Achilles Tendonitis

Professional basketball player complaining of ankle pain. Pain is mostly in the posterior ankle (medical lingo: back). Pain and discomfort is worse when she extends or flexes the ankle. Pain interferes with her game especially when she jumps. Patient states her problem developed after switching to a different type of sneakers, mandated by the club that she was recently traded to. Her past medical history is unremarkable and she takes no medications to cope with pain. On exam the Achilles tendon is very tender, even the slightest touch or palpation makes her uncomfortable.

Discussion: Achilles tendonitis refers of irritation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon which is located in the back of the ankle, pain and swelling are typical symptoms, but over the long run the tendon can weaken and rupture this is a serious matter since it may cause chronic pain and disability. Typically patients experience most of the pain during running and jumping. Changes in footwear and training schedules as reported by the above patient could be a contributory factor to development Achilles tendonitis. Diagnosis of Achilles Tendonitis is best done by good clinical history, MRI can be helpful.

Case Study Date: 7/22/2005