3 Tips For Managing Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis can cause considerable pain in and around the ankle. Fortunately, mild cases can be managed with conservative care. If surgery is needed, it is best to take aggressive action for a better long-term outcome.

Rest Your Ankle

During the initial phase of inflammation, resting the affected ankle can help you minimize long-term damage and reduce inflammation. If you currently participate in sports or exercise regularly, you will need to limit your activities to necessary standing and walking. To reduce the impact of daily activities on your ankle, you should consider splinting your ankle. A simple elastic bandage wrapped around your foot and ankle can help with immobilization.

Your doctor may prescribe a walking boot for you to wear, which will help absorb some of the pressure on your ankle. Heel cushions are a simple way to cushion your steps and they can be used with any pair of shoes. Try reducing your activities for a few days and see if you can return to normal activities without pain. While you are resting your ankle, keep your ankle elevated to minimize any swelling you may experience. Unfortunately, many cases of Achilles tendon inflammation require lengthy periods of rest in hopes of alleviating the problem.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Among non-surgical medical treatment options are the use of transdermal nitroglycerin to help alleviate pain. If the underlying problem is purely one of an inflamed Achilles tendon, use of anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections may be enough to minimize the problem until the inflammation subsides. Many cases of inflammation are attributed to the underlying degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Bone spurs can slowly start to tear away at the tendon and cause degeneration, which requires surgery.

Ongoing inflammation can eventually cause scar tissue to form, which can limit movement of the tendon and eventually prevent motion of the ankle. If you have scar tissue, your surgeon will attempt to free the tendon from the scar tissue. Restoring movement and keeping the ankle moving are important after the procedure to prevent new scar tissue from forming and adhering to the tendon.

Surgical Options

When you have damage to your tendon, your surgeon will repair the damaged part of the tendon and if necessary, replace the tendon by using tendon from another part of your foot. The results of the surgery are variable. If you are especially active, you may not want to adopt a "watchful waiting" approach to surgery. Surgery on the Achilles tendon is often more successful when it is done earlier rather than after there has been ongoing problems.

Problems with your Achilles tendon can make daily activities painful and sideline your vigorous physical activity. Heeding the warning and resting your ankle as long as necessary and pursuing medical treatments available can give you the best chances at returning to normal.