The Achilles tendon is the most commonly injured tendon in the body. Achilles ruptures are most frequently seen between the ages of thirty and fifty in occasional athletes. They are usually caused by sudden forced push-off on an out of condition ankle. The classic examples include the Fathers’ race at school sports’ days, going for the quick single at cricket or lunging for a shot at squash. A sudden sharp pain is felt in the heel “as though struck from behind” and often the person turns to see if someone has kicked him or her. They are often surprised to see that no-one is there.
Optimum management of Achilles tendon ruptures relies upon early diagnosis and treatment. Options include non-operative management or surgical repair. If the rupture has just occurred, the ends of the tendon come together well with the foot in equinus (toes pointing down) and impact sport is not a major concern, then non-surgical management may be preferable. If these conditions are not met, surgery to repair the tendon may be the better option.