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Our Approach to Treating

Achilles Injury

The Achilles tendon is the band of fibrous tissue on the back of the leg that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone.

There are two common forms of Achilles injury: Achilles tendinitis and Achilles rupture. Achilles tendinitis, inflammation of the tendon resulting from repetitive stress or overuse, often causes pain, tenderness, and swelling. Achilles rupture refers to a tear in the tendon, either partial or complete, that typically occurs in people who play sports or participate in strenuous physical activities such as running. People with Achilles rupture usually have symptoms that include pain and an audible popping sound at the time of injury, may feel like someone kicked them from behind, and have difficulty walking or pointing the foot downward. Achilles tendinitis can increase the risk of Achilles rupture.

Our doctors diagnose and offer a full range of treatments for Achilles injury. Although our specialists offer a variety of nonsurgical options to help you heal from Achilles injury, surgery is typically the treatment of choice for an Achilles rupture, specifically in active people who want to return to sports and work that requires strenuous physical activity. Surgery may also be recommended for people with Achilles tendinitis that has not healed with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Surgeons at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center and the Sports Medicine Center offer the latest minimally invasive and open approaches to repairing Achilles injury. Specialists at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center offer comprehensive, personalized rehabilitation programs to help with postsurgical recovery.

Treatment for Achilles Injury

Your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy for Achilles tendinitis and Achilles rupture. People with Achilles rupture, whether partial or complete, can benefit from immobilizing their leg with a walking boot. They are often candidates for surgical repair if they are more physically active and have a goal of maintaining leg and ankle strength.

People with Achilles tendinitis usually first receive nonsurgical treatments. They may be referred to surgery if the tendon doesn’t heal after several months of rehabilitation.

Members of our Sports Health team specialize in diagnosing and treating Achilles tendinitis in athletes and active people. Their goal is to help you maintain fitness as you recover and return to your chosen activity safely and in top form.

Our Research and Education in Achilles Injury

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.