|CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368|
Achilles Tendon Rupture
(Rupture, Achilles Tendon; Severely Torn Achilles Tendon)
Pronounced: ah-KILL-ees TEN-dun RUP-choor
by Mary Cresse
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. A rupture occurs when there is a tearing or separation of the tendon fibers.
Achilles tendon rupture can be caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chance of getting Achilles tendon rupture include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of the affected area. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options may include the 1 or more of the following:
You will need time to heal. RICE and immediate medical care are often the pain part of treatment:
Crutches or a walker may be advised to protect the healing tendon.
Prescription or over-the-counter medication may be advised to reduce pain.
Surgery is the most common treatment for this condition. An incision is made in the lower leg and the tendon is sewn back together. A cast, splint, walking boot, or brace is worn for 6-8 weeks. One of the benefits of surgery is that it lowers the risk of re-rupturing the tendon. Surgery may also be a better option if you are physically active.
The other option is to allow your tendon to heal without surgery. In this case, you also need to wear a cast, splint, walking boot, or brace for 6-8 weeks. You also may have different exercises to do. If you are less active or have a chronic illness that prevents surgery, this option may be better for you.
Physical Therapy TOP
A physical therapist will assess the tendon. An exercise program will be created to help recovery and to stregthen the muscles.
To help reduce your chance of getting Achilles tendon rupture, take the following steps:
American Podiatric Medical Association
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Achilles tendon rupture. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2012. Accessed February 29, 2016.
Achilles tendon rupture. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed February 29, 2016.
Achilles tendon rupture. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated March 21, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.
Maffulli, N. Current concepts review—rupture of the Achilles tendon. JBJS. 1999;81:1019-1036.
van der Linden P, Sturkenboom C, Herings R, et al. Increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture with quinolone antibacterial use, especially in elderly patients taking oral corticosteroids. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:1801-1807.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 2/28/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.