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When Does an Achilles Tendon Rupture Occur?

When Does an Achilles Tendon Rupture Occur?

Knowing when an Achilles tendon rupture occurs can not only help patients in preventing injury, but also help them to better identify injury. Below is an overview of the activities that may cause an Achilles tendon rupture, common risk factors, and symptoms of injury. 

Rupturing the Achilles Tendon 

Connecting the heel to the calf muscles, the Achilles tendon is not one singular fiber but a collection of tissue that play a significant role in lower leg mobility. When the Achilles tendon overstretches, the resulting injury may range from a partial to complete tear — or rupture. Therefore, rupturing the Achilles tendon can limit mobility. 

Activities That Cause a Rupture  

While many patients assume that athletics are a practically exclusive cause to Achilles tendon injuries, there are a number of factors that can make a patient — regardless of their level of activity — more likely to rupture their Achilles tendon, including: 

  1. Improper footwear or poorly fitted shoes 
  2. Excess use of the Achilles tendon 
  3. Incorrect stretching techniques 
  4. A history of Achilles tendon injuries 

Of course, athletic individuals in pivoting and cutting sports may also be more prone to Achilles tendon ruptures. However, sedentary patients that drastically alter their level of activity may also elevate the risk of rupturing their Achilles tendon. 

Signs and Symptoms of Injury  

When the Achilles tendon ruptures, patients typically report a popping sound accompanied by immediate and intense pain. Shortly following the incident, patients may experience symptoms such as: 

  • Tenderness in the lower leg 
  • Swelling in the rear part of the lower leg 
  • Bruising on the back of the ankle or calf 
  • Limited lower leg mobility 
  • Difficulty pushing the toes down 
  • Trouble standing on the toes  

Physicians often diagnose Achilles tendon ruptures through physical examination, checking range of motion, feeling for abnormalities, and inquiring about the incident surrounding the injury. For patients with more complex Achilles tendon ruptures, however, specialists may request diagnostic imaging tests for a detailed view of the internal injury. 

On the Heels of Recovery 

An Achilles tendon rupture can affect patients of any age or athletic ability, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying any of the activities you love most. From preventing an Achilles tendon injury to avoiding reinjury down the line, the orthopaedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine are devoted to delivering individualized care. Visit our team of orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, and physical therapists to get started on a recovery and rehabilitation plan. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online request form or call the office at 904-825-0540.


Sina Kasraeian, MD 
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has extensive training in arthroscopy and sports medicine reconstructive procedures.


Dr Hort - Foot surgeon St Augustine

Kurtis Hort, MD 
Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Dr. Hort specializes in reconstructive procedures of the foot and ankle.