Pickleball Ruptured Achilles

Are you at risk for a ruptured Achilles? How to reduce your risk.

A ruptured Achilles is a the most common tendon rupture that can occur in your legs. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. While it is a strong tendon, it can partially or fully tear, or rupture, if over extended.  

Certain demographic and lifestyle factors can increase your risk for a ruptured Achilles. While gender and age are two key risk factors that none of us can influence – the majority of ruptured Achilles tendon injuries happen to men between the ages of 30-50 – there are several other risk factors that may be managed or minimized by lifestyle choices:

Maintain a healthy body weight: Excess weight puts additional strain on the Achilles tendon, thus making ruptures more likely. By maintaining a health body weight, or BMI (Body Mass Index), people of all ages and genders can reduce their risk of a ruptured Achilles.

Take a smart approach high-impact exercise: Especially with certain activities or when increasing intensity suddenly. Any sport that emphasizes running, jumping, quick pivots or change in direction tends to see a higher-than-average occurrence of Achilles tendon ruptures. Common examples include tennis, high-intensity cross training, soccer, and basketball. Similarly, any dramatic increase in your level of intensity can put you a higher risk for a tear.

Warm up well, weekend warriors: If you don’t get much activity during the week, but like to go “all-out” on weekends, be sure to really emphasize a good warmup, ease into your activity, and always remember to stretch. Keeping your body limber and staying warm throughout your activities can help to minimize the risk of a ruptured Achilles or other injury.

Know the potential risks of some antibiotics: Certain antibiotics, known as fluoroquinolones, may increase the risk of a ruptured Achilles tendon by causing damage to the tendon. While this type of antibiotic may also damage other tendons, the majority of cases are associated with weight-bearing tendons, and the Achilles, in particular. Doctors typically only prescribe such drugs under specific circumstances when the benefit of the antibiotic outweighs the risk of an Achilles tear. However, patients should be sure to review and understand the risks and benefits before taking any medication.

Understand that steroid injections also have a cost-benefit trade off: Steroids can reduce inflammation and joint pain but can also weaken tendons, including the Achilles when injected nearby.

Ruptured Achilles Prevention

In addition to knowing the risks there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of an Achilles tendon rupture, including:

Keep your workouts diverse: Especially if you already have any of the other risk factors, be mindful of how frequently you participate in activities that demand a lot of running and jumping. This could include alternating between running and biking or swimming and taking rest days between court or field time.

Don’t go from zero to 60: If you’re starting a new routine or are thinking about rounding up the team for some glory-days court time, be smart and conservative. Don’t go from couch potato to working out 5 days a week; and try to resist getting overly competitive in a pickup game if you haven’t touched a ball in years. A good rule of thumb for increasing your effort is to do so no more than 10 percent per week. When you do exercise or compete, always warm up slowly and stretch before you really get going. Gently stretch key muscle groups, in particular your calves. Never bounce while stretching – instead make slow gradual motions.

Listen to your body: If you’re feeling sore or feel like an exercise or a move is too much, don’t ignore the warning your body might be giving you. Back off your intensity when you need to. This could mean alternating walking with running or replacing a hopping motion with a stepping motion in an intense exercise class.

How to tell if you’ve ruptured your Achilles and what to do next

Many people report feeling sudden, intense pain and hearing a snap or popping sound when their Achilles tears. Most also notice an immediate limit in their ability to walk normally. If you think you’ve ruptured your Achilles, you should seek prompt medical attention from an orthopedic specialist. They will be able to confirm the nature and severity of the tear and recommend the best treatment plan to get you back on your feet and active.

Whether you’ve partially or fully torn the Achilles, surgery is often the best solution to repair the damaged tendon. A foot and ankle specialist will reattach a fully ruptured Achilles or repair a partial tear. Patients must typically be off their foot or the foot and ankle may be immobilized for at least several weeks to allow the tendon to begin to heal. In some cases, immobilization without surgery is an option.

Full recovery from ruptured Achilles surgery takes time – around 6 months to get back to normal activities, if you’re following a good physical therapy plan.

Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Specialists has several foot and ankle surgeons who use the latest surgical and open repair techniques that minimize the incision size and provide the best patient outcomes.  Get in touch for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle specialists.

Best Foot & Ankle Surgeons

Keith Jacobson, DPM

Dr. Keith Jacobson


Alan Ng, DPM

Dr. Alan Ng


Scott Resig, MD

Dr. Scott Resig


Justin Newman, MD

Shoulder Replacement - How to choose the right doctor

What to consider when choosing a shoulder replacement doctor

If you’ve been coping with chronic pain and low range of motion in your shoulder and have exhausted other treatment options, it might be time to look for a shoulder replacement doctor. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), more than 50,000 people in the US have shoulder replacement surgery each year, and while it’s not as common as hip or knee replacements, it’s just as effective in improving joint pain for many patients. But having shoulder replacement surgery is still a serious decision, so take time to find the right surgeon for your needs. In addition to reviewing the credentials of a prospective shoulder replacement doctor, you should be sure you’re working with a surgeon who will:

  1. Exhaust non-surgical options first
  2. Evaluate the cause of your shoulder condition
  3. Recommend the right type of surgery for your condition
  4. Thoroughly explain the procedure risks, benefits, process, timeline and recovery
  5. Serve as your health partner following the procedure, monitoring your rehab, recovery and addressing any complications or concerns.

 

  1. Choosing a shoulder replacement doctor: Exhaust non-surgical options first: Before pursuing surgery, an experienced shoulder replacement doctor will first work with you to ensure that you are a good candidate for surgery and determine if other options, such as rest, physical therapy and injections, can give you the relief and activity level you’re seeking. Once those options have been exhausted, surgery may be the most appropriate recommendation.
  1. Choosing a shoulder replacement doctor: Evaluate the cause of your shoulder condition: A shoulder replacement doctor will also want to know the cause of your shoulder damage, which can include a wide range of conditions. These may include various types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, which cause degeneration of the joints, or less common conditions like Osteonecrosis, in which the blood supply to the joint is limited. Injuries are another major cause of shoulder damage either as a direct result of a fracture or over time due to post-traumatic arthritis.
  1. Choosing a shoulder replacement doctor: Recommend the right type of surgery for your condition: Your surgeon should have experience with and can recommend the type of procedure that is most appropriate for your condition. Depending on the severity and type of injury you have, you may be looking at any of the following types of shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement surgery is often the best procedure when the rotator cuff or other shoulder tendons have sustained major damage especially if you have arthritis in the shoulder joint.
  • If your damage is isolated to the ball of the humerous (the upper arm bone), your shoulder replacement doctor may recommend partial shoulder replacement.
  • And total shoulder replacementsurgery is often recommended when arthritis has damaged ball and socket.
  1. Choosing a shoulder replacement doctor: Thoroughly explain the procedure risks, benefits, process, timeline and recovery: Look for a shoulder replacement doctor that takes time to explain the procedure to you, including risk and expected outcomes, any pre-surgery preparations and requirements, what to expect on the day of surgery, the anticipated hospital stay, and – perhaps most importantly, the plan for recovery.
  2. Choosing a shoulder replacement doctor: Serve as your health partner following the procedure, monitoring your recovery and addressing any complications or concerns.: While recovery can be lengthy (up to several months), the reward can be significant, with many patients enjoying major improvements in pain and motion after successful surgery and rehabilitation. But a good shoulder replacement doctor will ensure that you understand the commitment and effort required for a successful rehabilitation too, so that you can get back to being active and pain free. They will also check in following surgery to check for complications and see you for office visits as you progress.

There are three shoulder replacement doctors within Advanced Orthopedics, all of who are board certified surgeons who specialize in shoulder replacement and repair of other shoulder conditions.

James Ferrari, MD

Dr. James Ferrari


H. Andrew Motz, MD

Dr. H. Andrew Motz


John Papilion, MD

Dr. John Papilion


If shoulder pain is severely limiting your daily activities or range of motion, and any of these descriptions apply, it might be time to raise your hand for shoulder replacement surgery. Contact our office to set an appointment.

dr harold hunt denver co

Harold Hunt, MD