Kevin Durant joined the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the starting lineup for Game 5 of the NBA Finals – this following a 33-day hiatus as he rehabbed a calf strain. His return came with inherent risk – concern for worsening of the initial calf injury or a more severe Achilles tendon injury. In the second quarter, the 30-year-old planted on his right leg to change direction and subsequently went down to the floor clutching the back of his right lower leg. The worst-case scenario for Durant had become a reality, a ruptured Achilles tendon. He underwent successful surgery to address the injury and is expected to miss 9-11 months.
Calf stretching, ice and activity modification are commonly used as treatment for those who suffer from Achilles tendinosis. However, when traditional treatment fails to relieve symptoms, the problem may be in the diagnosis.
What is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the point of connection for primarily two muscles which make up the bulk of the calf. It is responsible for performing the motion of lifting the heel off the ground. The Achilles tendon is located just above the heel bone where it attaches. Although it can bare high loads, acute and chronic Achilles tendon pathology continues to be involved in 50 percent of all sports related injuries.5 In addition, there continues to be a rise in Achilles tendon ruptures (complete tear), of which 75 percent occur in men between the ages of 30-49 while participating in sports.5