The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon of the human body! It represents the common tendon end of the muscles of the posterior group of the lower leg.
The heel bone is the insertion of the Achilles tendon, and on the grip itself it is permeated with numerous mucous sacs (bursae). The function of the mucous sacs is to reduce the friction that necessarily develops during muscle loads. The tendon extends to the middle of the lower leg, where it passes into the muscle. Its function is primarily reflected in the control of foot movement.
Painful conditions of the Achilles tendon are the result of acute and chronic injuries and are present in athletes in professional training, but also in recreational athletes. We emphasize that the influence of surrounding anatomical structures is important in the development of these conditions, primarily the status of muscles, then the existence of lowered feet or the presence of injuries to adjacent tendons and ligaments, as well as the choice of adequate footwear.
A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon can be the result of an acute event – a blow, a wrong movement, etc., but also the result of a chronic load on the tendon, so we are talking about a long-term overexertion syndrome. The inflammatory condition of the tendon in terms of tendinitis (painful tendon) or enthesitis (painful tendon grip) in that region creates a characteristic clinical picture.
Palpation of the tendon causes pain, while mobility in the ankle is painful and sometimes limited. In addition to morning sickness, daily movements are difficult, and tendon thickening may be present. In addition to exact clinical tests for tendon rupture (eg Thompson’s test), it is necessary to do ultrasound treatment, which unmistakably detects the changes. As it is the strongest tendon of the human body, a studious approach with knowledge of ultrasound diagnostics is required.
Treatment can be operative or conservative. The debate about an adequate approach to this type of Achilles tendon injury, whether treated surgically or conservatively, is always topical. Partial tendon injuries are generally treated conservatively. This includes sparing and dosing the tendon load over several weeks with adequate functional rehabilitation.
Functional rehabilitation takes place according to an algorithm from which recovery is visible, and it is possible to speak more precisely about the return to work and sports activities. Based on the positive experiences of our team, the application of platelet rich plasma and stem cells really enables accelerated and quality recovery. Let us add to this that these methods of biological treatment are successfully performed with simultaneous rehabilitation, ie physical procedures according to the latest standards.
Although there is no unequivocal data in favor of faster and better recovery with one approach or another, the decision to treat is made based on several factors that include the client’s preferences. At the Ribnjak Polyclinic, our specialist team continuously monitors progress in the treatment of this specific injury throughout the treatment.
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