Heel Cord Tendonitis
The heel cord, also known as the Achilles tendon, is susceptible from injury, usually from overuse. Common symptoms include pain or discomfort focused along the area along the back of the heel. The symptoms typically worsen following activity. Heel cord tendinitis is often linked to sudden change in activity or change in workout routine. Weakening of the Achilles occurs with normal aging which can lead to injury. Heel cord tendinitis is seen more commonly in men than women and usually occurs in 35-45 year olds. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and certain classes of medications can raise the risk of developing this type of condition.
The diagnosis of heel cord tendinitis is made by an orthopaedic surgeons, usually based on the provided history of the patient and physical examination. X-rays may be obtained to rule out any type of underlying bony disorders.
Once the diagnosis is made, treatment for heel cord tendinitis is usually non-surgical. Activity modification, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID) are initially prescribed. The use of shoe orthotics or a heel wedge to reduce the strain on the Achilles made also be prescribed. In cases where there is little improvement with basic care mentioned above, immobilization of the affected heel may be prescribed using a special boot. In rare cases, surgery may be recommended for those who fail to improve with several months of non-surgical care.