Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition that affects the back of the heel. It is an overuse injury found most commonly in athletes, especially runners. Anyone, however, may suffer from this painful condition. The pain occurs most severely on walking after rest. The first few steps are usually the most painful until the tendon loosens. The pain may be found at the insertion of the tendon at the back of the heel bone or sometimes a little further up the leg. The more proximal tendinitis is characterized by a fusiform swelling. The diagnosis is determined by clinical evaluation, x-ray examination, ultrasound or MRI.
Achilles tendinitis is treated initially with ice, rest, a heel lift, stretching exercises and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes immobilization in a plastic cast may be necessary. Custom orthotics are necessary to realign and stabilize the foot to relieve stress at the Achilles tendon insertion. In extreme cases, surgery may be indicated. At Lakeforest Foot and Ankle Center other state of the art alternatives including shockwave therapy, PRP, and amniotic fluid injections are used to prevent the need for surgical intervention.