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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Foot and Ankle

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Achilles tendon

The achilles tendon is the fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the muscles of your lower leg (the calf muscles). Your leg muscles are the most powerful muscle group in your body, and the achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon.

Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the superficial covering of your tendon.

Achilles tendinosis is caused by degeneration of your tendon's fibrous tissue.

Hagglunds deformity is due to compression by your heel bone of the tendon as it enters your heel (it may be that this part of the tendon has also undergone degenerative changes as well).

The good news is that damage to the achilles tendon is usually treated by physiotherapy, orthotics, or by immobilising the leg. It is only after these options have been tried that surgeons will consider using surgery. The options should be discussed fully with your consultant.