Achilles Tendonitis

OPA treats a wide variety of foot & ankle conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

What is an Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendinitis is a common condition that occurs when the large tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg becomes irritated and inflamed.

Common Causes:

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, climb stairs, jump, and stand on your tiptoes. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is also prone to tendonitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration.

    • An increase in exercise frequency and/or volume
    • Tight calf muscles
    • A bone spur on the heel

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Tear may include:

    • Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon in the morning
    • Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
    • Severe pain the day after exercising
    • Bone spur (insertional tendinitis)
    • Swelling that is present all the time and gets worse throughout the day with activity

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of foot and ankle specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing an Achilles injury, the OPA specialist will provide:

      • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
      • A physical examination
      • Multiple view x-rays or MRI
  • Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are used to treat Achilles tendonitis. Many treatment options are available. The OPA foot and ankle specialist creates customized treatment plans that include any or any combination of the following:


Rest, ice, compression, and elevation relieves pain and inflammation. 

Taken orally or applied topically to decrease inflammation and pain
Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapist prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching exercises.

Complete tendon tears usually require surgery. During an Achilles tendon repair, an OPA specialist makes a small incision and uses sutures to connect torn tendon ends. If there is a bone fracture, the loose piece of bone is reattached to the heal. The patient is immobilized in a splint after surgery. Immobilization continues for 6-8 weeks after surgery. Physical therapy after surgery is an important part of the recovery process. Total recovery time is approximately 6 months.

Schedule Appointment with Our Foot & Ankle Team


The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions, minimally invasive arthroscopies (repairs) and total joint replacement.

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