Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.
Achilles tendonitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.
The main difference between Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendinosis is time. Achilles tendinosis is a chronic (persistent or recurring) condition caused by repetitive trauma or an injury that hasn’t healed. By contrast, Achilles tendonitis is an acute (sudden, short-term) condition in which inflammation is caused by a direct injury to a tendon. The differences are reflected in their suffixes, with “-osis” meaning abnormal or diseased and “-itis” meaning inflammation.
Achilles tendonitis treatments usually begins with relatively simple, at-home care under your doctor’s supervision. Self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes. Other treatments may include physical therapy, stretching, orthotic devices, and steroid injections. If those conservative treatments have failed or it appears to be Achilles tendinosis, you are faced with surgery to debride/scrape the damaged tissue from the Achilles tendon or a single treatment of Orthowave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, the FDA approved non-invasive alternative to surgery.