The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in your body. It connects your calf muscles to the back of your heel bone. If you place excessive stress on the tendon it can either partially or completely tear. You may feel and hear a pop followed by intense pain in the back of your foot and ankle. Depending on the extent of the tear you may not be able to walk properly.
Treatment of a torn Achilles tendon depends on your health, age, activity level and how bad the tear is. The tendon may be surgically repaired or treated conservatively with a cast or Cam Walker by Ovation with a wedge to elevate the heel.
After treatment physical therapy is used to strengthen the Achilles tendon. AnAnkle brace by Ossur or Ovation may be used to protect the healing tendon. Heel lifts by Scott may also be used during the rehabilitation process to decrease stress on the tendon. If you have flat feet or are obese you may benefit from orthotics like those made by Ortho-Dynamic to help prevent re-injury. A stable shoe with good shock absorption may also help prevent re-injury of the Achilles tendon.