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Achilles Tendon Problems

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When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you think you have an Achilles tendon problem (at or above the back of your ankle) and:

  • The back of your heel and ankle are very painful.
  • You felt a sharp pain like a direct hit to the Achilles tendon.
  • You heard a pop in your Achilles tendon when you were injured.
  • You aren't able to walk comfortably.
  • Your Achilles tendon area has begun to swell.
  • You have signs of damage to the nerves or blood vessels. Signs include numbness, tingling, a pins-and-needles feeling in your foot, and pale or bluish skin.

If you have had an Achilles tendon injury in the past and you have reinjured your Achilles tendon, call your doctor to find out what you need to do. Rest your lower leg and foot until treatment begins.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. Watchful waiting is not a good idea if you have severe pain in the Achilles tendon area. If you think you have injured your Achilles tendon, call your doctor. Early treatment is most effective.

If you think you have Achilles tendinopathy and you have mild symptoms, rest your lower leg and foot for a couple of days. Follow the other steps in Home Treatment. If you have weakness, cramping, or constant pain in your Achilles tendon, call your doctor.

Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnosis and treat an Achilles tendon problem include:

You may be referred to a physical therapist for exercises to rebuild strength in your Achilles tendon and leg muscles.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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