Diagnosis

The doctor will perform a physical examination to investigate for any gap in the tendon, swelling and tenderness, which may suggest a sign of Achilles tendon ruptured. You will also be asked to move at a certain motion and position to check for the presence of your reflexes.

An ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may also be recommended to view your tendon if it has partially or fully ruptured.

Treatment

Elderlies would usually prefer non-invasive treatment. In younger age, as well as those who are more physically active, and those who acquired more serious injuries, the treatment method tends to move toward a surgical treatment.

Nonsurgical Approach

The following technique may help:

  • Rest the affected back of the lower leg area for a few weeks
  • Elevate your feet to decrease swelling
  • Cold compression
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Using a walking aid device such as crutches, a heeled walking boot pointing downwards or cast to rest the tendon

Nonsurgical techniques may help but Achilles tendon rupture can recur with longer recovery time.

Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery can be done to repair the ruptured Achilles tendon. Surgical approach involves making a tiny incision at the back of the lower leg to access the tendons and repair them.

Rehabilitation

Physical therapy can be done after a non-surgical or surgical treatment to regain muscle strength and stability. Eventually, it will return back to normality within four to six months, although in some case the symptom and pain could last up to a year. Functional physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation which trains the body to coordinate and move to restore regular movements.