Achilles Tendon Rupture (Achilles Tendon Rupture)

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Achilles Tendon Rupture (Achilles Tendon Rupture)
Achilles Tendon Rupture (Achilles Tendon Rupture)

Video: Achilles Tendon Rupture (Achilles Tendon Rupture)

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Video: Achilles Tendon Rupture and Repair 2023, January
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Achilles tendon injuries

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in humans. It is the common end tendon of the calf muscles and runs along the back of the lower leg to the heel.

A tear (rupture) of the Achilles tendon can occur when the calf muscles are suddenly tensed, for example in very dynamic and fast sports such as squash or volleyball. The affected person feels severe pain in the area of ​​the calf or tendon, and it is not uncommon to hear a noise like a "click". The Achilles tendon rupture is one of the most common sports injuries.

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  • What is the job of the Achilles tendon?
  • What are the causes of an Achilles tendon tear?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is the treatment carried out? ">How is the treatment carried out?

How is the treatment carried out? ">

  • How is the treatment carried out? "> ">How can you prevent?
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  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?
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    What is the job of the Achilles tendon?

    The calf muscles consist of three parts that unite downwards to form a tendon, the Achilles tendon. Without the Achilles tendon, stretching the foot and thus walking is not possible: If the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon and subsequently the heel are pulled up and the foot is stretched. When relaxing the calf muscles, the sole of the foot can be used.

    The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, at the thickest point it is up to five centimeters wide. It can be clearly felt above the heel.

    What are the causes of an Achilles tendon tear?

    A torn Achilles tendon occurs particularly frequently in soccer, handball, volleyball or basketball, in setback sports such as tennis, squash, badminton and in athletics and skiing. A rupture is possible due to sudden high forces acting on the tendon (jerky movements such as powerful pushing off when starting, sudden braking, falling forward). Direct force (e.g. blow or kick) on the tendon as well as twisting or bruising can also be the possible cause.

    Often the torn tendon is damaged by excessive or incorrect loading or shows changes due to wear and tear. The elasticity of tendons in general decreases with age and the risk of tendon injuries increases. Achilles tendon ruptures occur most frequently between the ages of 30 and 50. Degenerative changes occur as early as the age of 25, so that younger athletes can also be affected. Nevertheless, one does not necessarily have to assume previous damage in the case of a ruptured Achilles tendon.

    A typical tear point is the narrowest part of the tendon just above the point of insertion on the heel bone.

    What are the symptoms?

    The Achilles tendon usually tears completely, rarely only partially. The affected person feels a sudden onset of severe pain in the area of ​​the calf or tendon. It is not uncommon to hear a noise such as a “crack of a whip” or a “click”. The crack can usually be felt well as a dent in the tendon. Soon after, swelling and bruising develop. Walking or running is - if at all - only possible with severe disabilities. The one-sided toe stand cannot be performed on the affected side.

    How is the diagnosis made?

    The description of the course of the accident as well as the typical symptoms (palpable painful dent above the heel, inability to lift the heel off the ground, etc.) are important for the diagnosis. Furthermore, an X-ray and an ultrasound examination are carried out in order to assess the exact location of the crack; in cases of doubt, magnetic resonance imaging is also performed.

    How is the treatment carried out?

    The first treatment is carried out according to the principles of the PECH rule (P housing insert, cooling envelopes E is, C ompression with elastic bandage (pressure dressing), H ochlagerung). More on the topic: sports injuries

    A ruptured Achilles tendon can be treated conservatively or surgically:

    In the case of conservative treatment, the patient receives a special shoe with a corresponding raised heel. This immobilizes the foot in the so-called equinus position, and the tendon ends can grow together again. With the help of the special shoe, the foot can be moved and loaded again after a relatively short time without impairing the healing process. The range of motion is determined in the course of physiotherapy treatments.

    During the surgical treatment, the torn ends of the tendons are sewn together; if necessary, they can also be reinforced with special suturing techniques. After the procedure, the foot is immobilized in a plaster cast for a few days. Then, as with conservative treatment, early mobilization is started.

    Tendon healing generally takes around six to eight weeks. Therapy is followed by physiotherapeutic treatments to strengthen the muscles. The usual sporting activity can usually be resumed after about three to four months.

    How can you prevent?

    A healthy mediocrity in exercise is the best way to prevent a ruptured Achilles tendon. Because regular physical activity has a fundamentally positive effect on the elasticity of the tendons and the muscular system. Excessive exercise also increases the risk. Another measure is to avoid abrupt and excessive loads on the Achilles tendon. This applies, for example, to the very dynamic and fast risk sports squash and volleyball. In general, it is advisable for all athletes to ensure that they have a sufficient warm-up phase before exercising. More on the topic: healthy exercise

    Whom can I ask?

    If you suspect an injury to the Achilles tendon, you can contact the following offices:

    • the nearest accident ambulance
    • Rescue in an acute emergency (emergency number 144)
    • General practitioner
    • Specialist in trauma surgery
    • Sports physician

    How are the costs going to be covered?

    The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

    • Right to treatment
    • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
    • What does the hospital stay cost?
    • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
    • Rehabilitation & cure
    • Medical aids & aids
    • Health Professions AZ

    and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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