Tendons are thick cords that attach bone to muscle. When the tendons become inflamed or irritated from repetitive actions and overuse, or from minor or serious injury, the result is tendonitis.
Tendonitis can occur in many areas but most often strikes the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and base of the thumb. Two areas in the foot can often exhibit tendonitis: the Achilles tendon, where the calf muscles connect to the heel bone, and the peroneal tendons located behind the outer ankle bone.
The Achilles tendon, the largest in the body, is subject to stress every day when we walk and more significant stress during sports involving running and jumping. With overuse and degeneration, this tendon may become inflamed causing Achilles tendonitis.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain and stiffness at the lower calf and back of the heel; pain that worsens with exercising; visible thickening of the tendon; swelling that does not go away and gets worse during the day.
The peroneal tendons function as stabilizers for the foot and ankle to protect them from sprains. Peroneal tendonitis may appear when these tendons are injured suddenly, as in an ankle sprain, or over a period of time as when participating in sports involving repetitive ankle motion. Patients with high arches are at risk for this condition.
If you have peroneal tendonitis, you’ll experience ankle pain, swelling and skin warmth. An acute tear to the tendon will also cause instability or weakness of the ankle and foot. If untreated, these tears can actually change the shape of the foot and increase its arch unnaturally.
Treating Tendonitis with Platelet Rich Plasma Treatments
Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM will first diagnose your condition and rule out any other ankle or foot problem. We will take x-rays and other advanced imaging tests to confirm our diagnosis. Treatment options include ultrasound therapy, muscle massage and stretching. Shoe heel lifts can redistribute stress to allow the tendons to heal.
Another type of treatment is called Platelet Rich Plasma. In this therapy, a small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge to separate out the platelet-rich plasma. This concentrated plasma is then injected at the site of the injury to allow the body to repair the injured tissues, stimulate blood flow and produce healing collagen. The result is a greater chance of healing and a reduced need for surgery.
We Can Help with Any Foot and Ankle Pain
Please call us as soon as possible if you are experiencing foot or ankle pain of any kind. Quick diagnosis and treatment are key elements to full healing. Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with injuries for any age group. You can reach us at our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Resolve your tendonitis pain to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.