilles tendon connects the muscles of the calf of the leg and the heel bone and is the strongest tendon in the body. Its main function is to flex the foot. Sports such as basketball, track, volleyball and track where the athletes jump may lead to more stress on the tendon.

Injury to the tendon may occur in several locations. There are several injury such us pulling of the tendon from the heel bone, blow to the tissue or a cut. Most commonly it occurs in athletes.

Chronic inflammation of the tendon (Achilles tendonitis) can lead to a tear. Achilles tendon injury is treated conservatively and surgically. Rest, immobilization, anti inflammatory medication, splinting or casting, arch supports and shoe gear changes are the first line of treatment. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, physical therapy , boots and braces are other treatment options. If conservative (non surgical) treatment fails then surgery should be considered.

Famous athletes that that Achilles tendon injury: Kobe Bryant, David Bechham, Elton Brand, Dominique Wilkins, Gerald Wilkins, Laphonso Ellis ,Christian Laettner.

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Guest Monday, 18 December 2017

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