• Fanatics -

    Thank you for your patience today and welcome to the newest version of Cyclone Fanatic!

    Most of the changes we have made are very simple, but will greatly improve your user experience while visiting the website.

    We have upgraded our forum software to speed things up. Our homepage is much cleaner and should be even more mobile friendly than before.

    We appreciate your loyalty and are committed to not only keeping Cyclone Fanatic in tip-top shape, but continuing to build this community for the next decade and beyond.

    We ask that if you are experiences any glitches to let us know in this thread . Will will be diligently working on the site all day.

    Thanks again.

    Chris Williams - Publisher
Men's Sports

Sports Docs Weekly Blitz: The Achilles rupture


This week I will be discussing a very common sports injury that can occur in the high level athlete, or (more often) in the ‘weekend warrior’ – the Achilles tendon rupture. greenwaldt_i_710_da78926b7f6da

Tendons attach muscle to bone and act like a pulley, moving our limbs in space. The Achilles tendon (calcaneal tendon) is a thick band of tissue in the back of the ankle that connects the powerful calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Occasionally called the heel cord, it is one of the largest tendons in the body. When the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon is tightened, pulling the heel up, which allows you to stand on your toes and point your foot. It is needed in order to walk, run, and jump.

A complete Achilles tendon rupture can occur when the force across the ankle joint is greater than the strength of the tendon, which often times can be weakened secondary to age or to overuse. A sudden forceful push-off with your foot (while your knee is straight), such as starting a sprint, or jumping, or even if you suddenly trip and stumble and your foot is thrust in front to break a fall, can cause such an injury. This can typically occur in basketball, volleyball, or tennis.


The complete rupture of the Achilles tendon causes one to lose significant strength and function. A partial injury may just cause pain and sports limitations. A partial injury may respond to non-operative treatment, but a complete tear is typically treated with surgery. The literature supports this as return to sporting activity is facilitated, with greater strength and less re-tears/re-injury with operative treatment. There are differences in surgical technique, but the overall goal is to re-approximate the torn tendon ends in an anatomic and robust fashion. This usually involves suturing techniques, with postoperative immobilization initially, followed by vigorous rehabilitation (to get strength and range of movement back).


Ultimate recovery and return to sport can take many months, as the body’s healing process has its own timeline and can only “be sped up so much”. It’s not unusual for an athlete to admit that complete recovery is 6-8 months, and that they “don’t feel normal” until they are one year out from their surgery.


Let’s hope none of our Cyclone Fanatics ever sustain such an injury, but if you do, give us a call at McFarland Clinic Orthopedics department (515-239-4475), and we can fix you up, just like we do the ISU Cyclones. Go State!

Thomas Greenwald, MD