The Achilles tendon is considered the most robust tendon within the body. This tendon attaches your posterior muscles on the heel bone, so transfers the loads in the calf muscles through to the feet for running and walking. One significant physiological disadvantage of this Achilles tendon is that it and the calf muscles is a two-joint design. This means the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles crosses two joints – the knee joint along with the ankle joint. When throughout activity the two joints will be moving in opposing directions, in this case the ankle joint is dorsiflexing simultaneously that the knee is extending, then the strain on the Achilles tendon is really high and if there may be some weakness or problem with the tendon it could rip or break. This may take place in sporting activities like basketball or volleyball where there is a quick stop and start movements.
In the event the Achilles tendon will rupture it is usually somewhat dramatic. In some cases there is an audible snap, yet in other cases there can be no pain and the athlete only collapses to the floor since they loose all strength with the calf muscles through to the foot. There are numerous video clips of the Achilles tendon rupturing in athletes to be found in places like YouTube. A simple search there will locate them. The video clips clearly show just how extraordinary the rupture is, just how easy it appears to take place and exactly how instantly disabling it really is in the athlete when it happens. Clinically a rupture of the tendon is quite apparent to identify and assess, as when they contract the calf muscles, the foot won't move. When standing they can not raise on to the toes. The Thompson test is a evaluation that when the calf muscle is compressed, then the foot should plantarflex. When the Achilles tendon is torn, then this doesn't occur.
The first-aid treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture is ice and pain relief and for the athlete to get off the leg, typically in a walking brace or splint. You can find mixed thoughts on the definitive treatment for an Achilles tendon tear. One option is operative, and the alternative option is to using a walking support. The science comparing the 2 options is quite obvious in demonstrating that there's no contrast between the 2 about the long term outcomes, so you can be relaxed in understanding that whatever treatment methods are used, then the long terms results are similar. In the short term, the surgical treatment does get the athlete back to sport more quickly, but as always, any surgery may have a little anaesthetic danger and surgical site infection risk. That risk should be weighed against the call to come back to the sport quicker.
What's probably more significant in comparison to the selection of the surgical or non-surgical treatment is the rehabilitation after. The data is reasonably clear that the sooner weight bearing and motion is completed, the more effective the outcome. This needs to be undertaken progressively and slowly but surely permitting the tendon and the calf muscles to build up strength prior to the return to sports activity.