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WHAT IS IT? Achilles and calf

A partial Achilles tear is as it sounds – partial.  The muscle is not completely ruptured.  It tends to have a sudden onset, and is more prevalent in middle aged individuals aged between 30 and 50.


Typically a partial Achilles tear will occur in an area of pre-existing pathology.  There may have been scarring from previous injury due to overuse or irritation.  Rather than appearing as normal tissue, where the partial tear occurs, it is purported to have abnormal collagen structure, is too vascular and therefore hypersensitive.



Partial tears are deemed unresponsive to eccentric Achilles strengthening exercises.  The current best management is to rest from aggravating activities, and wear a heel raise of 1cm.


With the above mentioned treatment, a partial tear should resolve.  If conservative management is not successful further investigation via ultrasound may be warranted.


Your physiotherapist will be able to take a thorough subjective history and determine whether your injury is a partial tear, tendinitis or tendinopathy.  They will assess you for biomechanical and training factors which led to your injury, and also be able to provide you with the appropriate shoe insert.


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