An estimated 25% of Achilles tendon ruptures in Australia are missed by the first doctor to examine the patient. Regrettably, the proliferation of musculoskeletal ultrasound has not helped the situation. It is timely to review the condition and the value of early diagnosis.
Rupture of the Achilles tendon is a common injury, occurring most frequently in those aged between 30 and 50 years. The injury is traditionally thought to be an affliction of the ‘weekend warrior’ and is rare in the seasoned athlete – indeed, there was only incident (that of a male Finnish javelin thrower) during the Sydney Olympics in 2000.