Orthopedic Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis


Achilles tendinitis is a medical condition that causes pain and inflammation in your Achilles tendon, the tissue that connects muscles from your calf to your heel bone. This condition is caused by strenuous physical activity that puts too much stress on your Achilles tendon. According to the Mayo Clinic, flattened arches also can lead to Achilles tendinitis, which is also known as pronation. Orthopedic treatment for Achilles tendinitis includes foot inserts, movement-restricted bandages and, in extreme cases, physical therapy.

  1. Foot Inserts

  2. Foot inserts provide elevation in order to reduce the amount of stress put on your Achilles tendon while walking. These inserts are filled with a liquid gel to support the arch and allow you to walk comfortably by absorbing shock. You can purchase foot inserts at most health and drug stores, and, as of October 2009, they range in cost from $5 to $8. You must wear the foot inserts whenever you are on your feet in order to avoid stressing the tendon. According to "The Achilles Tendon," healing time depends on the severity of the tear, your age and your current health. Minor tears can take a few weeks to heal, while major injuries can require a few months for full recovery.

    Physical Therapy

  3. After you tear your tendon, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you build strength in your tendon and stretch it to improve flexibility. Perform stretching exercises for no longer than 20 minutes to prevent irritation. According to "The Achilles Tendon," you should massage your calves and feet to warm up, and slowly perform calf-raising exercises for five minutes, and rest for 10 minutes, followed by repeating the exercise. As you build strength in your Achilles tendon, you can increase your exercise time by five-minute increments, or based on what your physical therapist recommends.

    Movement-Restricted Bandages

  4. Major tears require a splint or a bandage that prevents movement of your Achilles tendon. Whereas minor tears require cushioned support, a torn Achilles tendon can result in a ruptured tendon, which requires surgery. You doctor will wrap movement-restricted bandages around your Achilles tendon like a cast. You usually will require crutches to move around until the inflammation subsides and your tendon heals. Due to the severity of your injury, recovery can take between two to three months.

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