AchillesBlog User Data/Information

UPDATED: 04/25/2008

Here’s a file containing some recovery information/data from folks on the Achillesblog website during the Feb/March/April 2008 timeframe:   achillesblog-injury-rehab-tracker.xls

If you don’t have can get to a viewer here:

Here is the individual file if you want to fill it our yourself: ATR Recovery Protocol and Progress Tracker

Happy Healing!


Thanks for creating the excel spreadsheets and going through all the past comments and posts!

Looks like you have some mad excel skillz :D

I’ve also created a link from the main site to this page:

brendan - It’s quite interesting to see the spreadsheet. I knew that Tom was furthest along, but I didn’t realize I was one of the earlier ones as well. And 4 sets of people with ATR’s on the same days!
Btw, date of my surgery is actually 2/11/2008.

thanks for setting this up.

Wow! Great work. The spreadsheet looks fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to sift through all the info.

Thanks Guys…i updated your surgery date Dennis..and added some more stuff to the main summary tab.

Dennis - is there an easy way to update this file on the page? I can only seem to delete the uploaded file, then re-upload the new version and send it to the editor….there must be an easier way?

Brendan -

I’ve looked around, but I don’t think there is an easy way to do this as Wordpress wasn’t designed to do what we are doing. Even just being able to upload the excel spreadsheet requires installing a new plugin, etc.

Another option is using a web-based spreadsheet like Google spreadsheet, where everyone can have a login and update the info themselves.

The ideal solution would be to develop software that runs on the site using the database that wordpress uses. That’ll take some time for me.. maybe in a week or two for me to start working on it, and it’ll take a good day of work for the “Injury Dates and Names”,and probably a little longer for the rest of the stuff.

It’s really the design of the pages to make it (simple to use, easy to understand, pretty) and design of the database tables that’ll take some time.

If there is a web designer and/or a database designer here who would like to volunteer, please let me know. ;)

here’s my info if you want to add it
whenever you have time:
injury date march 5 while playing soccer
surgery march7
cast splint for 3 weeks so far

it’s good to compare/share our info
especially looking at what is coming up…

Hi Nancy - I have your info in there…I will probably just “refresh” the sheet a couple times a week as it takes a little time. You just had surgery 4 days after me…how is your swelling? Are you still having to elevate?

sorry, i looked and did not see my info in there
thanks for keeping up with our updates..

i feel it sweeling only when i’m standing for too long
i’m still in a splint cast so i have no idea what it looks like
are you in a cast or in a boot? i can’t remember
my surgeon was on holidays last week so he had to schedule my appointment this week only
i can’t wait to see what his plan is with my recovery
hopefully a quick one
my friend who is a OT recommended that i use a stool in the kitchen so i don’t lean on my crutches and that helps
but i feel my foot swell
either i sit and do my thing or stand on my crutches and risk falling…
take care

Yes..the stool is a life saver..we have one in our kitchen too. It helps me get back and forth from the counter to the sink relatively easy. We put some new pads on the legs so that it slides easy on the wood floor. Only problem is our 3 year old can now help herself to lots of things in the upper cabinets.

I am in a cast..hope to get out of it into a boot this Friday. I’m still NWB..hope to go to PWB in the boot and start working on ROM stuff.

we’re wishing for the same thing..
wed. the day for my 1st appointment
good luck friday

my kids help me out lots but they leave so much stuff on the floor…that’s the most dangerous part of it all!

great sites everyone. I have read many parts with interest - being of a similar disposition. I’m not sure I want to go the whole way with my own blog but would like to share the info so I completed the excel file. I’m another one from mid Feb - skiing. Let me know what to do with the completed file.



ronan -

Brendan is collecting the data, and he’ll post the updated excel file periodically on his blog.

Sorry about the ATR, I hope at least it was towards the end of your skiing day.

I’ve got an updated version of our data uploaded on my page.

i guess you can read my post on the main page reg. my first visit today
i’m so happy to have a splint and being able to wash my leg, do some exercises/stretches with my foot
i feel lighter
like you , it felt weird to use my crutches with my foot hanging, no protection..but it all went well
hope you’re doing fine too

I did read your post and updated your info on the sheet…you are one of the earliest folks to get to work on ROM stuff. Let us know how it goes. I am hoping for a boot/aircast this Friday so that I can start the same. Now I just have to figure out who to send this smelly cast too as a joke when I get it cut off :)

good luck, hopefully you’ll get a boot
feels so good to be out of the cast and move the foot around
keep me posted
no smelly cast though


Thanks for doing all of this. It’s nice to have people to share this unfortunate event with. I input my info into the file and saved it to my computer. What shoudl I do with the file? Thanks!


Drew -
I agree. Had I not been able to share this experience with everyone who can relate, it would have been harder to cope with the injury and the recovery.

No one else I know personally have had an achilles tendon rupture that I could share my story with.. so thanks, it makes a big difference! :)

Brendan - I’ve been reading along with you guys for a couple weeks now, and thought I’d join in, at least with my spreadsheet (where do I send it) - I tore my AT playing tennis on Feb 17, had minimally invasive surgery Feb 22, got my cast off March 7, and have been working hard at PT since then - my surgeon is from the early weight-bearing school, and so far it seems to be working - thanks for the great posts and blogs!


Andrew..I just sent you an email and you can respond directly to it and include the file.

Updated the sheet with info from Drew and others updates today….Cheers!

Ronan - how did your skiing injury occur, where and what date?

By the way, the original version of the spreadsheet was created by a friend of mine (G0 11) who ruptured his achilles March of 2007 and skied like a banzai maniac this winter. I made a few changes then Brendan really made more really great changes.

I saw the mention of a bar stool…I have used one in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Works great.

If anyone needs a leg shower bag….post to my site…. Free to a good home. I’ll email you to get your mailing address. It’s pretty good, seals up around your leg. The only disadvantage is I used it first (but I’m very clean :) )

Add another one to the list! I ruptured my right achilles while playing basketball on Sunday 3/30/08. I had my surgery yesterday and I’m currently laid up on my couch watching The Daily Show reruns while keeping my leg elevated.

I’ve just scratched the surface on this blog, but so far it looks great and I’m sure it will be an invaluable resource as I’m trudging through the next four months of recovery (so much for spring skiing).

In terms of filling out the spreadsheet and getting my information included, who do I send that to? Thanks.


jason - glad that you were able to find this place. I ATR’ed my left playing bball. Be sure to get plenty of rest, and I hope you find the site useful.

Hi everyone,

Been reading your posts for the last couple of months - they’ve helped quite a bit.

Here are my details -
ATR on Jan 28th, 2008 (basketball)
Surgery on Feb 23rd, 2008 (operating rooms in Canada are packed)

Been about 5 weeks postop with current cast coming off on april 7th. At that point they’ll change the angle of my foot with another 4 weeks of casting. Basically it’ll be 9 weeks before I can even put weight on this foot.

Is anyone else going through this slow recovery period? Looks like almost everyone has at least had PWB after the 4 week period postop.

Thanks again for all the information.


James - It seems like most people on the site are on a bit more aggressive rehab path. But, don’t let this discourage you. It seems like there is an endless list of recovery protocols, but they all seem to lead to the same end results. Just a few different twist and turns along the way.

I think I’ve read posts on other websites of other Canadians going through a more conservative recovery after surgery. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this, just maybe different philosophies in different countries.

Keeps us up to date with your recovery.

jallyn/ missed my trip to tahoe 3/19/3/26/
i know what you mean …

@ John Skier. It happened in Whistler - in the west bowl or west cirque just over from Whistler bowl. It happened on Feb 19th. I was in a three day intensive lesson - the Dave Murray camp …it was day two but I had also skied reasonably hard over the weekend too … so day four of skiing and pushing myself. It was hot (+6 degrees) and I guess I was tired, I was also annoyed that I had previously fallen on a mogul, so I hopped up on another mogul and from standing went into a turn, fell again and tumbled one or twice. As there was little speed or momentum the right ski didn’t pop off! A very small insignificant fall to anyone watching, but I felt a twinge on my ankle. I hopped up and demonstrated that I had full movement and hardly any pain. But I ‘knew’ something was wrong and when I went to put weight on my right leg I just couldn’t turn. I took my time getting down the rest of the way and downloaded. When I eventually took my boot off I saw and could feel the lack of tendon!

That said I had been quite inactive for Oct through Dec and had just been back training for a 10km (I have never ran a 10k before and obviously wont for some time) every second day on the treadmill and getting places! Doing calf raises and I guess overdoing the running and calf raises followed by 4 days of skiing did it. I also have a leg length discrepancy from a femur break as a teenager so my left leg is approx 4 cm longer… some of my research has show leg length discrepancy to be a pre disposing factor in AT rupture - has anyone else seen evidence of this?

Operated on in Canada (3 day wait) and NWB cast for two weeks changed to a fibreglass cast for 4 weeks (told to lose the crutches after two weeks in fibreglass cast) so I have been hobbling around with the cast, no crutches and a very attractive 3M velcro strap-on shoe for the last two weeks. I do intend skiing (maybe not like a maniac) in November. Best news to date is the fibreglass cast comes off tomorrow - April 2. So I hope to be in normal shoes and walking day 40 post op. I will keep you updated - maybe not such a long winded post next time! BTW foot angle was 90 degrees straight after surgery and that, I think, is a part explanation of my quick move to weight bearing versus those that are at a dropped angle post-op?


Thanks for creating the tracker. I like looking at where I stand relative to everyone else.

Here are my dates.

Basketball Injury 2/6/08
Surgery 2/13/08
First Long Cast Removed 2/29/08
Second Short Cast Removed 4/4/08

I will ask the Doc the rest of the protocol at my next appt.



Lots of new info today…up to 28 people’s info.


Just got back from doctor. You can put me down for FWB as of today. I got the boot and ditched the crutches. Moving slow but on my own.


Hey..congrats on the boot and ditching the crutches. I usually hate goodbyes, but I can’t wait for the day I wave goodbye to those things!

philip - yes, it’s a major milestone reaching FWB. Congratulations! :P

Do we have any other female volleyball victims?

I ruptured my left Achilles on March 1 playing volleyball. Here’s my timeline:

03/01 - Ruptured left Achilles tendon
03/06 - Surgery
03/12 - Post-Op #1, four more weeks of NWB
03/18 - Started working from home
03/19 - Post-Op #2, Pressure Sore, Stopped taking painkillers, stitches out
03/24 - Back to work
03/27 - Drove to work
03/31 - Post-Op #3, boot, three more weeks of NWB

i’m happy to see another woman joining our club!
we are outnumbered…
i did mine playing soccer
i had surgery the day after you
i’m two more weeks of NWB,in a splint
hopefully in a aircast/boot after this and PWB
let me know how it goes when you start PWB
good luck

Interesting how we all have very different schedules regarding post op recovery..
Bri…we ruptured it and had surgery the same days..I had the cast on for 2 weeks, then the boot and start PWB on Sunday the 6th…it seems to me that you will be NWB for 7 weeks…besides the pressure sore were there any other complications???
Doc Ross

bri - sorry about joining the club, but glad that you were able to find this site. I hope you find this site useful. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Updated our tracking sheet with Bri’s info and some other updates:

i was wondering how you guys’ ankle felt?
mine seems quite stiff and bruised
so is the outside of my foot /leg


Nancy - my ankle was very stiff and sore coming out of the cast. Every day I do the ROM exercises, it feels better and better. The outside of my ankle was always the most sore, and the soreness extended from the ankle up the outside of my leg towards the shin along my bone. In the past few days (day 7 and 8 out of the cast), I have been massaging a little deeper and that is really helping. I start with some heat for 15 minutes (just a heating pad wrapped around the ankle)…and then the ROM exercises, then massage, arnica oil on the incision, and rest it elevated for 15 minutes. I’ve noticed the longer it stays in the boot, the more it takes to loosen up again. I also still experience more tightness/soreness in the morning..but that is to be expected after 6-8 hours of immobility. I haven’t slept with the boot on yet…my doc gave me the OK to sleep with it off….so that at least gives a little movement at night when I roll over. Hope that helps!

Dennis - I’m 28…
Actually I turned 28 last week, not much fun celebrating your birthday from the couch!

I don’t know why I have so long NWB, originally my doctor said 4 weeks which would have been until 4/2. It might be because I mentioned that ‘I don’t think I could do this again’ when we were talking about re-rupture.

No complications besides the pressure sore (which was horrible for about a week).

Thanks for all the encouragement. How do I get my blog on the list of blogs?

Bri -

Looks like you didn’t create one yet.. You should go here:

And then you should be able to create one.

If you have an external blog that you want me to link, please let me know.

Let me know if you have any questions.. It’s kind of kludgy to start with, but it’s very easy once you start. :)

Hey Dennis,
I have one already -

I stumbled across Brendan’s blog a couple of weeks ago while I was searching for info on blood clots (I had a pain in my calf that turned out to be nothing). Anyway that’s how I found this whole community-


thanks brendan for your advice about the stiffness of your ankle/foot/leg
i was not sure how deep i could massage it
i’ll try it
do you still ice your ankle?


I’ve added your blog to the “Recovering from ATR” section on the left navigation bar on the main site ( ).

Thanks for letting me know. And happy birthday. ;)

Newly updated sheet with more people’s info:


started rehab today / as it was put back a week due to a possible infection. injury date 2/22/08
in the boot / working on the stationary bike was nice / back to swimming tommorow / rt leg age 46 / have had lots of challangees .. the world is not user friendly for us

Newly updated sheet:


great to see that you are posting your progress,info,and questions
i am in my 3rd and a half week post op/
in a boot at 90 degrees-nwb although i pretend with the crutches when i walk……
This is my second rupture/my first was on the left foot 8 year ago/ healed very well and resumed walking and golf after about 3 months/skiing after 5 months
hoping this one will be as good/ but i am older …….48/ the left foot is taking on the support job very well!!!
i appreciate your post because i really forgot the protocol i followed the first time/ different doctor/
well/ good luck with your recovery

james - thanks for the comment…bummer about having to go through this twice! How did you injure them? Good to hear that your first injury healed well…I’ve read that once fully healed, the tendon is stronger than before because of the scar tissue? I’m looking forward to playing golf this summer…June 3rd will be 3 months for me..that would be a nice treat for sure!

Newly uploaded tracker:


hi brendan
actually i injured it exactly the same way both times
playing bball… right guard..i blocked a pass and the ball went off my hand out of bounds i changed directions to get it …..snappppp. feels like someone jumped on my foot… when i turned around and know one was there i knew instantaneously what i did. the first tear i was really worried about it not knowing! . This time i went straight to the emerg. and was operated on in less then 48 hours!
actually my left foot feels great and i resumed playing bball with confidence that it would not happen again…FORGOT AOUT THE OTHER FOOT!
actually my left tendon is really working overtime now taking over all the work and it feels great!
as for golf . i dont care if i have to take a cart and stand awkwardly for the first few weeks - at least ill get out in the sun and move!!!
well– NO MORE BBALL even if it is stronger, i’ll stick to HORSE
when you had your boot did you take it out to sleep or keep it in?- i would think it is good to let it breath but cant remember what i did the first time

Hi James - I also ruptured both tendons playing basketball (my left side exactly 2 years ago). I don’t believe I’ll be playing basketball again, but then again….never say never.

james and Herb - do you guys know if there was something you did or didn’t do that led to the rupture on your other leg?

I am really freaked out by the fact that it happened to both of you. I had tendinosis on both of my Achilles, and I am afraid that my right one will rupture at some point.

I am wondering how much being in shape (proper weight, conditioning), stretching and warming up will reduce the chances of the ruptures..

Hi Dennis - I really believe its genetics, it’s so rare to have a achilles tendon rupture. If you had ask me the first time I ruptured, I would have thought differently. But having it happen twice with no history of tendon problems, it was bound to happen to me again sooner or later. The ortho told me if you had ruptured one leg there was a high likelyhood of it happening to the other leg. However, I hear of so many people playing sports after recovering from this injury with no problem ever with the other leg. So, just make sure you warm up and stretch adequately before every game, I ruptured my achilles on very chilly days.

i really never stretched much accept when i was rehabing from the 1st tear. in a way it was strange because with both ruptures i had been playing for at least an hour so i was warmed up and must have been loose. This time I wasnt wearing great shoes and the court was cement!
i was told that it is an inherent weakness that i probably have but i am pretty stiff!!!
what ever the you say they are stonger after but it is not worth it for me to take a chance so i will stick to slightly less active sports. i am a golf nut so i am content with that
i think if you do a real regime of stretching everyday and before activities you should be good????
sorry cant give you more info
the good thing is now i have matching scars!!!!!

BTW - stick a fork in it! My Golden State Warriors are done.

Dennis - I tend to agree with Herb. I think genetics plays as much a factor as proper stretching/strengthening. There is an inherent risk involved when we choose to be active. You’re kind of at a crossroad. You can accept that there is always a chance of another rupture (or any type of injury) and continue taking the risks you’ve been doing all your life. Or, you can decide the risk isn’t worth it and change your lifestyle. There are probably things we can all do to reduce the risk of another rupture, but the reality is there will always be a chance it will happen again.

good to see Im not the only one foolish enough to go through this again!!!!!!
sorry im a big phoenix fan although i think golden state will beat them tonight

Tom - Yep, I also agree. I am just trying to minimize the chances while still doing the things that I love.

I understand the risks of activities such as basketball. I damaged my right eye when some guy poked me in the eye when I was driving to the basket. I still see white spots in my right eye because of it.

It changed my game a bit where I am more of a perimeter player and don’t get in the thick of things as much in the paint. I’ll continue to play, but I wanted to know if there were some common pattern to James’ and Herb’s injury.

Looks like cold weather could be a factor.. so I’ll keep that in mind.

Sensible risk management is the key. ;)

James - I’m still in my boot, got it after week 4. My doc gave me the OK to sleep without the boot, and I have been doing it for the past 2.5 weeks. It feels good to give it some room to breath at night, but it’s a pain to have to put it on when going to the bathroom. I am religious about putting it on when crutching though, as I know we are in the “danger zone” here around 6-12 weeks for a re-rup.

hi dennis
for me it definitely was not cold weather - just really stiff and probably an inherent weakness although i would put my money on lack of mobility.
also good shoes will help but…….. changing your game is probably the best suggestion- a little less aggressive in movement and change of direction

the cast guy who gave directions about the boot suggested that i keep the boot at night and lock it at 90 degrees so that the foot doesn’t extend down….
i guess so that i don’t lose the extension overnight that the boot helps with with during the day
don’t know if that makes sense but i am going to try 1 night on —1 night off. especially when i start to increase 80 and 70 degrees in the next few weeks . have you heard of that protocol

James- On the golf subject. How long before you were able to actually play? Akward or what ever. I already paid for my league this year. So I am trying to figure if I have any hope of playing at all. I am post op day 12. so I understand I am a ways out…

Brendan- I downloaded the spreadsheet and updated let me know what to do next. Thanks for doing this.

hi mbargo
i also have forked out the green fees for the year

well i am from montreal so the season is late this year…it will start first week of may ( cant believe i am happy that it is starting late!!)
my first tear i played after about 13 weeks but it was winter and i flew to florida so maybe i would have been ready before- cant remember
i have read on a few sites that the doctors say 9 to 12 weeks for walking and golf
i am 27 days postop and hope to get out there around the 4th week of may( and play bad!!!)
as long as i can walk i can play even if i limp

I tore my right foot and i think that is the left that takes all the pressure of the golf swing (if you are a righty)
you know it depends on your progress and protocol
let me know
by the way i love the antis-pam word choices!!!!

james - Thanks for letting me know. I went to the PT yesterday, and she said that she feels more tightness in my muscles in both legs than she normally does on other people. So it’s probably mostly due to my inherited traits, and I need to really be diligent about stretching and loosening up.

I had been just sitting around between games, and I don’t think that’s good. I’ll have to remind myself to be warmed up and loose at all times.

Hope you get to play golf soon. I am considering
picking up golf and cut down a little bit on playing basketball.

Thanks for the comment about the anti-spam security words. I actually felt better and pumped up after typing them as I was testing to make sure the pages were working properly.

Web-based cognitive therapy and fight spam at the same time? :P

Feel free to suggest any others. ;)

Brendan- new to the site, have a progress tracker ready at your convenience

James - I haven’t heard of that protocol yet..but it sounds like a good idea. If you browse the various blogs on this site, you’ll see that there is a wide range of rehab protocols. There is not a universally accepted protocol. I think a good balance of listening to your surgeon, listening to your body, and gaining knowledge to share between the two of you…is the way to go.

Newly updated tracker:

Some new stats:

42 - # of people in the “club”

Activities Doing During Injury
14 - Basketball
5 - Volleyball
3 - Skiing
3 - Soccer
2 - Racquetball
2 - Tennis
2 - Football

Averages of those on AchillesBlog:

28 - Days Immobile
28 - Days to PWB
31 - Days to FWB
49 - Days to Shoe
42 - Days to PT
(Please note, averages are just that, some rehab protocols are longer or shorter based on surgeon, specifics of injury/surgery, individual, etc…DO NOT USE THESE AS TARGETS/GOALS FOR YOUR RECOVERY)

hi brendan
here is my info so
injury 03.18
surgery 03.20
immobile- 21 days
its now 28 days and i am starting pwb and fwb at an angle as to not strain the tendon- i actually walked on 1 crutch today - great for carrying shit!!!!
spam suggestion — patience

did you have wedges in your boot
i have a boot with an adjustable angle
and nobody seems to have mentioned anything about - increasing the angle every week

today i increased my angle to 82,5 degrees forward
today- my boot increments by 7.5 degrees- aliitle more tension but not painful
is this what the wedges do? have you heard of this?

Mbargo…you should be able to golf once FWB in a boot/aircast. To me then the question is once you’re out of the boot, how does it feel rotating your body? I played 9 holes in my aircast. Used a cart. It was weird because my left foot had more lift than my right, but I couldn’t bend that knee much. I actually tried to be very stable over the ball and really focused on that and tempo. Hit it fine.

hi johnskier
i am planning to do the same
worried about walking on the green with the boot
how was that

James - I have wedges in my boot, but no angle adjustments on the boot itself. Sounds like the wedges and boot angle are designed to both keep you plantar flexed when starting to bear weight, to keep the pressure off the tendon. I have two wedges in right now..they are ~3/4″ each…so 1.5″ now.

James - It didn’t seem to cause any indentations to the green. Sand traps and hills are “fun”. I was wearing shorts so I think I looked pretty goofy.

Newly updated tracker:

filled out information on spread sheet, great sight. My doc seems ulta conservative. Keeps telling me I’m not a teen ager any more.

Thomas - I just sent you an can reply directly to that with your sheet.

Got an updated tracker uploaded:

I’ve added in a location column to…if people want to disclose that info, I’ll add it to the sheet. I’m still looking for any takers to start to manage this…maybe a recent ruptee who has a little extra time on their hands? :)

Hey everyone - just found this site and I’m already grateful…i just tore my achilles 100% about 4 hours ago! surgery tmrrw in detroit then flying home to LA…i got lucky and am getting the Detroit Piston’s ortho surgeon, so that makes me feel a little better but I have literally never injured myself seriously or had surgery. so that makes me a bit nervous. alot. My job is one that has me in multiple states per week traveling and tons of air travel (i leave for UK in 12 days)-

so. could u help w/ my questions:

1.)Does anyone know how airplane travel works w/ this injury- w/in 2 weeks of surgery and beyond? is it feasible or stupid?

2.) can i still do my job (traveling for work non stop) and still get my post op visits and physical therapy done?? is it a lot riskier? (assuming i keep weight off of it). stupid?

i snapped my tendon walking back to locker room after a cpl hours of basketball- I’m 28 and in pretty good shape so i’m hoping that helps, but right now i’m unsettled.

oh and #3)- sitting in the ER today- i had my leg stabilized and elevated- then i got a foot cramp- u know the kind everyone gets occasionally- well, i instinctively pulled my toes back to stop the cramp- but that made my tendon go further up my leg and i felt a pain that got me within a milimeter of blacking out- screamed bloody murder in the ER….


thanks for any answers-



Sorry to hear you have joined our club. As for travel I also had a trip planned within two weeks of surgery. Due to swelling within the cast, possibility of blood clots and totally feeling miserable the surgeon said it was best NOT to fly. Travel will be awkward, wheelchair for around airport, but you do get preferential treatment. and if you’re lucky a foot massage from the flight attendant..LOL
As for PT most of the information is on this website so I think you can do it yourself if you’re careful and consistent.
Check the main page of this site for more detailed information and read the veterans blogs.

If you more questions let us know.

Doc Ross

I traveled but not that early. Ideas: Postpone if you can. Use the airport transportation - wheelchairs and carts. Get a seat in the front of the plane. Will they let you bring an ice pack through security? Bring a friend to help. My doc wanted me to wait “a few weeks” and I was able to pospone 5 weeks…and then I was PWB so that really helped.

Ryan - Sorry to hear we have another victim. You may find it helpful to take is easy for the first several weeks. That doesn’t mean you have to be completely laid up in bed or on the couch, but if you have the option to postpone some of your travel, it may help with the recovery.

I didn’t experience cramps, but I know several others have. I drank more water the first few weeks after surgery to help avoid cramps, even though it meant more trips to the bathroom. My surgeon also gave me a Valium Rx, which I filled, but never ended up using. You may want to ask your surgeon about that.


I agree with Tom (and others) that your water intake makes a big difference with cramps. I drank a lot of water my first few post op days. I scaled back a bit because of the frequent bathroom trips and then started getting cramps.

Hi Brendan, I have a filled in progress tracker form.

hi ryan
i did the opposite
i was in LA on vac. and did it there
i had the surgery 2 days later
i stayed in LA for 12 days before i flew home
i took a blood thinner for the day of the flight
(just because it was 2 weeks from a general
anaesthesia but the doc. didnt think it was needed)
th airline can organize all the wheel chair needs
and overall it was fine - hope you have a direct flight
however i would take off work if i had to fly as part of my job - i hate crutches and the the more you stay put the safer and less stress on your body which needs to recuperate- at least for 4 to 4 weeks
no idea about cramps
good luck
this is my second tear and you just have to wait it out and then you get back to 70% after 3 months and 100% after 6 months
at least I did - this time i hope
i at 5 1/2 weeks - in a boot but a little weight bearing each day and doing ROM exercises

Hi brendan
Injury 03 18 08
Surgery 03 20 08
Ih a cast splint 11 days
In a cast 11 days
In a cam walker boot for 2 1/2 weeks
Pwb and and some fwb
Started physio last Friday
Next appointment Friday may 9th 7 weeks

Hi guys,

I hate to say it but I’ve joined your club…for the third time! I ruptured my left achilles tendon playing b-ball in 1994, then my right one around March 15 this year. I had surgery the first time, but not this time and then after 3.5 weeks I cut myself out of the cast with a hacksaw! My ortho told me to get it back in a cast but I opted for the moonboot instead. I was doing really well for a full week, I actually walked close to five miles in work boots…but then I got distracted in my mother’s split-level living room, I had a mis-step on a halfstep and then POP! So now I’m back in a cast once again. No surgery. After two weeks, it feels good. Six weeks from now, we shall see…


Hi, I fully ruptured my right AT, too. Here are the details:

When: March 21

How: Basketball (after 60 min., 3-on-3, cement court, no stretching/warmup, 55 lbs overweight, direction change)

Age: Nearly 40

Pre-surgery: Boot until MRI (April 3), then soft splint to lower severe edema before surgery.

Surgery: April 9 (general anesth, plaster cast, foot down, Vicodin for five days, then Alleve)

Stitches off: April 21 (fiberglass cast, foot up a bit)

2nd fiberglas cast, foot up a bit: April 30.
Told that I may go back to the boot with heel lift(s) on May 7. Good sign - Doctor slowly moved my foot less than 90 degrees towards my ankle, saw/felt my calf respond, no pain just tightness.

First half day back at office: April 21
First full day in office: May 2

Driving: No, not until I can wear a regular shoe. Too risky.

1) Blister - Starting getting a blister on the back of my heel near the right outer area on the last day of wearing the boot. Then the blister got worse while wearing the soft splint (heel crease of the heavy cardboard splint) before surgery. Pointed it out to the nurses and surgeon on surgery day, but blister got worse in plaster cast, and made it hard to get comfortable or sleep. Pointed it out to cast person when the first fiberglass cast was done, and they added extra cotton. Blister got worse and spread diagonally down to the base of the back of the heel, and started getting a new blister near the big toe just under the cast. Pointed this out to the cast person and surgeon when the second fiberglass cast was done and they finally put on a blister bandage, and raised up the new cast a bit near the big toe. That helped some, but still get burning in the heel area. Hope the heel blister goes away soon.

2) Bottom of foot very dry and sore - either feels swollen and like the cast toe opening/arch area cutting into skin, or feels like it’s thawing out with lots of pin pricks. Can’t wait for the boot so I can use lotion.

3) Occasional Twinges/pins-and-needles in upper tendon area. Sounds normal but I hold my breath thinking it’s re-rupture time.

4) Calf cramps - Wake up sometimes with a jolt, although less and less often, and less painful each time. Luckily no cramp lockups yet like I used to get. Due to fear of re-rupture, drinking more water and gatorade just in case. Doctor said he could prescribe muscle relaxants if the cramps get worse, but I want to avoid more pills.

5) Good tendon gets sore by the end of the day of crutching around office and home. Sometimes I ice it before bed.

6) A bit of mild frostbite (redness/sore) from putting very cold gel pack directly on skin on the underside of my knee. Learned my lesson. Wish I could directly ice the tendon/foot area. I tried putting gel packs around my ankle but it weighs down my foot, which makes it hard to elevate my foot off the edge of the pillow.

Any recommendations on particular boot brand/style to get? I read some people like the Bledsoe.

Having had my left Achilles repaired with surgery, and my right one repaired non-surgically, I must say, that non-surgery is the way to go, despite the risk of rerupture. There have been no side effects whatsoever.
I recommend to all who end up with an air cast moonboot. Buy eight Dr. Scholl heel gel pads to use as shims. Then, if you re-rupture your Achilles Immediately get your foot inside that boot with those eight gel pads stacked on top of each other beneath your heel, and don’t move it. That’s very close to where you will need to be when the ortho casts you in plaster, whenever you finally get to his office. The tendon will heal itself, trust me. If I hadn’t been distracted and had that misstep on that half step in my mother’s living room, I was well on my way to complete recovery, when my tendon went pop it was strong! If I was wearing the moonboot, I would have been safe, but I had to take her car in for repair, so I had to wear workboots to drive - I would never attempt to walk in work boots again, not until after Physical therapy…twelve weeks.

A comment on diet. Sardines everyday with multivitamins, water.

And shed all extra pounds, and stay off the b-ball court.


Hi There,

Joined this club on the 16th of April playing squash. Right side. Am in a walking boot since the 24th bearing weight after having successful surgery in a German hopspital. I’m from South Africa.

Very active for the last 30 years and the lack of mobility of the boot is really driving me nuts. Hada bit of tendonitis in the tendon and hada game of social squash. Bad idea.

Do you only need the tracker file when it’s complete done?

Kind regards,



whatever you do, don’t take off that boot for at least six weeks, the temptation to challenge your tendon and get your life back to normal will be strong! Patience is a virtue expecially with your AT.


Thanks for all your work on this site!
54 year old male
3/22/2008 complete rupture on right side playing basketball after playing 1.5 hours on wood court
3/29/2008 surgery, no meds just 200 mg of Motrin for swelling and 81 mg of bayer aspirin for blood clot worries. Not much pain.
cast for 4 weeks, then cam boot.
Doctor said “ok” to be FWB at 4 weeks in boot, but I still used crutches.
As of today still in cam boot, but starting to lose the cructches altogether.
Will start Pt at 6.5 weeks.
Just ordered Air Cast Heel and a achilles tendon support trainer made in Germany to see if that will help with walking in the future.
Also just ordered the Bledsoe boot to see if there is any difference between Bledsoe and the cam boot.
Thanks again!

Alan - sorry to hear about your rupture…sounds like you are progressing nicely. I am starting PT tomorrow, but it’s at 9 weeks, my protocol has been a little more conservative, but I feel good about it. If you have a link to the items that you ordered, that would be helfpul to see, and we’d be happy to hear how they work for you.

Met with my Dr today (28th day after surgery). My third cast since the surgery was removed, and replaced by the DonJoy MaxTrax Walker with 1-inch felt heel pad. I can take the boot off during the evening, but I have to wear it while I sleep and at work. He said I can shower without the boot.

Surprisingly, the Dr also said I could start partial weight bearing, i.e. rest my foot (in boot) on the ground when sitting, and he wanted to me to be full weight bearing (in boot) in three weeks when I meet him next. During the next three weeks he wants me to take the boot off during the evening and start doing exercises. The first week he wants me to move my foot around in circles. The second week he wants me to do that, plus push against an Orange Theraband at the ball of my foot. The third week he wants me to pull the Theraband against the ball of my foot.

I didn’t expect to get the boot and the beginning of weight bearing progression until the 8th week, leading to full weight bearing in the boot at the 12th week so that physical therapy could begin. Is the 5th-7th week too early for weight bearing, stretching and strengthening exercises?

Kevin A,
As you’ll see reading through some of the blogs and comments on this site, there’s a HUGE variation in protocols for treating this injury.

My Doc sent me right from NWB to FWB and drop the crutches (all at my comfort level) at 6 weeks after surgery. Others here have had MUCH more conservative treatments. The important parts are to listen to your doctor and listen to your achilles. As long as both are telling you the same thing, and you’re careful, 5-7 weeks for weight bearing is plenty of time.

You mentioned stretching and strengthening, what kinds of exercises did Doc give you? Simple ankle rotations and flexing? Something more?

Good luck with your recovery!


Hope your first PT went well. I just received the achilles trainer pro made by bauerfeind

My initial reaction after opening is that it is well made of a good material. After putting it on it feels good in that it gives support in the right places. There are pads on both sides of the achilles tendon which are suppose to massage the tendon and help circulation. But after a while, it seemed a little too tight, so I am returning and getting the next size up (size 3). I was right on the edge between size 2 and size 3. I think it is better to pick the larger size. I will report back after I get the size 3 and wear it for a day or two. I received the aircast heel and was not impressed with it. it was made out of vinyl. it did have air pads on each side of tendon, but did not feel as comfortable. I returned the aircast due to a nick in the vinyl.
6 weeks today and pretty much off crutches and have cane.
take care!

Alan - thanks for the info on that tendon support. I still have another week or so in my boot, and when I get to a shoe, I’ll see how it feels. My feeling is that something like that would be great for extended walks, mowing the lawn, etc….anytime we need to push a little bit and need some extra support during recovery. Congrats on getting off the crutches…you are about a week ahead of my protocol, I was on them for a total of 8 weeks…7 weeks post op.

HI Brendan,

I see you now have a location on the tracker.

I’m in Las Vegas, NV


Jim - you just reminded me that I need to change this post…I’ve fallen off on the tracking, there are like probably like 15-20 new folks who are on the blog know…and I just can’t keep up! Hope all is well.

I’m in my ninth week, and in the moonboot. I’m starting to shuffle around the house with one crutch.

I noticed my good tendon was getting irritated by the cord that runs around the top of my Vans shoe, so I switched to a Mizuno running shoe, which I thought would be more supportive and balance out the boot height. However, even though the Mizuno has an Achilles notch, the notch is still bugging my tendon.

Does any recommend a certain brand/model of running shoes that doesn’t irritate the tendon?

I know that everyone’s foot is different, and that a well-fitting shoe is first priority. For instance, I have a long narrow foot with a low arch, and I tend to wear out the back outside part of the heel.

But I figure there are features that we all need to take pressure off our tendons, such as a supportive heel counter that doesn’t irritate the tendon. In addition, I’ve read that a combination last is good for the tendon, since it’s flexible in the forefoot, and stiffer in the heel. Overly cushy heeled shoes are supposedly bad. The heel should have some lift, but not too much since you want the tendon/calf to get normal use.

I’m planning to check out the Brooks Addiction 8, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8, Brooks Beast, Brooks Dyad 4, and Brooks Axiom. I might check out some New Balance. Any suggestions?

Kevin, I’m in week 13. I recently got a pair of Salomon XT wings. I’m really liking them. They seem to have a lot of thought put into them. The best thing is how they lace. There are no laces, just a thin nylon pull cord that you can easily adjust for comfort while on the move, and take off, put on quickly. I had my doubts about this system at first, but am very impressed by them.

New victim here - Mary from San Francisco, age 48, injured by dancing to Harry Belafonte on YOUTUBE, barefoot on a wooden floor. At first, with no pain at all, the loud POP appeared to be the old floorboard breaking loose! I was alone in the house, panicked when I could not walk, but being of a sensible age, went to bed, to deal with it in the morning…ja, ja, postponing and hoping. Two hours later, had to hophophop to the bathroom for Tylenol, then drove somehow on Father’s Day in the early AM to the ER, got immediate attention, referred two days later to the Ortho guys, got surgery June 25th, first cast at post-op July 10th, with FWB! The surgeon said to just walk! Keep the crutches only for balance! After reading so much here in advance, I was stunned — WALK???? Well, I am taking it very cautiously, walking only around the house, and only tackled the stairs with this FWB cast. How could it be so quick? Anyone know? It can’t be safe, can it? But my surgeon is a well-known orthopedist with 50! years experience.

Could it be that he thinks I am healing very fast, or because it was not a full rupture??? Actually, he said it had been torn 4 inches above the heel, and that it had various tears but not a full rip.

What we need here is a real ortho to come and reassure us. We all seem to float in clouds of anxiety and unanswered questions, which in a modern world should not be so. It seems the meds have no real time to explain things.

Thank God for the internet and these blogs! They help me a lot to feel less alone!


Hi Brendon…I ruptured my Achilles playing XBOX Kinect on 12/26/2010. Surgical repair on 12/29/2010.
Slplint removed 9 days post op and placed in Aircast boot at neutral with instructions to begin WBAT. I am at 5 weeks post op today and in two shoes and FWB.

Thank you!

Thanks for the links.

I just ruptured my right tendon playing basketball…After rupturing the left one almost exactly 2 years ago playing, you guessed it, basketball. I’ve tried to figure out any kind of commonality and only two things jump out. One, I occasionally would take ibuprofin before playing to combat shin splints and both times I had taken it. Two, basketball. The first time I made a sudden push off of my left foot to go for a steal and ‘bam.’ The second time I was standing watching a play and then had just started to turn around and it popped so loudly the guy next to me heard it and thought I had snapped a bone completely in two. Recovery of the first injury was textbook and went better than I could have anticipated. Hopefully this one goes as well, surgery tomorrow. Definitely done with basketball.

Great site - nice to read about so many people going through the same things. I ruptured my achillies playing soccer(1st game in 20 years) in feb 2013, but missed the surgical window thanks to the Canadian socialized Medical Coverage. Spent 10 weeks in a boot, then finally had surgery June 2013 - things went well, had the hard cast for 5.5 weeks not back in the boott this week with heel stairs that I will gradually decrease every week. Stay in this until next visit in early Sept. Using light weight on it with crutches still. Anxious to get back to normal, but don’t want to take steps back. Take it slow seems to be the course of action. Again, great to read so many similar stories.

@pete: It’s a shame to give up basketball after you’ve probably had all the ATRs you’re ever going to have! An article linked from the Protocols and Studies page here says that ATR patients have 200 TIMES the normal risk of doing an ATR on their other leg in the first few years post-ATR#1. It’s still far from “likely” or “a sure thing”, but it’s definitely a risk, and it got you. It got me, too, though 8 years after the first one. And from volleyball, not basketball. Me, I skipped the surgery the second time, and now I’m an advocate for skipping it. But both ways usually work well.

@dlichty20: I don’t know what you mean when you say you “missed the surgical window thanks to the Canadian socialized Medical Coverage.” First, there hardly IS any Canadian medical coverage per se, since each Province in Canada gets to run its own health system and its own health insurance. From what I read and hear, the system in Alberta totally sucks, and the care I get here in Toronto (Ontario) seems first-rate.

It is quite scattered for ATR care here, since some people are still rushed under the knife just like the old days, and others are steered towards a fast modern non-op rehab, mostly following, the protocol from the 2010 study from U. of Western Ontario. I got one of each — surgery in late 2001 when that was the obvious way to go, and non-op in late 2009, after my hotshot surgeon had spoken to the authors of the UWO study at a big Ortho Surgery conference (AAOS 2009).

I hope your rehab goes well, but it makes me nervous for a few reasons:
(1) You — and your Doc? — seem to think that going slowly during ATR treatment decreases the risk of bad outcomes like rerupture, when the evidence says the opposite is true. Going any slower than is associated with MUCH HIGHER rerupture rates non-op, and the new study we discussed recently on Suddsy’s blog here produced shockingly low rerupture rates with and without surgery going a week or two FASTER than UWO. The risks of going too slow post-op aren’t as awful as those of going too slow non-op, but it certainly doesn’t help.

2) If your situation is that your ATR went misdiagnosed or untreated for several weeks, you may have been told that you “missed the surgical window”, but I’d say you probably missed the NON-surgical window. While most OSs prefer to operate on “fresh” ATRs, there are lots of ways to fix a “stale” ATR surgically, and they generally work pretty well. OTOH, treating a “stale” ATR NON-surgically is a risky proposition, IMO. Basically, the non-op cure depends on directing — steering — the initial flush of inflammation, tissue growth, and healing toward rebuilding a new AT connection that’s the right length, by immobilizing the ankle at the right angle promptly after the injury, then moving fairly quickly toward PWB and FWB, with exercise and PT introduced in the first few weeks after the ATR.

Late surgery triggers a second flush of inflammation, tissue growth, and healing by re-traumatizing the tendon and surrounding tissue, e.g., by trimming the two torn ends of the tendon with a scalpel. Non-op treatment doesn’t traumatize anything, so if the first flush of recovery is past, I wouldn’t expect non-op to work well.

The good news is that, after you wasted 10 weeks pursuing the “right” treatment at the wrong time, you finally got the operation you should have gotten initially for your stale ATR.

Where are you in Canada, and what are they telling you now?

Has anyone had both legs repaired at the same time? I have to decide if I want them done one at a time or together. The plus of having them done at the same time would, obviously, be a much shorter rehab time. The thought of being NWB on 2 legs is what I can’t get my mind around.

I did the one in a billion, ruptured both at same time, went surgery route, was 6 weeks NWB, ends up being more like 8 by the time you get into surgery, then released to place weight on. So its tough, you would definitely need a caretaker of some type via family/friends or nurse. Tough road mentally/physically, but after the NWB stage, things progress pretty quickly. Feel free to email me with any questions. MY PT told me doing both you walk better because you normally will not favor one side.

Thanks, B. I have lots of questions to ask you. The first is the most embarrassing, but here goes. How do I get your email address?

12 hours out of surgery. Knee block is still on…my foot feels like it is “asleep”. Very uncomfortable because I can’t feel anything down there.

Thanks to you all for your website. Was helpful going into this.

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