The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It is a strong, fibrous cord that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It affects how a person runs, walks and jumps.
If the Achilles tendon becomes overstretched, it can partially or completely rupture (tear). A rupture most often occurs at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone. This section may be predisposed to rupture because it gets less blood flow, making it harder to heal.
A rupture is typically caused by a sudden increase in the amount of stress on the Achilles tendon. This may happen when a person:
- Steps into a hole
- Falls from a significant height
- Rapidly increases the intensity of sports participation
- Has a high velocity impact to the area