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Rupture of Achilles tendon
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Rupture of Achilles tendon

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Contributors: Robert Lachky MD, Eric Ingerowski MD, FAAP
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


An Achilles tendon rupture is a full-thickness tear of the tendon that runs along the back of the lower leg. This injury can occur in any active adult as well as in children, but it is more common in men in their 30s-40s. The classic patient is a middle-aged man who is aggressively playing sports on the weekend but is not a trained athlete.

Patients may feel a sudden pain in the posterior ankle while running or jumping and may hear or feel a large "pop."

Risk factors include the use of fluoroquinolones, the use of steroids (anabolic or anti-inflammatory), and Achilles tendonitis / tendinopathy.

Achilles tendon rupture rarely has been reported in children.


M66.869 – Spontaneous rupture of other tendons, unspecified lower leg

429513001 – Rupture of Achilles tendon

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Ankle fracture
  • Ankle sprain
  • Popliteus rupture
  • Partial tear of gastrocnemius tendon
  • Injury to flexor hallucis longus, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed: 09/20/2018
Last Updated: 11/13/2018
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Rupture of Achilles tendon
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Rupture of Achilles tendon : Ankle pain, Inability to bear weight, Joint tenderness, Ecchymosis, Foot edema, Heel pain, Ankle edema
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