In Greek mythology, Achilles was an invulnerable warrior-until he hit an arrow in the heel.
So the English name of Achilles tendon is Achilles Tendon.
Achilles tendon is the thick tendon behind the heel. The Achilles tendon is connected between the calf muscle (gastrocnemius muscle) and the heel bone. It is about 15 cm long and is the longest and strongest tendon in the human body.
Even when standing normally, the muscles on the lower leg will contract to maintain the normal posture of the ankle so that the person will not fall down. At this time, the Achilles tendon will also be strongly pulled.
When the gastrocnemius muscle contracts, the muscle contracts and the Achilles tendon pulls the calcaneus, enabling us to stand on tiptoe, walk normally, run, jump and go up and down stairs. In short, the normal movement of legs and feet requires the support of Achilles tendon.
Therefore, having a strong Achilles tendon is a necessary physical quality for a master runner and jumper. Legend has it that when Liu Xiang was still a child, the coach saw his Achilles tendon and decided that he was a talent that could be molded. However, Liu Xiang’s Achilles tendon was also broken…
Achilles tendon is so easy to break?
The most common cause of Achilles tendon rupture is sports injury. The ankle suddenly exerts force when straightening, resulting in rupture, mostly occurring at 2 ~ 6 cm above the attachment of Achilles tendon to calcaneus.
Kobe Bryant, Liu Xiang, Beckham, Zhao Hongbo… So many sports stars have lingering injuries. The reason is Achilles tendon rupture, which brings a lot of news at the same time, which gives us the illusion that Achilles tendon rupture is so common.
In fact, Achilles tendon rupture is not very common, about 18 people per 100,000 people will occur, the incidence rate is on the rise in recent years, more men than women. There are two age groups of people are particularly prone to Achilles tendon rupture, need to be extra careful: 30-45 years old and over 70 years old.
However, ordinary people are not completely immune. In particular, some middle-aged people do not pay attention to exercise at ordinary times and only have sudden activities on weekends, so they are also called “weekend athletes” or “weekend warriors”. In addition, Achilles tendon rupture is more likely to occur if the following factors exist:
- Cortisol hormone and quinolones are being used for flat foot or valgus foot accompanied by other systemic diseases, tendinitis, and drugs such as cortisol hormone and quinolones are being used.
More importantly: Insufficient or irregular warm-up exercise, inappropriate exercise ground, excessive exercise, also prone to Achilles tendon rupture.
To prevent Achilles tendon rupture, pay attention to these
(1) According to different sports methods and events, choose appropriate sports equipment, such as shoes, clothing, etc.
(2) Choose professional sports venues, for example, it is not recommended to play football on basketball courts…
(3) Do sufficient and standardized warm-up exercises before exercise.
(4) For those who do not exercise for a long time or exercise for the first time, it is recommended to improve the intensity and time of exercise step by step in a planned way.
(5) For people who already have tendinitis, flatfoot and systemic basic diseases and take hormone drugs, it is recommended to choose sports with appropriate intensity and pay attention to controlling exercise intensity and time. At the same time, it is necessary to actively treat existing tendinitis and other basic diseases.
Is the Achilles tendon really broken? Go to the hospital!
Achilles tendon rupture often [suddenly feels like someone kicked the heel], but in fact it is not necessarily really kicked, it may also be spontaneous rupture. Then there will be swelling and pain in the Achilles tendon, and the heel cannot be lifted or has no strength. A closer look will reveal that the Achilles tendon is discontinuous and partially sunken.
If you suspect that Achilles tendon rupture may occur, you must go to the hospital in time and let a professional orthopaedic doctor or sports medicine doctor examine and judge. According to the situation, ultrasound, X-ray and magnetic resonance (MRI) examination may be required to make a clear diagnosis.
It is generally believed that the injury within 4 weeks is acute Achilles tendon rupture. If it is not treated or treated in time, chronic Achilles tendon rupture, i.e. Old Achilles tendon rupture, will occur more than 4 weeks after injury.
Acute rupture of Achilles tendon
For acute Achilles tendon rupture, conservative treatment or surgical treatment can be selected, but there is no final conclusion at present. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages:
- Conservative treatment has a higher probability of Achilles tendon rupture again. Surgical treatment, due to the special blood supply in this part, incision nonunion, infection, etc. may occur.
Conservative treatment does not mean no treatment. It also requires plaster fixation for 6-8 weeks. It requires adjustment, replacement of plaster or brace and regular review.
Chronic rupture of Achilles tendon
However, for chronic Achilles tendon rupture, the current unified view is to choose surgical treatment. Because the injury was not properly handled at that time, due to long time, muscle traction and contracture, both ends of Achilles tendon rupture often have large defects, which need to be selected according to the size of the defect.
How long will it take to recover?
There is no final conclusion, it varies from person to person.
As the saying goes, it takes a hundred days to break a muscle and bone. However, this rupture of Achilles tendon is more than that simple thing.
Whether it is acute or chronic Achilles tendon rupture, Whether conservative treatment or surgical treatment, it is generally necessary to fix with plaster for about 6 ~ 8 weeks, which depends on each person’s condition. During this period, regular follow-up visits are also required to observe the recovery status and adjust plaster. Later, it is also necessary to find a professional rehabilitation doctor for gradual rehabilitation training according to each person’s specific situation.
We must not act too hastily, let alone just see the recovery time of professional athletes and try to be as fast as them-it is based on the excellent physique of long-term exercise and the full guidance of professional medical rehabilitation teams.