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Achilles tendon rupture

The Achilles tendon is the largest and most robust tendon in the human body.

Repetitive stress in athletes or simple aging in inactive people can lead to variations in this tendon’s structure. This can lead to partial or even complete tears of the tendon itself.

This injury often results from unrecognised or misunderstood chronic tendonitis. It mostly affects jumpers, runners, footballers and tennis players. It is believed to be the result of an abrupt contraction.

Typically, the athlete reports a sharp and sudden pain in the posterior region of the leg, often associated with a loud "crack" sound. Patients often report the sensation of having received a whip or kick from an opponent. The rupture generates an immediate functional impairment, preventing any kind of ambulation.

Diagnosis is mainly based on the clinical presentation: sometimes there is a gap evident at the break. The suspected diagnosis is often confirmed by an ultrasound that clearly shows the disruption of tendon fibres and allows us to distinguish between total and partial ruptures.

Surgical intervention is always required in these cases.

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