Like most New Yorkers, I love the Internet. It simplifies scheduling, allows me to connect with loved ones in an instant, and offers a world of information at my fingertips. What I don’t love is the misinformation that can spread online. Sometimes, I see patients experiencing an Achilles rupture who are confused or misunderstand what exactly the injury entails. Our feet and ankles are complex mechanisms, and most individuals aren’t trained to recognize the specifics of a rupture. Below are a few common misconceptions about an Achilles rupture, as well as some brief clarification about the details of the situation. If you are experiencing a rupture and have additional questions or want to discuss these points further, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information. One of the first steps to healing is understanding what’s going on to begin with.
A rupture is the same as Achilles tendinitis
Tendinitis is unfortunately pretty common. An Achilles rupture, however, is a far more serious injury. It’s easy to mix up the two when you consider that they have the same root causes, including overuse. What sets them apart is the excruciating pain and debilitation that comes with a rupture. When a rupture occurs, patients usually experience severe aching and swelling near the heel of the foot and are unable to walk normally. Although tendinitis is painful, you’ll still be able to move around and flex your feet and ankles. Neither situation should be taken lightly, and it’s important that you seek a comprehensive evaluation when you experience pain to rule out other injuries and to develop a treatment plan. While tendinitis can often be treated with physical therapy, a rupture usually requires surgical procedure.
It’s impossible to prevent
When you’re an athlete, injuries can start to feel kind of normal. Depending on your sport or activity, you might experience a series of incidents over the course of your playing career. Although injuries are common, there are things you can do to prevent them from occurring, and this is particularly true when it comes to an Achilles rupture. Although anyone can suffer from a rupture, they are especially common among athletes who participate in sports that require sudden movements, such as running, football, basketball and tennis. While inflammation of the tendon is quite common and may develop gradually, ruptures are usually caused by traumatic injury, like a fall or someone else running into your leg. Once you hit age 30, you are more likely to experience a rupture, especially if you neglect caring for your body. To help prevent a rupture from happening, be sure to stretch properly before taking part in an activity, and avoid jumping right back into action if you have taken a significant amount of time off from your usual routine. Certain types of antibiotics and steroid injections can also increase your risk of injury, so be sure to consult with your doctor if you have either of these factors in your life. Finally, you can avoid putting your body through extreme strain that might lead to rupture. Avoid running on uneven or otherwise rough terrain, and keep unnecessary roughness to a minimum.
It’s a life-altering injury
Experiencing an Achilles rupture can be quite shocking, and many tend to view the injury as a permanent problem. If you experience a rupture, you can probably expect to have surgery and take a pause from your normal routine. However, with today’s advances in technology and physical therapy strategies, many of the patients that I see are back to their usual activities within six months of the procedure. It’s important that you don’t let the fear of surgery keep you from having a repair. Avoiding surgery can make things worse in the long run and keep you from performing and living your best life.