Achilles tendon ossification (ATO) is an uncommon condition that consists of characteristic bone formation within the substance of the Achilles tendon.
Achilles tendon ossification is more common in males 4.
The aetiology is unknown but Achilles tendon ossification is seen both with previous macrotrauma of the tendon (e.g Achilles tendon rupture, previous surgery) as well as repetitive microtrauma 1. There may be a familial or genetic component 3.
It is somewhat more common than dystrophic calcification of the Achilles tendon and may represent a separate entity rather than progression.
It is characterised by mature bone in all of its components (i.e. cortex, trabeculae, and marrow) and can occur within the body of the tendon or at its calcaneal insertion.
Treatment and prognosis
An ossified Achilles tendon may fracture.
- 1. Schweitzer ME, Karasick D. MR imaging of disorders of the Achilles tendon. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000;175 (3): 613-25. AJR Am J Roentgenol (citation) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Richards PJ, Braid JC, Carmont MR et-al. Achilles tendon ossification: pathology, imaging and aetiology. Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30 (20-22): 1651-65. doi:10.1080/09638280701785866 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Cortbaoui C, Matta J, Elkattah R. Could ossification of the achilles tendon have a hereditary component?. Case Rep Orthop. 2013;2013: 539740. doi:10.1155/2013/539740 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 4. Arnaout F, Butt S. Fracture of ossified Achilles tendon. J Res Med Sci. 2011;16 (2): 233. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation