The Achilles tendon is that strong, fibrous cord just above your heel that connects the heel bone and calf structure. This tendon enables you to flex your foot and walk. Inflammation or tears to the Achilles tendon will have a devastating effect upon your ability to walk or engage in any sport.

Do I have an Achilles tear?

You may have an Achilles tear if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • Hearing a “pop” sound in the tendon area followed by pain in the ankle.
  • A sudden inability to walk normally.
  • Sensitivity in the calf muscle as if you have suffered an impact.
  • Pain and swelling at the back of the heel.
  • Inability to point the foot downwards.
  • Cannot push off from that foot.
  • Cannot stand on toes.

How do I know if I have Achilles tendinitis?

Tendinitis differs from rupture. The tendon has retained small tears in the fibrous tissue, rather than separation or fraying. The function of the foot and heel are still intact, but the area is painful. Achilles tendinitis is more common with runners, particularly those who suddenly increase the intensity or duration of their workout or who do not take the time to stretch prior to a run. Overstretching can also cause tendinitis. You may have this condition if you experience:

  • Mild ache in the back of the lower leg that can intensify if activity is not modified.
  • More severe pain after long duration exercise that heavily involve the feet, such as running or cycling.
  • Morning ankle stiffness that improves with activity.
Woman sitting on stairs outside with hands on ankle in pain

Achilles Tear Treatment

Achilles tendon tears and ruptures begin as microscopic tears that progress to scar tissue. The difficulty of a speedy recovery is due to the poor blood supply to the injured site. Achilles tendons often have stress points where blood supply is already low, where they are more prone to break. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy injects a concentrated supply of platelets to stimulate and enhance the body’s regenerative capacity. The body’s own stem cells are drawn to the area to replace damaged cells with strong, healthy cells.

As a result, the tendon can heal faster. There is also a greatly reduced need to consider surgery. Dr. Yoon has worked with top professional athletes suffering from Achilles tears who are needed to get back in the game at peak performance as quickly as possible. As a result, he is highly regarded for his skill at biologic therapy combining.

Woman kneeling in street with hands on knee and shin
Steve Yoon MD

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Regenerative treatments for Achilles tendinitis and tears

Severely (completely) ruptured Achilles tendons may require surgery; however, biologic procedures can assist in more rapid and complete recovery following surgical intervention.

Older and less active people willing to take longer to heal may choose to undergo this advanced, non-surgical method. A biologic combination therapy can significantly shorten healing time. Other supporting therapy associated Achilles tendinitis and tears may include:

  • Exercises with focused movement to promote healing through stretching and strengthening. Some specific exercises have been found to be particularly beneficial for the Achilles tendon, especially if tendon problems are chronic.
  • Custom orthotic fitting to cushion the heel and correct misalignment and/or relieve strain on the tendon during elevated activity.
  • Functional rehabilitation increases body coordination and balance to train you in correct body motion to protect against further damage.
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