On October 24th, Arian Foster, the running back for the Miami Dolphins and long time Houston Texan announced his retirement from professional football. Known for his power and ability to cut on a dime, Foster’s career has been riddled with injury that stems back from his college days. Averaging 4.2 yards per carry throughout his career, Foster has been the definition of consistency. Despite his unique talents, his inability to stay healthy has plagued his career. In this video, we look at the Achilles Tendon rupture he suffered in week 7 of the 2015-16 season.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone allowing us to point our feet and toes. Responsible for dorsiflexion, the Achilles is vital for walking, running, and jumping. The cause of a rupture is usually due to the weakening and thinning of the tendon with age and lack of use. In Arian Foster’s case, a rupture would be more common due pre-existing damage to the ankle and any corticosteroid injections administered to the area.
In the video, we see Foster in motion right from the backfield. As he sets himself for the play, he bounces on the ankle in anticipation of the snap. As the ball is snapped, we see Foster in full dorsiflexion as he powers off his foot, resulting in the rupture of the tendon.
Evidence now demonstrates that there is little difference in recovery time between surgically repairing a ruptured Achilles vs immobilizing and allowing it to heal. Foster’s medical team advised and completed a successful surgery on November 1st, 2015.
Expected recovery time for a full Achilles rupture, regardless of surgery, is estimated between 6-12 months and varies between individuals. The medical team will consist of surgeons, sport medicine physicians, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapy.