symptoms, causes & treatments
The name Achilles tendon is derived from the Greek hero, Achilles, of the Trojan War, the greatest of all the Greek warriors. But why? It’s written in Greek Mythology that when this mighty warrior was an infant his mother held him by one of his heels and dipped him in the river Styx, a river that formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. This was to make him invulnerable everywhere the water touched him, neglecting the heel his mother held him by. In the end, an arrow to that very heel would be the cause of his ultimate demise. As this legend suggests, the term “Achilles heel” came to refer to a point of weakness, particularly in someone or something with otherwise great strength and conviction.
Don’t let your Achilles Tendon cause you daily pain and discomfort!
Achilles tendinitis is a common overuse problem, but with the correct treatments and preventive measures, you can return to your active self stronger than before your injury with the help of Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic.
Take the next step toward happy feet and schedule today!
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conservative treatment options
OVER-THE-COUNTER ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATION
THERAPEUTIC AND OTHER EXERCISES
Therapeutic exercise is 1 of the mainstays of treating the Achilles tendon. These include gentle stretching, eccentric contractions, and massage.
Dr. Darren Silvester, South Texas podiatrist, explains and demonstrates the proper use of a night splint device that is used to alleviate and fix heel pain. Learn more about this effective treatment option for chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, nerve issues, achilles tendonitis and more.
CHANGE YOUR FOOTWEAR
Orthotics have to be made correctly in order to accomplish optimal results per each individual(most are not) but they can really decrease the symptoms in Achilles Tendonitis.
At Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic, we are the first to bring San Antonio and surrounding areas Custom 3D Orthotics with our FitStation by HP(Hewlett Packard), digitized for unparalleled accuracy.
Our FitStation provides thousands of data points on not only the pressure points of your foot standing still (like a cast would) and when your feet are in gait (a person’s manner of walking), giving the doctors a view of how your body as a whole is affecting each foot for your perfectly tailored fit. Helping relieve that pressure off the big toe joint.
Keep in mind, shoes that are narrow don’t work too well with orthotics.
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how to prevent an
achilles tendonitis strain
Preventing tendinitis is difficult, but reducing your risk of injury is your best prevention technique.
Some ways to reduce your risk of injury are:
- Increase activity slowly
- Rest when appropriate
- Wear supportive shoes
- Stretch before physical activity, focusing on your calf muscles
treatment & surgery
for achilles tendonitis
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treatment & surgery options
Dr. Silvester and Dr. Larsen specialize in many advanced minimally and non-invasive treatments, and if necessary, advanced minimally invasive and traditional surgical techniques with patient proven success stories.
More advanced treatments used to treat your Achilles Tendon disease include:
Tissues need nutrition to heal. Frequently, this is an angle acted aspect of the treatment for Achilles Tendinopathy.
Some studies have shown the transdermal nitroglycerin patches can significantly decrease pain and decreased healing time by using this product. This causes a vasodilation to increase blood supply to a tendon that is for the most part dysvascular. This increased blood supply seems to be helpful and speeding the healing.
Surgical intervention can consist of many things. There are simple procedures with short recoveries that can make a huge difference.
Recently in our clinic we have stopped doing major reconstructions on the Achilles tendon as a primary treatment when surgery is considered. The reason for this is because the recoveries are quite long and difficult.
There are other surgeries that take stress off the tendon that have a relatively short recovery. For example; minimally invasive ultrasonic hydro tenotomy or just simple minimal tendon lengthening. These have become quite common in our clinic for patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy that has not responded to conservative care.
Even newer therapies that have been introduced in the last 10-15 years that also have shown significant improvements in treating Achilles tendon, including:
These have shown significant promise in medical literature if appropriately used. Unfortunately these advanced therapies are not lightly available in most clinics because of the significant cost involved. At the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic we are very happy to have access to all of these 21st Century treatments for Achilles tendon disease.
In rare cases, your doctor may recommend corrective surgery to either lengthen your tendon or remove the damaged portion. Luckily, here at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic Dr. Silvester and Dr.Larsen take pride in their continued education and are constantly expanding their knowledge base. Allowing them to offer you new and innovative minimally invasive treatments and surgical techniques.
Learn more about MLS Laser Therapy and how it may help treat your Achilles Tendon disease.
Learn more about AmnioFix Injections and how it may help treat Plantar Fasciitis & Achilles Tendonitis.
Learn more about Shockwave Therapy (EPAT) and how it may help treat your Achilles Tendon disease.
Learn more about Electrical Signal Therapy (EST) and how it may help treat your Achilles Tendon disease.
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Our Diagnostic Measures
At Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic we have many in-office diagnostic measures used to help our specialists make precise and affective treatment plans, which each individuals specifics in mind.
Want to know more? Click the chat button at the bottom right of your screen to chat with a NSFAC staff member today, click here to request an appointment or call us today at 210-375-3318.
Probably the most important considerations and diagnosing the degree of Achilles tendon disease is the patient history and the clinical exam.
How long the disease has been present, the degree of pain, the tenderness and location of pain are all considerations in diagnosing the Achilles Tendon disease.
X-rays can be helpful to diagnose whether or not bone spurs or calcification has occurred within the Achilles tendon. These do not necessarily have to be removed, however they are an indication of the degree of disease.
Ultrasound evaluation in the office is an inexpensive and effective way to evaluate the Achilles tendon.
An ultrasound can see many things including longitudinal tears, degenerative defects, calcification, soft tissue inflammation of the lining of the tendon, and partial ruptures. It is equally effective as MRI in many of these diagnostic areas.
MRI is a more expensive test that shows very good detail of the tendon and also the bone underneath the tendon. Frequently, both of these structures are involved in the disease.
In our clinic it is quite common we do not order an MRI immediately because of the cost of the study.
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In this video, Dr. Silvester, at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic, shares why you should choose us to treat your Achilles Tendinitis. Our podiatrists have a high success rate with such a slow healing condition.
Want to know more? Click the chat button at the bottom right of your screen to chat with a NSFAC staff member today, or follow the prompts below.
how to CONTACT US
Call us direct at 210-375-3318.
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