Other treatments are often used for Achilles tendinopathy or rupture. Before using other treatments, you most likely will try rest and medicine to reduce pain and swelling.
Achilles tendon rupture
A cast or similar device can be used to prevent the lower leg and ankle from moving (immobilization). This type of treatment may take as long as 6 months to completely heal a tendon. This is usually followed by a rehabilitation (rehab) program that helps you regain strength and flexibility in the tendon and leg. The rehab program may include physical therapy.
Common physical therapy treatments include:
If other treatment doesn't reduce your pain, your doctor may recommend using a cast or other device for 4 to 6 weeks. These devices can prevent your lower leg and foot from moving and allow the tendon to heal. This is then followed by physical therapy and changes in your activities.
Medical researchers continue to study new ways to treat tendon injuries. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in experimental treatments. Some of the treatments being studied include:
- Nitric oxide and glyceryl trinitrate, applied topically (to the skin) over the injury.
- Ultrasonic, or shock, waves directed at the injured tendon (shock wave therapy) for pain caused by calcific tendinitis (calcium built up in the tendons). For more information, see the topic Calcium Deposits and Tendinitis (Calcific Tendinitis).
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In this procedure, blood is drawn from the person and spun at high speeds to separate out the blood cells called platelets. Then the platelets are injected back into the body at the injury site.