Terminology for Achilles tendon related disorders

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2011 May;19(5):835-41. doi: 10.1007/s00167-010-1374-z. Epub 2011 Jan 11.


The terminology of Achilles tendon pathology has become inconsistent and confusing throughout the years. For proper research, assessment and treatment, a uniform and clear terminology is necessary. A new terminology is proposed; the definitions hereof encompass the anatomic location, symptoms, clinical findings and histopathology. It comprises the following definitions: Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy: a clinical syndrome characterized by a combination of pain, swelling and impaired performance. It includes, but is not limited to, the histopathological diagnosis of tendinosis. Achilles paratendinopathy: an acute or chronic inflammation and/or degeneration of the thin membrane around the Achilles tendon. There are clear distinctions between acute paratendinopathy and chronic paratendinopathy, both in symptoms as in histopathology. Insertional Achilles tendinopathy: located at the insertion of the Achilles tendon onto the calcaneus, bone spurs and calcifications in the tendon proper at the insertion site may exist. Retrocalcaneal bursitis: an inflammation of the bursa in the recess between the anterior inferior side of the Achilles tendon and the posterosuperior aspect of the calcaneus (retrocalcaneal recess). Superficial calcaneal bursitis: inflammation of the bursa located between a calcaneal prominence or the Achilles tendon and the skin. Finally, it is suggested that previous terms as Haglund's disease; Haglund's syndrome; Haglund's deformity; pump bump (calcaneus altus; high prow heels; knobbly heels; cucumber heel), are no longer used.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon*
  • Humans
  • Tendinopathy / pathology*
  • Terminology as Topic*