Nonsurgical and surgical treatments provide successful outco
A tear (rupture) of the Achilles tendon—the largest tendon in the body that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone—is among the most common injuries, affecting approximately 30,000 Americans each year, primarily recreational athletes age 30 to 49.

Earlier studies found a higher rate of re-injury, as well as a greater risk for related wounds and infection, with nonsurgical casting following an Achilles tear. Today, nonsurgical treatment options include functional rehabilitation—the use of an adjustable, removable boot that allows for movement and exercise—providing a lower risk for infection and re-rupture than immobilization with a hard cast. Surgical repair of an Achilles tendon tear, which also has evolved to minimize the risk of complication and infection, may still be optimal for high-performance athletes, or patients in physically-demanding professions.