Week 3-After Surgery

It has been 3 weeks since my Achilles tendon surgery.  My tendon has been giving me problems for several years, and a FHL transfer and turndown flap were used to repair tendon as well as removing bone off the back of my heel.  I was in the hospital for 4 days, sent home in a splint, then after a week and a half, put in a boot.  Now last week I was put in a cast and stitches removed.  I have been surprised how hard it is to get around.  I am using a wheelchair and a walker.  I keep my foot up all the time, and anytime I put it down to move from place to place, my toes turn purple.  Fortunately, I am working at home until the end of the month.  I have only been out of the house twice to go the the doctor’s office, and I am going stir crazy.  Getting down the front steps out of my house is really difficult.

22 Responses

  1. Hi–Had my surgery on 6/24…sounds like we are at similar stages. Just went to Dr. today. Got out of my splint and into hard cast last Monday. Couldn’t stand the tightness of the cast–he ended up slicing up the inside and outside of the cast. Feels so much better.

    The purple toes are nasty. I’d feel great if it wouldn’t swell, even with the “knee walker roll about”. And I have to have my other one done–probably in December.

    At least we aren’t alone

    Paulette - July 13th, 2009 at 11:15 pm
  2. Paulette,
    My R Heel is also a little painful, but I hope to wait a couple of years to go through this again. Did you have a tendon transfer also? I keep my leg up all the time, but I can still feel swelling around the ankle. I have pictures posted on this page, you can see them if you click on “Home”. Good luck with your recovery. Let me know how it goes.

    cath - July 14th, 2009 at 11:08 am
  3. I tore my achilles on June 18th and did not have surgery until 7-2-09. I completely tore my achilles playing basketball, but could walk afterwords. I am in week two of recorvery and it is weird. I had no swelling in the foot by the time I went to post-op on 7-7-09, and he cut me from my middle calf to my heel. He told me to stay off of it for 6 weeks and I was back to work after one week. I am thinking I may have a quick recovery. I still don’t put alot of pressure on it, but I have been working this thing out on my own. It’s amazing!!!!!

    Catch - July 15th, 2009 at 2:14 pm
  4. Are you in a cast or boot?

    cath - July 16th, 2009 at 12:55 pm
  5. I am in a removable cast. I take it off each day and do my own exercises on it.

    Catch - July 16th, 2009 at 3:28 pm
  6. I am 6 weeks post surgery. I had a cast for two weeks, and then a new cast for another month. I was put into an aircast boot from the cast. I was not prepared for the pain I am feeling when I try to walk and put weight on my foot. The pain seems worse on the bottom part of my heel, I am not sure why!
    I am not using a crutch, just trying to walk with the boot. Can anyone tell me if they experienced severe pain, especially on the bottom of the heel. The tendon area is also very tender but I expect that.
    I am also being treasted for a neuroma on my other foot! I gather this was a result of wearing the boot before the surgery!

    Any help of advice is appreciated.


    June - July 17th, 2009 at 9:03 pm
  7. Hi June,

    I had the same heel pain as you. My Physio tells me it is because all the muscle tissue in the heel got slack and weak while NWB, meaning when you finally go back to putting full weight on it, it can be quite painful. You will probably notice this all over the foot actually, but for me, like you, the most obvious discomfort was in the heel. He assured me it will return to normal quickly, and sure enough, I have been FWB for 3 weeks and do not notice it anymore. I am sure you will be fine.


    tommo21 - July 18th, 2009 at 7:47 pm
  8. I had the same heel pain as you. My Physio tells me it is because all the muscle tissue in the heel got slack and weak while NWB, meaning when you finally go back to putting full weight on it, it can be quite painful. You will probably notice this all over the foot actually, but for me, like you, the most obvious discomfort was in the heel. He assured me it will return to normal quickly, and sure enough, I have been FWB for 3 weeks and do not notice it anymore. I am sure you will be fine.

    aion gold - September 17th, 2009 at 1:21 am
  9. I’m 4 weeks post op fhl tendon transfer. 70% of my achilles was chronically damaged. I have started having sharp pains near the bottom of my incision. I understand the pain in the bottom back of the heel is related to where the holes were drilled in the bone to attach the tendon but these sharp pains come on suddenly and they are excrutiating. Of course it’s Friday night but I may call the on call Ortho tomorrow if its not better. I’m just hoping its not a graft failure or infection. Has anyone had a similar experience?

    Cindy - February 8th, 2013 at 11:51 pm
  10. Just had this surgery a few days ago (April 10th) and I am interested in keeping up with recovery of those ahead of me. In a splint for 2 weeks and then suppose to go into a boot for 6 weeks, no cast, very glad of that. Very little pain but have kept foot elevated for the past few days.

    Interested in strength I will have to play tennis with the FHL tendon?


    Gary - April 13th, 2013 at 11:27 am
  11. Hi, I had my op 2.5 weeks ago. Had my first post op appointment yesterday when they fitted me with a boot with three wedges. It was really painful getting my foot into the boot and repositioning it. Has anyone else experienced this type of thing?

    tahmina - August 6th, 2013 at 4:13 pm
  12. I am 3 weeks in and am now in a removable cast, I can’t believe now painful my heel is, it’s awful.
    My ankle is still huge and I am unable to even move it, when I walk too much it’s unbearable and swells.

    alfie wright - January 4th, 2016 at 11:17 am
  13. I had Achilles’ tendon surgery due to a partially disconnected tendon and two heel Spurs removed and also had a lengthing of my tendon. I am at day 19th post op. Doctor removed splint yesterday at which I was NWB until yesterday. Now I’m in a boot with crutches putting weight on foot gradually. Never had much pain thru this point. Now of course there is sensitivity on and around incision and heel area minimal swelling mainly around incision with some numbness (tingling) on bottom of foot and toes. I will be in boot for 4weeks and then will be put in therapy after that. Just glad to be mobile. Looking forward to being able to drive and workout and painless while doing these things.

    Cheryl Chipka - January 5th, 2016 at 10:55 am
  14. had surgery w/FHL 10/7/15, wore cast then aircast boot for 8 weeks. now out of boot but wearing heel lift in shoes and going to physical therapy. Calf muscles weak so walking w/limp, I am told this is “normal” but quite concerned about being able to return to normal activities and eliminating limp. Also have numbness in bottom of heel

    russ ford - January 25th, 2016 at 11:38 am
  15. I’m almost 4 weeks post surgery. I lost balance and fell on the bad foot a week ago (ouch!!) and called the dr the next day. The nurse thinks I’ll be ok. I still have intense stinging in incision area of the heel and elevating above my heart does not lessen swelling much. The cast is very tight at the ankle and arch of foot. Toes turn purple within seconds of sitting up. I called a friend who just had his second foot done, and he said this sounds like his first experience and all turned out well enough to go through it again. He hasn’t had as much trouble second time. I just left a message for the nurse, hoping they will recast so it’s not so tight, and to reassure me I didn’t damage the Achilles repair. Anyone else fall at about 3 weeks out?

    Wendy - February 10th, 2016 at 9:02 am
  16. Wendy - your toes should not turn purple in the cast at all!!! It is most likely too tight as you say so get off to the doc or hospital now. See if you can get into a boot. At this stage you could take your foot out of a boot and while supported do some Active ROM exercises. The tendon should be together but it will be weak and it benefits from movement and weight bearing. Weight bearing in a walking boot only! The cast should stop any movement in the tendon so your fall would not have caused any damage. If you stay in a cast then your recovery will be a bit slower but in the long term it will not matter. With a boot you can also take it off to have a seated shower.

    Stuart - February 10th, 2016 at 1:46 pm
  17. I am nine days post Bone spur Achilles’ tendon surgery. My cast seems to touch and irritate where my incision is located. I have swelling which seems binding around my ankle. Is this normal or should I see my doctor earlier than four days from now?

    Joyce - May 7th, 2017 at 4:31 pm
  18. Joyce - hopefully you’re icing and elevating. Ice behind your knee (20 minutes on, 1 hour off) and elevate above your heart. I was told to elevate 90% of the time for the first 2 weeks. Regarding the cast - I would go back in, but then my post-op instructions said if things are bugging you go back in. I took them at their word - LOL! I went in about 5 times to get my splint/cast changed in the 3 weeks I had it on. As soon as the padding they put in it compressed my incision would start feeling very irritated. And feel free to start your own blog - several of us went through the bone spur surgery. My surgery was on 2/17 and shell37 went through it recently too.

    cserpent - May 7th, 2017 at 8:27 pm
  19. I am exactly 1 month past surgery but still have swelling around ankle. Is this normal? I am in walking boot without crutches.

    cmg - September 13th, 2018 at 5:05 am
  20. I am 9 weeks past and get occasional swelling. Particularly if I have been on my feet a lot during the day. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    jeff16 - September 13th, 2018 at 6:58 pm
  21. thanks to sharing this post

    guest post - January 5th, 2023 at 5:24 pm
  22. It varies depending on the patient. After having both hips replaced, the second one was simpler than the first. I haven’t had surgery for quite 3 weeks. I can walk about 1.5 kilometres pain-free and without a stick. It may depend on how soon after your procedure you were able to keep up your fitness regimen.

    Wikipedia Page Editing For Your Wiki Page - January 5th, 2023 at 5:25 pm

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