Torn Achilles tendon sidelines Atlanta Falcons’ Ricardo Allen

Atlanta Falcons' Ricardo Allen Ruptures Achilles tendon

Unfortunately, #37 Ricardo Allen of the Atlanta Falcons just got sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a torn Achilles tendon, which he suffered after their 43-37 loss to the New Orleans Saints.  

A torn Achilles tendon is a pretty common injury among contact sports athletes, but can also happen with people playing recreational sports.  It’s a very painful injury, so people often know exactly what it is as soon as it happens.



The Achilles tendon and what it controls

The Achilles tendon is a very strong tendon located in the back of your calf.  It actually connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone.  The Achiles tendon helps your foot stand up on your toes and push off when you walk.  Therefore, there is NO moving your foot or walking without engaging the Achilles tendon. 


How do I know if it's been ruptured?

Because it is a pretty painful injury, you’ll likely know that something has gone wrong as soon as it happens.  You’ll usually hear a popping or snapping sound as soon as it happens, followed by pain in the calf (as though someone has kicked you), and an inability to stand on your toes, move your foot, or even walk.

The most common ways that people rupture their Achilles tendon are:

  1. Stepping in a hole
  2. Jumping or repetitive activity where you’re required to be up on your toes a lot (such as football, dancing, tumbling/gymnastics)
  3. Landing on your feet from a tall height


What are the best ways to prevent an Achilles tendon rupture?

Most physicians will tell you that stretching and strengthening your calf muscles are the most important thing you can do to prevent damage to your Achilles tendon.  In addition, varying low-impact workouts with high-impact workouts will ensure that you’re not overly straining the Achilles tendon all at one time.  And finally, if you’ve just begun working out for the first time in a long time, start slow!  Your calves are likely quite tight, and it can take several weeks to develop a really good stretch in the calf without overstraining it.  This is a common mistake that happens when someone starts working out after being inactive for a very long time.  


If you suspect you or a loved one has ruptured their Achilles tendon, contact the expert orthopedic surgeons at Lemak Health immediately at 205.453.7550 for an appointment or surgical consultation! Repairing this orthopedic injury requires surgery.  Our foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kavita Iyengar, is trained to care for a full spectrum of medical issues including: 

  • Traumatic injuries, such as fractures, and dislocations
  • Arthritis and conditions requiring joint replacement or joint fusion
  • Sports-related injuries, such as sprains, torn ligaments, torn tendons, ankle instability, and Achilles tendon problems