Tendonitis, Tendon Ruptures and Tendon Tears

TendonitisAnkle and foot injuries can cause ruptures, tears or chronic irritation to important tendons involved in walking.

Tendonitis: sometimes tendons become inflamed for a variety of reasons, and the action of pulling the muscle becomes irritating. If the normal smooth gliding motion of your tendon is impaired, the tendon will become inflamed and movement will become painful. This is called tendonitis, and literally means inflammation of the tendon.

Rupture: The most common debilitating tendon rupture is of the Achilles tendon (heel cord). The Achilles tendon can grow weak and thin with age and lack of use. Then it becomes prone to injury or rupture. Rupture most commonly occurs in the middle-aged male athlete (the weekend warrior who is engaging in a pickup game of basketball, for example). Any acute injury causing pain, swelling, and difficulty with weight-bearing activities such as standing and walking may indicate you have a tear in your Achilles tendon. Seek prompt medical attention from your doctor or emergency department.

Tendon Tear: Refers to an incomplete rupture or a long tear within the length of the tendon. These are often caused by over use injuries or from acute injuries. Commonly, the tendons on the inside and outside of the ankle are affected because of the twisting and turning, and sometimes rubbing against the ankle bones.

The above conditions often require special exams and tests such as X-rays, MRI or ultrasound to obtain a thorough diagnosis and to define the extent of the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be recommended. However, many such injuries respond to immobilization in a cast or physical therapy and braces.