Background: When encountering complaints of pain in the area of the Achille
s tendon, the clinician seldom reaches a correct and precise diagnosis base
d solely on the grounds of physical examination and standard X-rays.
Objectives: To assess the usefulness of ultrasound in diagnosing pathologie
s of the Achilles tendon.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patents presenting at our o
Results: Sonography was used to evaluate 41 patients with achillodynia. Thi
s modality enabled the diagnoses of 19 abnormal tendons (46%), peritendinou
s and other lesions; a complete rupture in two patients (5%); a partial rup
ture of the Achilles tendon in 3 (7%); various degrees of calcification of
the tendon in 7 (17%); and peritendinous lesions discerned by the tendon's
hypoechoic regions with disorganized arrangement of collagen fibrils in 4 p
atients (10%). Other lesions Included tendonitis (3 patients, 7%), retrocal
caneal bursitis (3 patients, 7%), lipoma (1 patient, 2%), and foreign bodie
s (2 patients, 5%). The mean diameter of the pathological tendons was 10.4
+/- 2.7 min, while normal tendons measured 5.2 +/- 0.8 mm (P <0.001).
Conclusion: As in many other soft tissue lesions, ultrasonography is a usef
ul tool in the evaluation of the underlying pathology in patients presentin
g With achillodynia.