What are the different types of Achilles tendon injury?
There is several pathological issues that can give Achilles pain. It is important to know which type of Achilles tendon injury have as this can influence your treatment pathway. We will talk you through the most common:
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Achilles Tendinopathy/Achilles Tendonitis
Some of you may be more familiar with the term Achilles Tendinitis. This has been changed over the years as there is a level of uncertainty whether there is any inflammation in a painful Achilles tendon. The term “itis” suggests inflammation, so to keep everyone happy we have chosen Achilles Tendinopathy. To complicate things further, this can be found in a variety of forms.
- Mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy: This is the most common form of Achilles pain and generally elicits pain in the middle of your Achilles
- Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy: This is less common and pain is generally located lower down the Achilles tendon, close to the back of the heel bone.
- Paratendon Tendonitis: This is a general diffuse ache along the entirety of the Achilles tendon.
Achilles Tendon Partial Tear
This is an incomplete tear in the tendon. It is graded on a scale of 1-3, 1 being less severe and 3 being the most severe. It is most often seen closer to where the calf muscles attach to the Achilles tendon (musculotendinous junction) so the pain is generally closer to the calf muscle than the heel bone. It is typically acute in onset and immediately felt during activity.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
This is the least common Achilles injury. People generally report that they felt like someone or something hit them on the back of the leg. Sometimes there is no pain, but there is a marked decrease in function that can enforce a severe limp.
Achilles Injury: Summary
So there are multiple forms of Achilles injury that can lead to pain and dysfunction. If you would like to learn about some rehabilitation exercises, look here.
We recommend that you receive an official diagnosis before trying any of the above as there are numerous conditions that have a similar presentation to Achilles Tendonitis.