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By contactus
August 01, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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He’s unstoppable! -- well, almost.  Alex Trebek sprang out of bed and chased after a woman who had broken into his San Francisco hotel room.  Unfortunately, his midnight sprint ended quickly when his Achilles Tendon suddenly ruptured.

The Achilles Tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (they make up the calf muscle) to the calcaneous (your heel bone).  This complex acts as a shock absorber when walking, jumping, and running and its contraction allows us to propel ourselves forward.  When the Achilles Tendon/calf muscle complex contracts and shortens, it pulls up on the heel bone which causes the toes to point downward. When this tendon endures a complete or partial tear, it can leave the person unable to perform activities as simple as walking and may require surgery.

Achilles Tendon ruptures are commonly seen in sprinters where there is a sudden stretching of the tendon, adults age 30-50, and when starting a new activity or increasing intensity of an activity.  When the Jeopardy! host jumped out of bed and, without properly stretching first, ran after the intruder, the unprepared tendon tore.  Preventing a possible rupture can be done with proper stretching and not suddenly taking on new activities or increasing training too much at once.

The road to recovery with or without surgical repair often includes immobilization of the injured ankle with a special boot, rest, ice, and physical therapy for an average of 6 months. In Mr. Trebek’s case, he needs to have the tendon surgically repaired, but will be back to catching criminals in no time.

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