This is inflammation of the tendon, usually resulting from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear or intensity of an activity.
- Gradual onset of pain and stiffness over the tendon, which may improve with heat or walking and worsen with strenuous activity.
- Tenderness of the tendon on palpation. There may also be crepitus and swelling.
- Pain on active movement of the ankle joint.
Ultrasound or MRI may be necessary to differentiate tendonitis from a partial tendon rupture.
- The patient should abstain from aggravating activities, but with a minimum of rest in order to preserve overall fitness.
- Possible treatments are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ice, rest, increased warm-up/stretching exercises, physiotherapy and heel lifts (orthotic devices – used on both sides to prevent a gait imbalance).
- Surgery is sometimes used for resistant Achilles tendonitis, but usually as a last resort.