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Definition of Achilles tendon

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Achilles tendon: One of the longest tendons in the body, a tough sinew that attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus). The name comes from Greek mythology: The hero Achilles was invulnerable to injury except for his heel, which proved his downfall when it was pierced by Paris's arrow. It has also proved, literally, to be the downfall of many athletes who have experienced the sudden pain of its rupture.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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