The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, allowing a person to walk, run and jump. It is also the largest tendon in the body. The Achilles tendon can handle significant stresses from running and jumping, making it vulnerable to injury. A rupture in the Achilles tendon is characterized by the tearing and separation of the tendon fibers that prevent it from performing its normal function. Some of the symptoms associated with an Achilles tendon rupture include:
A snapping, cracking or popping sound and a sharp pain in the back of the leg or ankle
Trouble moving your foot to walk or go upstairs
Difficulty standing on your toes
Bruising or swelling in your leg or foot
Feeling like the back of your ankle was hit with a bat
Surgery may be recommended for a complete Achilles tendon tear, while a partial tear may require a splint, brace or boot to help the tendons grow back together. Physical therapy can help most people return to regular activity in four to six months.