Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive use injury that is common among athletes such as runners. Early treatment can help you get back to your physical best in the least amount of time.

If you are looking for Achilles tendonitis treatment, make an appointment with our specialists at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center. We serve patients throughout Greater Columbus.

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

What Our Patients Say

“My appointment was scheduled surprisingly quickly and the rep. was very helpful with my work schedule. Check-in was quick and easy. Everyone was professional and friendly. The procedure that I need to have done was explained clearly and completely. Over-all very good experience. I highly recommend!” — Valerie

About Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that occurs when the tendon connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle becomes inflamed. It is commonly caused by repetitive strain, such as running or jumping, which can put pressure on the Achilles tendon.

There are two types of Achilles tendonitis. The terms are used to describe where the tendonitis has occurred. It is possible to have both forms of tendonitis at the same time.

Noninsertional Achilles Tendinitis

Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis affects the middle and upper part of the tendon. It is common in young athletes, particularly runners.

Insertional Achilles Tendinitis

Insertional tendonitis occurs when the large Achilles tendon connects to the heel.

A patient with achilles tendonitis in Columbus, Ohio.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

A foot specialist treating achilles tendon pain.

Achilles tendinitis is usually caused by repetitive stress on a tendon. The condition does not usually occur through a single injury, like an Achilles tendon rupture. There are several reasons why you may get Achilles tendonitis. Some of the causes of Achilles tendinitis are listed below.

  • An excessive increase in exercise load in a short time: If you increase the volume or intensity of your exercise without allowing your body sufficient time to adapt, it can cause irritation and inflammation.
  • Tight calf muscles: When your calf muscles are tight, they can put a strain on your Achilles tendon. The stress is especially felt where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone.
  • Haglund’s deformity: This condition is when the back of your heel bone is enlarged. This will cause extra friction on the Achilles tendon, causing pain and inflammation.

What Are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

There are several symptoms related to tendonitis. Some of the common symptoms related to Achilles tendonitis include the following:

When to See a Doctor

A trained physician can help you treat Achilles tendonitis. While it is not an emergency situation, treatment can help you get back to your daily activities or level of sport.

You should see a doctor immediately if you hear a sudden pop in the back of your heel or calf. This may indicate an Achilles rupture.

How to Diagnose Achilles Tendinitis

Your doctor will begin with a physical exam, looking for swelling and the calcification of tendons. The following imaging tests may also be used to diagnose Achilles tendonitis.

How to Treat Achilles Tendonitis

It will usually take at least 3 months to recover from Achilles tendonitis with treatment. There are non-surgical and surgical treatments available to deal with this type of injury.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can be treated with non-surgical treatments. The following non-surgical treatments may be recommended to treat Achilles tendinitis:

  • Rest: This is often the first treatment to implement. You can sometimes switch high-impact exercises, such as running, for low-impact activities, like cycling or swimming.
  • Ice: You can use ice to reduce swelling and pain. Apply the ice on the tendon for 20 minutes at a time.
  • NSAIDs: Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can guide you through exercises that will strengthen and stretch your Achilles tendon.
  • Night splint: A night splint can be used to stretch your Achilles tendon while you sleep.
  • Supportive shoes and orthotics: Shoes with no heel can reduce pressure on the heel. Heel raises can also relieve strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EWST): This treatment has low to zero complications and can help promote the healing of the Achilles tendon.

Surgical Treatments

If there are no improvements to Achilles tendinitis after 6 months, Achilles tendinitis surgery may be recommended. The following surgical treatments may be used to treat Achilles tendonitis:

  • Debridement: This is a general cleaning of unwanted tissue. Your surgeon may remove bone spurs and damaged tendon tissue.
  • Gastrocnemius recession: This treatment lengthens the calf muscle in order to reduce the strain on the Achilles tendon. This can be used if stretching exercises are ineffective at lengthening the calf muscle.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you require treatment for Achilles tendonitis, make an appointment with our expert surgeons at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center. Our foot and ankle specialists in Columbus, OH are prepared to give you the attention you deserve. Contact us today!


Medically Reviewed by: Roberto A. Brandão, DPM, FACFAS

Skip to content