Achilles tendinosis and tendinitis: Signs, symptoms and treatment options

Achilles tendon issues, like Achilles tendinosis or tendinitis, are common causes of leg and ankle pain in athletes and active individuals. You typically have pain in the back of the leg and ankle directly along the Achilles tendon. In this video, I discuss the nature of these problems, how doctors make the diagnosis and treatment options.

What is Achilles tendinosis or tendinitis?

Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This condition usually affects running athletes, and it is thought to be an overuse injury. The athlete often experiences pain and swelling at the area of tendinitis within the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendinosis is a disease process or overuse injury in which an athlete develops a small area of degeneration within the Achilles tendon. It often starts as tendinitis. This condition can often be resolved with rest, activity modification, and physical therapy. In a small percentage of athletes it requires more aggressive treatments.

Woman with pain from Achilles tendinosis or tendinitis

Treatment of Achilles tendinosis or tendinitis

As I discuss in this video, Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis are usually treated without surgery, at least initially. Physical therapy, stretching, icing the area, rest or avoid aggravating activities, and even wearing a walking boot to immobilize the tendon can all be helpful. Sometimes platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can be helpful. Occasionally, surgery to excise or debride the diseased portion of tendon and repair the tendon can be attempted.

Also read:
Common injuries of the achilles tendon that affect active people
5 injuries and conditions for which PRP can be used

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