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Encyclopedia > Achilles tendon
Achilles tendon
Posterior view of the foot and leg, showing the Achilles tendon (tendo calcaneus). The gastrocnemius muscle is cut to expose the soleus.
Lateral view of the human ankle, including the Achilles tendon
Latin tendo calcaneus, tendo Achillis
Gray's subject #129 483
MeSH Achilles+tendon
Dorlands/Elsevier t_04/12793915
This is about vertebrate anatomy. For the metaphor of a single vulnerable spot, see Achilles' heel.

The Achilles tendon (or occasionally Achilles’ tendon) or the calcaneal tendon is a tendon of the posterior leg. It serves to attach the gastrocnemius (calf) and soleus muscles to the calcaneus (heel) bone. The Achilles tendon. ... Image File history File links Ankle. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... Elseviers logo. ... An Achilles’ heel is a fatal weakness in spite of overall strength, actually or potentially leading to downfall. ... A tendon (or sinew) is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone or muscle to muscle and is built to withstand tension. ... Diagram of an insect leg A leg is the part of an animals body that supports the rest of the animal above the ground and is used for locomotion. ... The gastrocnemius is a powerful superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg (the calf). ... The soleus muscle and surrounding structures, from Grays Anatomy. ... A top-down view of skeletal muscle Muscle (from Latin musculus little mouse [1]) is contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. ... The calcaneus is the large bone making up the heel of the human foot. ...

Contents

Anatomy

The Achilles tendon is the tendonous extension of three muscles in the lower leg: gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris. In humans, the tendon passes behind the ankle. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. It is about 15 cm long, and begins near the middle of the leg, but receives fleshy fibers on its anterior surface, almost to its lower end. Gradually becoming contracted below, it is inserted into the middle part of the posterior surface of the calcaneus, a bursa being interposed between the tendon and the upper part of this surface. The tendon spreads out somewhat at its lower end, so that its narrowest part is about 4 cm. above its insertion. It is covered by the fascia and the integument, and stands out prominently behind the bone; the gap is filled up with areolar and adipose tissue. Along its lateral side, but superficial to it, is the small saphenous vein. The achilles' muscle reflex tests the integrity of the S1 spinal root. Grays Fig. ... Bursae visible top right and bottom right A bursa (plural bursae or bursas; Latin: Bursa synovialis) is a small fluid-filled sac located at the point where a muscle or tendon slides across bone. ... Fascia is specialized connective tissue layer which surrounds muscles, bones, and joints, providing support and protection and giving structure to the body. ... An integument is an outer protective covering such as the feathers or skin of an animal or rind or shell. ... Gel-like matrix with all three fiber types Areoloar tissue is the most common connnective tissue type and can be found in the skin as well as in places that connect epithelium to other tissues. ... It has been suggested that Subcutaneous fat be merged into this article or section. ... Small saphenous vein and its tributaries. ...


Nomenclature

The oldest-known written record of the tendon being named for Achilles is in 1693 by the Flemish/Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen. In his widely used text Corporis Humani Anatomia, Chapter XV, page 328, he described the tendon's location and said that it was commonly called "the cord of Achilles" ("quae vulgo dicitur chorda Achillis"). The Wrath of Achilles, by François-Léon Benouville (1821–1859) (Musée Fabre) In Greek mythology, Achilles (also Akhilleus or Achilleus) (Ancient Greek: ) was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homers Iliad, which takes for its theme, not the War... Events January 11 - Eruption of Mt. ... Title: Philip Verheyen Dissecting His Amputated Leg Artist: Anonymous from the collection of Pieter Deheijde. ...


The name Achilles' heel comes from Greek mythology. His mother, the goddess Thetis, received a prophecy of her son's death. In order to protect him, she dipped him into the River Styx, which protected his entire body from harm. However, in order to dip him into the river, she needed to grab onto his heel. During the Trojan War Achilles was struck on his unprotected heel by a poisoned arrow, which killed him. An Achilles’ heel is a fatal weakness in spite of overall strength, actually or potentially leading to downfall. ...



Also, cocks.


Role in disease

Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon, generally due to overuse of the affected limb or as part of a strain injury. More common is Achilles tendinosis, a degenerative condition with inflammation of the tendon, often accompanied by pain and swelling of the surrounding tissue and paratendon. Maffulli et al. suggested that the clinical label of tendinopathy should be given to the combination of tendon pain, swelling and impaired performance. Achilles tendon rupture is a partial or complete break in the tendon; it requires immobilisation or surgery. Xanthoma can develop in the Achilles tendon in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon (see Tendonitis). ... An abscess on the skin, showing the redness and swelling characteristic of inflammation. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with tendonitis. ... Achilles tendon rupture commonly occurs as an acceleration injury e. ... A xanthoma is a deposition of cholesterol-rich material in tendons and other body parts in various disease states: Tendon xanthomas (associated with familial hypercholesterolemia, cerebrotendineous xanthomatosis and phytosterolemia) Palmar xanthomas Eruptive xanthomas See also xanthelasma Categories: Stub | Sign (medicine) ... In medicine, familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare disease characterised by very high LDL cholesterol and early cardiovascular disease running in families. ...


Treatment of Achilles tendon damage

Initial treatment of damage to the tendon is generally nonoperative. Orthotics can produce early relief to the tendon by the correction of malalignments, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are generally to be avoided as they make the more-common tendinopathy (degenerative) injuries worse[citation needed]; though they may very occasionally be indicated for the rarer tendinitis (inflammatory) injuries. Physiotherapy by eccentric calf stretching under resistance is commonly recommended, usually in conjunction with podiatric insoles or heel cushioning. According to reports by Hakan Alfredson, M.D., and associates of clinical trials in Sweden, the pain in Achilles tendinopathy arises from the nerves associated with neovascularization and can be effectively treated with 1-4 small injections of a sclerosant. In a cross-over trial, 19 of 20 of his patients were successfully treated with this sclerotherapy. Orthotics is the medical field concerned with the application and manufacture of orthoses, devices which support or correct the function of a limb or the torso. ... Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, usually abbreviated to NSAIDs, are drugs with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects - they reduce pain, fever and inflammation. ...


Where tendon rupture is concerned, there are three main types of treatment: the open and the percutaneous operative methods, and nonoperative approaches.


Achilles tendon damage in popular culture

Severance of the Achilles tendon is considered by many a particularly unpleasant injury. This has led authors to use it for shock value. Achilles tendons are severed in the movies Pet Sematary (1989), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Kill Bill (2003), House of Wax (2005), Hostel (2006), and Saw 3 (2006) . In the Gor novels, severing Achilles tendons is a punishment for slaves who try to flee. Pet Sematary (sometimes referred to as Stephen Kings Pet Sematary) is a 1989 horror film adapatation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. ... Sympathy for Mr. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into articles entitled Kill Bill: Vol. ... House of Wax is a 2005 horror film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. ... Hostel (2005) is director Eli Roths second feature film. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... Gor, the Counter-Earth, is the alternate-world setting for John Normans Chronicles of Gor, a series of 26 novels that combine philosophy, erotica and science fiction. ... The kajira kef symbol (or staff and fronds) of the Gor books. ...


Ironically, during the filming of Troy (2004), Brad Pitt injured his achilles tendon and was unable to perform during this period. Troy is a movie that was released on May 14, 2004 about the Trojan War, which is described in Homers Iliad and other Greek myths as having taken place in Anatolia (modern Turkey) around the 13th or 12th century BC; however, the plot differs greatly from Homer (see deviations...


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