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 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.
The nodules in the Achilles tendon should be left alone. There is no value in removing them unless they are painful. Initial treatment should be directed at lowering the blood cholesterol levels.