Carmel, NY (PRWEB) August 15, 2013
Millions of basketball fans watching the Los Angeles Lakers play the Golden State Warriors at the end of the 2013 regular season in April saw Lakers star Kobe Bryant drive to his left against an opponent and go down in his tracks. Bryant underwent surgery the next day for a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that will keep him off the court for six to nine months. Both amateur and professional athletes suffer ruptured, or torn, Achilles tendons, says sports medicine specialist Dr. Victor Khabie of Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group. While you might tear your Achilles tendon while walking or stepping in a hole, it is an injury that is most common in explosive sports that involve lots of running and jumping and especially sudden starts, stops and changes of direction at speed. Basketball, tennis, soccer and rugby players are particularly vulnerable. And while a ruptured Achilles tendon occurs suddenly, there are underlying factors that you can focus on to reduce your risk.
The Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest tendon in the body, is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone. It enables pointing the foot downward, rising on the toes and pushing off the foot when walking. When it is overstretched, it can tear, either partially or completely. Dr. Khabie explains: If you think of the Achilles tendon as a rubber band, a partial tear causes a nick in the rubber band but it is otherwise intact. In a complete tear, the band snaps in two. Tears generally occur in the area about 2