How to Treat a Thickened Achilles Tendon: Tips and Advice from an Orthopedic Surgeon

“A thickened Achilles tendon is very painful. With every step you take. Certain shoes are no longer comfortable. The thickening is clearly visible and touching hurts. It makes sense that you want to get rid of that as soon as possible. Unfortunately, an orthopedic surgeon often cannot bring relief with surgery. A thickened Achilles tendon is just like a tennis elbow or a bursitis, an expression of overload. It can occur if you have started exercising too fanatically, have started moving differently or more or if you have stumbled. Sometimes there is no apparent reason and it has crept in slowly. The tendon becomes irritated and thickened in a certain place. Usually about five to six centimeters above the attachment of the Achilles tendon. That irritation is visible and easy to feel, but it cannot simply be cut away. In fact, surgery can make the complaint worse. The so-called cleaning of the Achilles tendon promotes scarring. You then exchange one painful thickening for another. In addition, wounds in this area often heal moderately and slowly. Only in exceptional cases do I decide on an operation. This is usually when the thickening is at the attachment. Then I can remove a piece of the back of the heel bone with keyhole surgery.”

“In all other cases, the best remedy is to be patient and fight the pain with anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Overweight people can try to lose weight. It also helps if you wear shoes with soft, flexible soles. Physical therapy or stretching the Achilles tendon on the stairs a few times at home every day can also reduce pain. A night splint may help to keep the tendon in length. If you have persistent and severe pain, you can consider plaster mobilization. It is little consolation, but eventually the complaints disappear after one to two years.”

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The orthopedists of the Gelre orthopedic center Apeldoorn and Zutphen write a column every other week here. at


Orthopedic surgeon Ferry Steenstra specializes in, among other things, total knee and hip prosthesis and foot and ankle surgery.

2023-06-10 07:02:56
#orthopedic #surgeon #Thickened #Achilles #tendon #Stedendriehoek

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