The Achilles tendon that connects your heel bone to your calf muscle is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It’s also one of the likeliest to become strained and inflamed, a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. If you’re a runner, basketball player, tennis ace, or participate in another sport that involves running and jumping, then you’re especially at risk.
Achilles tendonitis can result from either a traumatic injury or overuse wear and tear. And while symptoms vary in intensity among individuals, they generally include: pain, swelling, stiffness, reduced range of motion, a thickening of the tendon and sometimes bone spurs.
If you’re suffering from any of these, call Central Massachusetts Podiatry for a diagnosis. Without treatment, this condition can worsen and eventually lead to a complete or partial tear of the tendon, an extremely painful and debilitating injury known as a “rupture.” More than a few NBA careers have ended as a result of an Achilles tendon rupture.
At our practice we’ve helped alleviate Achilles tendonitis and its symptoms for countless patients. Our first-line treatment approaches, include:
- Stretches and strengthening exercises
- Custom-made orthotics
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Cortisone injections
- Shockwave therapy
We also offer the latest in regenerative therapies to treat Achilles tendonitis. Among them is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. PRP is a potent healing substance derived from a patient’s own blood. Once the blood is extracted, it’s spun at a high speed in a machine called a centrifuge to create a substance with a substantially higher concentration of platelets than normal blood. Platelets are known for their healing properties and growth factors. Once processed, the PRP is injected back into the body, directly to the injured Achilles tendon. Our patients have experienced remarkable and rapid improvement with this groundbreaking new treatment.
Another regenerative option we’ve seen excellent results from is stem cell injections. Like PRP, a special stem cell formulation is injected directly into the Achilles tendon to reduce inflammation and jump-start repair. The formula we use contains over 57 natural growth factors and is made from amniotic membrane tissue donated by healthy consenting mothers undergoing scheduled caesarean sections.
Whether you’re a serious athlete or a die-hard weekend warrior, don’t let Achilles tendonitis keep you out of the game. Get it check out and treated early.