Achilles Tendonitis and Inflammation of Tendon

Feet | Orthopaedics | Achilles Tendonitis and Inflammation of Tendon (Disease)


Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon, the fibrous cord that attaches a muscle to a bone. Tenosynovitis is inflammation of the sheath of tissues that surrounds a tendon. These two conditions usually occur together.

Signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include: mild ache or pain at the back of the leg and above the heel after running or other sports activity; episodes of more severe pain associated with prolonged running, stair climbing or intense exercise, such as sprinting; tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning, that usually improves with mild activity; mild swelling or a bump on your Achilles tendon; a crackling or creaking sound when you touch or move your Achilles tendon; weakness or sluggishness in your lower leg.

Causes and Risk factors

Generally is caused by overuse of the affected limb and is more common among athletes training in under less than ideal conditions. A number of factors may contribute to the onset of Achilles tendinitis: a rapid increase in the distance or speed of a running regimen; new or intense hill running or stair climbing; sports that require jumps or sudden starts and stops, such as basketball or tennis; exercising without warming up; wearing shoes that are worn out or inappropriate for the activity; a naturally flat arch, which can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Tenosynovitis may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Diagnosis and Treatment

X-rays are used to diagnose Achilles tendonitis, but are performed to evaluate for other possible conditions. An MRI could be needed to find the reason for tears within the tendon. If there is a thought of surgical treatment an MRI may be helpful for preoperative evaluation.

Treatment is possible with ice, cold compression therapy, wearing heel pads. Other treatments may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, ultrasound therapy or manual therapy techniques. ...