Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

I was walking across the street when my left leg went out from under me. I felt a pop in my calf and now I can't move my foot up or down. There's no swelling yet but the pain is very sharp and I can't walk on it. What could have happened? Do I need to see a doctor?

Answer:

It sounds like you may have torn your Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the calf muscle (gastrocnemius) to the heel bone (calcaneus). This is the tendon along the back of the ankle.

If the tendon has not ruptured, then you may have strained the tendon. This type of injury results in a stretch injury to the tendon called tendonitis. In some cases, the tendon itself doesn't tear. Instead it pulls a piece of calcaneal bone off of the rest of the calcaneus.

You'll need to see a medical doctor for a proper diagnosis. The tendon may heal on its own without treatment. For some conditions, early treatment is the key to success.

In the case of Achilles tendon rupture, a cast may be needed to immobilize the foot during healing. Sometimes physical therapy is advised. When conservative treatment doesn't help, surgery is a final option.

Hasan Tatari, et al. Effect of Hylan G-F 20 in Achilles' Tendonitis: An Experimental Study in Rats. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. September 2004. Vol. 85. No. 9. Pp. 1470-1475.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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