Monday, March 15, 2010

Beckham and Thompson

When 'Becks' ruptured his achilles tendon in a kick-ball match in Europeai a few days ago a whole lot of people cared because he was going to Captain England in the upcoming "World Cup". This is a giant kickball tournament held every four years, and the riots, car burnings, and gratuitous violence that surround the tournament are inevitably more exciting than the actual kickball matches themselves.

Above is an MRI showing a ruptured achilles tendon. If I remember my orthopedics the "Thompson test" will diagnose it in the clinic. The patient lies face down and the injured leg is held in full extension. A gentle squeeze of the gastrocnemius muscle will either cause the foot to move or not (check out the little video clip... pretty good).

No movement? Ruptured achilles and surgery thank you very much. It' a hard surgery to come back from to the point of world class competition, so folks are calling Beck's career kaput.

Oh and one other thing... If I remember my anatomy professor correctly, the entire human body can be suspended by the achilles. I imagine this was discovered in various gruesome ways throughout history and is only slightly more painful in application than doing a surgical residency.


  1. I ruptured my achilles tendon a little over a year ago. A snap, pop, and down I went to the floor. Thompson's test no movement at all; definite gap in the calf area..9 days later, surgery revealed I had ripped the tendon out of the bone at the insertion point intact. I am not an athlete by any means, and I had 8 months of intensive physical therapy before I could walk anywhere close to normal... my sympathies and empathies with Mr. Beckham. This is a gruesome, painful, debilitating injury I would not wish on my worst enemy.

  2. Were you on Cipro then? I heard that stuff can make Achilles ruptures more likely. Man, what a rough injury to get.

  3. Dan Marino was never the same after his rupture. NOT that he could win the big game pre-rupture either.

  4. Judge Smales was never the same after his achiles rupture either, all his weight displacement was on his right foot, couldn't go forward, pushed everything to the right, quit the game...

  5. nope, no Cipro...Levaquin does the same thing...all the quinolones are contraindicated with any type of tendon issues..mine was just a freak of nature! what is funny, is when Dan Marino ruptured his, all I could think about was what an awful injury and that I personally did not want to ever experience that..

  6. Yikes that looks nasty, poor Becks! I hope he heals soon!

  7. i AM AT 8 MONTHS. sucks. but able to jog half-mile today for 1st time.

    Discovered I had AB during a surgery 2 weeks prior. just know discovering how many links there are to antibiotics and tendon tears.
    surgeon knew nothing about it!

  8. dear anon.,
    unlikely, but levaquin is the most cited drug in association with achilles rupture. usually not given during surgery... but...

  9. I can't imagine my body being that fragile to fail in such a catastrophic way. It reminds me that even the strongest most conditioned of athletes are vulnerable and it's incredibly difficult to prevent all injuries. Sorry Beckham you don't deserve such bad luck, I hope you get better and we see you on the field before your inevitable retirement.

  10. Thought I did this once years ago playing basketball. Took ball out of bounds and pushed off with my left foot and had an immediate, searing pain in the calf. Immediately went to the ice bag. So much so I ended up with 2 degree frostbite!! Well after the pain stopped I could still move the ankle but was convinced I had at least a partial tear..Went into an shortleg immobilizing boot(think ski boot)...
    Kept waking up with terrible back pain for weeks afterward.....