Athletes run the risk of injury. They can take precautions, but it is never something they can completely avoid. One of the most common sports injuries is a ruptured or torn Achilles tendon, the cord that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. Everyone, not just athletes, uses it every time they walk. It allows you to flex and point your foot, and every step you take involves pushing up and off on the Achilles tendon. Doctors in Texas specializing in sports medicine agree on several factors that can increase the risk of a tendon rupture. Men are five times more likely than women to suffer from a ruptured Achilles tendon, and the most common age for it to occur is between 30 and 40. Steroid injections in the ankle can weaken surrounding tendons, and certain antibiotics can increase your chances of rupturing your tendon. Of course, ruptured Achilles tendons are most commonly caused by sports injuries. Sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer that involve running, jumping and quick stops are the most common culprits.
If you feel a sudden sharp pain in your ankle and hear a popping noise, you may have ruptured your tendon, and you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Texas specializing in sports medicine as soon as possible. The doctor may be able to feel a gap in your ankle if you have fully ruptured your tendon. He may also do an MRI to determine the amount of damage that has occurred. Texas sports medicine offers several treatment options for torn Achilles tendons. Less severe injuries can usually be treated without surgery with rest and by avoiding putting any weight on the injured foot. Common treatments include elevating your leg, icing the ankle, and taking over the counter pain medication. You may also have to use crutches or wear a cast, boot, or wedge inside your shoe, which elevates the ankle and prevents further damage.
More severe ruptures or tears may require surgery, and depending on your age and activity level, a sports medicine specialist in Texas may recommend surgery to repair more moderate injuries. Non-surgical options carry some risk for re-rupture. Surgery involves one or more incisions in the back of the ankle, through which the doctor will then stitch the tendons back together. If the injury is quite severe, he may have to strengthen the tendon with other surrounding tendons. Surgery makes for a shorter recovery time and decreases the chance of reinjuring your ankle; however, there is a risk of infection. Regardless of the treatment you choose, you can generally expect full recovery from a ruptured tendon, and you will soon be lacing up your athletic shoes, ready for your next personal victory.
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