The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, joining the lower portion of the calf to the heel bone. Although it is able to withstand forces of around 1,000 pounds, it is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the body. Typically, injury of the Achilles tendon is caused by athletic activities.
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, typically caused by overuse of the tendon during physical activity. This can include hill running, stair climbing, improper footwear, trauma caused by the sudden contraction of the calf muscle, etc.
Symptoms include pain after exercise that generally worsens, recurring pain in the calf area, mild to severe swelling, and stiffness or sluggishness of your leg.
Treatments include wearing specialized bandages, laying off physical activity involving the tendon, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), customized orthotics, and physical therapy.
In extreme cases, surgery may be used to repair tears and remove fibrous tissue.
Peroneal tendon dislocation/dysfunction happens when the tendons supporting the arch of your foot malfunction. These muscles (called peroneus Brevis and peroneus Longus), act like a stirrup gripping the arch of the foot, helping hold it up. Dislocation of the peroneal tendon is found in people who play basketball, soccer, football, and those who ski.
When the tendons dislocate, there may be swelling behind the outside of the ankle. A physical exam is required for diagnosis.
Nonsurgical treatments include crutches to keep all weight off the foot, anti-inflammatory medications, or a cast/removable boot.
Surgery may be advised in severe cases to re-position the tendons.
Xanthomas of the Achilles tendon are cholesterol deposits on the Achilles tendon, which appear as small lumps. Although they are painless, the deposits originate from high cholesterol.
A biopsy of these lumps may be recommended.