Q:

What are some treatments for injuries to the Achilles tendon?

A:

Quick Answer

Treatment options for Achilles tendon injuries include rest, ice, compression, elevation and anti-inflammatory pain medications, as listed by WebMD. Patients can also use a heel lift shoe insert or complete strengthening and stretching exercises as recommended by a health care provider.

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Full Answer

Patients with Achilles tendon injuries should avoid putting weight on the affected ankle, walking with crutches if necessary, according to WebMD. They can also apply ice to the tendon for 20-to-30-minute periods every three to four hours to reduce pain and inflammation, continuing for two to three days or until pain subsides. An elastic bandage wrapped around the ankle and lower leg can also reduce swelling as can nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Due to an increased risk of ulcers and bleeding, patients should keep the use of pain killers to a minimum unless instructed by a health care professional.

Some doctors may recommend a heel lift shoe insert to prevent stretching of the Achilles tendon, according to WebMD. Conservative treatment is normally sufficient for healing; however, if the Achilles tendon injury is severe, the patient may need to protect the area with a cast for six to 10 weeks. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove unneeded tissue or repair the tendon.

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