Achilles Tendon Specialist

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute

Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Portland, OR

The Achilles is the largest and strongest tendon in your body, but also one of the most frequently injured. Expert podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Michael A. Gentile, DPM, FACFAS, diagnoses and treats Achilles tendon injuries at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute. If you have pain in the area behind your heel and below your calf muscles, call or book an appointment online today to have your Achilles tendon examined.

Achilles Tendon Q & A

What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a long, tough band of tissue connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. You use this tendon to perform many movements, including walking, running, jumping, and standing on your tiptoes.

What problems affect the Achilles tendon?

Although the Achilles is capable of enduring great stress, too much exertion can cause this tendon to become injured or torn. Dr. Gentile and the team at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute diagnose and treat various Achilles tendon injuries, including:

Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis happens when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed as a response to irritation. This usually isn’t related to a specific injury but is more likely to occur gradually due to overuse.

Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain, swelling, and weakness in the affected leg. Pain may worsen after activity and become even more intense the following day.

Achilles tendon rupture

A rupture is a tear. If the Achilles tendon stretches so far that the fibers separate, you have a rupture. Unlike Achilles tendonitis, a tendon tear typically happens suddenly, like from a sports injury.

Symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear include a popping or snapping sound at the time of injury and immediate, intense pain at the back of your ankle. The pain may cause difficulty walking and visible deformity at the back of your ankle.

How are Achilles tendon injuries diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Gentile reviews your overall health and medical history. He listens as you describe your symptoms and explain how the injury occurred. He carefully examines your Achilles tendon to check for signs of injury, like redness and swelling. He may also order diagnostic tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Then, he recommends the best course of treatment for the type and severity of your Achilles tendon injury. Depending on your needs, treatment may include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Supportive shoes and orthotic devices
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy

If your pain and symptoms don’t resolve after six months of nonsurgical treatment, or if you have an Achilles tendon rupture, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Gentile is board-certified in foot, rearfoot, and reconstructive ankle surgery.

For the highest quality care of Achilles tendon injuries, call Portland Foot & Ankle Institute or book an appointment online today.