Chronology of Achilles Rupture to Recovery

On Crutches

The time frame up to the first follow-up checkup with the surgeon is fairly standard. After that, there seems to be “some” variation dependent on what your doctor believes is the best approach to rehabilitation. Most doctors follow a conservative rehabilitation protocol, but there are some that advocate a more aggressive protocol. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions. This chronology is just my personal recovery experience in addition to what I’ve learned about other’s recovery process from their blogs, comments, and forums.

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131 Responses to “Chronology of Achilles Rupture to Recovery”

  1. hi there i ruptured my achilles tendon on 6th april 08 on a night out luckily it was at the end of the night. i was left by the hospital for 7 weeks before they decided that i had ruptered my achilles tendon.on 27th may i had surgry and then cast for 6 weeks and the boot for 6 weeks and i have been with out hte boot for a few days am in loads of pain still and have a lot of swellin too. was expecting it to be alot better by now . now been told to be on crutches for another 2 months what joy . it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel at the mo. i have not even been told to go to physio yet which i thought would be the case . has this happened to anyone else and did you fully recover ? sharon

  2. Hi Sharon123,

    Do not be overly concerned, I walked about for nearly 3 weeks before operation. I had nearly 10 weeks in plaster, then crutches for quite a few weeks now just down to 1 crutch. The swelling in my ankle only began to lessen about 2 weeks ago and since then my improvement has been quite significant. It does take a long time and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    The extra time you and I have had is probably due to the delay in treatment. Just be cautious and do not over extend yourselv. Be assured it will all come right all of a sudden, I thought back in June I would never be able to walk properly again, still can’t but very nearly there.

    Best of luck

  3. hello Sharon and Annie, Damage done 15th june 2008. ( squash ) trauma clinic next day, diagnosed straight away In hospital bed the same afternoon.
    I had to wait 3 days for an operating slot.
    Out and in the first plaster for 4 weeks.
    Stitches out …next plaster, 4 -5 weeks,
    Now it’s the boot which is brilliant ! pysio every other week which is a bit slow..But it is getting better and the scar is not too bad just a bit tender.
    I have seen all of wimbledon and Bejing.
    I am and you will soon be on the mend.It is a very very slow thing to fix.

  4. hi annieh
    thanks for your reassurance am now 15 weeks post op and am still in alot of pain walk wiv crutches still and i cant walk wiv my foot flat on the ground as my knee twists inwards am bit concerned not got to go back untill oct but now am thinkin it will get better it just seems like fighting losing battle not used to all this sittin around but one plus to that is i have lost nearly 2 stone which is a bargain thanks again

  5. Hi Sharon123,
    I will be 15 weeks post op in a couple days and am also in a lot of pain, walking with crutches and can’t walk with my foot flat on the ground because the tendon is still very tight. I had surgery one week after the injury on June 4, so don’t feel bad that you had surgery late. Do you go to Physical Therapy? As I sit here on the couch, leg elevated with ice, I am in horrible pain because of the stretching I got today at the end of my 14th session…..the woman killed me today :( I too am looking for that light at the end of the tunnel….
    Hope your pain gets better….

  6. hi marianne
    nice to know that there is someone in the same boat as me well you know what i mean. i have not been offered any physio as yet and i cant believe you on your 14 th session the doc yesterday said that he now going to sort physio out for me and also said that it could be christmas before i am off my crutches joy !!!!!
    Do you get pains up the back of your leg too as i do when i am relaxing cant get comfy in bed have to sleep wiv feet out of bottom of bed which looks quite funny as i only short he he !!!! the only bonus i have had from this injury is the fact i lost nearly 2 stone yippeee !!! needed to lose a few pounds and a few more too

  7. Sharon123,
    I don’t have pains up the back of my leg….the pain is pretty much in the bottom half of the incision– very red and sore….also very tight. Occasionally, I will get pains in my calf. I sleep on my side (left side since bad foot is right) with a pillow under the leg/foot. I really don’t have pain if I stay in that position and don’t move around. The pillow is a king size –very long and I lay it vertical under my legs. Maybe that would work for you.

  8. Sharon123,
    I forgot to mention that sleeping with a compression sock on has helped a lot with the comfort also….

  9. hi marianne
    thanks for the tip i will try tonight and let you know the outcome

  10. hi marianne
    well tried it didnt work oh well worth a try anyway used to the lack of sleep thing now anyway . my pain is gettin worse again phoned hospital they wernt much help cant get earlier appointment either so plod on i suppose

  11. Hi Sharon
    sorry the compression sock and pillows didn’t work for you….where exactly are you having pain—leg or ankle?
    How did you describe your pain to the hospital?

  12. Sharon~
    I don’t want to frighten you but you just might have a blood clot if the pain is going up the back of your leg. I had one in my lower leg and it caused discomfort in my calf. When they get worse they move up beyond the knee and into the thigh. Hopefully you don’t but please get in to see a doc as soon as possible. Better safe than sorry because clots are nothing to be messed with. Best wishes and let us know.

  13. hi marianne and matt

    sorry not replied but monitor broke. i get my pain going from the bottom of my foot to the middle of my thigh and then it just stops still in pain still swelling and i dont go back to the hospital till 13 oct . phoned hospital to see if i could bring it forward but they said no . have looked up on the net about blood clots and they reckon that you get redness and swelling but not got that . personnaly i think it is a trapped nerve but it is annoying and still only gettin about 3 hrs sleep a night tossin and turning . never had bags like this before but never mind thanks for your input

  14. I had surgery 10 days after i ruptured my AT, long story but there was a bit of a mess up at the hospital (more detail on my blog) I will be banging on the door for physio when my cast comes off. I tore the ligaments in my other ankle years ago and waited for physio for 3 months………………needless to say it has never been 100% right since.

    Get your physio as soon as you can.

  15. hi everyone sorry not been on for a while my screen broke and only just got another one.well i now start intense physio on the 25 november 26 weeks after surgery. they also reckon i have have complex regional pain syndrome too. and i am im so much pain its unreal . the hospital have admitted liabilty that it was there fault the left me 7 weeks misdiagnosed too and the two senior house officers that missed it are no longer in their employment which means they now have gone somewhere else to misdiagnose other people , so its all goin on as im back on the morphine again and some nerve tablets too . So Marianne how are you gettin? on now it been a few weeks since we spoke hope things are gettin better for you sharon x

  16. Hi Sharon,
    So sorry you are going through so much pain still. I’m week 24 post op now. At about week 22, had a break-through and am finally at or a little past neutral…..ankle still stiff and leg very weak, but pain is much better. I still walk with a cane and not very far….have had sciatic nerve pain and back pain on the bad leg side which has been preventing me from becoming more mobile. But, all-in-all, things are getting better for me. Still a very slow process and each day is different…. I have been thinking about you and hope you get things figured out because the pain part must be really frustrating….Keep posting!!!!

  17. Has anyone experienced a cast that was too tight? I am on my second cast. I had the first one removed so they could inspect the incision and remove the stitches. They then proceeded to set my foot closer to neutral and applied a second cast. This cast is extremely tight with little extra space, to the point of discomfort. It is not too tight, my toes are pink and warm, so I am not experiencing circulation problems. Is it unusual to request another cast? I am not sure if I am being a complainer or is this something I should address. Thanks for any input.

    By the way, this is ATR number 2 for me, I did the other leg 20 years ago. Oh, so happy to be going through this experience for a second time…..

  18. Hi Tim,

    My second cast was really tight too. Mostly around the ankle area. I went back in and they adjusted it. It was burning for about a week before I actually went in! It was more stupidity and stubbornness on my part.

    Give them a call and see what they say. My tech said they do adjustments all the time. I was in and out in about 20 minutes.

    Second time?!? Geez. Hang in there!


  19. Tim,

    I had m cast changed the same as you after 1 week post-op. The first time a nurse applied the cast, and used 4-5 payers of soft padding under the cast. This was a bit hot but fine, very comfortable and I was able to sleep no worries. The second time the surgeon did it, only used 1 layer of padding and sat the “slab” cast so that it sat right on my cankle. HAd the pain and burning all night and couldn’t sleep so went in the next day and had it changed in 5 mins. Apparently this is really common, I would just go do it!

  20. Awesome, good information thanks for the reply.

  21. Well, I’m a newbie to this….ATR on 6.7.09 and surgery on 06.11.09. It didn’t hurt that much after the surgery until the morphine wore off…LOL. The pain meds didn’t seem to help any so dr prescribed some new ones. Got cat naps last night in the recliner. Sounds like this is the beginning of a long road to recovery.

  22. hi,
    I have a question.
    I had my rupture 3 1/2 months ago. I’m already walking for quite a while. I have fysiotherapy every day for more than a month now. I can do already very much. But… i have a lot of pain in my knee (the outerside and in front) and a bit pain in my ankle (the outerside). I feel no pain at all in my tendon.
    According to my fysiotherapist, the pain comes from the fact that my quadriceps isn’t strong enough.
    Does someone recognise this?

  23. Lotte,
    I had similar knee pain for years, from a combination of old knee injuries (high school knocks and bruises and cycling overtraining) aggrevated by a nasty ankle sprain.
    I had som physio and targeted exercises which did little, followed by an arthroscopy, which made a marginal improvement.
    What finally _fixed_ things (until my ipsilateral ATR anyway!) was taking up road cycling again and really working on the quads. I did this by pedalling with one leg, low cadence (around 70-80rpm) and high power. Basically I would do a 15 mile out and back ride, doing the out lap with both legs, and the back lap with one leg, and trying not to drop below 30km/h.
    It worked well enough that I was able to do thing like run the last couple of days of the Inca Trail, and do theTorres del Paine 8 day hike in Patagonia (fully laden) with minimal pain early this year.
    You should also make sure you religiously stretch your ITB and hip flexors as these can tighten up from quad exercises and cause their own problems.
    Dylan (dsut4392)

  24. I just am in the 2′nd cast after surgery. Had the AH streched back out , bone peices in the ankle removed and 2 anchers put in the ligament to put that back together! Its been 5 weeks and not feeling to bad at all. I did come down today on the bad foot when a cruch slipped out from me. I put all my weight on it 2 times befor falling on my butt! That one called for a pain pill again. I have not even taken 1 of those for over a week. I guess really I am wanting to know if I should call the doctor and tell him about the fall or just let it go????

  25. Hello All. I Ruptured my Achilles Tendon last Sunday. Surgery is tomorrow. Can’t tell you how depressed it has gotten me. I work out 5-6 days a week and the idea of being “ouy of the game” for 6 months is killing me. Hope the surgery goes well. Thanks for the venting session.

  26. A lot of us here know the feeling of being “out of the game” for several months. I had my ATR on July 27 and by that time had cycled a bit over 2000 miles and was training for a sprint triathlon. I am finally back on my bike trainer and can start swimming but running is still a ways off.
    The best advice I can give you for after surgery is elevate your injured foot as much and as high as possible. If you aren’t in a cast, use ice packs on it too. Some people experience very little pain while others experience pretty intense pain. I had some pretty intense pain and also some very painful muscle spasms. If you know what pain medication works for you be sure you get a prescription for that and not something that may not work. 2am is not the time to discover your pain medication is useless. Once you get your sutures out, pain careful attention to the incision. If there is drainage and it smells foul, call your doctor immediately. Blood flow to the area where the incision will be is not very good and healing can sometimes be difficult, not usually but it can happen and infections need to be caught immediately.
    Good luck and remember that you will eventually be back in the game.

  27. I forgot to mention that the worst of the pain usually subsides after a few days.

  28. Thanks for the encouraging words Gerry…..only thing possitive about the experience is I will appreciate my health much more when I’m back to 100%. I took it all for granted. Take care.

  29. Six weeks past surgery on Achilles Tendon - in boot -trying to put only 25% of weight on foot while using walker - finding walker and percentage of weight thing a little discouraging - doing exercises and hoping to get better - good to know you are not alone in this struggle - thought getting around by now would be easier - Thanks for all the messages

  30. I had Achilles tendon surgery at the end of January, was in a cast 3 weeks, then had the stitches removed and was put into a walking cast with a cast shoe. I used a scooter to get around, as I was not supposed to bear weight for 3 more weeks. After a total of 6 weeks, I was put into a boot and was started on physical therapy for 12 sessions (which is all Medicare would pay for). I wore the boot about two weeks and took myself out of it because I felt I wouldn’t get better with the boot on. I started back to work part-time a week later. This is May 31, and I still have a lot of swelling after being on my feet 3-4 hours, and my ankle hurts. I used a compression sock for awhile and it helped, but I cut it off and now it’s too short, so stopped wearing it. I am still stiff in the ankle and have some cellulitis going on, as well as considerable swelling at the end of the day.

    When they did the surgery, they cut 2 cm of diseased tissue away and had to take the hallas vagas tendon from my big toe to bridge the gap. The orthopedic doctor said it was one of the most extensive Achilles tendon surgeries he had ever done. He cut from just below my knee all the way down to about 1/4 inch from the floor.

  31. What does your doctor say about all this? He/she is really in the best position to be answer your questions. You say you started PT but you don’t indicate if you actually had all the treatments.

    For the swelling, elevation and ice are the best remedies but they are really a short term fix, not a permanent solution. Walmart has compression socks and I would recommend getting a pair. I wore a compression sock every day for quite a while and it helped. Are you taking antibiotics for the cellulitis?

  32. Antibiotics cure cellulitis??

  33. Cellulitis is not related to cellulite except etymologically.

    “Cellulitis is a diffuse inflammation of connective tissue with severe inflammation of dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria, and often occurs where the skin has previously been broken: cracks in the skin, cuts, blisters, burns, insect bites, surgical wounds, or sites of intravenous catheter insertion.”

    “Treatment consists of resting the affected area, cutting away dead tissue and antibiotics, either oral or intravenous.”

  34. anyone have any advice on clothing that can go over this cast?

  35. I already had some “convertible” cargo pants, with legs that zip off into shorts. I mostly wore them, with “that” leg zipped off. It was winter, and my knee was exposed above my boot, but I didn’t freeze it. Sweatpants work, too, as would those “tear-off” pants with the Velcro up the sides.

  36. I completely ruptured my achilles after years of tendonitis on Easter Sunday. Had the surgery a few days later. 6 Weeks in plaster and a weeks intensive physio got me walking unaided. I have just completed 5km on a tredmill 4 months after surgery. The hospital are in shock at the speed of my recovery. I have walked at least 2km on it every day since the initial physio and i think i am getting the rewards for the hard work….much of it is confidence!

  37. I ruptured my achilles tendon on june 30th 2010. it popped on me while running in a softball game. I did ‘ nt see a doctor until a month later thinking that it would heel itself like any other old sprain. Boy was i wrong about that…….. At first i could not do any thing on my foot.I could not even walk in the pool, or do a calf raise in the pool. but now after 3 months i feel much better, but have now, not seen very much improvement. I can run forwards and backwards in pool. do single calf raises on bad foot(in pool). I can now walk without a limp, but have a small tightness in my achilles. Where as before it was a very long tightness, around 6 inched long. Now it is only around 2 inches long.

    I have also been using a TENS unit a lot to assist me in healing. I trying my best to avoid surgery, if at all possible. But my goal is: if i cannot do a single calf raise outside the water in one more month Dec 1st 2010, i then will have Doctor schedule me for surgery.

    I can do all of the cardio machines in the gym, except for running treadmill. I can do them for a span of 30 minutes straight. I still cant run or do a single calf raise on the bad foot. Also i passed the Thompson test. Also i did not do Thompson test at first.( did not know about test until recently.)

    It seems that i completely tore my achilles, but it seems to be slowly healing. I now decided to see a specialist for my foot. who tells me i will need surgery to repair the tear. He says it has healed wrong.( order pending for MRI to confirm his diagnosis) I took a long time to go see a specialist because i have been under the knife too many times. I would like to think that i can do this without surgery.

    Iam grateful to have come across this site, it has a lot of info.

  38. Welcome to the wonderful world of cripples! We’re had people here before who went for weeks after the rupture before seeing anyone but I believe they all went straight to surgery. I think you’re the first who didn’t and since it had been a month since the rupture you probably should have gone straight into surgery. You actually sound like you have and are healing pretty well. Being able to do a single leg calf raise at six months post-op is not common so I’m not sure your expectation for December is reasonable. What does the doc mean by “healed wrong?” Even if the MRI confirms his diagnosis, which is a pretty odd one, I would get a second opinion. They can put the MRI on a CD and you can take it to anyone who has the capability to read it.

    Good luck and please read the third paragraph on the main page and follow the instructions to get your own blog. All of us will be really interested in your progress and it is really much better to have your own “space” here instead of trying to find some place appropriate to post.

  39. DoYouSki: (BTW, both Gerry and I ski a lot, and he’s even an Instructor!)
    I’m curious about how you were treated, non-surgically, after a month of waiting for it to heal by itself. If you start a blog, please share the details!

    If your tendon seems attached and strong (though your calf muscle still isn’t), then the only “healed wrong” I can think of is that the tendon may have healed too long. That is a hazard, especially with untreated healing. The simplest indication that it’s happened is if you can lift your toes much farther than before, or much farther than on the other side.

    That ability is no problem (obviously!), but it usually is accompanied by an INability to push them down as far as you’d like, and as strongly as you’d like.

    Several people here have healed long, with or without initial surgery. Some have chose to live with a functional deficit, and others have gone for a “late” operation to shorten it. As I recall, their surgeons were often much more cautious about making promises than is the case for the “early” surgery, but I think they’re mostly coming along OK.
    Mazmouza and Tomtom are two of the bloggers here that had that problem, and their blogs might help you.

    Gerry’s quite right that many ATR “victims” who end up healing fine can’t do a 1-leg heel raise at 6 months, so that’s not a great test.

    You say you have a small tightness in your achilles, that is getting shorter. Is that an area where the tendon seems to be “stuck”, and drags other tissues (and maybe your skin) along with it, when it moves? If so, it’s what’s called an “adhesion”. In my experience, most Physiotherapists LOVE to get the chance to break these up, and to help the adjacent layers of tissue slide freely past each other. If you have (or can afford) access to a Physiotherapist, it’s probably worth a try. A good PT might also give you a useful opinion on your other issues.

    Good luck!

  40. Bradannarbor is also a ski instructor.

  41. Thank You GerryR & normofthenorth, I will take your advice and start a new blog of my own.

    In regards to your questions you had re: my recovery.

    1: Docs comments re: healing wrong:

    Answer: Doctor says tendon has healed too long, and will repair it by cutting and borrowing some tendon from my big toe. He says I should not be able to stretch my bad ankle more that my good ankle. My comments were, yes it is true, because I would like to think it is due to my stretching out the calf every day. And not the good calf at all..

    2: Small tightness: no skin irritation at all, no gaps also, just tightness, no pain there when squeezing. This is just slightly below the area where it popped on me initially.

  42. Addendum to above:

    1: also I can not notice bad foot stretching more that good foot. But doctor says it is. He also says that calf is much smaller. To my and my family we say it is very close in shape, and size. It may now seem to me that Doctor sees that i have insurance and wants to get me in ASAP under the knife.I think i will get a 2nd opinion.

  43. So what is he downside of healing long? If you can still ultimately do what you want to do, why is it a big deal? I have never understood this.

  44. I thought healing long prevents the Achilles from plantar flexing as much because it can’t contract all the way. If it can’t contract enough you won’t build enough strength at that range. I have a friend after several years ATR’d who feels he hasn’t regained full calf strength (and he’s a heck of an athlete), I wonder if his AT range has been measured appropriately.

  45. My left calf is still noticeably smaller than my right and I have been full weight bearing and in two shoes since November 2009. Calf size is not a valid criteria to use for deciding on surgery. My PT told me that you start to lose muscle mass in the calf as soon as the ankle is immobilized and that it happens quite rapidly. Does this doctor have much experience with ruptured Achilles tendons?

  46. I agree with Gerry and others that calf SIZE isn’t a big deal, and definitely not a reason for surgery — which will mean MORE immobilization and more muscle atrophy!

    But my understanding of “healing long” is the same as elsurfer’s. The downside of healing long is that it can KEEP you from doing what you want to do. There’s a limit to how far the calf muscle can contract, which always limits our plantar-flexion and heel raises and jumping. If the AT is long, those limits come sooner. If it’s bad enough, and the deficit means enough to you, surgery seems to be the only remedy.

    Doyouski, you should sit on a bed barefoot, and pull your toes up hard (”internally” or “actively”, not with a towel or anything) to compare how far they come up, toward your face. For another test, stand barefoot facing a wall, toes pointing straight at the wall, and bend your knees until your knees touch the wall. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Slowly adjust your foot positions away from the wall, until you can just barely touch each knee to the wall without lifting either heel. Compare the position of your two feet when you’re through.

    If your injured-side toes come up farther on the first test, OR if your injured-side foot can be placed farther from the wall while you can still touch that knee to the wall, that indicates that your injured-side AT is longer than the other one. If not, then not. And the degree of the difference indicates the degree of lengthening.

    Many of us have some or all of your symptoms at your ATR “age” WITHOUT healing long, so they don’t prove anything, IMHO. And they will probably improve with time and exercise, etc. But if your AT is significantly longer than it used to be, your ultimate recovery will unfortunately be limited, unless it’s fixed.

    Like G, I didn’t really understand the part about your tendon flexing when your calf does. Do you mean that there’s a part of your AT that feels uncomfortable or strained whenever you tense your calf muscle? But it’s not “stuck on”, or pulling on, the surrounding tissue?

    BTW, we do have a blogger here (SouthAfrican, IIRC) who got that big-toe-tendon surgery as his initial, “early” surgery. He’s still in early days, but you could read his blog to learn more about that.

    Good luck!

  47. Oops! Doyouski, please ignore my next-to-last paragraph! I was reading two blogs at once, and got your story confused with rherb29’s. Sorry!

  48. thanks GerryR, my doctor is a foot specialist, i not know how many surgery’s he has done for ruptered achilles tendon. I did not feel comfortable with him at all.

    Also FYI, i have not at all used any kind of boot to immobilize my foot. just a simple ankle brace along with medical tape.

  49. Hello everyone, I am 4 wks post-op with a walking boot on. I am in pt twice a week with pwb now. Still having significant pain along the right side of my foot. When I saw my doctor last (two weeks po) he remove my stitches and examined my foot and incision. I told him my foot was extremely numb on that side and he mentioned that there is a nerve that runs along the side of the foot and he saw it during surgery and moved it to the side. He said that the pain I am having is probably just that nerve waking up. I am just wondering if anyone else has had this very annoying numbness and pain that sometimes feels like some one touch me with an electrical current. The tendon itself, of course, is very tight which I believe is normal with some pain and stiffness in the heal and calf from time to time but nothing like the pain I have on the outside of the foot. Just looking for some answers to my misery, hoping it ends soon. I am also wondering if it could be the aggressive treatment my doctor has me doing. I would be happy to take more time to recover if the pain would just stop.

  50. Hi Connie i had same numbness pain on outside of foot That is where most swelling is and the pressure is on that outside nerve .Mine only eased of when i did P W B and swelling was less. That electric current normally occurs when swelling goes down while elevating. The bad news is that mine was ongoing until week 10

  51. Thanks so much for the response to my post. At least I know someone else has this and that it will get better. Ten weeks! Only six to go. I hope. lol

  52. Wondering if anybody can give me advice. I have had right achilles tendonosis since December 2010 (December the 24th it came to a head when I needed crutches to walk). The tendon is split not ruptured. Today a MRI scan demonstrates (from what I can understand) the tendon is 4mm at the proximal end but at the point of the split it is 13mm for approx 7cm then narrows to 4mm at the distal end near to the heel bone.

    I have been told surgery can be done (but may not necessarily help the pain). I am on the waiting list, but in the mean time I have had one saline injection almost 3 weeks ago. I have got gradually worse (Its has to be said emotionally now as well as physically) .

    I should have asked the surgeon this…does anybody know the answer…as its split I’m scared to use it in case it splits more????Especially if I don’t have surgery. I can’t believe I did not ask him about driving, its one of my biggest problems with the right foot. Has anybody got any advice about this. I thought I was in control here but not so sure I have it all together after all.

    Saw a previous post about rock climbing in the boot, I seriously thought about it last week out then acknowledged I would not be able to stand long enough without elevating my leg to belay safely. Also in too much pain to stand for too long. But the thought of climbing again is keeping me going.

  53. Are you in a boot?
    I had severe tendonosis for years and it got to the point I couldn’t do anything. My left achilles was shredded and I had the surgery Dec.1. 2010. I had the “wrap” and my achilles now at 4months+ is steel. I still have some problems recovery wise but no more tendonosis. Surgery is not for wimps(that’s what doc says) It is a VERY difficult recovery and is LONG but if there are no other options..I was at the end of my rope and it sounds like you are too.
    FYI before I had surgery I was in the boot for three months and it made no difference. Once you get so much scar tissue your tendon is effectively “dead”. Good luck and let us know what happens!

  54. Hi, yes I have had it about 1 month. It has helped in thatzat least I can stand up for a bit longer and it definately relieves the pain. Wish I had it longer. Are you back to normal activities??Did you have a cast post surgery? How long were you in hospital?
    really appreciate your advice.

  55. The boot does protect at least. I didn’t find it releved my pain so good that it does for you.
    I had out patient surgery. Find my blog page

  56. Wow…that was weird..I got closed down while writing.
    Anyway, my posts have all my particulars. On recent posts click on “Just when you forget about it” and read previous posts. but yes I had a hard cast for 29 days. it was changed out four times. And yes I am back to normal activities but have some problems.
    Ask anything. If I or anyone else here can help at all it is a great feeling because we have all been there.
    Good luck!

  57. I am worried because on April 20 2011 it wil be 4 weeks with a cast after my achilles surgery. I asked my Dr. If i was getting the robotic boot for another 2 weeks or so, and he says no….its a waste of time and money that I will start therapy right away. I have read many blogs and most use a boot to aid throughout the rehab. Has anybody else gone through this rehab without the Robot boot?

  58. Hey Jerry,

    Wow, it sounds like you’re on almost the same timeframe as I am. I just hit the 4 week mark last Thursday, on the 14th.

    I only had the cast/splint for ONE WEEk, went right into the boot at that point; staples and stitches removed after TWO WEEKS.

    At my FOUR WEEK appointment last Friday, I got the green light to start ditching the crutches and walking in the boot. I had anticipated that and had already started putting VERY minor weight (20-30%) in the 3-4 days leading up to my appointment.

    Considering some, like yourself, are in a cast for 4-6 weeks, I’m HOPING that I’m quite a bit ahead of normal schedule after having a cast for just a week.

    I’m hoping at my appt on May 10 (right about 8 weeks from surgery for me) that the surgeon will put me back into normal shoes and ditch the boot.

    To answer your question, NO, I’m not in the robotic boot (fixed position, heel flat) and hope to not have to use it.

    Good luck!!!!

  59. Jerry,
    I was in a cast for three weeks and initially the plan was a boot, but after seeing my foot and the fact that it was very stiff (probably would not have bent into a boot) , the DR decided no boot! I was weary at first, but after 3 days of trying to walk without the crutches, I was pretty much crutch free. I bout sketchers that had an angle, since I was not to 0 degrees for a while, which aided in my walking! I just partially tore the other one, no surgery this time, so I am interested to see this recovery process!

    Good Luck!

  60. nmcasta82, I’ve never heard of an ankle that can’t be put into a boot. They’re almost 100% open until they get wrapped aroun with big wide Velcro straps, so it’s hard to imagine. Some models even have a completely removable tongue molding that doesn’t get put in place until the foot’s in the boot! Same with the ankle angle. Many people start in a boot with 30 degrees of toe-down (plantarflexion), which is a LOT, and some hinged boots (and ALL heel wedges) can do more if necessary.

    When you say “sketchers that had an angle”, do you mean Skechers Shape-Up shoes, with the rounded sole? As luck would have it, I just bought a pair of those, partly because I’m supposed to power-walk 10 miles/week for my current Cardiac Rehab class. (Long story, on my blog.) Ironically, their sole profile is not unlike that of the two different orthotic boots I’ve worn after my ATRs! (I’m finding them fun to walk in, and maybe therapeutic, too, but my ankle’s fine now.)

    BTW, it sounds perfectly logical that partial tears are better candidates for non-surgical treatment than complete tears. But (1) I’ve never seen a study that tried to test that notion; (2) all the op-vs-non-op studies I HAVE seen dealt only with COMPLETE ruptures; (3) The best and most recent ones (esp. one from 2007 and one from 2010) showed that the non-op treatment, with a fast modern booted protocol, produces results essentially identical to surgery, but without the complications or the incision/scar; and (4) A sub-analysis of the results from the 2010 “UWO” study showed that the non-op protocol worked just as well on large AT gaps as small ones, and also worked the same on low, medium, and high ATRs.

    So a lot of “what seems logical” when it comes to ATRs is NOT borne out by the evidence. It’s also logical that taking it easy, going slow, being conservative, better safe than sorry, would produce fewer re-ruptures, but the studies consistently say that’s wrong, too.

  61. I had my right achilles rupture on March 31st of this year and going on 6 weeks post op. This is the second time this has happened as I ruptured the left achilles 5 yrs ago. This happened when I was playing basketball this time and last time was an ATV injury at work. Once I heard the pop and felt the pain I knew instantly. I have a long road ahead of me but at least I know what to expect and actually this go around seems to be going faster than the first, Im in the boot already and able to walk with out it as well. Still no weight on the ball of my foot but able to walk with the weight on my heel. To all who have ruptured achilles before I know your pain and hang in there people, at least we’ll be able to walk again.

    Joe R.

  62. Nice submit. I just desired to level out that this is one of the greatest deals to the net. Quite good.

  63. I have a completely torn achilles playing tennis. Had surgery yesterday (one week after tear). Will have plasture cast on Thursday (seems early?). I am a very active tennis player and runner. Any idea of how long of a recovery I will have. I have been told 9-12 months. It’s by far the most miserable challenge I have ever experienced. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Email is

  64. hi pelham20:
    My injury occurred on May 10th (also playing tennis), and I had surgery May 13th. I started a blog, to help others, and well maybe just to help pass the time. Let’s compare notes along the way and both get back on our feet ASAP!

  65. Hi Pelham20

    That doesn’t seem early for a cast. I had my surgery 2 days after rupture and the cast…was in that for 3 wks then the boot. I’m learning that 6-12 mnths is the norm for this type of injury….I’m just at 4 months and although I’m doing quite a bit there are still restrictions.

    It is a challenge but the good news is that you do recover….this is a great place to share your experience and to read the experiences of others to help you along the way.

    take care and happy healing as we say here

  66. Hello all,

    6 weeks into my ATR - here’s what I’ve been up to

    Good luck all!


  67. Hi all,

    from reading these posts it seems tennis is evil :o)

    I was playing tennis for the first time in probably 15 years when I went for a ball and heard and felt something that at the time I thought was a racket or a ball hitting my ankle super hard. I actually asked the people I was playing with if they had seen what hit me. Thinking my calf muscle had cramped from this mysterious hit I continued to play … thinking I would play off the cramp … mistake. 10 minutes later as I was hoping around on my good leg .. the exact same feeling … I knew I was screwed ! Sure enough a visit to emerg confirmed my two Achilles tendons had torn.

    What a bummer let me tell you. This was \ June 8th and I had my surgery 7 days later. I was put in boots immediately but had to stay more or less immobilized for 2 weeks. Thank god for parents and friends, I was completely useless. It’s been 1.5 weeks since the stitches came out and on the doctor’s orders I have been walking, in the boots of course. I have 3 ” heels but will be going to 2″ tomorrow. Amazing how you count every minute to the next phase of recovery! I should mention that I am walking in the boots without crutches.

    In my internet research and even talking to people who have gone through this insanely miserable injury, I’ve found a huge range of different approaches and recovery times. I think forums like this are amazing to share experiences.

    One positive to this event is that I had been letting myself go in the last 5 years. Not eating right, drinking too much … I had become a bit of a weekend warrior exercise wise too. So this is a kick in the butt! A bit of a harsh one though I think … but eh!

  68. Hello all,

    I injured my achilles tendon on June 3/11 while playing squash. When it occured it felt like someone had stepped on my upper heel. A shooting pain prevented me from moving my foot in any direction. I thought I had experienced this same type of injury a number of times in previous years, in every case things cleared up after a week or so, not the case with this injury.
    After 4 days I dropped into my local medicentre where the doctor ordered an xray and an MRI. I managed to receive the MRI 1 week after the injury, due to a short notice cancellation! I was back at the medicentre a few days later for the xray results which were negative. After waiting weeks for a call regarding the MRI results I finally dropped in on the medicentre, my results had been filed for 10-14 days without undergoing a doctors review. It was only then, 3 1/2 weeks after the injury, that I learned of a complete achilles tendon tear. My tear is located near the top of the achilles, the tendon was being held largely in place by the surrounding tissue. After 3 1/2 weeks it had started to heal on its own. It had regained some strength, although I was still walking flat footed.
    Within a week I met with an Orthopedic specialist who was indifferent to proceeding with a surgical vs non-surgical recovery. After receiving a 2nd and 3rd opinion I opted for surgery.
    Surgery took place 8 days ago on July 5/11, a full month after injury. I was home the next day. I’ve been placed in a half cast, which runs from the back of my knee to the bottom of my toes, it’s held in place by tensor bandages. I appear to have received approx 25 staples closing the incision. I remove the half cast twice a day to ice the ankle in order to reduce the swelling. I’m back at work while using crutches. The injury is very clean and appears free of bleeding, redness and pus.
    I’ve made an appt to visit the surgeon on July 25/11 to have the staples removed. After reading a few posts I’ll be asking for a copy of the Operative Report. I’m hoping I get upgraded to a walking boot at that appt, but I’m not holding my breath. With a 2yr old and a 5month old at home, any free movement would be a HUGE improvement!

    I’ve enjoyed reading about others experiences, it feels good to know that I’m not the only one!


  69. Hi All,

    Thought I would leave a bit of detail about my experiences. I am a national level high jumper and am only 23.
    I tore my achilles on my run up not physically taking off. I was taken to hospital by ambulance and was lucky to know people who had dealt specifically with tendon surgeons before so made a few calls and arranged consultation the next morning. I informed nurse of this and the were happy to put a back cast on my calf overnight. Next day I was driven to London and met professor, he got me onto the bed, had a brief look and advised surgery because of my age and sporting background. After deliberating with parents i decided the was the best way for me. Had operation 12 hours after injury occoured which for a an athlete the quicker the better…but get different opinoins, do not feel forced into surgery, it is not the only option!!
    For me it was rite and I was in a plaster cast for two weeks and told to put weight on it immediately.
    2 weeks later I went for check up and was taken out of plaster and into the boot with 5 wedges, with 1 wedge to be taken out every 2 weeks. I had first physio session 4 weeks after initial injury, physio didnt do great deal at that point but it gives you a huge psychological boost with someone who understands the panic you are in.
    Physio every week up till now….
    It has been 12 weeks, I have been fully out of the boot for 2 weeks, 2 weeks ahead of schedule. starting driving my manual again this week….FREEDOM!!

    I am able to walk around but still have comfortable pain when pushing off with toes. Not allowed to jog but have been in the gym keeping positive and upper body in shape ready for winter training.

    The best advice I can give is to try to stay positive, it is incredibly frustrating and restrictive. Accept it and see a good experienced physio as soon as possible, surgeons are good at surgery but good physios are the people to get you back moving.

    I still get annoyed and frustrated but push it to the back of my mind and stay positive, think of the future.

  70. That’s a really good account of how I’m hoping my ATR will fix.
    I’m an active windsurfer (was) before rupturing my AT on dry land.
    Did mine on 31st Aug eve, went to doc then hospital the next day, and slapped in back cast and sent home pending call to return following day for surgery. Got deferred a day due to influx of kids needing surgery so in and sorted on 3rd Sept.
    Surgeon put me straight in a boot, with a splint fitted to shin and down top of foot to restrict potential movement, and enough wedges in boot to point foot down keeping tendon short to heal. She had me up and full weight bearing through boot the same day, although she did say that my next 10-14 days needed to be horizontal with foot elevated, but I would have some mobility and independence around the house.
    A cruel twist of fate ….. The boot was massive so I phoned the hospital to see if they could swap it for one that was my size ….. “no problem , just pop in and we’ll swap it over” …. So on the 5th Sept I went back plaster room as instructed. The guy there was same guy initially cast my ankle, and he had already got me the right sized boot lined up. However as soon as he saw my boot and splint combo he looked concerned. His guidelines did not allow for such a mix of fixes and without consultant signature he couldn’t replicate my boot and splint. He was pretty apologetic as he slapped a cast on and sent me off non-weight bearing on crutches until he could contact consultant. He did call me later to confirm a discussion with consultant backed up his action, and a subsequent discussion with the consultant confirmed this. I have to admit to feeling really let down at this point, especially given surgeon who set me up with this had previously recovered from ATR herself so I figured had first hand knowledge of my journey to recovery!
    I have chilled out and kept foot elevated as much as possible, and have post op appt on 13th sept. The cast comes off for wound check then and I’m pretty determined to get a boot fitted at his point, and from there the wedge reduction program is as the surgeon described.
    With this being my right foot, driving looks like being a royal pain in the ass. Like you my transport is manual, not auto. The boot is pretty big so looks tricky to drive in it, even if full weight bearing. I’ve been looking at auto’s but might have to drive them left footed anyway!! Maybe I qualify for a mobility vehicle on short term disability?
    I have to admit, the hardest thing for me to accept has been the potential for 6-9 months off sport! Windsurfing maybe something I can back to sooner than say running and football etc, but I’ve not found any evidence to back this up. Maybe some kayak sessions for fitness before I can do the standing up exercise options.
    Keep us posted with your progress, you are 20 years fitter than me on paper so perhaps it’ll take me a couple days longer ?
    Good luck :)

  71. Hi everyone, great to be reading everybody’s ordeals while sitting in bed three weeks post surgery. I didn’t actually tear or rupture my tendon it was more of a repetitive strain injury (acute achilles tendonitis) through working on a concrete floor for 5 1/2 years. Ach Tendon was extremely sore along with shin splints. Calf muscle was extrememy tight said the Physio. Could raise weight on the left leg that wasaffected. After six months of this, it was not really doing anything, so gave up on physio. We did note that the left leg could flex more than the right. ( thru reading these passages Ii believe that is called having a long injury) I was monitored by GP and specialist and we agreed to leave alone and see how it went. Bike riding was probably the only exercise that didn’t hurt and helped strengthen the calf. Surgery was eventually suggested after nearly 20 months. This was not normal surgery that have read here. My surgeon, under general anasthetic, withdrew aportion of my blood and had it spun in a special machine to remove the platlettes. These were injected into the tendon and a few small incisions were made along the length. The idea of this is to try and help the body repair the tendon of its on accord.
    I had ten stitches,blood thinning injections daily for 10 days (just incase) and leg put into a half cast from front of knee down to the toes at a downward angle, from which I read is the norm for three weeks.Sat around with leg elevated and just chilled as not much else to do. I have just had the cast removed and after two days I am able to slowly rotate the foot in small circles and stretch down and a little bit up without much pain. Physio will start in two days time. My only pit fall was I developed DVT. I had three blod clots from just below my knee to one in the middle of the calf and a substantial one near the ankle. This was extrememy painful with the calf swelling and hot but my foot felt like it had a bag of ice sitting on top of it. When i went to the local hospital they did not even consider a blood clot because it did not follow “the norm”. It took a phone call to my normal physio for some pain relief for what i thought might be atrophy, who suggested an immediate doppler be done. Spent 5 days in bed in excrutiating pain on numerous pain relief tablets and blood thinners. I am know looking forward to water therapy and starting to place weight on this left leg and getting back to work.
    So the moral to this is - if you have any calf pain at all it is worth having it looked into. DVT is not something to be messed around with. i am on tablets now for four months and need to be careful in future operations and ong distance travelling.

  72. Hi Susan, I heard about this treatment via Billyclyde. would love to know how you get on. I had tendinopathy but had surgery in the end. The DVT sounds horrendous. Hope all goes well for you now.

  73. Hi new friends- so glad I found this site. I am running parallel to shootingthebreeze in terms of time frame. I did a full rupture of my Achilles on sept 1/11. Went to emerg w/I the hour and was cast following a phone consult with the ortho doc on call. No appt to see the ortho until sept 12. I had heard rumors they were no longer- in most cases- doing surgical repairs of ATR at this hospital and with the docs who operate out of there. Spent 12 days on crutches and in the cast, saw the doc and discussed what was next. I am a very fit, bootcamp addicted woman and I emphasized the importance of getting back to where I was at in terms of activity level. I did quite a lot of research and reading prior to seeing the doc. At first I was leaning towards surgery, but as I read posts and other info, I kept an open mind about the non-surgical option.
    The ortho doc advised the non- surgical protocol for me and put me in a Bledsoe boot and advised to WBAT and ease off the crutches. At 2 weeks post injury I started the physio process that follows the UWO program . At 3 weeks I am FWB and only use the crutches outside of the house for balance and support on uneven ground, in crowds and on steps. I am really
    committed to the physio process since I went thru a knee rebuild(acl, mcl repair) years ago. In this case, the physio is having to rein me in a bit until we
    hit the 6 week marker but that is good because I am chomping at the bit to get moving again soon. Being on the bike helps and “walking” feels good . i am trying to visualize the tendon reforming and feel like something is happening. I,ll keep you posted!

  74. I have been reading some of the posts here and its nice to know that someone else has been through this and they have answers to questions I might have.

    I fully ruptured my achilles 3 weeks ago in Taedwondo. I am 42, overweight and underexercised which was why I had started taking Taekwondo with my daughters (9 & 11). I had started in Sept., was losing weight & feeling better than I have in a long time so this injury really sucks.

    Due to health reasons, I opted for the non surgical approach. I am in a cast until my next appt on Dec 2nd when I will be fitted with an air cast.

    The hardest part of all of this is not being able to do anything around the house, for the kids and my part time job cleaning houses came to an abrupt stop too. I thank God for my husband and parents and all the work they have had to do in the past few weeks. I really hate not being able to walk my girls to the bus stop in the morning…..and the dog is suffering too since I can’t walk him every day. Just glad to hear that this is the same for everyone else too and I’m not alone.

    I notice that most of the bloggers have taken the surgical route so I would really be interested to hear from some of those who have taken the non surgical route. I have been battling the flu as well so I have been quite sedentary but that is better and want to do what I can to improve my healing. I have some weights here by the couch and was planning on using them while channel surfing. I have also done some leg lifts while sitting here hoping to strengthen the legs especially because I have a tear in the cartilage of my good leg.

    I look forward to checking on my progess during these next few months.

  75. Hi all,
    I had a quick question in terms of rehab timing. I had my surgery on nov 20 and went immediately into a walking boot with crutches. After my first follow up I was able to get rid of the crutches and just use the boot.
    I’m now four and 1/2 weeks post surgery and the boot is uncomfortable. I’ve experimented with just walking/limping in a shoe and there’s no pain unless I somehow stretch the tendon.
    Is there a downside to removing the boot other than the obvious risk of re injury? I have another follow up with my dr next week and should start PT at that time right?

  76. gbpeyton: Don’t discount the danger of re-injury. At this point, the main function of the boot is to protect you from that. You’re probably fine walking without it; but may not be so fine tripping/slipping or banging your foot on something.

    FWIW- I went to two shoes about 1 week later, at 5.5 weeks. I knew that was aggressive and risky, but I did OK.

    If you see your doctor next week, I might be inclined to wait until you have a chance to talk with him. It doesn’t have to be a all-or-nothing decision: you may want to start with two shoes in a controlled (home) environment, but keep the boot a while longer when venturing into more risky situations.

    I’m assuming your surgery was Oct (not NOV) 20. You didn’t say when your 1st follow-up was; usually it happens around day 5. Were you really FWB around day 5?? More typical would going into a boot at the 2nd follow-up, near the 3 week mark. FWB at 3 weeks is still very quick, but sounds more plausible.

  77. I can’t imagine the pain that must be associated with an achilles rupture. But then to be out of commission with surgery and crutches for months would be awful. I wish you a speedy recovery.!

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  80. I’m 2 weeks out of surgery, and just got my 2nd post-op appt this morning where my stitches were removed and my boot was adjusted. 2 more weeks till 90 degrees and PWB!!!

    I was hoping to play some beach volleyball in the summer (July would be 3 1/2 mos). A vendor came in today, who actually ruptured his a year and a half ago, and we talked for a good 20 mins about the recovery and such…

    But, he mentioned that his doctor told him to stay away from the beach for 1 year… 1 YEAR… because of the uneven surface and the give in the sand… even after he was starting to run after 4 mos…

    Does anyone have thoughts about this? I’d love to play on the beach this summer, but do not want to hinder my progress or get re-injured…

  81. Chintown, I’ve ATR’d both sides playing court volleyball and I also play a bunch of beach ball (tho indoors, in the Winter!). Beach vb is actually relatively AT-friendly because of the “slip” on the sand. The uneven surface will seem scary to your still-weak and unstable ankle (not the AT) for a while, esp because you’re spending longer than I prefer NWB & immobilized.

    The Q of when to return to active sports is tricky and controversial. After ~14 weeks, the risk of rerupture should be past, but other reinjuries are still available for a while. Some people can play gently and resume in ~5 or 6 months. Others are fiercely competitive and should exercise longer.

    My ultra-conservative first OS told me to wait even when I could do some full-height 1-leg heel raises, until I could do a bunch of them without grunting and groaning! My 2nd time around, I still don’t have a real full-height 1-leg heel raise after 16 months, but my volleyball (incl 2-on-2 beach & 4-on-4 court) seems as good as it was pre-injury! (I’ve never measured my vertical, but the net heights seem the same as before — nice for court ball, and too damned high for beach! :-) )

    Either way, 3.5 months to play well and flat-out would be very fast. Don’t pin your happiness to it, I’d say — sorry!

    One indication that feet on the beach are more AT-friendly than squeaky shoes on a polished floor: Misty May Treanor won a big collection of prizes and medals playing beach vb, then tore an AT boogying with Dancing with the Stars! Makes perfect sense to me.

  82. hello all, feeling a nice welcoming to the ATR Club. thank you all for your stories. they have all had a positive effect on me in some sense or another.
    i ruptured my left achilles playing football. while my left leg was extended a player some 280lbs stepped on my heal. i knew what had happened rite away. went to the ER and was put in a splint. i was to be seen within the week for surgery but had some issues with my insurance. i was finally seen by my ortho 3wks later. explored my options and was recommended to forego surgery for it had seemed to be healing very well. i was real skeptical about not having surgey because i am a very active 32 yr old Male. i opted out and was put into a walking boot with wedges in it uplifting my heal. i am sched to go in 2maro after 2 wks in the boot. i will update my progress by then. i would love to hear from anyone else that has chosen the non-operative route.
    CAMPINKATE: ive read that you are somewhat on the same path as i. if you could inform me of your progress i would greatly appreciate it.
    good luck to every1 out there!

  83. Hello. I am 17 years old and I am a football player and a track sprinter. 17 days ago I ran in my first track meet. I ran a 100, 4X1 and a 200. After the race i felt some tightness in my calf and Achilles area. I noticed that it was making a cracking noise when i moved it, and it was very sore.The next day it was worse and I decided to see the trainer at my school. He called it Achilles tendinitis, and put me in a boot for about a week. He thought it would calm down fast. After 8 days in the boot, it wasn’t making any progress. He took me out of the boot, because it obviously wasn’t helping. I did ice baths, whirl pools and ultra sounds. for the last 17 days now. It doesn’t seem to be making any progress at all. Still quite painful and stiff all the way up to the calf when I walk. The trainer is puzzled at this point and so am I. I have a doctors appt for this Wednesday, but im not sure what he can do because i don’t think that it is torn because if it was, i doubt i would even be able to walk. Someone with any ideas please help. I also want to know that if i am able to recover soon, should i go back to track, or not because i don’t want to re injure it and risk my football season. Thanks.

  84. Glad to hear you have a doctors appt…You have to treat this very seriously, hopefully it’s something that won’t be all that bad in the big picture but you’ll only know if you get whatever is going on diagnosed by someone that can definitively answer that question…I wish I had gone to the doctor sooner, thought I had tendonitis as well and was wrong, it was a partial rupture that I couldn’t tell because the rupture wasn’t very noticeable…My tendon didn’t feel all stiff like yours does but would feel a sharp burn when I tried to exert myself…I went @ 2 mos. before I was diagnosed and had made it much worse by the time I saw my doc…Anyway hope all goes well for you. Let the doc tell you if you can run also.

  85. Thanks ultrarunning316. I am just annoyed at this point because i feel like it shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it just wont get better. And i def don’t feel like its torn, because the pain isn’t awful, its just constant. I’ll see what the doc says/does. And you said you had a partial rupture? What is the recovery/treatment for that? Did you have to have surgery? I hope that’s not the case. and how did it feel? just pain? thanks again!

  86. Hey Chris, I am 54 a lifelong runner and have tendonosis in my left foot and have gone into a boot after fighting it for 6 months with eccentric exercises and physical therapy to no benefit although the boot does help some. You may want to get an MRI thru your doctor to see what’s going on inside the tendon it’s most likely thickened and inflamed as your injury seems recent. Eceentric calf muscle heel drops, ice, perhaps the boot and orthotics are near term options to ask your doctor about. You may have many small micro tears in there. Ultras advice is very sound to take it seriously until u get a handle on what’s going on. Surgery is usually a last resort for tendonosis after many conservative options have been exhausted. I may need surgery in he end but am trying my best to let it heal naturally. Getting on it early is important to prevent further damage. All e best on it and keep us posted!

  87. Thanks for reading and replying to my post Xpf72q. Lets just hope that it starts to get better on its own. Good luck to you as well.

  88. Yeah some pain…I knew something was wrong when I was running but I have some strong legs which I think camouflaged the severity…The real pain didn’t start ’til I worked until I couldn’t take it anymore…I went non-op, I detailed my treatment on my blog page…You can access it through the main page, just click on my name in my last post. I think I’ve detailed it pretty well there.

  89. Hi everyone!
    I am 14 days post-op tomorrow and was hoping for some expereienced input. I am in a toes-to-knee cast, and I have my first follow up appt on Monday. Do you think it is it too soon to start some light upper body strength training? I, of course, plan on asking my surgeon and following his suggestions, but what do you think?

  90. Hi everyone!
    I am 14 days post-op tomorrow and was hoping for some expereienced input. I am in a toes-to-knee cast, and I have my first follow up appt on Monday. Do you think it is it too soon to start some light upper body weight training / core work? I, of course, plan on asking my surgeon and following his suggestions, but what do you think?

  91. You know how to access it from beginning to end the main page, just be on the same wavelength on my name in my last post. I think I’ve detailed it good-looking well there.

  92. I think this is the fabulous natural byproduct your body manufactures during a good workout though it takes about six months of regular exercise to experience it.

  93. Well, I ATR was finally diagnosed 2 months after it happened (Last May). At first, I thought I had just badly sprained my ankle during a basketball game. After finally getting the insurance to approve the MRI the Ortho Dr. said it was ruptured and hadn’t even begun to heal and requested that I be seen by a foot and ankle specialist. I finally met with him a week ago and he says the tendon still hasn’t heal and will need reconstruction surgery to be repaired. At the moment I’m still waiting for approval for my surgery and the doctor said it a 8-6 week total immobilization before I can get fitted with a boot. To be honest I have had a hard time finding information on the surgery. He said the procedure involved cutting part of the center of the tendon out and folding was was cut out and sticking that to what from the other side of the tear. HE also said they might need to use part of a tendon/ligament form the left side of my big toe, if it needed to be strengthen. I hoping I can find someone who has had any similar reconstruction surgery such as this other than just stitching the tendon back together. (Post-op, recovery, etc…) Thanks for reading

  94. Hi all,
    My injury is maybe slightly different in that my achilles didnt snap but came away from the calf muscle instead. Was injured in gaelic football on a sat and was operated on the following tuesday. That was in july of 2012 and had the cast and then the boot and spent almost 3 months in wheelchair but got out eventually and got walking with crutches and then without crutches with loads of help from a fantastic physio! Was doing really well, i thought, driving and walking short distances but along came Christmas! Not sure what happened but now am on sofa with ice pack and really swollen scar and am going back to surgeon in morn for scan. Physio thinks i have done some sort of damage to tendon but not sure what. Am dreading tomorrow because am afraid i will need more surgery and just cant face more wheelchair time. Anybody else have same experience?

  95. Had good news today! Tendon not snapped but have acute tendonitis instead. Am back in dreaded airboot with crutches and am taking ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Complete bed rest for four weeks and hopefully back to physio after, all going well. Apparently i did too much too soon and am very lucky not to have torn the tendon so be careful out there, take it slow or you will be back to where you started.

  96. I’m 1 week post op from a full rupture. My surgeon is pretty aggressive regarding mobility. Cast came off yesterday. I’m in a walking boot with orders to put as much weight on the boot as I feel I can, which is not much at this point. But getting the cast off and being able to gently move my ankle around, even just for this one day, has made a world of difference. I feel much better already. I get the sutures out in another 2 weeks. After that I begin PT. I find myself desperately wanting to go to the gym and work the upper body erg…


    I had a complete rupture on June 15th and surgery on June 17th. Massive pain post surgery for first day. That is much better now when I am lying down (on meds).

    However, as with everyone else i get massive pain when I stand up on crutches (NWB) feels like foot is on fire/exploding. I know this as i go to bathroom. I want/need to get back to work (desk job) and am wondering if i just left my foot down for longer than just a couple of minutes if that pain will dissipate.

    Or is that going to go away altogether soon (i am day 4 post-op). I don’t want to experiment letting it down for 3, 4, 5, 6 minutes if the pain is not going to dissipate. I will keep foot up at office but I will have to get from parking lot to elevator etc. etc. By now i would have thought carefully hopping around on crutches would not be so painful. Appreciate any advice.

  98. Hi @bionic - I had a partial tear on 6/1 and surgery on 6/5. My surgeon does not want me to go back to work for many weeks. Today I am about 2.5 weeks post surgery and there is no way that I could make it through a work day right now. My arms are getting stronger due to using crutches but I tire quickly. I have also noticed that I get that icky burning pain when I do not prop my leg up high enough. The stir craziness is killing me at this point but I am trying to keep to my surgeon’s recommendations in order to promote healing. Can you take it easy for a little while longer before returning to work?

  99. Elevate and keep cold! Roll About Knee Caddy was also a life saver. Unfortunately as much as we all would wish, it takes a really long time for tendons and nerves to heal.
    Good luck!

  100. SUCCESS!!
    I notice that most of these posts are vastly different from my experience so I feel it is my duty to share my story. I suspected that I tore my Achilles playing basketball on June 22. I foolishly thought that I would wait and see if I recovered without medical help. I then re-injured the Achilles on July 23, a trip to the ER and an MRI confirmed that I had 90% rupture of the tendon and a torn calf. July 26 I saw an orthopedist and he feared that I had complications due to the scar tissue that had already formed over the month of healing. He recommended that I see a foot & ankle specialist in case I required advance surgery. Saw the specialist on August 1 and received my surgery August 4 without complications. I needed surgery from day one the doc said, so don’t wait if your reading this, the quicker to surgery the better.

    This is where my story changes from almost everyone else. From day one I had zero pain, no joke. I was in a cast for 2 weeks, sutures were removed and was put into a locked boot at this point. I was expected to be in a boot for 10 weeks. 2nd appointment post op 2 weeks later the lock was removed and I was allowed to ditch the crutches, I started PT with emphasis on strengthening the core, hips, and quad. 4 weeks later at the 3rd post opp appointment the flexibility in my Achilles resembled my healthy foot. The doc was shocked and I walked out of the office with my sneakers on and he requested that my physical therapist begin strengthening the Achilles.

    I have had zero pain through the whole process, even now that the PT has gotten very aggressive. I am doing calf raises at 9 weeks and my physical therapist is surprised at my progress at every turn. I am on the fast track to full recovery and I feel blessed to have had such amazing results and I boast not to one up the previous stories but to provide hope to someone else that is scared or worried. You can beat this and it might not be as bad as you think.

    *I believed that I would recover quick, sounds corny but don’t doubt the power of positive thinking!
    *I ate extremely healthy, lots of vitamin C, omega-3’s, proteins and about 500 extra calories daily, your body actually uses more calories trying to heal so don’t skimp on this one.
    *I exercised however I could from day one, push-ups, sit-ups, resistance bands, sit and be fit, she is on PBS. Seriously helped me recover.
    *I moved my foot cautiously as much as I could as soon as I could, like day 2, even in the cast.
    *I followed the PT routine to a tee and pushed myself within reason. The quicker you get your strength back the better.
    *I drank over a hundred oz. of water a day and always took a multi-vitamin.

    I really truly hope this helps someone achieve similar results!! I made this fight very personal and I feel it made all the difference for me! I do realize that everyone heals differently and I obviously had some luck involved. However, the doc and my physical therapist confirmed that pro-active patients always heal better, don’t wait to get better.

  101. Hello there,

    I am now three weeks post operative and am still experiencing a fair amount of swelling when putting down my foot. Is this normal?

  102. It’s pretty normal, Michael. I posted a blog page WAY later than you are, with a title like “This swelling and elevating is getting OLD!” And I was non-op, which MIGHT mean less swelling and fluid-surging with gravity. Keep fighting the swelling, for 3 or 4 reasons. RICE.

  103. 1st 3rd week Visit. Doc said give it two more, then we can try a good athletic shoe. Any advice on this? He said I had a linear (partial rupture). North South vs East west is the way I understood it. Narrow vs wide. More or in the inside of the lower right foot area. No MRI but he ran his hand and said he could feel that is was progressing forward in a good way. Not sure how he could tell with just his hand. He told me to ice only if it ached and then some heat. To keep blood flowing and warmth to the area during the day he said to wrap it saran wrap, tape it up, a light compression sock over that, then the boot. My body heat would warm up the sweat and thereby create moist heat over that area over the course of the day. Next scheduled meeting in 3 weeks. He said when I am in bed at night to lightly rotate ankle, point toes if I can ans I can, slightly raise them, move toes. Therapy later would involve ultrasound among other things. I figure I will stay the course with this doc until after my next visit then I will go with a 2nd observation and opinion.

  104. Jake, have you told us the earlier part of your story anywhere? Without a blog that lays it out in one place, it’s very tough for anybody to get your history, and without that it’s hard to give you “non-medical” advice. I gather you had a problem, went to a Doc (somewhere) and you’re being treated non-surgically in a boot?
    No idea how promptly after an injury you started the treatment, or what the injury was, or where you are, or what protocol (if any) you’re following, other than the few details you’ve mentioned.
    About those: If you’re getting non-op treatment for a (partial, longitudinal) ATR, then getting into 2 shoes at 5 weeks in is pretty early. Are you FWB now? Send that email (see the Main Page) to get a blog, then install the ATR Timeline widget and share the details, and maybe some of us can help.
    There are others posting here who were diagnosed with longitudinal separations of the AT fibers, as you describe. You may be able to find some of their stories with some creative searching of this website.

  105. 1st day post-op. I had osteotomy and ATR. I had a nerve block, but it is nearly gone in 24 hours. The discomfort is substantial, but manaegable with pain meds. The key IS the above heart elevation. Any less equals more pain. The ice does nothing, the splint is too thick.
    I am using a walker with my leg dangling. It is better than crutches at this point. It is vital to have someone to help. I had 2 people help me out of the car, and if I haven’t, I could hace fallen.

  106. While elevated, put ice pack behind your knee. It will send “cooled” blood to the foot and help with pain. My doc recommended that and it worked well for me.

  107. I am 1 week 3 days post surgery on my left achilles. I injured mine playing flag football. The MRI said that the tendon separated 5 cm from the heel bone. But once the dr. got into the surgery it was 8 cm off of the heel bone. With about 20 % of the tendon still attached. After going to my 1 week check up dr. seemed to be a little concerned about me maybe having a small limp or something, and that it’s possible I may never fully recover….. Because of this I am very worried that It may not heel correctly and I may not ever be able to walked correctly again? Any answers or similar recovery story’s would greatly help as I am very depressed…. I stopped taking pain meds about 3 days after surgery because I am in no pain. Just more discomfort from being in a splint type cast. I thought that this was a great sign because maybe I am heeling a little faster then normal….

  108. BrandonRucker — My MRI showed I had two Achilles injuries in my accident, partial tear off the heel (requiring titanium screw with sutures so Achilles and heel grow back together) and a complete detachment of Achilles from calf. I am near 5 months post-op and I am recovering fine. Why does the doctor think so early on that you will have a limp? There are other folks on the AT Blog who had complete removal of Achilles from the heel and have recovered. Read about other similar recovery experiences on AT Blog (start at the Main page, tracker, use search box). Consider starting your own Blog. I think you will find folks here are supportive, helpful, and there is a lot of useful info on this Blog. It is hard in the beginning to imagine, but things definitely get better over time.

  109. Cardiojunkie,

    I think he’s worried because for some reason he couldn’t screw the tendon back to my heal because it was shredded. So he had to use sutures… do you think that without the screws it will heel back to the bone perfectly fine? Dr never came out and directly said that I will walk with a limp he just said that there is a chance… maybe I’m over reacting because I’ve never had anything like this happen to me….

  110. Brandon - The MRI says my AT was retracted 3cm and there were frayed fibers for 2.5 cm at the tear. The titanium is embedded inside my heel bone and there are two sutures to attach the tendon to the heel bone. One of the first things my doctor did at my first follow-up was get an Xray of where the anchor was situated. He said that tendon contact with the heel bone will let them grow back together. I was in a splint NWB for extra two weeks and in two-shoes for extra weeks because my doctor wanted to be more conservative and allow the AT to attach and grow back properly. I would say don’t worry about hearing others on this blog go FWB early because that may not be the case for you. Of my two injuries, the one at the heel was the toughest to recover from. But I stayed positive, focused on recovery, and better days ahead. Yours sounds worse, but if your doctor is experienced, he should be doing his best to guide you through your recovery. There are others on this blog who have posted information on their Haglunds or heel bone spur surgeries which required complete removal and reattachment of AT. Maybe reading some of those may help you.

  111. Brandon - your situation is a little different to most others here. It is less common to rupture or avulse at the heel and it may pose a few extra problems in your early rehab so normal AT rehab protocols do not strictly apply to you. The healing process is also a little different because the surgeon would have debrided the ruptured ends which are different in composition to the mid tendon. The re-attached tendon has to go through an ossification process at the insertion which means it is a bit bone and a bit tendon. Putting stress on the joint early can interfere with that healing process. Bone spur treatment may have some similarities but the tendon is surgically removed so it is already a little bony. I would suggest the attachment method will be of little importance once the tendon has anchored itself but until then sutures are probably less secure than screws. I am sure your doc is erring on the cautious side by saying there is a chance of a limp. You should also ask your doc if there is a risk of Heterotopic ossification around the site. This is where extra bone develops around the tendon. He may have you on medication to prevent it or it may not be a problem with this surgery but it does occur occasionally with some tendon insertion surgery methods.

  112. I would call the Dr office and ask them your questions, pointedly. I think that’s the best way of putting your mind at ease

  113. this is such a helpful site and i hope someone has info related to my boyfriend’s situation. (he’s greek so it’s easier for me to write in english here.) he had a full rupture at the end of April and surgical repair 5 days later on May 3. He had the cast for about 2 weeks then the boot for about 6 weeks. he was pwb at about 4 weeks after surgery and is allowed to be fwb but still isn’t comfortable putting full weight. doc said no pt until wound healed and one part of the wound is still open, so the doc won’t write a prescription for physical therapy.
    This one open wound is still about an inch in diameter, red and white, and shallow. We were going to the doc every other day to get it pricked around the perimeter so the skin would heal instead of scar - at least that’s what the doc said would help. it didn’t really help. 2 weeks ago the doc put white blood cells and platelets on the wound to make it heal faster. (has anyone heard of this?) It’s still about the same size. At that point the doc also stopped pricking the outside so now we just change the dressing and wait. Does this sound right/like normal procedure?
    In addition to this one spot that hasn’t closed yet, over the past month small stitches have made their way up to the surface along the scar where it was healed and have reopened the wound in 4 places. One got infected and the doc popped the abscess and started a week of antibiotics. At a 2-week follow up from that it was still swollen so another week of antibiotics was prescribed. That was 2 days ago. So now there are 4 small open wounds that have been there for about a month (and don’t look like they’re getting smaller) and the 1 bigger one that’s been there since surgery, 4 months ago.
    Does this seen like a typical complication that just requires time to heal?

    We’re going to the doc again tomorrow. Should I request that the doc does something in particular? the docs keep saying that his foot looks great but every time we go there’s a new infection or a new open wound!!

    Also, they say that the wounds are surface and that the tendon is fully repaired.

    Regarding the pt situation, the doc says no physical therapy until the wounds are closed. He also says that walking normally will expedite the healing because it will keep the skin alive and tell it to heal. (is this true?) My boyfriend walks with a limp and is afraid to walk normally mostly because he has no muscle in his lower leg now and it’s understandably difficult to walk using his toes at all. I suggested to the doc that pt was necessary to “learn” to walk normally again but he said no and just told him to walk normally. Not very helpful. So, is it really necessary for him to go to pt to start walking normally? What can he do to recover and regain strength safely with these wounds? I’ve seen the pt guides but they’re all for normal recoveries and I don’t want him to do the wrong thing.
    We’re in Greece so the health care system is a bit different but any and all advice would be much appreciated!

    Please tell me if you have experienced anything like this!
    Thank you!

  114. Hey there I’m new to this blog 1m 48 and had a full rupture playing basketball . I had surgery and am 2 weeks out of surgery . I have a cast and think I’m in this cast for another 5-6 weeks until I get into a boot. The pain was bad after the nerve blocker wore off for a few days. Weened off the percecets but nighttime pain is really really bad . Does anyone have that . Also my calf hurts and almost seems Charlie horse. Also the heal area feels crappy. The night is absolutely the worst . I was taking a bunch of Advil but stopped. Hope to get stitches out next week… I have been using the knee walker instead of crutches. I’m miserable !!! I can’t do anything for my family . It seems like such a long road …Any help or advice to get thru this nightmare :(

  115. Hi arib. Had a full rupture too. Same thing - as soon as I stopped the painkillers my calf hurt like crazy. I get tingly feelings at the heel bone as if a whole bunch of needles are poking into it. The only thing that helped me is keeping my foot elevated above heart level. Essentially it means that I was lying down a lot with pillows propping up the cast. The minute the foot goes lower than heart level the throbbing started agiain. I’m just two and half weeks past injury and in a boot now. Still painful though. At the same time I’ve wriggled my toes and moved my foot around a bit and it has gotten better. Can’t wait to start physio and at least slow the muscle atrophy.

    It does seem like a long road and you can’t do anything at home to help out etc. I try to do what I can, like cut and chop veggies while sitting at the dining table, fold clothes, whatever I can do to ease my wife’s load of work while remaining stationary. That seems to help, me for feeling useful and my wife for not having to do that kind of stuff. I’m trying to keep positive, and this site really encourages me in knowing that so many people have come back from this type of injury and doing normal things again. Let’s hope we get back to that too.


  116. Hello everyone great stories. I tore my left Achilles on 11.3.15 in training do probably the weirdest thing (jumping jack). Yeah those things. Had MRI done that night and showed pretty good tear. Man I tell you that mess hurt.
    Dr. did surgery on 11.12.15, it hurt more after surgery than the day it happened. After surgery that night about 3am pain mess wore off and anesthesia pain blockDr wore off, I felt like I got hit by a mack truck. Finally pain mess kicked in, good stuff. Slept and stayed off feet no weight of course. 1st visit Dr. splint foot again, cleaned incision. Second cleaned incision removed staples, got boot put on still NO weight bearing. Been rolling around on grandma walker that you can sit in. Bored out of my mind. Anyone want to come by play cards? Lol. Go back to see Dr. on 12.14.15, hopefully start PT. Achilles feel like sore from time to time if I bare any sort of weight on it heel feel like needless are sticking me. From date of injury it’s been six wks. Just want to walk. I can get over work I’m OK with being out needed a break but just want to walk. Getting cabin fever. Take care folks just wanted to chat.

  117. @ritchie9530 - hey dude keep that leg elevated above the heart to decrease the inevitable swelling. You might have seen in other blogs that swelling usually equals pain. Otherwise, I hear ya- not much u can do with nwb. That’s where I’m at too. Thank goodness for this forum to chat at least.

  118. Hi all,

    Well I’m one of these idiots still doing karate at 44 and I ruptured my right achilles on 2 July 15 whilst driving-off explosively on the ball of my foot to punch a bag. No history of achilles problems but certainly other old injuries and scar tissue in the calf and hamstrings. It’s a horrible injury to have, for anybody. I was at the MIU and A & E the next day and had an obvious gap and failed the Thompson test, and opted for my preference of non-surgical treatment after meeting the Orthopedic Consultant the following week. 7 weeks in a cast with daily Fragmin injections, 4 weeks in the boot and then immediately saw a private physio and started with the theraband, heel raises and stretching.

    The Orthopedics I saw were consistently impressed with the range of motion I had in the time-frame, but I never really stopped flexing my toes or moving my ankle even within the cast as I was so concerned about clots. I took Gelatin supplements throughout and was also massaging my calf daily once I was in the boot and my physio’ seemed to think this had helped my progress.

    Even at almost 6 months it’s a very up and down process, I’ve progressed throughout the gradual therapy to where I can lift almost my entire body-weight slowly on my toes on the injured leg now and walk completely normally a lot of the time, but if I overdo it or do the wrong thing it gets angry pretty quickly so it’s an ongoing balance between doing enough and not too much. I still use cold compresses and infra-red and daily stretches as well. Lots of scar tissue, which can get sore, but the ankle itself is now much less swollen and stiff than it was when I first came out of the boot and doesn’t tend to swell after a day’s work like it did.

    I’m going to do some Neurokinetic Therapy soon to help reprogram my CNS to use the correct muscle groups rather than opt around the scarring and cause compensation problems.

    Good luck to everyone here with recovery and take it steady!

  119. Achilleslaststand. Please do not call yourself an idiot yet. I began my martial arts in 1958 and suffered my 2nd ATR in 2015 at 67. I no longer differentiat karate, kung fu, Tae kwon do, boxing etc. It is all the same just differences in form and training. Martial arts guys tend to over do their training. I guess it is that “spirit” nonsense that they talk about. Spirit is necessary but it is not good to surpass the limitations of our individual physiology. I trained very hard on the heavy bags and the bags always won. Karate guys tend to overdo it, myself included. Take care.

  120. Thanks @michael67, it’s actually quite an unusual injury in my particular karate group compared to knee, shoulder and hip injuries. I suspect my injury may have been contributed to by some quinolone antibiotics I took earlier in the year which are known to be a risk to the achilles tendon. My previous injuries in the hamstring and calf of the same leg occurred during sprinting and sparring respectively. I diversified into BJJ some years ago but still teach Kyokushin karate. My mum and dad still train with me every week at 69 and 71 respectively, and I have another student who is 72!

  121. Osu! Kyokushin is probably the toughest karate fighting style in the world. Very hard on the body. Quick recovery and Happy New Year to you.

  122. Osu Michael! The same to you take care and have a great new year!

  123. Hello, it was 7/26/16 and I was coaching my daughters 11U softball team and I was demonstrating check the runner at 3 and go 1 (I was the runner at 3). Needless to say the 3rd basemen ran me down from behind and my leg felt like I had just been shot by a rifle in my left achillies and I landed hard on the ground. Very painful for a short period of time. I was able to limp around and I finished practice albeit in limited capacity.

    That evening I went to the emergency room and had exray that showed no broken bones. They recommended an MRI to check for soft tissue damage. I called my orthopedic doctor to have a MRI schedule. I was able to get into a MRI about 6 days after the injury. 4 days after the MRI I got the results that showed that my Achilles had ruptured and had a 4cm gap. I was scheduled for doctor follow up 4 days after my MRI that Friday. Ironically my doctor called off sick and had to wait till the following Monday to see him. Once seeing him surgery was the option that best fit my situation. The doctor that I was seeing doesn’t do surgery and the one that I initially was going to use wouldn’t see me for another 2 months. I took upon myself to find another orthopedic doctor that I had seen several years earlier and met with him 2 days later. After our meeting I was scheduled for surgery the following week. So my surgery for my ruptured achillies was 30 days after the injury.

    Yesterday I had my surgery and aparrently my Achilles separated from my heel. I am in second day of recovering and I’m in some pain but honestly felt the pain would have been more severe. I have been taking 800mg ibuprofen to help reduce the pain to manageable level. I am scheduled for follow up in 11 days. Hopefully I will heel in a reasonable time frame. I will keep you posted.

  124. Jumping on this thread in hopes of getting feedback from anyone.
    I never started a blog, but I am at Week 10 ATR.
    Non-Surgical - immobilized in splint night of injury and into BREG Walking boot with 3 cm heel lift 2 days later. From there it was 6-7 weeks NWB on crutches. Over last 2-3 weeks and in 2 steps I removed all heel wedges and I am at least to 50% WB on 2
    I have had 3 PT visits, meeting once a week with ONLY the same take home exercises listed by OP. This past week I was able to take some awkward steps without crutches in the boot. I can now walk one crutch and working to build up quad / hamstring strength.
    I am trying not to push things due to non-surgical approach … but I had a specific issue that I needed some input on.
    I am still having a swelling issue in my foot - the Inversion - top and outside and toes. I am getting much more movement in my toes and flexion in the last few days.
    I feel this swelling and continued ankle tightness is a byproduct of how my boot is set up. I have a neoprene insert that covers the opening between the velcro flap on top of my foot and the velcro flap covering my lower leg. It is a hi not low boot just to under my knee. I wish i could add pictures i took but don’t know how.
    My question is, do I still need this neoprene flap since it looks like a protection against going past neutral, but the boot keep me locked in enough so it won’t do that without the flap. I feel at this point in my protocol my ankle needs more freedom s to speak,
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  125. What my doc told me when he said I could start walking - expect swelling. And he was right. And, 3 weeks later (I’m now at 1/2 time boot, 1/2 time shoe), I still get swelling if I don’t elevate my foot periodically. I can’t say whether you need the neoprene flap - but I doubt it is adding to the swelling.

  126. Hello everyone, I’ve asked this question in another thread, but seems that this one gets more attention. So I’ll repeat myself here.

    I am a new addition to the ATR club. Ruptured mine on April 5th, 2017 playing tennis with my son. Had surgery 2 days later. My doctor has chosen a conservative protocol with 6 weeks of immobilization. First 3 weeks with the cast with the foot in down position. Just had my first post op appointment at 3 weeks and was put in another cast with the foot in the neutral position for another 3 weeks.
    For my next appointment when 2nd cast comes off doctor told me to bring my shoes. He did not think I require a walking boot - its my choice if my tendon is hurting I might decide to wear it - but basically I am back to wearing shoes after 6 weeks of non-weight bearing.
    Has anyone else followed similar protocol? Any comments? What should I expect going from 6 weeks in the cast with NWB to FWB without a boot - in a regular running shoe?

  127. I’ll echo what was said on the other page - I’d definitely be asking your doctor lots of questions about how to safely approach skipping the boot and going straight to 2 shoes at 6 weeks. Quite a few people point to weeks 7-12 as being among the riskiest in terms of re-rupture.

    For what it’s worth, I’m in week 8 post-op and started FWB in a boot at 7 weeks. Even with range of motion exercises starting at week 4 I can’t imagine being in shoes today, let alone trying that without any of the exercises or practice booting around.

  128. Hey Everyone,

    I too am a recent rupture and I cannot figure out how to start my own post, so I am sorry for piggybacking on this one. Just for some background. I am a 29 year old male who ruptured his Achilles after picking up basketball after about a year hiatus due to a bad ankle sprain the previous year. Over that course of time I gained 20lbs of weight and I honestly think my legs just didn’t realized. Unfortunately, after 5 weeks in of playing once a week I took off to drive baseline and felt like someone stepped on the back of my leg. Because the pain was substantially less than my ankle the previous year I hobbled around almost a week before going to see the doctor (in denial). Once I finally went in they instantly diagnosed me with a rupture and scheduled surgery a few days later.
    I am now 1 week post-surgery.
    Now that is out of the way. I have a few questions and would be happy to get any sort of answer.

    1. Does this seem like fairly normal protocol these days? 2 weeks splint nwb, 2 weeks cast nwb, and then walking boot for 4 weeks?
    My doctor said he doesn’t require PT because I would need to learn to walk first. He also said he has no restrictions at the 8 week mark because he knows I will be restricting myself.

    2. I have a desk job so I have been working with my leg up less than a week post-surgery. My leg is not above my heart, but I don’t feel I have much swelling.

    3. This is my main scare question. Last night I had a dream I was jumping and even though my toe is pointed in my splint I woke up because I know I flexed my foot/calf. I can’t say I am in pain maybe like 1.5 but there is slight pressure and a bit of throbbing. Did anyone else experience this? I also am prone to what I would describe as level 7 leg cramps occasionally at night (none this far) should I be concerned of getting one of those and re-rupturing?

    Thanks for everything and though sections of this site have honestly scared the heck out of me overall it has been good reading.

  129. Ka744 - read the 3rd paragraph on the first page about how to start a blog. I can’t say what’s normal since even with my haglunds deformity surgery there are different protocols. My recovery is quite different from shell37 and she had the same problem - though who knows if the surgery was identical. I was 6 weeks NWB - 3 weeks in a splint, about 3 days in a cast and then 3 weeks in a boot (and doing ROM exercises). At the 3 week mark my foot was moved to neutral. I think for ATR you transition more slowly to neutral. I then had 4 weeks (in the same boot) where I could be PWB to FWB. I was able to walk in my boot with no aid of crutches after about 2 days. And, during that 4 week period I slowly transitioned to shoes. He should have you start PT at some point since you do need someone to help you get back to normal operating mode without hurting yourself.

    I would have never guessed, on my own, that I needed to do exercises to strengthen my right glute muscle. When my PT guy checked out the strength of various leg muscles he found my right glute was quite weak. Had I been doing my own PT I also would have overworked my still healing achilles. I didn’t start PT until week 10. I had one visit, have exercises to do (and instructions of what NOT to do - LOL!) and don’t see the PT guy for another month. Shell37 started PT a lot earlier. So - who knows what is right? LOL! My treatment is working for me! I’m walking pretty normally (with heel lifts) at 10 weeks which makes me happy. Next month I get to remove the heel lifts and start working the muscles harder since everything should be all healed up (inside and out) by then.

  130. Quick update.

    As some might remember from my earlier posts - my doctor had chosen a protocol where I was a total of 6 weeks in the cast - 3 weeks with foot pointing down and 3 weeks with foot in 90 degree position.
    On my 6 week appointment doctor told me to bring shoes and I was not sure how will I be doing a full weight bearing without a moonboot after 6 weeks of complete immobilization.

    The time for my 6 week appointment was Thursday May 18th. I brought my running shoes to the appointment. The doctor cut my cast and the leg looked and felt so skinny and vulnerable I could not imagine standing on it at all.

    However he reassured me that I am not going to damage my tendon unless I have an accident and fall off the stairs, but I should use my crutches for first 3-7 days and slowly ease into a full weight bearing. But this is really up to me how comfortable I will feel putting a full weight - as tendon is strong after repair to not tear without a major accident.
    He also told me I can drive as soon as I can walk without crutches.

    I walked out of the office on crutches barely touching my foot to the ground.

    1 hr later I decided to try what will happen if I step on my foot with the full weight - I felt pain but nothing too terrible. So I decided to try to make few steps without crutches - and Or Miracle :) - my tendon did not snap and my leg held.

    When I came home - I took off my shoes and started walking barefoot at home without crutches. I could make only small steps. The tendon was very tight and gave me a lot of pain when I tried to stretch it.

    By the evening my ankle was very sore and swollen - I used an ice to reduce the swelling and then Arnicare natural cream to do a self massage to heal and sooth.

    Next morning (19th of May) the swelling came down, my ankle and foot felt great there was no pain as long as I did not try to stretch my tendon.
    I’ve decided to do a little experiment and put a compression sock on together with a 1 inch heal raiser into my running shoe.

    Then I went out for a little walk - and I felt good - so it turned out to be a 1/2 mile walk first down the hill then back up.

    The foot was swollen after, but not too bad - ice and self-massage with Arnicare was used to get some relief.

    Next morning of the 20th the ankle was Ok again - ready for new adventures.

    With the compression sock and 1 inch heal rise in the running shoe I did the same 1/2 mile after the breakfast - came back and the ankle was not too bad - I gave it a break until after lunch and went for 1 mile walk followed by driving for 1 hour (my driving foot was the injured one). Did not had issues with mobility of the foot for neither break or gas pedal.s

    Compression socks must be helping a lot as the swelling was controlled to the same level as before - but this time after 1 mile of walking and 1 hr of driving with the injured foot.

    At home its much harder to walk barefoot with no compression sock and no heel rise as the tendon is very tight and each step I feel the pull.

    I am starting my PT on Monday (22nd of May) but within first 2 days after full 6 week immobilization I feel that my life is getting back to normal - I can walk at home barefoot (slowly and with some pain), Can walk a fair distances in the running shoes and can drive now.

    Good luck everyone with your recovery and remember we’ve gone through the worst part - it will only get better from where we are now.

  131. Week 13 post op! Achilles debridement/haglunds and spur removal/titanium anchors.
    I’ve not worked since the op.
    I’m a self employed makeup artist. I tried working yesterday on my feet for an hour max and was in so much pain. The swelling and pain continued into the night. Quite sore today. The pain is in my heel at the base underneath and in around the surgery site.
    I just want to get back to ‘normal’ life now.
    Back to hospital next week so will see what the consultant says.
    Is this normal?

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