8 weeks post op

I’ve been reading this site since my injury and it has helped me the past few weeks. Recently, things have gotten very hard for me mentally. I think this injury has begun to really wear me down. I decided to post to help work through my thoughts and feelings. If this helps anyone else going through something similar,  than even better!

To summarize:

11/14 - Partially tore my right Achilles tendon playing soccer. Got into the doctor get next day decided to treat it conservatively with a boot, 2 wedges and FWB.

11/19 - was at the grocery store and heard another pop and felt like I got kicked in the back of the leg. Got into the doctor the next day (again) and was told my tendon was 80% if not complely torn. Doctor highly recommended surgery. I did my research and got a second opinion. I decided the surgery route because I wanted to get back on my feet ASAP

11/28 - Percutaneous Achilles repair surgery went well. I was placed in a cast and NWB.

2 weeks post op  back to boot with 2 wedges.

4 weeks post op - one wedge

5 weeks post op - no wedges.

6 weeks cleared to start PT. The doctor said I could transition to shoes and return to work when I felt I was ready.

For work, I work part time at a hospital and I am on my feet all day. Occasionally, having to lift patients. Also, I’m the mother to an active 1 year old. Up to the 6 week mark I had to have someone home with me at all times to help manage my daughter. The doctor had also said he didn’t want me lifting my daughter at all until the 6 week visit. (I am so thankful my parents and in laws were able to help while my husband was working. I don’t know what we would have done if not for them)

So here I am at 8 weeks, one week of therapy done mainly doing ROM and stretching exercises.  I’ve begun to transition to wearing shoes at home when I have someone here. I’m very cautious about putting myself into a situation that is unsafe (like chasing after my kid). However, I also worry I’m not pushing myself hard enough.

The therapist is very hesitant about me returning to work any time soon and to be honest, so am I. I’m getting sick of being at home and not being able to drive anywhere but I am also terrified of trying to go back too soon. I feel my husband wants me back to work yesterday. This situation has created a lot of stress for both of us.

I am terrified of re rupture. I don’t know if I could handle going through any of this again. This has been one of the hardest thing she I’ve ever been through.

I have a few questions and I wasn’t sure if anyone here would be able to help me out. Anyone who does a physical job, when were you able to go back to work? Were you in a boot?

Also, has anyone else been on a lifting restriction? How much and when were you cleaned?

When does this fear of re rupture fade?

I feel like at 8 weeks things should be pretty well healed but I’ve seen stories of people re rupturing at 3 or even 5 months!

Hopefully, things keep getting better and I get out of this funk.

8 Responses to “8 weeks post op”

  1. AK, was your initial injury a complete rupture? If I understand correctly, 5 days after your initial injury you heard another pop? Was that with the boot on?

    Not that it matters, I was just trying to understand what went on. I don’t know when the fear of re-rupture fades. I’m closing in on 5 months, and I still think about it, although not much when doing normal things like walking. I will never play racket sports again, but I’m 65, and I think at my age the risk of re-rupture is probably greater than for a young person. Nobody said I shouldn’t, but when I said I wouldn’t, all of my caregivers agreed, enthusiastically, with my decision. Y
    Yes, this injury is very tough on you emotionally. Most of us who get it, get it because we enjoy being active. To have that taken away from you, for a long time, is very difficult. I encourage you to take it slow. You are not going to be paid a million dollars to play in the Super Bowl, so I suggest taking the approach that if it takes an extra month to heal, that’s way better than re-injuring yourself in the 3rd or 4th month and going back to square one.
    You will soon be able get some of your life back, moving around the house, starting to walk, etc…take joy from the little milestones you reach. You will get there, eventually.

  2. Hi AK! I didn’t have ATR rupture but rather bone spur surgery that severs the achilles and it has to get reattached. I did have lifting restrictions when I did my right foot. I don’t recall when those ended but I think it was later than 8 weeks. If you have to do lifting of patients I would not go back to work yet. I am surprised you aren’t driving yet. You should probably check with your doc on that. And you are not healed at 8 weeks. Tendons take a LONG time to heal. Bone takes 12 weeks and tendons take longer than that. I would discuss, quite frankly, your work requirements with your doctor. S/He can tell you when your achilles will most likely be strong enough to handle lifting a patient. Most likely it will be when you can do certain movements/exercise in PT. If you are just now doing ROM and stretching you are a LONG way from being able to lift a patient. You have to work on getting the tendon stronger and the bones and muscles for your foot and leg stronger. Everything has weakened during your NWB and booted stage.

    And I can guarantee you’ll heal at your own rate. So don’t assume you should be at a certain stage because someone else with a similar surgery was. I’ve had the same surgery on both feet - same person - and my left foot is 2 months behind my right foot in terms of healing!!! My PT said - don’t start running until I can go up on tiptoes on my left foot holding all the weight. I’m not there yet and am at the 5.5 month mark. For my right foot I was running/jumping and got a full release to do anything at 6 months. If I’m lucky I’ll get the full release at 9 months with my left foot. Full recovery takes a year.

    And tell your hubby that if you rush things you’ll end up back at square one at the worst or will take even longer to heal at the best. My hubby understood that the way to get me to heal the quickest was by doing exactly what the doctor and PT said. And he had to live with me being essentially in bed for 3 weeks since I had to be NWB and elevating 90% of the time in those 3 weeks.

  3. Hey AK,

    I am a bit ahead of you in my ATR. I’m about 3 months post op in my recovery and on my second ATR. I ruptured my left Achilles’ tendon on July 2017 and my right at the end of October 2018. You should definitely read my blog as it may give you some answers.

    The paranoia of rerupturing is very normal and you should be careful especially for the first 3 months of your recovery. From my experience (first ATR), the paranoia faded away as I gained more strength on my injured leg. Once I was running at 100%, I didn’t even think about it anymore. This was probably at 9-12months post op. I know you have a long road ahead of you, but be patient and it will get better from here on out. I was feeling great when I hit my one year anniversary on my first ATR and never looked back

  4. Hi dan914, my initial injury was a partial tear, but I had another pop while in the boot which tore the tendon 80-90%. So it was never fully ruptured but they treated it like it was because what was left with minimal and frayed, according to the doctor.
    I appreciate your comment and hearing about how its tough process. I feel like my family/friends understand to an extent, but reading comments like yours and other people’s blogs I identify with those feelings/thoughts a lot more.
    After posting I started wearing 2 shoes around the house and have slowly weaned off the crutches. My walking is not pretty, but its a milestone which makes me feel a little bit better and more independent.

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  5. cserpent, thank you for your post. You are confirming a lot of what I was thinking and feeling. In regards to driving, my doctor left it pretty open ended. At my 6 week post op visit he said, I could do what I want whenever I felt comfortable. The only thing he said was he wanted me wearing the boot when I returned to work. I think I’ve been fearful of driving because I know the strength in my foot/ankle is not 100% (It also doesn’t help that I live in the midwest and we have a ton of snow and ice going on right now :) ). But after your comment, I’ve been thinking more and more about driving and that maybe I AM ready and its more my anxiety holding me back.
    I can’t imagine what you went through being in bed that long. You are strong!

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  6. Thank you, carbonfiber! Your comment really does help! That’s what I like about this blog. People really support each other and show that it does get better. There are bumps in the road but it will get better.

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  7. My store is similar to yours…full rupture playing in open league indoor soccer (stupid, I’m 45) on Nov 29, surgery Dec 4. So I think that puts me in 7th week post op.

    I’m 4 weeks into PT and in a boot. Hopefully some shoes by week 9-10. The only lifting I’ve done is carrying groceries, some other stuff around the house and some 1 legged kettlebell work on the good leg. I’ve tried to be very cautious and follow instructions.

    I’m not sure the exact type of surgery I had…my main incision is approx 3″ but there were 2 small incisions on my heel. I assume the tendor was anchored in these places by 2 screws, it looks like Arthrex Tendon Fixation process but who knows.

    Anyway, I’m paranoid about messing this up. I can get to neutral, my last wedge comes out tomorrow and then another week in boot with no wedges. I’ve not had a complete breakdown yet but there was a 60 degreen Sunday couple weeks back really frustrated me. Whenever I get angry/frustrated, I actually put myself back on 2 crutches for 15 minutes or so as a reminders how awful it is. Just trying to get a drink, carry some food, do laundry, etc are all nearly impossible and make you really appreciate the freedom with just having a boot.

    Take it easy and try to be patient. I don’t expect to really jog until 5-6 months. I took my kid to the school for a little driving practice, stepped onto the soccer field and nearly lost it mentally:) I’m working the theraband and notice my marble pickup (toes) is definitely better. It’s hard to hold back but as you say, this is a horrible injury and experience. I do not want to do this again. I hope my experience helps in some way.

  8. Glad you’re getting into 2 shoes now! And remember - take small steps so you can walk as normally as possible. As things get stronger your stride will naturally lengthen. Of course taking small steps requires that you think about it - often - LOL!

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