Lepow Foot & Ankle Specialists

Common Disorders

Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon

An uncommon cause of small lumps in the Achilles tendon is an excessively high cholesterol level in the blood stream. This is a hereditary disorder that results in the deposition of cholesterol in the Achilles tendon. Frequently people will also have yellowish plagues on the lower eye lids, This is a serious condition and requires aggressive treatment by a physician to lower the cholesterol levels. Left untreated the high cholesterol levels can lead to premature heart attack and death.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by clinical exam. Palpation of the Achilles tendon will reveal multiple small nodular masses. Noting excessively high blood cholesterol levels on routine lab tests provides conformation of the condition. A biopsy of the lesion will also make the diagnosis.

Treatment

The nodules in the Achilles tendon should be alone. There is no value in removing them. Treatment should be directed at lowering the blood cholesterol levels.



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