A tendon is a thick rope of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone.
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. An Achilles tendon tear is a rip in the tendon.
Tendons can tear when:
Achilles tendon tears happen when your foot is pushed up hard, such as when you:
Tears often happen while doing sports, especially when middle-aged people start exercising too hard too quickly.
Doctors can usually diagnose an Achilles tendon tear by examining you. Sometimes they do an MRI.
For a partial tear (and some complete tears), you'll wear an ankle splint or a removable boot for 4 weeks.
If your tendon is torn completely or doesn't heal with a splint or boot, you may need surgery.
After the tear heals, you'll need to do rehab exercises. The exercises help strengthen your leg muscles and make your ankle less stiff.