Achilles Tendon Rupture

All interesting heroes have an Achilles' heel - Jo Nesbo

Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles Tendon Rupture

image by: John C Kefalas MD

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Mapping the body: achilles tendon

The achilles is a ropelike band of tissue, which connects the calf muscle to the heel on each side, and is crucial for walking, running and jumping. With time and disuse, the tendon can become weak and prone to rupture. So it's no surprise that injuries to this part of the body tend to occur in middle-aged men enjoying a spurt of uncharacteristic activity, especially where leaping and pivoting are involved. Tripping or falling from a height are also mechanisms of injury.

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 Mapping the body: achilles tendon

The achilles tendon is is crucial for walking, running and jumping – and if it ruptures, you'll be in a cast for weeks.

Achilles SpeedBridge™ Repair

The Arthrex SpeedBridge repair is an innovative soft-tissue fixation device used in the treatment of Achilles injuries. While standard anchor fixation of the tendon creates only a single point of compression directly over the anchor, the SpeedBridge repair enables an hourglass pattern of FiberTape® suture to be laid over the distal end of the tendon. This 4-anchor construct enables a true knotless repair and a greater area of compression for the Achilles tendon on the calcaneus, improving stability such that immediate postoperative weightbearing and range of motion is possible.

Foot Health Facts

Achilles tendon ruptures are most often seen in "weekend warriors"—typically, middle-aged people participating in sports in their spare time. Less commonly, illness or medications, such as steroids or certain antibiotics, may weaken the tendon and contribute to ruptures.


Both non-surgical and surgical treatments have been well studied but remain debated. In general, surgical treatment is thought to give greater strength and result in a lower risk of repeat tear.


Achilles tendon rupture is the most common tendon rupture in the lower extremity. The injury most commonly occurs in adults in their third to fifth decade of life. Acute ruptures often present with sudden onset of pain associated with a "snapping" or audible "pop" heard at the injury site. Patients may describe a sensation similar to being kicked in the lower leg.

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