In Greek mythology, Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War. He had one weakness on his body because when his mother dipped him in the River Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels. Thus, the term “Achilles’ heel” coming to mean a point of weakness on the human body.
In fact, the Achilles tendon is actually a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the calf muscles flex, the Achilles tendon pulls on the heel. This movement allows us to stand on our toes and is active when walking, running or jumping.
An Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg. It mainly occurs in athletes between the ages of 30 to 40 and is up to five times more likely to occur in men than in women. However, it can actually happen to anyone.
If your Achilles tendon ruptures, you might hear a pop, followed by an immediate sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg. Some say it feels like you have been kicked in the calf. Pain and swelling may be present near the heel. Seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if you hear a pop in your heel, especially if you can’t walk properly afterward.
Surgery may be required to repair the rupture, however, nonsurgical treatment works just as well in many patients. The team at Minor & James Podiatry can help determine the best course of treatment for you.