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Home | Blog | Achilles Tendon Rupture: Unveiling the Path to Recovery

Achilles Tendon Rupture: Unveiling the Path to Recovery

Achilles Tendon Rupture: Unveiling the Path to Recovery


Achilles tendon rupture is a significant injury that can affect anyone, from athletes to individuals engaging in everyday activities.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the specifics of Achilles tendon ruptures, exploring its anatomy, causes, symptoms, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment options available to patients.

Anatomy of the Achilles Tendon:

Tendons are strong, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones, allowing for movement and stability of joints. Composed primarily of collagen fibres, tendons are essential for transmitting the forces generated by muscles to the bones, enabling coordinated movement.

The Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). It plays a pivotal role in activities such as walking, running, and jumping, facilitating movement and stability in the ankle joint.

Causes and Mechanisms of Achilles Tendon Rupture:

Tendon ruptures can occur due to various factors, including sudden trauma, repetitive overuse, and degenerative changes associated with ageing or underlying medical conditions.

Achilles tendon ruptures often occur due to sudden, forceful movements or repetitive overuse. Acute ruptures can result from activities such as sprinting, jumping, or sudden changes in direction, while chronic degeneration over time can weaken the tendon, predisposing it to rupture with minimal force.

Symptoms and Clinical Presentation:

Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture typically include a sudden, sharp pain at the back of the ankle or calf, accompanied by swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking or bearing weight. Patients may describe hearing or feeling a “pop” or snap at the time of injury, followed by a sensation of weakness or instability in the affected leg.

Assessment and Diagnosis:

Accurate diagnosis of Achilles tendon rupture involves a thorough clinical evaluation by a trained healthcare professional, including a detailed history of the injury and physical examination.

During the physical examination, the healthcare provider may assess for signs of tendon weakness, swelling, and abnormal movement patterns, along with performing specific tests to elicit tendon instability or discontinuity.

Specialised imaging such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of the injury.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options:

Partial Achilles tendon ruptures or cases where surgery is contraindicated may be managed conservatively with rest, immobilisation in a cast, splint or brace, anti-inflammatory medications, and a structured, physiotherapy lead rehabilitation programme.

The goal of nonsurgical treatment is to reduce pain, promote healing, and restore full function through targeted rehabilitation exercises.

Surgical Treatment Options:

Stitches on left ankle. Surgery to remove bone spur on achilles heel. surgery for Haglunds Deformity

In cases of complete tendon rupture or failed conservative management, surgical intervention may be necessary to reattach the torn tendon and restore its function. Surgical techniques vary depending on the location and severity of the injury but generally involve tendon repair or reconstruction using sutures, anchors, or grafts. The choice of surgical approach, timing, and rehabilitation protocol is tailored to each patient’s specific needs and functional goals. Each option will be discussed with you by your orthopaedic surgeon; they will make sure that you have all the information you need to help you make a decision on your treatment pathway.

Surgical Repair and Rehabilitation:

Following tendon repair surgery, a structured rehabilitation program is crucial for optimising outcomes and preventing complications.

The rehabilitation protocol typically begins with a period of immobilisation to protect the repaired tendon, followed by gradual progression of range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and functional activities. The physiotherapy regimen plays a pivotal role and will focus on restoring tendon flexibility, strength, proprioception, and neuromuscular control, with a gradual return to sport or activities of daily living.

At London Bridge Orthopaedics we work with some of the best Physiotherapists and Podiatrists in the country, and we will ensure that we provide a holistic approach to your care to make sure you have the best possible outcome from your surgery.


Achilles tendon rupture presents a significant challenge, but with timely diagnosis and intervention, and dedicated rehabilitation, individuals can overcome this injury and regain full strength, mobility, and function.

At London Bridge Orthopaedics we have a fantastic multidisciplinary approach involving orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and other healthcare professionals, ensuring that our patients regain full function and return to their active lifestyles with confidence.

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