The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Together, they help you push your heel off the ground and go up on your toes. You use these muscles and your Achilles tendon when you walk, run, and jump.
If your Achilles tendon stretches too far, it can tear or rupture. If this happens, you may:
- Hear a snapping, cracking, or popping sound and feel a sharp pain in the back of your leg or ankle
- Have trouble moving your foot to walk or go up stairs
- Have difficulty standing on your toes
- Have bruising or swelling in your leg or foot
- Feel like the back of your ankle was hit with a bat
About Your Injury
Most likely your injury occurred when you:
- Suddenly pushed your foot off the ground, to go from walking to running, or to running uphill
- Tripped and fell, or had another accident
- Played a sport like tennis or basketball, with a lot of stopping and sharp turns
Most injuries can be diagnosed during a physical exam. You may need an MRI scan to see what type of Achilles tendon tear you have. An MRI is a type of imaging test.
- A partial tear means at least some of the tendon is still OK.
- A full tear means your tendon is torn completely and the 2 sides are not attached to each other.