Tendon rupture 一 a debilitating and painful injury that affects your mobility and overall quality of life 一 occurs when the tissue that connects muscles to bones tears. These tears can happen in any tendon, but athletes suffer 80% of Achilles tendon ruptures.
Whether you're an athlete, an active individual, or simply going about your daily routine, you need to recognize the signs of a tendon rupture so you can get a timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
But how do you know if you’ve torn a tendon? Our board-certified podiatrists at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists typically diagnose tendon ruptures through a physical exam, but imaging tests can confirm the rupture and its severity.
In the meantime, you might suspect you have a tendon rupture if you notice these signs:
Your pain is sudden and severe
Did your pain come on suddenly? When you rupture a tendon in your ankle, you might experience a sharp, shooting pain that feels as if something has snapped or torn within your ankle. This pain is often severe and can make it challenging to bear weight on the affected foot.
You heard an audible pop or snap sound
In some cases, a tendon rupture in the ankle may be accompanied by an audible pop or snap sound at the time of injury. This sound is typically distinct and may be alarming.
If you hear such a sound while participating in physical activity or sustaining an ankle injury, it could be an indication of a tendon rupture.
You have significant swelling and bruising
Following a tendon rupture, you may notice significant swelling around the injured area. Your ankle can become visibly swollen, tender, and warm to the touch. Additionally, bruising may appear around the site of the injury, spreading over time due to the pooling of blood from the torn tendon.
Note: Fractures can also cause intense swelling and bruising, so it’s best practice to not brush off any concerning symptoms.
Walking and standing are painful
A tendon rupture in your ankle impairs your ability to walk or stand normally. You may find it challenging to put weight on the affected foot due to pain, instability, and weakness. This difficulty in mobility is a clear sign that something is wrong with the tendon in your ankle.
You have a limited range of motion
Can’t move your foot normally? Tendon ruptures make it hard to utilize the full range of motion in your foot. You may find it difficult or impossible to flex or extend your foot properly. Attempting to move your ankle joint may cause discomfort, intense pain, or a feeling of weakness.
You notice a gap or divot in your ankle
In some cases, a tendon rupture leads to a visible gap or divot in the back of your ankle where your Achilles tendon runs. If you see a depression or a noticeable change in the contour of your ankle, it could be a result of a torn tendon.
You might spot this physical alteration when comparing your injured ankle to your uninjured one.
Depending on the severity of your rupture, we may recommend rest, immobilization, surgical repair, and physical therapy.
Call the location of your choice 一 Boca Raton, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Plantation, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida 一 to schedule an appointment. Taking prompt action can minimize the long-term impact of a tendon rupture and facilitate a smooth rehabilitation process.