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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Injury To Achilles Tendon

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 9:29 PM Comments

The Achilles' tendon. PD image from Gray's Ana...Image via Wikipedia
Tendo calcaneus OR Achilles tendon

    Some times some people do not avail a chance and let that go. A folk tale in Orissa,India describes how people ignore the opportunities.Once "Lord Shiva and His wife Goddess Parbati"were in the sky to observe the people of earth.They saw a poor man in skeletons begging for food but was not getting anything.Parbati became felt pity for him and asked Shiva to see this and also asked why people created by them should suffer like this.God replied to it with a smile that some do not like a grab an opportunity and are lazy ,consequently suffer.And He wanted to show that to Goddess Parbati then and there.The god put a pot full of gold coins on the road of the beggar .But the beggar at that moment wanted to mimic a blind man and walked closing his eyes.He gave a kick to the pot and walked  past  to open his eyes later .Consequently he missed the gold filled pot.Then the god asked his wife to interpret it and they went on the voyage.

    Something of the sort happened to-day in our hospital.A person injuring his Achilles tendon came to me.Since ours is a private hospital only for port trust employees ,other people have to pay for the service with  a token price only.I inspected the injury and asked him to deposit the required fees to get the tendon repaired .But the person expressed his inability to pay.I suggested him if he does not have the money he can pay it later also.He was not willing for that also.But on humanitarian ground I offered him to repaired it free of cost using material we get as physician's sample but he has to get admitted to the hospital for some time.And to my utter surprise he declined for that and went away. Instantly my staffs reminded me of the story I just narrated.
   The thick tendon through which the calf muscles get anchored to the heel bone is called Achilles tendon named after the Greek mythological hero Achilles.This is a tough tendon in the body.This tendon lifts the body weight  off  the ground while walking.
   This tendon gets severed mainly by accidents,assault or in collagen diseases.When partially torn the person can walk limping and disability is more severe if completely torn.The person can not stand on toes of the affected foot.And if completely severed a distinct gap can be felt over an intact skin or the end can be seen if skin is  cut.The upper end of severed tendon usually is dragged by the calf muscles to an upper level and may not be seen.Tendon repair is a special procedure and done under aseptic conditions .It can be performed under local.regional or general anaesthesia.The repair is done using a non-absorbable suture material.After repair a plaster of paris cast is given to immobilise the foot for 6 weeks.After that period  a gentle physiotherapy makes the patient fit for duty.The results are good.   

Ruptured Achilles TendonImage by Simon Barratt via Flickr
Image by Simon Barratt via Flickr

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