What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is a chronic inflammation of achilles tendon that causes thickening and pain of the tendon. The thickening occurs anywhere along the tendon, but most commonly at the insertion. At the insertion of achilles there can also be abnormal bony enlargement from the calcaneus. This bone can also cause irritation forming a painful retrocalcaneal bursa.
What are the conservative treatments for achilles tendonitis?
NSAIDs such as advil, shoe wear modification with a heel lift, controlled ankle motion boot with or without a heel lift, and physical therapy that revolves around stretching of the achilles tendon.
What happens when conservative treatment fails?
Your Doctor will order an MRI evaluate the amount of achilles tendon degeneration.
The diseased achilles tendon is removed during surgery, but if >50% of the achilles tendon width has to be removed then the tendon will be augmented. Surgeons typically use the muscle tendon called flexor hallucis longus from your body.
Many times the achilles tendon will be re-anchored to the calcaneus using anchors such as the arthrex speed bridge depending on location of tendonitis, amount of diseased tendon removed, and whether a haglunds deformity is removed.
Full surgical video using arthrex speed bridge: https://www.arthrex.com/resources/video/5uWLxr6DSEqsswE-yBYHiA/achilles-speedbridge-system
If you have foot or ankle pain and would like a consultation with a podiatrist. Make an appointment at Orange County Podiatry with Dr. Andrew Yang, DPM: https://ocfootandankleclinic.com/appointments/ or call (949) 651-1202