Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

What is an Achilles' tendinopathy?

Answer:

The Achilles' tendon refers to the junction of the gastrocnemius and soleus (calf muscles) to the bone. The muscles gradually turn into tendon and a strong band of connective tissue that inserts into the bone.

Tendinopathy is the medical term for injury, pathologic change, or damage to a tendon. There may be a thickening of the tissue or irregular tendon structure. With Achilles' tendinopathy, there is usually swelling, tenderness or pain, and decreased function of the Achilles' tendon.

Sometimes this condition is referred to insertional Achilles tendinopathy. The pain and tenderness occur right at the point where the tendon inserts into the bone. When the main body of the tendon is tender, it is called paratendinopathy.

The diagnosis of Achilles' tendinopathy is usually made by examination and imaging studies. Plain X-rays and ultrasound pictures help rule out other conditions such as bursitis or bone spurs. Jan D. Rompe, MD, et al. Eccentric Loading Compared with Shock Wave Treatment for Chronic Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. January 2008. Vol. 90. No. 1. Pp. 52-61.

*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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