Question:I'm 42-years old and just had my first major sports injury while playing ball. I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I see lots of other guys my age (and older) who haven't ruptured their Achilles tendons. Why me?
Answer:In general, more and more people are suffering from this exact injury. Men between the ages of 30 and 50 are the most likely to sustain an Achilles' tendon rupture. Both of these statistics are related to the fact that more people than ever before are now involved in sports.
Many people ask the Why me? question. The exact answer remains unknown. There may be some anatomical reasons. Perhaps a certain shape or length of the Achilles' puts some people at a higher risk of rupture. Those changes along with increased sports activities may be the right mix for injury.
There are some known predisposing factors. This means those individuals who fall into any of these categories is at increased risk of tendon rupture. It does not mean it is going to happen no matter what. These factors include history of diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
Anyone who has had Achilles' tendon problems in the past is at increase risk for rerupture. Certain medications can increase the risk of Achilles' tendon rupture. Corticosteroids and fluoroquinolone antibiotics fall into this category.
Most of all, increased athletic activity is a key factor. In a recent study from Italy, out of 24 patients with acute Achilles rupture, 23 occurred during athletic activities.Francesco Ceccarelli, MD, et al. Percutaneous and Minimally Invasive Techniques of Achilles Tendon Repair. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. May 2007. No. 458. Pp. 188-193.
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