has there been any cases where someone heals faster

Hey my name is Angel… I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing tennis on Dec. 10…. I did not have a great deal of pain… but thought I should let the ER just check it out… because I thought it was weird on what the feeling was…when they told me what it was I was shocked because I have always heard those were really painful.. and I was not feeling that much pain.. The ER sent me to an orthopedic the next day, which confirmed the ER theory… they put me in a boot and scheduled surgery on Dec. 18…. I still have not been in that much pain…. By the 24th I really felt like I could start walking on that leg, but I knew I better not. Still not much pain… just the pain of not being able to help around the house and get ready for Christmas( I have 2 small boys) … I go on the 30th to get the full cast, right now I have a hard one on the back and soft on the front, just to allow for swelling… I have read everybody talking about how long the “Down time” will be..… Could I possibly be a little different, because I do not feel any pain??? Has there been any cases were someone was back to walking in 4 weeks??? And once I get the hard cast on, can I walk with a cane, or is it still not weight??? Please give me any advice you can offer…. I am trying not to wine… because I know it could be a lot worse…. But being trapped in a bed/couch right now is a living nightmare for me… please help?!?

10 Responses to “has there been any cases where someone heals faster”

  1. It took me 4 weeks in a cast, 3 weeks in a boot to get to walking in 2 shoes for the last 3 weeks.
    I also had no pain before the shoes.

    It’s only been a little over 2 weeks. Yes being on bed rest sucks but trust me it pays off!

  2. Hi Angel,

    You are just the sort of person I wrote my blog for,

    achillesblog.com/doug53

    especially the long 4/29 note. As the title suggests, the goal you’ve set can be reached.

    My feeling about rehab is that it should start as soon as possible, and that means being in something removable, (like what you have right now, or a boot), and not a cast. If you want to push your rehab along faster, you may have to talk your doctor out of the cast or, if you are willing to be this forceful, refuse to have a cast put on. Being in a cast means no flexibility work and little if any strength work, leading to much muscle atrophy and a prolonged rehab.

    If you want to do a rapid rehab, I’m happy to help any way I can.

    Best wishes,

    Doug

  3. Angel, believe me when I say I know EXACTLY how you feel! Most of us got this darn ATR in the first place because we were out there, being active, and therefore are the WORST sorts of people to take lying down very well. (When we get the news that we have to go on best rest we won’t take that lying down- ha ha!) That being said, when I went to the surgeon for my first post-op visit, he said I was healing beautifully, with virtually no swelling, and that I attribute to my taking the first bit of down time very very seriously. As for the cast, I was still on NWB with it, but it was only for 13 days, then into the boot and allowed to weight bear “as tolerated.” I also have had almost no pain through this whole thing. Now you have made it through Christmas, and I’m sure your children were as full of joy as ever, never minding (or even noticing) the things you couldn’t get done. As the mother of 2 small children, this may be the last chance you get to rest for the next ten years or so, so try to relax and enjoy it :)

  4. My husband is about five weeks ahead of you; I was surprised how little pain he experienced in the early going — maybe a bit of discomfort here and there, but, nothing big. Once he became PWB, things improved pretty dramatically in terms of his mobility, outlook, independence, etc. Around the house, he rarely used his crutches, though he did use one crutch at work or when out and about for any duration.

    He is now “two shoes” and is doing well. Oddly enough, now that he is FWB, doing physical therapy, and exercising at home, he grumbles a bit more about discomfort and the swelling is more of a nuisance.

    My advice is to follow doctor’s orders and do not rush it — to my surprise, my husband has followed the doctor’s and PT therapists orders to the letter and has made steady progress the whole time.

  5. Thank you for sharing…..
    Do you remember when he could start driving the car on his own again?

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  6. I’m on my second ATR (first was 8 yrs ago), and neither one was especially painful, just uncomfortable from swelling/pressure. Both from volleyball, typical eccentric-stretch move.

    First one was surgically repaired and I kept fighting with my surgeon to get me moving quicker, but he said he was “conservative”. After around 15 weeks, I could finally walk straight barefoot. My physiotherapist (Sports Medicine Clinic) paraded me up and down the length of the clinic. Then, at the end of our session, she told me to do 1-legged calf raises. I said it was too soon, because no way could I do eight of them (my rule of thumb for exercise reps). She said “Just do as many as you can.”(!)

    I did maybe 4 or 5, grunting, and I couldn’t want straight barefoot again for another MONTH!! And I was also in real pain for the first time, at the back of my heel! Back into a hinged boot for a month.

    The good news is that for the past ~7 years, that repaired AT has been the part of my body that I have the MOST confidence in, and I returned back to competitive volleyball with no noticeable loss of speed or vertical. (I’m now 64, and I’ve kept playing with the 20- and 30-somethings, so that’s all a Good Trick!) The tendon healed a smidge shorter than the other, but nothing that interfered with anything except extreme calf stretches.

    Now I’ve torn the other one (left), and I’ve been persuaded to go NON-surgical with quick rehab and PRP injections. I’m about 3 weeks in, and I’d be content to have as good a final result as last time. Quicker would be nice, of course!

    There’s clear evidence that quick rehab helps, and long immobilization hurts. But overdoing too soon is also a serious mistake. I’ve read that a patient’s own pain level is NOT a good indicator of when to stop, though it’s the obvious thing to “listen” to. . .

  7. normofthenorth,

    Are you in the US? If so, what state?

    I am wondering if PRP injections may be helpful to promote healing after the ATR surgery. I am 8 weeks post-op and have been doing PT for 3 weeks now. I only had a half-cast for 2 weeks and then nothing (not a boot or any other protection). I still have 20 degree to go to get my foot to the flat position at which point my doctor will supposedly let me start walking.

    I am stryggling to find the right balanse between pushing myself hard but not overdoing it. I am thinking if I could do the PRP injections to let the tendon heal sooner / stronger, then I can do more with my rehab.

  8. When I went to the ortho. on the 30th … I tried to talk him out of the cast..but he said that my injury was more up in the calf area… from what I can gather, he said that the tendons go up into the calf in a “Y” shape and it had ripped in the middle??? Ever heard of that ??
    there was no talking him out of the cast, but I can’t help to wonder do they (orthopedics) have a text book they go by on healing the Achilles tendon that was written in 1978 and not really ready to try something new??? So I am home with the cast , but I am still not convinced that it is the best for me…. this is the first that I have heard of the shots? Do you think i should get a second opinion? or just cut it off myself and try to rehab myself? or should I just take it like a woman and do what he says???

    My appointment to get the cast off is not till Jan. 28th… I just think that there is noway I can make it that long ?!? Got any words of wisdom?????

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  9. Angel, my surgery was October 2nd, I had a cast for 4 weeks, then boot, then shoes.
    I started driving last week at 12 weeks.

    My injury was on the right leg.

    Take it like a woman and trust your Dr.

  10. Being immobile is a nightmare for every single one of us. I was stuck in a boot and on crutches from August 3 until early November due to an incision that wouldn’t close and several infections. I would have happily accepted 4 weeks flat on my back instead.

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