Achilles Tendon Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand achilles tendon pain symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

Achilles Tendon Pain Symptom Checker

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Contents

  1. 6 Possible Achilles Tendon Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

6 Possible Achilles Tendon Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced achilles tendon pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the back of the heel to the muscles of the calves. Achilles tendonitis can be an acute or chronic condition. The term tendonitis implies inflammatory cells in the region of the tendon. While this may be true in acute cases of tendon overuse or tendon ...

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Achilles tendon rupture

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Together, they help push the heel off the ground and let a person go up on their toes. If the Achilles tendon stretches too far, it can tear or rupture.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: achilles tendon pain, constant foot pain, sports injury, recent ankle injury, swollen achilles

Symptoms that always occur with achilles tendon rupture: achilles tendon pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Posterior tibialis tendinopathy

The posterior tibialis tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the underside of the foot. It provides stability and arch support. If this tendon is damaged, the result may be a flat, unstable foot.

Posterior tibialis tendinopathy is most often a sports injury, where the tendon becomes inflamed or torn through overuse or high impact.

Symptoms include pain down the ankle and into the foot, sometimes with swelling. The pain becomes worse with any activity, even standing or walking. When standing, the patient's arch will be collapsed and flat and the front of the foot will point outward. The patient will be unable to stand on the injured foot and raise the heel.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Treatment involves rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, orthotics (shoe pads,) braces, and sometimes steroid injections into the damaged tendon. Surgery can be tried, but tends to be complex and cannot always restore the tendon completely.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: swollen foot, pain in one foot, limping, pain in one ankle, spontaneous ankle pain

Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy: recent cutting accident

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Ankle arthritis

Arthritis simply means inflammation of the joints. Because the feet and ankles have many small joints and carry the weight of the body, they are often the first place that arthritis appears.

Arthritis is caused by a breakdown in the protective cartilage at the end of each joint, so that the bones begin to wear against each other and the joint becomes stiff and painful. This breakdown may be due to simple wear and tear; an injury; or from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition which causes the body to break down its own cartilage.

Symptoms include swelling, warmth, and redness in the joint, and pain with movement or with pressure on the joint.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI.

There is no cure for arthritis, but treatment is important because the symptoms can be managed to prevent further damage, ease pain, and improve quality of life. Treatment involves physical therapy, pain-relieving medications, and sometimes surgery to help repair damaged joints.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: swollen ankle, swollen foot, joint stiffness, pain in one ankle, ankle stiffness

Urgency: Self-treatment

Non-specific ankle pain

Ankle pain not caused by injury or surgery that is a variation of normal.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pain in one ankle

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific ankle pain: pain in one ankle

Symptoms that never occur with non-specific ankle pain: ankle pain from an injury, severe ankle pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's immune system which normally protects the body by att...

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Achilles Tendon Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • How would you explain your ankle pain?
  • Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Do you have multiple joints that are stiff?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your achilles tendon pain. These questions are also covered.

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Achilles Tendon Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced achilles tendon pain have also experienced:

  • 18% Ankle Pain
  • 4% Swollen Ankle
  • 3% Knee Pain

People who have experienced achilles tendon pain were most often matched with:

  • 54% Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • 27% Posterior Tibialis Tendinopathy
  • 18% Achilles Tendonitis

People who have experienced achilles tendon pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 33% Over a month
  • 26% Less than a week
  • 21% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Achilles Tendon Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your achilles tendon pain