During the physical exam, your doctor will inspect your lower leg for tenderness and swelling. In many cases, doctors can feel a gap in your tendon if a complete rupture has occurred.
The doctor may also ask you to kneel on a chair or lie on your stomach with your feet hanging over the end of the exam table. He or she may then squeeze your calf muscle to see if your foot will automatically flex. If it doesn't, you probably have ruptured your Achilles tendon.
If there's a question about the extent of your Achilles tendon injury — whether it's completely or only partially ruptured — your doctor may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This painless procedure uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create a computerized image of the tissues of your body.
Sep. 23, 2011
- Baer GS, et al. Achilles tendon rupture. In: DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Ham P, et al. Achilles tendinopathy and tendon rupture. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Khan RJ, et al. Surgical interventions for treating acute Achilles tendon ruptures (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010:CD003674.
- Mercier LR. Achilles tendon rupture. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Carr JB. Achilles tendon rupture. In: Browner BD, et al. Skeletal Trauma. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders Co.; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2220-6..10060-X--s0630&isbn=978-1-4160-2220-6&sid=1182706148&uniqId=268192316-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2220-6..10060-X--s0630. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 26, 2011.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.