Achilles Tendon Problems
When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you think you have an Achilles tendon problem (at or above the back of your ankle) and:
- The back of your heel and ankle are very painful.
- You felt a sharp pain like a direct hit to the Achilles tendon.
- You heard a pop in your Achilles tendon when injured.
- You aren't able to walk comfortably.
- Your Achilles tendon area has begun to swell.
- You have signs of damage to the nerves or blood vessels. Signs include numbness, tingling, a pins-and-needles feeling in your foot, and pale or bluish skin.
If you have had an Achilles tendon injury in the past and you have reinjured your Achilles tendon, call your doctor to find out what you need to do. Rest your lower leg and foot until treatment begins.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. Watchful waiting is not a good idea if you have severe pain in the Achilles tendon area. If you think you have injured your Achilles tendon, call your doctor. Early treatment is most effective.
If you think you have Reference Achilles tendinopathy Opens New Window and you have mild symptoms, rest your lower leg and foot for a couple of days. Avoid any hard activity. Use ice and pain-relieving medicines to reduce the pain and swelling. Follow the other steps in Reference Home Treatment. If you have weakness, cramping, or constant pain in your Achilles tendon, call your doctor.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnosis and treat an Achilles tendon problem include:
- Reference Emergency medical specialists Opens New Window, for sudden and severe (acute) Achilles problems.
- Reference Family medicine physicians Opens New Window or Reference internists Opens New Window who are familiar with foot and ankle injuries.
- Reference Podiatrists Opens New Window who are familiar with sports injuries.
- Reference Sports medicine specialists Opens New Window.
- Reference Orthopedic surgeons Opens New Window, particularly for an Achilles rupture.
You may be referred to a Reference physical therapist Opens New Window for exercises to rebuild strength in your Achilles tendon and leg muscles.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference David Bardana, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine