Achilles Tendon Rupture
(Rupture, Achilles Tendon; Severely Torn Achilles Tendon)
How to Say It: ah-KILL-ees TEN-dun RUP-choor
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
An Achilles tendon rupture is a tear of the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
The exact cause is not known. It is thought to be caused by:
This problem is more common in people who:
Some other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done. It will focus on the foot. This may be enough to suspect a rupture.
Images may be taken to confirm the rupture. This can be done with:
Treatment depends on the amount of damage and the person's health. Options are:
A minor rupture in someone who is less active or not well enough for surgery may be treated with:
Surgery may be done to sew the tendon back together. This lowers the risk of it rupturing again.
There are no known guidelines to prevent an Achilles tendon rupture.
American Podiatric Medical Association
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Achilles tendon rupture. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/achilles-tendon-rupture. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Achilles tendon rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/achilles-tendon-rupture. Updated April 8, 2020. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Achilles tendon rupture. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
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Updated May 2012. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Uquillas CA, Guss MS, et al. Everything Achilles: Knowledge Update and Current Concepts in Management: AAOS Exhibit Selection. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 Jul 15;97(14):1187-1195.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/10/2021
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