Achilles tendon rupture is a common injury for this body region. This research paper discusses the tearing and rupture of the Achilles, rehabilitation process, and injury prevention.
Achilles tendon rupture is increasingly common. Incidence of rupture is more common in countries where work is more sedentary and it is decreased in countries where physical work is common. Increased incidence has also been found in people with blood group O (Soma and Mandelbaum, "Achilles Tendon" 811-823).
The male to female incidence ratio for acute Achilles Tendon ruptures varies from 2:1 to 12:1. Reports show that 75 percent of all cases occur in athletes, ages 30 years to 40 years; 15 percent report premorbid symptoms, posterior calf or heel pain due to running sports (Soma and Mandelbaum, "Repair" 239-247).
The Achilles tendon is very susceptible to acute and chronic injury due to its structural and functional demands. Long-term or repetitive loads can cause tendinitis and short-term, rapid loading can cause traumatic rupture of the tendon. Causes are attributed to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the body; it is subject to the highest of forces in the body. During running, tensile loads of up to eight times body weight are experienced. The soleus muscle component crosses only the ankle joint; it is the most subject to early disuse atrophy during undertraining or short-leg cast immobilization. The soleus muscle fibers are type I (slow twitch, oxidative metabolism) and the Achilles tendon therefore has a significant potential for rapid atrophic change with disuse. The Achilles tendon is covered by the peritenon alone, there is no synovial sheath around it (Soma and Mandelbaum, "Repair" 239-247).
It is postulated that repetitive microtrauma causes tendon failure. Others have shown a decreased vascular perfusion of the Achilles tendon complex. Studies show increased ...