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If you watch football, you might have seen that former Carolina Panthers wide receiver (and current Baltimore Raven) Steve Smith tore his Achilles tendon in a football game against the San Diego Chargers. After catching a pass, Smith went to the ground and clutched his lower leg. He had to be helped off the field by Ravens athletic trainers. It was later announced that the torn Achilles tendon has brought Smith’s season to an end.
The podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center frequently treat sports-related injuries like these. Here are some common questions we answer about this injury:
What is the Achilles tendon?
The Achilles is the major tendon located at the back of the ankle. It connects the ankle to the muscles in your lower leg.
What causes the Achilles tendon to tear?
Excessive strain. It’s usually seen in athletes (like Steve Smith) who are very active and put a lot of strain on their lower leg and ankle.
How do you treat a torn Achilles tendon?
Usually surgery, sometimes putting a cast on the leg can help, too.
How is this different from Achilles tendinitis? Are they related?
Tendinitis is an irritation of tendon fibers but the tendon is still intact, not torn or ruptured. A rupture is when the tendon completely tears and is usually a lot more painful. Click here for more information on Achilles tendinitis and possible treatments.
How can I prevent my Achilles tendon from tearing?
It can be difficult to predict. In general, remember to warm-up and stretch before exercise.
How do I know if I need to see a podiatrist for my Achilles tendon?
One word: pain! If you ever experience pain in your Achilles tendon, or any other part of your feet and ankles, call Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center at (919) 850-9111 or request an appointment online and make an appointment today. We frequently have same-day appointments available, and we now have a second location on Blue Ridge Road which may be more convenient for you.