Achilles Tendon Rupture

Achilles tendon ruptures are on the riseWhat Gender is more likely to experience an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

When it comes to an Achilles tendon injury, men are more likely than women to tear their Achilles tendon. It is important to note, though, that the Achilles tendon rupture rate is increasing for both men and women.

The Achilles tendon is the biggest tendon in the body. It is made up of a strong band of tissue that serves to connect the calcaneus (or heel bone) to the muscles in the calf. This is why the Achilles tendon is sometimes referred to as the calcaneal tendon. You use your Achilles tendon when you walk, jump, run, twist and slide.

A study that examined the nationwide registry in Sweden determined that the Achilles tendon rupture rate increased between the years of 2001 and 2012. Thomas Huttunene M.D., PhD and colleagues published a descriptive epidemiological study regarding the incidence of Achilles tendon injury in Sweden in the October 2014 Journal of American Sports Medicine.

An acute Achilles tendon rupture usually occurs during participation in high impact sports such as basketball and tennis. The rate of occurrence peaks in the third and fourth decade of life. The reason behind an Achilles tendon rupture is unclear. There is some data that suggests that an Achilles tendon injury may be related to underlying degenerative changes of the tendon.

Since 2001, there has been a rise in the rupture rate overall for both men and women over age 18. There has been a 17% increase in the incidence of Achilles tendon injury in men between 2001 and 2012 and a 22% increase in the number of women experiencing an Achilles tendon rupture during this same period.

Based on the research findings, it is evident that there has been an increase in acute Achilles tendon rupture rates in Sweden. This increase in Achilles tendon rupture is attributed to the rise in the number of middle aged and older adults participating in high impact sports.