Buffalo Bills: Takeo Spikes – Torn Achilles Tendon

Buffalo Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes has been put on the shelf for the rest of the 2005 NFL season with a torn right achilles tendon, suffered in the Sunday, September 25th week 3 game against the Houston Texans.

In his seven-plus NFL season, Spikes has not yet missed a game due to injury.

Spikes was hurt in the second quarter while pressuring quarterback Michael Vick. It’s unclear what happened on the play, but Spikes was left lying face down on the field a few feet in front of Vick, who had overthrown receiver Roddy White.

“It’s a big blow for our defense,” Bills linebacker London Fletcher said Monday. “However, we will still play football on Sunday. Injuries happen all the time. We’ve got some other guys that have to take up the slack.”

The Achilles Tendon

In humans, the achilles tendon passes behind the ankle. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. It is roughly 15 centimeters long and begins near the middle of the leg, but it receives fleshy fibers on its anterior surface, almost to its lower end. Gradually becoming contracted below, it is inserted into the middle part of the posterior surface of the calcaneus, a bursa being interposed between the tendon and the upper part of this surface. The tendon spreads out somewhat at its lower end, so that its narrowest part is about 4 centimeters. above its insertion. It is covered by the fascia and the integument, and stands out prominently behind the bone; the gap is filled up with areolar and adipose tissue. Along its lateral side, but superficial to it, is the small saphenous vein.


  • Rest the lower leg and foot, avoiding any hard or intense activity for 6 to 12 weeks and until symptoms go away.
  • Switch or modify sports or other activities that may have caused the tendinopathy.
  • Wear well-cushioned shoes, heel pads, or other orthotics if they help relieve pain.
  • Reduce pain by using ice or taking nonprescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as directed. Examples of acetaminophen include Panadol, Tempra, and Tylenol. NSAIDS include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
  • Gently stretch the Achilles tendon and do general stretches each day and before running or other strenuous activity.
  • Follow any physical therapy that your health professional has prescribed, including stretching and strengthening exercises, massage, heat, or ultrasound.


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