Items in AFP with MESH term: Achilles Tendon
Common Conditions of the Achilles Tendon - Article
ABSTRACT: The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, is vulnerable to injury because of its limited blood supply and the combination of forces to which it is subjected. Aging and increased activity (particularly velocity sports) increase the chance of injury to the Achilles tendon. Although conditions of the Achilles tendon are occurring with increasing frequency because the aging U.S. population is remaining active, the diagnosis is missed in about one fourth of cases. Injury onset can be gradual or sudden, and the course of healing is often lengthy. A thorough history and specific physical examination are essential to make the appropriate diagnosis and facilitate a specific treatment plan. The mainstay of treatment for tendonitis, peritendonitis, tendinosis, and retrocalcaneobursitis is ice, rest, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but physical therapy, orthoties, and surgery may be necessary in recalcitrant cases. In patients with tendon rupture, casting or surgery is required. Appropriate treatment often leads to full recovery.
Commonly Missed Orthopedic Problems - Article
ABSTRACT: When not diagnosed early and managed appropriately, common musculoskeletal injuries may result in long-term disabling conditions. Anterior cruciate ligament tears are some of the most common knee ligament injuries. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis may present with little or no hip pain, and subtle or absent physical and radiographic findings. Femoral neck stress fractures, if left untreated, may result in avascular necrosis, refractures and pseudoarthrosis. A delay in diagnosis of scaphoid fractures may cause early wrist arthrosis if nonunion results. Ulnar collateral ligament tears are a frequently overlooked injury in skiers. The diagnosis of Achilles tendon rupture is missed as often as 25 percent of the time. Posterior tibial tendon tears may result in fixed bony planus if diagnosis is delayed, necessitating hindfoot fusion rather than simple soft tissue repair. Family physicians should be familiar with the initial assessment of these conditions and, when appropriate, refer patients promptly to an orthopedic surgeon.
Diagnosis of Heel Pain - Article
ABSTRACT: Heel pain is a common presenting symptom in ambulatory clinics. There are many causes, but a mechanical etiology is most common. Location of pain can be a guide to the proper diagnosis. The most common diagnosis is plantar fasciitis, a condition that leads to medial plantar heel pain, especially with the first weight-bearing steps in the morning and after long periods of rest. Other causes of plantar heel pain include calcaneal stress fracture (progressively worsening pain following an increase in activity level or change to a harder walking surface), nerve entrapment (pain accompanied by burning, tingling, or numbness), heel pad syndrome (deep, bruise-like pain in the middle of the heel), neuromas, and plantar warts. Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition that causes posterior heel pain. Other tendinopathies demonstrate pain localized to the insertion site of the affected tendon. Posterior heel pain can also be attributed to a Haglund deformity, a prominence of the calcaneus that may cause bursa inflammation between the calcaneus and Achilles tendon, or to Sever disease, a calcaneal apophysitis in children. Medial midfoot heel pain, particularly with continued weight bearing, may be due to tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve as it courses through the flexor retinaculum, medial calcaneus, posterior talus, and medial malleolus. Sinus tarsi syndrome occurs in the space between the calcaneus, talus, and talocalcaneonavicular and subtalar joints. The syndrome manifests as lateral midfoot heel pain. Differentiating among causes of heel pain can be accomplished through a patient history and physical examination, with appropriate imaging studies, if indicated.
Management of Chronic Tendon Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: Chronic tendon injuries present unique management challenges. The assumption that these injuries result from ongoing inflammation has caused physicians to rely on treatments demonstrated to be ineffective in the long term. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be limited in the treatment of these injuries. Corticosteroid injections should be considered for temporizing pain relief only for rotator cuff tendinopathy. For chronic Achilles tendinopathy (symptoms lasting longer than six weeks), an intense eccentric strengthening program of the gastrocnemius/ soleus complex improved pain and function between 60 and 90 percent in randomized trials. Evidence also supports eccentric exercise as a first-line option for chronic patellar tendon injuries. Other modalities such as prolotherapy, topical nitroglycerin, iontophoresis, phonophoresis, therapeutic ultrasound, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and low-level laser therapy have less evidence of effectiveness but are reasonable second-line alternatives to surgery for patients who have persistent pain despite appropriate rehabilitative exercise.