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What is a complete tear of the achilles tendon?

A complete tear of the achilles tendon is a total rupture of the large tendon which joins the muscles of the calf to the heel bone. Physiotherapy is essential following a complete tear of the Achilles tendon.

How does a complete tear of the achilles tendon happen?

Complete tears of the achilles tendon are caused when the calf muscles are contracted strongly. A strong contraction can overstress the tendon, causing it to tear. This commonly occurs in sports when changing direction quickly, lunging or jumping.

What are the symptoms of a complete tear of the achilles tendon?

If the achilles tendon is partially torn, pain is felt in the back of the lower leg. This can often feel like you have been kicked in the back of your ankle. There may also be an audible snap, crack or tear. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have a complete tear of my achilles tendon?

A complete tear of the achilles tendon will not get better on its own. Therefore, if you have ruptured your achilles tendon you will require surgery to repair it. You should go to your nearest accident and emergency department as soon as possible. To control the amount of bleeding and swelling in the tissues, the RICE regime should be followed (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

What shouldn’t I do if I have a complete tear of my achilles tendon?

Following a complete tear of the achilles tendon, you should not perform activities that increase blood flow to the injured site and, therefore, bleeding and swelling to the area. These include hot showers, heat rubs, alcohol and excessive activity.

Physiotherapy treatment for a complete tear of the achilles tendon.

Surgery is usually performed as soon as possible following your injury. As a result, your initial assessment with your physiotherapist is often following the tendon repair surgery. The physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk will always endeavour to liaise with your surgeon throughout your rehabilitation. We work alongside numerous orthopaedic surgeons and have experience in following numerous post-operative protocols. Following the surgical repair of your Achilles tendon and your period of immobilisation in a cast, your physiotherapist will gradually progress you through a progressive rehabilitation programme of specific stretching and muscle and tendon strengthening exercises to allow you return to your previous level of activity.

Other treatments include:

Could there be any long-term effects from a complete tear of my achilles tendon?

A complete tear of the achilles tendon is a very serious injury which requires surgical repair and the application of a cast. Following surgery, you will be unable to walk on your injured leg for six to eight weeks. It is likely that it will be a further six to twelve months, before your muscle length and joint range of motion return to normal and you can participate in sports. With surgery and appropriate rehabilitation this type of surgery is very successful.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
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Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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