Achilles tendon disorders in runners--a review

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1980;12(4):231-43.


The Achilles tendon and the classification, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and management of Achilles tendon disorders in runners are reviewed. Due to the presence of a paratenon sheath, the classification of Achilles tendon disease should be revised. Several etiological mechanisms have been proposed in Achilles tendon disease. The authors recognize: faulty foot biomechanics; poor lower leg flexibility; poorly designed athletic footwear; training surfaces; training intensity; overuse through excessive mileage; inactivity; local steroid injections; rheumatic conditions; and indirect violence. An accurate, thorough differential diagnosis is essential when the athlete presents with an Achilles tendon disorder. Except in total rupture and in extensive partial rupture, the authors do not recommend cast immobilization in the treatment of Achilles tendon disease. When the athlete presents with total rupture of the Achilles tendon, the authors believe that surgical repair is the treatment method of choice. Rehabilitation programs to follow successful treatment of Achilles tendon disease are also presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / anatomy & histology
  • Achilles Tendon / blood supply
  • Achilles Tendon / injuries*
  • Achilles Tendon / innervation
  • Athletic Injuries* / classification
  • Athletic Injuries* / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries* / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries* / therapy
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications
  • Running*
  • Rupture
  • Shoes
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis
  • Tendinopathy / therapy