The ankle joint (or talocrural joint) is a synovial joint located in the lower limb. It is formed by the bones of the leg and the foot – the tibia, fibula and talus. Functionally, it is a hinge type joint, permitting dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the foot.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
In case of Achilles tendon rupture, the Achilles tendon, which is the strongest tendon in the human body, tears. The Achilles tendon contributes to movements during which the foot is raised towards the knee, for example, pushing off the foot while walking or running. Achilles tendon rupture can cause different symptoms.
If the Achilles tendon tears, patients often feel a stinging pain in the heel. Sometimes they literally hear the tendon rupture with a loud popping sound. The Achilles tendon rupture is often accompanied by bumps and swellings at the base of the Achilles tendon. Affected persons are not able to tiptoe anymore. It may also entail weakness of the lower leg. Walking may be only possible with restrictions.
Symptoms of Achilles tendon rupture in short:
Stinging pain and sometimes popping sound while the tendon tears
Tiptoeing is not possible
Swelling/bumps at the base of the Achilles tendon
The weakness of the affected lower leg
Walking is only possible with restrictions
Often athletes suffer from an Achilles tendon rupture. Before the Achilles tendon tears, they may have suffered from pain in the heel or the area around the Achilles tendon. Normally, the Achilles tendon does only rupture after previous damage. Sports activities necessitating quick turnarounds like soccer, football or handball can increase the risk. Especially men at the age of 30-50 seem to be most affected. Achilles tendon rupture can occur at this age if sports activities have
In case of an assumed Achilles tendon rupture, a comprehensive orthopedic examination is carried out often accompanied by imaging procedures like ultrasound or MRI.
If the orthopedic examination has not proven rupture of the Achilles tendon, an ultrasound examination can be conducted during which the foot can be moved. An MRI examination does also prove its existence and can help differentiate different ankle injuries.
The best method to differentiate between different injuries is MRI. MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones. If it is necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.