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 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more .
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 Overview of Rehabilitation Rehabilitation services are needed by people who have lost the ability to function normally, often because of an injury, a stroke, an infection, a tumor, surgery, or a progressive disorder ... read more . The exercises help strengthen your leg muscles and make your ankle less stiff.