[The Achilles tendon in sports]

Orthopade. 1995 Jun;24(3):252-67.
[Article in German]


Achillodynia is a generic term for various types of ailments in the region of the Achilles tendon. For adequate therapy a specific diagnosis is absolutely necessary. Besides an accurate anamnesis and the right choice of terrain and shoes, as well as a clinical examination where one has to specifically keep an eye on muscular imbalance between the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle and disorders of the ligamentous control of the calcaneus caused by fibular ligament instabilities, a procedure such as radiology, ultrasound, and MR imaging is inevitable. From the differential diagnosis point of view a distinction between peritendinitis, mechanically triggered bursitis (calcaneal and subachilles), bony alterations of the calcaneus (calcaneus spur, Haglund exostosis persistent nucleus of the apophysis, fatigue fracture, etc) and a partial or total rupture (a one-time occurrence or multiple occurrences) has to be made. Occasionally, entrapment of the ramus calcaneus of the sural nerve causes calcaneal pain. If clinically not confirmed, lumbar pain ought to be taken into consideration (discopathy, Bechterew disease, etc). Metabolic disorders (especially uric acid) and underlying rheumatic diseases must be excluded. The therapy of achillodynia includes local and peroral antiphlogistic medication as a concomitant measure. More important is the causal influence of etiological factors, i.e., the correction of muscular imbalance, ensuring control of the calcaneus through bandages and adjustment of sport shoes, changes in training buildup and exercise intensity, just to mention a few. If necessary, surgically splitting the peritendineum, sanitation of a partial rupture, bursectomy and removal of mechanically obstructive exostosis must be done.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / injuries
  • Achilles Tendon / physiology*
  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Bursitis / physiopathology
  • Bursitis / therapy
  • Collagen Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Collagen Diseases / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exostoses / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology
  • Tendinopathy / therapy