The First Follow-up visit. Suture Removal

On Crutches

My follow-up visit was after 2 weeks and 1 day.

The nurse removed the cast, and I finally got to see my left heel, stitches and all. Here is a nice picture of it:
Achilles Heel Tendon Stitches

It was a relief to have the cast off since I was able to scratch regions around the incision. It’s been bugging me for a couple of days.

The sutures were removed, and it felt like quick pin pricks. So it’s not too bad. I’ll take that over nauseousness or dizziness any day.

This is how it looked after she was done:
Stitches Out
Overall my heel looked good, and luckily there was no infection in the incision area.

I waited a few more minutes and the physician’s assistant walked in. I was hoping to see the surgeon, but he was busy. The PA recommended 3 more weeks of cast in neutral position (90 degrees) allowing for about 20 - 30 lbs of weight bearing.

This is my new cast. I don’t think it’s quite 90 degrees, but close enough.

2nd Cast

After that, I’ll be moving into a CAM boot with steadily increasing weight bearing until it’s full weight bearing with the brace in the 2 week time frame.

Normal shoes at 8 week mark.

I asked the PA about early weight bearing protocol, and he advised against it. He didn’t give me any concrete reasons why, admitting that the rupture rates are not any worse according to some reviews.

I also asked if I could go into a CAM boot right away, but he recommended that I don’t since people get tempted to take the boot off and if you get sloppy, you might hurt yourself while you have the boot off. As for the cast, it’s on for good, and from the doctors’ perspective, they can be sure that I won’t be hopping around without the boot.

I thought about it some more and decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with the strength of my achilles tendon now anyway, so I asked that I be put in a cast for 2 weeks, and then I’ll move into a CAM boot. The PA said that was a good compromise, and the nurse put on another fiberglass cast on me.

I also asked the assistant if I could see the doctor, but he said that the surgeon was in surgery, and if I really wanted to see him then I would have to wait for a while. I did see the surgeon walking around before, and he did see a few other patients, but I suppose the timing didn’t work out.

I’ll make sure that I see the doctor next time.

I guess this doctor’s recovery protocol is moderately conservative, and I am not in a cast for too long. I am happy with partial weight bearing for now.

Earlier, my friend advised me to get a copy of the Operative Report and Discharge Summary, so I asked for it. The PA said that there was no discharge summary since it was an outpatient surgery, and he was happy to make a copy of the Operative Report for me. After a couple of minutes, he handed me a copy of the Operative Report, and he also filled out my temporary handicap permit form that I brought with me.

Overall I was happy with the visit since the incision is healing nicely, and I am at the partial weight bearing stage. Two more weeks in a cast, and then I should be able to slowly walk in the CAM boot.

I’ve discussed my first visit with other ATR recoverers, and it looks like I received a fairly standard treatment. A lot of them do see their surgeons though so they are able to talk about what the condition of the tendon was like and how the surgery went.

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90 Responses to “The First Follow-up visit. Suture Removal”

  1. Hey there! Your site has been invaluable to me as I ruptured my achilles in 3 spots 3 weeks ago. Had to wait one week before surgery…surgery was on April 14th…so totally now i’ve been in a splint for almost 3 weeks. Is is true that i’ll have another 2 mths in a cast before the boot? YIKES! I’m trying to take it easy..but i have 2 small kids so caring for them doing the every day things is hard. Definitely makes me sympathize with those many other folks that are permanently disabled or are going through terminal diseases. Good days i keep saying this too shall pass…:) So, the PA recommended i take pain meds for my Monday appt because they are taking my staples out and she warned me that it would hurt. How bad of hurt are we talking? :( And, also, can you give me some advice on sleeplessness i’m experiencing. I’m trying to be active in the day. But i’ll sleep good maybe one night, but then have 2 nights where I am so tired but I can’t sleep…up all night. I’ve taken Tylenol PM but that didn’t help yesterday. I stopped taking Vicatin bec i thought maybe that was keeping me up. Any suggestions for getting some sleep would be great. Again, your site has been AMAZING for me…nice to read other’s share same experiences like leg twitching or claustrophobic feelings. Lastly, will the cast be lighter than these spint things i’ve been wearing or will they be comfortable?

  2. Kristen - Welcome to the site. Glad you are finding it useful. I found reading everyone’s stories to be extremely helpful, and calming, while dealing with this injury. I experienced some of the sleeplessness you speak of, however, I’m not sure I have any good tips. For me, I would fall asleep, but then I would wake up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep. I contributed the sleeplessness to anxiety. It took about a week or two before I started sleeping normal again. Hang in there, it should get better.

    Assuming you get a fiberglass cast, it should be lighter than the splint. That makes it a lot easier to carry around your injured leg while on the crutches. However, I wouldn’t say it’s “comfortable”.

    BTW, how did you rupture in 3 spots?

  3. Kristen - I too experienced the sleeplessness you mentioned, I think most of us did. I just kind of struggled through it the first week…and it got much better when I got out of my splint and into a fiberglass cast. I think I slept one night that first week, and it’s because of the extra vicodin I took (don’t recommend it)…but I didn’t like the other side effects of the pain pills, so I stopped those fairly soon after. One thing that helped me was to sleep on my side of the good leg, and put 2-3 pillows between my legs, thus elevating the injured leg. It was more comfortable to sleep…especially for me as I’m not a back sleeper.

    Hope all is well..there are many of us on this site with young kids, so I can empathize with that…watch out for toys and wet spots in the’s how I slipped on my crutches a few times!

  4. Thx so much for your response. Good to know that my fiberglass cast will be better! Yeah..only a couple more days to go. Funny you mention to watch out for things. The day before my surgery I fell down all 10 of my hardwood stairs. I was getting good at going down the stairs holding on to rail and hopping down with crutches on other side…well..I always had a tennis shoe on…So, what do you think happens when you hop down on one foot with a sock on hard wood stairs? Fortunately only my tailbone was bruised…I didn’t want my good foot to be injured or my bad foot…thank goodness for that splint protecting it. And, thx for sleep advice…I hope you are healing great and back to sports. Me, no US Open in tennis for me this year. THX AGAIN!

  5. Hey Tom. My ortho said it was a total rupture but that sometimes the tendon stays as one when it ruptures and sometimes it separates. And he said the three places were twisted too. You can tell…I don’t know much about this yet. :) This site is helping me learn all I need to know. My ortho literally comes in for a sec and never tells me what to expect…so I always have questions and now I can come here! Have a good evening.

  6. Kristin

    Sorry to hear about your rupture.
    The first few weeks are tough on the sleeping. I ended up staying on the recliner with my leg elevated throughout the night. Helped with the throbbing and swelling. As time goes on it gets easier to manage. The fiberglass cast will be lighter, may feel tight initially due to the swelling but if you elevate it within 4-5 days it will feel loose to you.
    Doctor insight…try and make your future appointments first thing in the morning. We are just starting, not running behind and feel as if we have more time to spend with the patient. In tha pm Docs are more than likely trying to catch up and therefore cut down on patient interaction.
    Hope that helps.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.

    Doc Ross

  7. Ryan and Kristen sorry to hear about your injuries :( I am now not quite 2 full days post-op. I slept a lot better last night compared to the first now home from the hospital. The throbbing is most certainly killer if the leg is not elevated. I am trying my best to keep it as high as possible. I’ve got this cast on so obviously I can’t see the site. I hope it’s not bleeding or becoming infected. I wish others the best in their recoveries, thanks for the site, and I’ll be keeping you guys posted.

  8. Kristin - sorry about your injury. I had percocet for pain but maybe used 3 or 4 days…hate it. I also had a scrip for Ambien for sleep and used that for maybe a week. Helped a ton. I’m with Brendan…used pilows in the bed to elevate and liked one between my legs when I was on my side. I also found it helpful to have the foot out of the covers (no weight on it I guess).

    Lamar - good job making the decision and going for it. Better to get it over with, it gets better. I truly doubt it’s bleeding or infected. Follow your doc’s directions on care.

    My other suggestion is ice like crazy. I had an auto icing machine (which the insurance company called a “convenience” and declined to pay for it…I was not happy). The machine is called a “Game Ready” and ices 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. I’ve seen other brands on-line. They pump cold water through a bladder which is wrapped around your foot. I like it because it’s really cold and is on a timer and also provides compression. Another idea is “Dura Kold” ice packs…which work great. There is one specifically for ankles although I just use one designed for knees and it works great.

    Lastly - have your list of questions when you go in…you can quickly get the answers you need and the docs like it if you’re organized. My doc would stand up and say “anything else” as a signal that he was ready to move on but generally he’s good about listening and I didn’t feel overly rushed.

    Take care guys.

  9. Hey Dr. Ross! Thx for your reply. Yeah..funny….I’m always first appt in the morning..but ortho just likes to spend 5 sec’s always. But, I continue to ask questions…and this site is great because it provides much more than my ortho appts! Guess I need to make a big donation huh? I know everyone’s protocol is different…I’m hoping I won’t have to spend a ton of time in a cast. I’ve already been in a splint 3 weeks. I had to wait 1 week for surgery so was splinted then while I waited for MRI and dr to return from vacation. What’s an average length of time in the cast before the boot? And, last stupid question…are you an ortho doctor or a vet? heheheheh…I am SO funny

  10. Kristin..

    When you read each blog you will see that each doctor has their own timeframe on the cast issue. I would venture that 3 weeks of casting is average. A lot depends on extent of injury, conservative vs. aggressive, proactive vs. reactive, etc.
    Stay positive… I am at 7 weeks post op, in two shoes, slight limp due to muscle weakness, no stamina but fortunately no pain.
    We are……….one day closer to the end

    Doc Ross

  11. It’s Day 26 since the surgery… I had to go into the office briefly so I cut a pair of socks to cover up the toes. I suddenly realized it was the first time I touched my own toes since the injury. It was initially a tad painful similar to when your leg falls asleep… the electrical sensation. I realized that in addition to promoting circulation by wiggling my toes, elevating and the other basic exercises, I need to massage my toes as well. This may be obvious but I totally overlooked it. I don’t believe it’s because the cast is too tight… actually the cast feels loose because of the atrophy I imagine.

  12. Hi, there. I’m sorry to say this. But, dude, whoever performed the surgery on your leg did a terrible job - at least with the stitching. How can a doctor do something like this?! When I saw it, I felt sorry. Please make sure you choose the right doctor next time. Hope you’ll getting much better by now. I’m recovering from ATR as well. Just started PWB. Getting better everyday.

  13. Hi Everyone,

    I agree with Dorj, stitching is awful. :) Let’s hope inside everything is done nicely.

    I am recovering from ATR, as well, hell of a thing because I live(d) active sport life therefore I would like to warn everyone to pay attention when something is not normal with your Achilles tendons and go to a doctor because when it ruptures it is a disaster. Usual life is over, no sport for months, nothing.

    Anyway, it happened to me on my best friend’s wedding during dancing but it had antecedent, as well, as I didn’t care with that my Achilles hurt during and after running so everything is my fault.

    Good bless for everyone and take care

    Geza from Budapest, Hungary

  14. I agree with you on the stiches. I had a complete rupture and surgery 17 days ago and I have a one inch horizontal scar about half way up the achilles.

    I’m now in a boot and doing partial weight bearing when walking ( around 25%) my calf is very small and sore from exercising round the garden. 5 minutes walking up and down 3 times a day. I’ve also been taking the boot off and doing VERY small ankle rolls and up and down foot movements. The whole area feels pretty frozen solid but not much swelling.

  15. I ruptured my right Achilles playing soccer and from what I have now read, fit the perfect profile of a middle aged man who forgot that time catches up faster than you think.

    My story is a little different to most here as I thought I had a torn calf muscle (as happened on a similar foolish adventure years before playing rugby) and did not see a doctor until 3 weeks after the event when the pain had subsided but not the swelling. When I finally saw a specialist he confirmed the injury and said I had 2 options - leave it to heal on its own but you will always walk with a limp, or its reconstructive surgery. No contest!

    I had a family holiday booked to fly to the Caribbean a few weeks later and was advised that this would be OK (avoiding DVT of course) as once you get past the injury there is little or no further deterioration.

    Had my surgery 10 days ago (3 months after the event) and all seems well. I’ve followed the advice to keep flat, leg up etc. Little or no swelling for me and stopped taking the pain killers 2 days after the op, so maybe luckier than most.

    Can’t wait to see what’s been done later this week when the 14 day review takes place, but I agree with the other comments about the stitches shown above. Looks like the sort of job I might have done.

    Thanks to all for your contributions as I have read so many aspects that I can relate to, even now.

  16. A brief addition to my last post.

    After the 14 day review I had a new ‘cast’ fitted which will be in place for 4 weeks. The foot was at right angles to the leg and felt quite comfortable. I was told to aim at walking with one crutch by the end of the 4 week period but after some gentle tests in the days that followed, found that I could place full weight on the leg with no discomfort.

    21 days after the surgery and I can now walk around for short periods and no need to use the crutches. Plenty of rest and care is still the order of the day but I’m optimistic that sometimes you can be fortunate in this recovery period.

  17. I am at this stage and thought I would provide my own experience as I’m sure everyone’s varies slightly according to their doctor.

    I had surgery 2 weeks ago. I had my splint removed and stitches removed as well. They cleaned the wound and then fitted me with a boot. I’m still not supposed to be weight bearing but am allowed to let my toe touch the ground (or let the feet rest without weight). This in itself will make things more convenient.

    One thing that’s less convenient is that the boot is way heavier than a splint.

    I have another appt 2 weeks from now and the doctor said I may be able to start weight-bearing then.

  18. Hi guys, typing on an iPhone so apologies for the typos (hehe and the meds may have something to do with it!)
    I’m on day 2 of recovery post surgery. Yesterday was he’ll about 12 hours after surgery. As soon as the nerve block wore off I was in a world of Burt, and that included being heavily doped up on hydrocorone for the duration.
    My teeth were chatering last night from the pain- it was intense.

    My Achilles tear was a little higher than the surgeon expected. I’m not sure why he didn’t look at the emrgency room x-Rays, but that’s another question.
    day 2 I woke up in not as much pain and it’s been more bearable throughout the day, even having a 2 hour period during the day with almost no pain.
    I take the vacoped boot off to apply ice several times daily and I keep the tens 3000 electrical pulsing thing on about 4 or 5.

    Almost bed te and had the doc prescribe me some vali for sleeping tonight. I tried an ambien last night but that only tooke about 4 hours.
    Good luck to everyone else!

  19. Hello Everyone,
    Tore achilles on June 12, operated on June 22. Based on some comments, my doc seemed to do things differently. My incision in on the inside ankle with pain on both sides of the ankle. Changed cast after 7 days. Put on a new cast that will be changed in another 6 days. At that point, the staples come out and the boot goes on and I start rehab. My doc handles a lot of pro and college athletes and I want to be pushed in my recovery. I am 51 but in good shape other than this mishap. I have been told by the PA I should be walking after 8 weeks and feeling normal after another 2-4 weeks after. This is a depressing injury as progress seems slow. The first week is the worst with swelling and pain but it gets better so hang in there everyone!

  20. headduck,

    Don’t be depressed, think of the alternative, a permanently gimpy foot. My doc prescribed a slow rehab but I’m following my own schedule which roughly resembles yours. 8 weeks to walking in 2 shoes sounds about right assuming good health and no complications. After the first few days in the boot progress actually seems very fast with noticeable improvement daily, now 6 weeks post-op and barefoot walking in the house. I imagine I’ll reach a plateau when it comes time for the first single leg heel raise.

    Good Luck!

  21. Will I be ok to fly with a cast on my leg?

  22. At two weeks post surgery, I was unable to have my stitches removed because I’m allergic to adhesives. (A prior abdominal surgery left me with painful tape blisters). Not very happy that I noted this in huge writting on my health history, and told my doctor/surgeon again before surgery. She assured me no adhesives would be used during surgery, but apparently didn’t think through how to care for the wound when stitches came out. Doc left the room, and nurse came into remove stitches. Thankfully I saw the vial of adhesive and steri strips before she pulled out the stitches. So now I have to wait another week before the stitches are removed. Not a happy camper!!

    My concern is that the stitches will start adhering to the new skin/scar forming, and I don’t want this scar to be any larger than it has to be. Cried like a baby and sobbed when I saw it the first time.

    Has anyone had any experience with stitches being in longer than 14 days? Outcome?

    Also I scoured the site for wound care. I couldn’t find anything. Wish there was a specific thread for wound care. So here’s my question.

    Did ya all leave your wound open to the world?
    Use Neoporin or something similar and keep it covered? For how long?

  23. Start a blog, and make one of your pages specific to discussions on wound care!

    I’ve got one that’s semi-specific to studies that compare protocols, there’s one about the (elusive damned) 1-leg heel raise, etc., etc.

  24. As Norm stated, start a blog. We can’t even edit our own posts in this thread and for those of us whose fingers are faster than our brains, that is a huge deal.

    Speaking bluntly, your doctor is in the dark ages with wound care. I became an expert because I had an open draining hole in my ankle from August 23 through October 3. Adhesives are not necessary. I’ve held gauze and Telfa pads on with an Ace bandage and also some stuff that is very commonly used for horses and comes in a variety of bright colors. It’s sort of a cross between an Ace bandage and gauze and sticks only to itself. My local clinic uses the stuff when you get blood drawn. I’m always amazed at what these doctors don’t know but really should.

  25. Oh yeah, I forgot. I had the sutures in for 3 weeks on my third surgery. It was a bit more uncomfortable when they were removed but it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t know how to access the outcome since ultimately that surgery was a failure just like the second one. But, having the sutures in for an extra week will not make the scar more pronounced. Until it completely scabs over and believe me, the scab is a good thing that needs to be left alone, it is best to keep it covered. And never ever use Neosporin. Bacitracin is fine but never Neosporin. Once you have a good scab, it is up to you whether you keep it covered or leave it uncovered. Neither option will change the scar.

    I will have a very pronounced scar but I’ve had four surgeries so it’s to be expected. I’ve seen photos on here where it is not easy to see any scar at all. Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff and believe me, a scar on the back of your ankle is small stuff. Do you do around looking at people’s ankles? I don’t, nothing interesting there.

  26. To augment Gerry’s posts:
    1. the wrap-stuff to which you refer is called Coban
    2. Never, never, never use Neosporin - it inhibits wound healing

  27. normofthenorth, gerry, and ultidad,

    Thanks so much for the support. I’m a girl scars are a big thing. Especially after ten different surgeries. Don’t ask. Everything turned out alright. Not happy with how it looks. A line with holes on either side, but no infection. etc. I never got any scabs. Maybe because I used Neosporin! LOL. Sorry I did and everything went is fine. Used a very thin layer once a day, then guaze, then an ace bandage. The wound gets a little angry looking if I’m on it too long. At two weeks post surger I’m in a HWB walking boot with heel inserts. At week four I’m back to work. Using a roll about parts of the day. Who knows if this is right??? The whole thing is crazy. Surgery versus non-surgery. Cast versus walking boot. NWB versus early EWB. I think I will start a blog. Just didn’t want to seem self-absorbed.

  28. We are all self-absorbed here. Glad everything turned out OK, in spite of the neosporin.

  29. I am 3weeks out of surgery going to doctor in 2 days to get stitches out. I have been in a boot since the surgery. MY wound looks very good except whenlooking closely it looks like the wound is not quite together. In some spots it looks like there is still a tiny slit not coming together. I’ve been workingout and riding exercise bike. Hope I didn’t dotoo much. Feels good though.

  30. Doing anything which can put stress on the incision is NOT a good idea until it is completely closed and the sutures removed. I’m curious why you’re not getting them out until 3 weeks post-op, the usual time is 2 weeks but I had mine out the first time at 11 days post-op. If there is any drainage from the incision, either the sutures need to remain longer or steri-strips need to applied once they’re removed. If that’s the case, you are not doing yourself any favors by continuing with the stationary bike until the incision is completely closed. Did your doctor know you were using a stationary bike? Have you seen your doctor since the surgery?

  31. I stopped the exercise bike and no the Dr. Didn’t know I was doing it. Not sure why the three weeks for the stitches other than thefact the wound is big. I toremy other Achilles two years ago and stitches came out at around ten days. I think the three weeks was needed because it seems like it is just barely healed enough. This will be my second visit since surgery.

  32. Is there still drainage?

  33. No not at all it actually looks great. Its healed pretty much except one or two very small little spots.

  34. Three weeks after surgery , saw the doctor today. He took the stitches out and said it looks great and wants me to start walking in the boot! I’m a little nervous about full weight but I’m excited to ditch the crutches.

  35. LOL…ok freaking out a bit…this is my first visit to first followup…maybe I’ll read everything later. I’m nervous because I don’t know what anything looks like and how long the incision is or is it’s healing properly….or how badly it will hurt to have the stitches removed…

    so…..I’m really hoping all is going well in the cast and tomorrow I will know how I’m doing. I’m also looking forward to seeing the doctor so I can ask exactly what he saw in there. I know it was a total rupture….and I’m assuming that it happened at the ankle because that is where I felt the pop….but…my whole calf was in agony…will let everyone know how it goes….

  36. had my sutures removed and put in a cast today! PA says that i’ll be coming back in 2 wks to have it repositioned closer to a 90′ angle, then it’ll be 2 more wks in a cast, then he said 4 wks in a boot after that. what’s everyone’s thoughts on ice and elevation? i have been doing it every day post op (10 days) even though a nurse said i’d only need to do it 2 days and more only if it hurts. should i just elevate it when it feels uncomfortable? i don’t like laying around, it makes me depressed, lol

  37. Hey Martinthewarrior

    I am not good at laying around either…back at the gym 1.5 wks post-op…but I have to say…ice and elevation soooooo important. If you check my blog I was just talking about the whole ice/elevation thing….and I’m going to be doing it at work as well… I cannot believe how much swelling there is. By the time I’m done my day…I’m soooo ready for ice and elevation.

    If you keep reading you will see we all have days where we are frustrated and depressed……hang in there….you’ve come to the right place because everyone understands!!!

    happy healing

  38. thx for the response janet. so do you typically elevate/ice it at the end of the day now? the swelling doesn’t get that bad for me anymore unless i am up real real long periods. i’m about 1.5 wks post op as well and was a pretty devout gymgoer before i got hurt, lifting weights or basketball almost every day. but i’ve pretty much been laying on the couch keeping it elevated since i had the surgery. thinking about trying p90x, but doing the upper body workout only because of obvious reasons. my goal was to get ripped for the summer lol. we’ll see how i can manage this doing upper body only and no cardio. guess i’ll just have my diet locked down pretty strictly.

  39. LOL…you have to check out my blog I’ve got some pictures posted….I’m now into my 11 week of recovery. When the ATR occurred my trainer and I had just taken pictures….LOL..I was getting ripped…and then the unthinkable. I have iced since surgery…even with the cast. I find now the swelling is incredible and I have long days before I am home and sitting.

    I love P90X and have used it to supplement my gym workouts. I kept my upper body and ab workouts going and did leg lifts to keep quads from totally deteriorating….I was 10 wks with absolutely no cardio but my previous weight training and continued training kept my weight in check…..lifting weight burns more fat longer than just cardio and I’ve proven that theory to be true. I’m only up about 3 lbs since the injury and that seriously could be muscle put on from strict weight training.

    hang in there……start working that upper body….you will feel better for it….I promise!!!

  40. 13 days post op and keep my leg elevated nearly all the time. When at work plonk it on a chair! Have had no trouble with swelling and decided when you are on a good thing stick to it so elevate it still whenever sitting…. Plus the heavy ROM boot is easier to cope with elevated on a pillow!

  41. My Surgeon placed my foot in a Aircast boot at 90 degrees directly after surgery. Has anyone else had a Doctor set them up this way because I haven’t heard of it before?

  42. Hi Everyone.

    Today is now 2 weeks post-op for me. I just came back from seeing the specialist, had my staples and splint removed. My leg was feeling great. But then the doctor tells me that he’s putting me on a cast for 2 weeks with my toes pointed downward and then after that, I will get a new cast with my foot pointed at 90 degrees. So in total, I’ll be in a cast for 6 weeks!!

    After reading all these entries of people having their cast removed after 2 to 4 weeks. This is really disheartening and frustrating.

  43. Hello everyone!
    I am new to the blog. Ruptured my Achilles Tendon 8 days ago while playing table tennis. Cannot begin to explain the frustration and anger at myself for being so foolish as not to warm up before the game….,but hey reality is it happened and I am trying to stay positive. Had surgery on the 3rd day after it happened and I am n a full cast right now waiting for my first visit on the 16th of August. In a nut shell that’s my story, it is good to have people to share experience with:)

  44. Hey, great reading all your posts. I found the site yesterday, suddenly having some company along this long adventure of recovery makes it seem more bearable. I did my ATR playing flag football. I had surgery exactly a week later, went for first post op visit at 6 days post surgery yesterday. Half cast switched to boot with no weight bearing and elevate tons. Stitches coming out next week :-)

  45. Had a bad problem with ingrown toenails. Really ugly big toes. Finally found something that seems to work.

  46. hey everyone… great website/blog site… helped a ton reading other people’s experiences… i ruptured my left achilles tendon on November 24, 2011 playing soccer and got surgery on November 27, 2011… surgery went well and i was sent home in a plaster cast…. post op recovery was rough but i got thru it…

    my first follow up appointment was on December 13, 2011… they took off the plaster cast and saw the incision… the surgeon was happy with the progress and noted that there was no infection and it was healing well… he gave the ok to remove the stitches… the assistant took out the stitches… one thing i noticed was my foot looked a bit crooked but he said that there were no issues and it could be straightened out with the new cast…

    after the stitches were taken out, they put me into a fiberglass cast… this cast was considerably lighter than the plaster cast and was hard all the way around my lower leg from just below my knee to my toes with my foot pointed downwards… the assistant also straightened out my foot which looked a lot better than it was before… she also reminded me to keep my leg elevated above heart level as much as possible as i was doing before… my next follow up appointment is on January 3, 2012… it was supposed to be a week sooner but the clinic is unfortunately closed during the holidays… I’m still on crutches, but as mentioned, the cast is lighter and its a bit easier to get around… the surgeon indicated that depending on how everything looks, i will likely be in a boot and can gradually start to walk… really looking forward to ditching these crutches and beginning the next stage of recovery! :)

  47. Today is 15 days since surgery. I fell last night foot seems fine but alittle nervous. I see the dr later today to get the stiches out. Crutches are hard fo me.

  48. Hi all,

    Today i have been back to the hospital for my first post op check up, I had my cast off and stitches removed. My surgeon is very pleased with how my leg is healing. There is a noticeable size and shape between both legs but i guess that is to be expected since i haven’t used my right leg for two weeks! I am now in a boot.. like a ski boot with wedges in which i have to remove a wedge every two weeks that will gently lower my heel to the ground. No painkillers needed now but must continue with the anti clotting injections. So onwards and upwards!.. or should that be downwards lol!

    I hope you are all doing good at whatever recovery stage you are at :-)

    Take Care


  49. Had my first follow up appt today…. Had my splint taken off and put in a cast. Sutures still in and my next visit is in 3 weeks. Have my foot angled at 90 degrees now. Didn’t know how much pain it was going to be. I have my leg elevated and just took a perc.. gonna try and get some rest. It’s been hard for me to get some sleep. Hope everyone’s doing ok… Til the next time

  50. Uhm, dude, who did your sutures? Did you move your foot or something? All I can think of is that you had a lot of swelling, was casted, and then swelling went down and you really moved it around in a loose cast.

    But then again, you wouldn’t have such noticeable cratering of the top suture and second from the bottom. There is quite noticeable pulling away of the sides. Was it a first year resident who closed you up?

  51. Hi, I ruptured my achilles 16 days ago. went into surgery 13 days ago, had staples removed 3 days ago and I am currently in a cast. The PA said I would be in 3 casts, the first would be my toes pointed down, then 2 weeks later my toes in a nuetral position, and finally 3 weeks later in a 90º foot flat. Then after 3 weeks in the final cast I will be in a boot. From the information I am reading on this site, many people go into a boot a lot quicker. My boot wont be on till 8 weeks after surgery.

    I am 28, healthy, and injured it playing basketball. Is it just cus my doc is playing it safe?

    Also if he is doing the right thing, the first cast which is supposed to have my toes pointed down is actually in a neutral position rather than down. The PA had a nurse do the cast but she was filling in for the regular ortho nurse. This nurse hadn’t done an foot related cast by her words 12 years. Should I go back to get it put in a toes down position? It’s confusing because on this blog one of the stories talks about going straight to a neutral position after stitches removed and no other cast.

    Any information will be helpful, this is my first surgery ever in life and im concerned, maybe too concerned.

  52. Jink, keep paying attention and being your own health advocate — and not just with this ailment, either! The best results in a big study, AFAICS, were with patients that started out immobilized at a moderate toes-down angle, for at least the first few weeks, equivalent to maybe 2-3 cm of heel wedges added to a “flat” or “neutral” boot. (This is roughly “gravity equinus”, the angle your foot will take naturally, while hanging over the side of a high bench.)

    BTW, you describe your 2nd cast as “my toes in a neutral position”, and your third/final as “in a 90º foot flat”. What’s the difference? Around here, “neutral” and “90º” mean the same thing.

    Getting 3 casts and then a boot is not unheard of, but it’s a pain, and there’s no good reason for it, IMHO. The best results in the modern studies are with boots early on (and some exercise and PT starting early on, too), and the extra casts cost somebody extra money while adding zero or negative to your recovery. Old-fashioned docs often feel like they’re “playing it safe” with slow rehabs and longer (and casted) immobilization, but Evidence-Based Medicine says it’s not safer at all.

    Me, I’d find the UWO study (Willets et al, 2010) on the studies page of this website, print it out, and share it with your doc. Their results are better than anybody else’s, and their patients ditched the crutches and started walking around with coffee-cups (etc.) in their hands WEEKS sooner than you will, if you just go with the flow and imagine that your Doc got 100% in school and is getting 100% on the job.

    Believe it or not, HALF of all Doctors were in the bottom half of their graduating class in Medical School!! And ATR treatment is one of the most boring things an Orthopedic Surgeon ever does — the surgery is sometimes called “the tonsillectomy of the leg”!!

  53. normofthenorth, Thank you for the information. Toes down from the PA’s description was roughly 130 degrees, neutral was around 115, and flat was 90. My current cast 10 days from surgery is at around 115, very similar to the cast in this current blog. I’ll talk to my doctor, hopefully i see him and not the PA this next visit coming in 2 weeks. Thank you as u have calmed my nerves about the PA and nurse possibly making a mistake that could cost me a lot of recovery time. I’ve been writing my journey and documenting with photos, will post here soon.

  54. I’m in my boots 10 days after surgery. I feel great, i’m putting 20-30 pounds of weight with doc advice. I thought i was going in a cast for 4-5 weeks, but doc put me in a boot 10 days after the surgery. He says i should be out of boot in 5-6 weeks. Is there anyone out there under this treatment?

  55. My son (18yrs old) had his sutgery yesterday and was told he’d be cated for 2 weeks and immediately go into a boot and start PT. Seems a quick protocol, but he’s young and incredibly physically fit. Maybe the aggressive protocol is deemed OK because of age and health status? He also mentioned the possibility of my son running again before summer is out…

    Best of luck to you!

  56. Both of you last two seem to be seeing the benefits of the latest studies like UWO — at least the surgical part! ;-)

    State champ, that study and several others showed excellent results (w/ & w/o surgery) with a fast protocol applied to a random all-age population of complete ATRs, not just 18-yr-olds. Details above and elsewhere.

  57. this site is great. thanks for starting it. it has really helped me the last few weeks. i’m almost 3 weeks post op and in a cam boot. when should i start putting something on my wound/scar to start treating it? and also what should i use? also, what do people use for their dry foot and toes etc… i’m allowed to remove the boot for an hour a day and would like to do something besides a few exercises to help with the healing. thanks so much for all your help.

  58. Replying to soccermad, I had Surgery on May 11th after I tore mine playing tennis. I was put in a boot right away as well. I was told to keep all weight off it for 6 weeks. Looking through these comments is unusual to see the variety of treatment protocol following surgery, but I guess the healing process is different for everyone. The Dr. said after the initial 6 non-weight bearing weeks, I’ll be walking in a boot for another 4-6 weeks and will then begin walking in a shoe. Also to let everyone know, I’m a physically fit 35-year old

  59. Jon–
    You’re right, the number of different timelines for recovery are astounding. My son is only about a week and a half post-op and already in a boot, NWB, but will begin to put partial pressure on in a matter of days. I think depending on physical fitness level and degree of tear might have something to do with the different protocols. I have read that some people are in a cast for 6 weeks. This seems like a poor approach as so many other musckes have the opportunity to atrophy during this time. Best of luck to you in your recovery!

  60. You two are overdoing the wishful thinking to imagine that doctors prescribe a large range of rehab protocols to their patients, depending on the specifics of the person and the injury. Nope. Old-fashioned so-called “conservative” docs put all their patients on old-fashioned ultra-slow protocols, and newer-fangled docs who’ve been reading or listning go faster. Most Ortho surgeons just don’t pay much attention to Achilles patients and repairs (much less rehab!), because it’s all at the boring “we think we know all the answers already” edge of their craft. Having a patient who complains about the rehab is like an art customer telling a sketch artist that they’re not sharpening their pencils right.

    My first ATR was repaired surgically by a fine surgeon who spent most of his time replacing hips and knees. He told me on every visit how conservative he was, and that it was better to go slow and not to have to do it twice — AS IF the evidence showed that ultra-slow rehab like his had a lower re-rupture rate!! (It doesn’t.) I read up, and argued loudly enough that I became his first ATR patient EVER to go into a boot — though only after THREE casts and way too many weeks. It was just his style, probably borrowed straight from the Attending Surgeon he studied with right out of Med School. Nothing to do with evidence, studies, or science — much less personalizing the treatment to the individual patient or the individual leg.

    Eight years later, second ATR (other side), I went to an even more prominent sports-medicine Ortho Surgeon to get the second one repaired. He explained that he’d met with the authors of the then-still-unpublished UWO study at an AOOS meeting, and they convinced them that there was no benefit from ATR surgery, so he stopped doing it. Period. Not for me, not for ATRs that were bigger than a breadbox or smaller, not for patients whose name had an “R” in it, but for everybody. So I skipped the surgery and followed the UWO protocol.

    The medican establishment talks a lot about personalized medicine, but if it ever comes, it will probably come last to ATR treatment, based on my personal experience and what I’ve learned from a few hundred ATR patients posting here. Still, blind faith in doctors is so strong that most people imagine that their treatment and rehab protocols are custom-made to fit them by some cutting-edge research scientist, rather than dished out from memory by an overworked clinical physician.

  61. Normofthenorth,
    You sound positively bitter! Clearly you have a reason to be so if you assumed surgery was the way to go for the second ATR you suffered through, yet were denied. I think we do put blind faith into someone who holds such status as physician or surgeon, probably because of the years and years of hard work and study. It is also easy to be dissappointed if treatment doesn’t go our way, even if in a utopian world it was considered “the protocol” of choice. You did not mention in your post how the 2 ATRs differed in terms of recovery. What words of wisdom have you having had the unfortunate occurrance of 2 ATRs? Was one treatment superior?

  62. I don’t think Norm’s bitter. He’s just been a contributor here for a very long time, and has seen the wild variations in treatments and protocols for similar patients and injuries. For most of us, it’s really a crap shoot. There are some good studies out there, but based on how patients are being treated, it’s apparent that not all doctors have adjusted to the most promising treatment methods.

    In my case, I would have been directed into a very conservative protocol, which I now believe would have been detrimental to my recovery. Luckily, I had an acquaintance who’d recently been through this injury and was put on a more modern protocol, which gave me the initiative to learn more. I can also be kind of stubborn ;-). I think, in the end, my surgeon learned a thing or two from working with me- and I hope his future patients are the better for it.

    Part of the problem is: it’s a fairly rare/infrequent injury. Doctors see a lot more knee injuries- and are therefore more likely to be well versed in their treatment. I think when it comes to the Achilles, they fall back on old “tried and true” methods. What would be their motivation to “take a risk” and do otherwise?

  63. The idea of personalized medicine is a marketing joke. In my case personalization was in the form of my doctor explaining to me that if I was 29, he would clearly recommend surgery and that if I was 69, he would recommend non-op. Fortunately, I had done my research and knew going in that if non-op was a possibility, that’s the way I would go regardless of my age. As far as personalized physical therapy, the best you can hope for is that the therapist will pay attention to your condition and push you as hard as you can be pushed without getting you hurt. I am doing my rehab though a well respected physical therapy provider in the Chicago area, yet when I was first walking down the corridor in 2 shoes, my therapist pointed me out to the rest of the staff and remarked how I was walking in 2 shoes only 10 weeks after a non-surgical ATR repair.

    The only way personalized medicine exists is if you do enough of your own research, know what your options are and can communicate your preferences to your doctor or therapist based on what you feel is right for you. Some day we may have databases filled with the variables that make up successful recovery protocols and use computers to spit out a protocol custom designed to an individual, but that day is a long time from now.

  64. Agree 100%, do your own research. Read as much as you can, incorporate what makes sense to you, use your brain…You are the one that has to make those executive decisions, everything else is just advise, you have to live with the outcome…Redeem your time and dig deep into all the studies you can find, read all the blogs here & see what’s been successful be informed.

  65. Hi all! I am 12 days post op and beginning to get more than a little stir crazy. I did not rupture or tear my tendon; I had a severe Haglund’s Deformity (aka “pump bump”) which was hereditary in origin. My ortho said that my achilles was in bad shape and he attached a tendon from the bottom of my foot to the achilles area. I’m a little sketchy on the details, due to the meds!

    Has anyone else had an injury of this type? I really don’t know what to expect. This wasn’t the greatest timing for my injury (my summer is kind of nuts this year). Would love some input! Thank you :-)

  66. Pgh_Sue– My surgery was similar to your’s. Had bone removal and tendon repair. Although not technically a Hagland’s deformity…my excess bone growth was caused by repeated tearing and repairing at the insertion of the AT. The AT also was also calcifying and tearing vertically. The whole area was a real mess. After the debridement and repair of the tendon and the removal of all the excess bone, the tendon was reattached with a screw. I’m at 11+ weeks post surgery. I’m with you…Summer is my favorite time of year and this one is lacking a bit in the “fun department”! Good luck!

  67. pghsue interesting to read your problem mine is also hereditary. A bone in my foot is 45 degree where it should be flat. It put a strain on my tendon and after 68 years was like a rubber band. Lots of sprained ankles and it was a leg I favored and then started to limp very active guy two weeks ago surgery today see surgeon. They used 6 inches from upper same leg tendon and replaced 6 inches tendon. Off pain meds now but not looking forward to long recovery maybe a year doc says. I had 1inch tendon left at ankle and calf to attach tendon to. They say that was good. Anyone out there with a similar surgery and how are you doing. A good site to hear what other people are doing.

  68. 7/10 ATR w chunk of heel bone off, went to ER they suggested Ortho cobra hadnt recd my ck, so he passed on surgery the following wk, lucky for me got a great sports Ortho dr. He was honest saying he’d never done one of these combo platters w the heel scenario, but what a job, beautiful incision & saw new X-ray, pretty amazing. Surgery was month ago 7/20, went from cast/splint, sutures out, fiberglass cast & last Tues the air cast w 20% wb, start PT mon. It’s been horrible as on 2nd floor condo in Az & was burning hand/butt going down stairs or hand on railing w crutches which freaked me out as live alone & fear of falling. Started new job early June, outside sales, straight commission, needless to say not been good. Beyond ready to get back to work & making sales, hoping this week or next, perhaps sympathy sales :) am usually upbeat & positive, have gone thru cancer & complications, but this sucker took me down many days, would have been easier if I was living with someone. At 55 I’m going to look to rent this place out down the road & find a place street level, as that would have made a huge diff ws stuck in here 2 wks at a clip, sucked big time. Good luck to all & keep the faith & sense of humor, tho some days it’s a toughie

  69. 7/10 ATR w chunk of heel bone off, went to ER they suggested Ortho cobra hadnt recd my ck, so he passed on surgery the following wk, lucky for me got a great sports Ortho dr. He was honest saying he’d never done one of these combo platters w the heel scenario, but what a job, beautiful incision & saw new X-ray, pretty amazing. Surgery was month ago 7/20, went from cast/splint, sutures out, fiberglass cast & last Tues the air cast w 20% wb, start PT mon. It’s been horrible as on 2nd floor condo in Az & was burning hand/butt going down stairs or hand on railing w crutches which freaked me out as live alone & fear of falling. Started new job early June, outside sales, straight commission, needless to say not been good. Beyond ready to get back to work & making sales, hoping this week or next, perhaps sympathy sales :) am usually upbeat & positive, have gone thru cancer & complications, but this sucker took me down many days, would have been easier if I was living with someone. At 55 I’m going to look to rent this place out down the road & find a place street level, as that would have made a huge diff ws stuck in here 2 wks at a clip, sucked big time. Good luck to all & keep the faith & sense of humor, tho some days it’s a toughie

  70. Hi all,

    I’m 16 days post op and already into the boot with instructions to FWB from my OS, as I feel comfortable with. Basically telling me to ditch the knee scooter over the next week, but was vague on any PT until next appointment in 6 weeks time.

    Feeling a slight pinch in the ankle area, not the tendon when i try to apply some weight. Is this normal?

    OS said I could air the leg when sitting down. Should I start any form of ROM or exercises, other than wriggling toes downwards?

  71. Had my suture removed earlier this week and am now in a nice looking red cast. Although not as nice looking after some of my seventh graders got a hold of it. I jest. They care and have nicely signed there names and given my well wishes.

    Cast, according to the PA, is somewhere between a 20 and 30 degree angle. I go back in three weeks for the red cast to be removed and the second cast to be placed.

    I will be in a cast for another two months, at least. 3 or 4 castings are very likely.

  72. Just got out of mine! I teach 7th and 8th also. THe PINK cast I received was signed by my kiddos also…they loved it. Let me know if I can help in anyway. I just got my boot! :-)

  73. Hello, My name is Tim.
    I ruptured my achilles playing basketball by simply just jumping up for a rebound. I would consider myself as a explosive athlete I played college football at Cal U of PA and now I been in many basketball leagues before i had this injury. The doc said it was a very rare tear/ rupture from what they have normally seen. He said that the tear was really close to my heel and when in surgery he found that the achilles itself had tears in it. So he had to repair that first and then attach the tendon back together. He also said he put in 2 anchors to hold it there in my heel also with sewing it. The question that i have been asking myself is: Since this is rare from other ATR injuries does this mean that my recovery process will be extended?? Why and how so? I also want to get back as soon as possible to activity, i feel poopy about myself being only 8days post op and not being able to do anything. Considering i would be active in many activities at least 5 times a week. I do understand that I have to be very patient as well but i am just wodering if there are any secrets or things that helped others out to speed up their recovery.

    As of now i am in a soft half cast and see the doc in a couple days for my first check up. I am wondering what goes on during that and what gets done. I have been elevating and iceing the back of my knee. Taking ibprophen to reduce swelling and aspirin for blood clots. I do have knee scooter and i really suggest that rather than crutches. The scooter is heaven compared to crutches.

    ACCIDENT- i was getting out of my friends car and as i was trying to balance myself on one leg i was beginning to fall and quickly with out even thinking caught myself with the bad leg. i didnt feel instant pain but just a very very uncomfortable feeling through my entire leg going up to my calf. It was a sore and a little painful that night but went away the nxt day. Does this mean i am all good? Or might i have done something to myself?

    I am new to blogs and everything so if this isnt the correct way, my bad. I am really curious and would love to know more information on my situation

  74. Godiago & Steph828

    I am so glad to hear you are still able to be teaching while in your casts. I’m a library media specialist teaching K-5 and can’t go back to work until I can manage FWB and ideally 2 shoes. I miss my students so much. I am hoping and I think I can Rehab fast enough to get back there before school’s out for the summer.

    My ATR happened March 9th, running, training for 1/2 marathon.. Went home from ER in a plaster splint. Saw PDM on 3/14, surgery with donor tendon graft and “speed bridge” repair on 3/22 and was sent home for 1 week in metal splint (way more uncomfortable then previous splint). 3/29 got 1st fiberglass cast (toes pointed down). Going back in 2 weeks for suture removal & 2nd cast. My doc doesn’t stock colored fiberglass - bummer - thankfully my 5 & 7 yr. old kids are coloring the blank canvas for me :)

    There are so many mod swings with this injury. Trying to stay positive as often as possible. It could always be worse. This blog has been a great resource for information and helpful in dealing with the anxieties that accompany extensive rehab for an injury like this.

  75. I’m 37 yr old weekend warrior and tore my achilles on April 18th. My surgery was April 22nd and my first follow up was May 1st. I was MISERABLE in the splint/cast and loving the walking boot. Spent almost 2 weeks sleeping in recliner. Great feeling to take boot on an off. Still 3-4 weeks before weight bearing but feeling optimistic. PT starts May 20th and second follow up on May 29th. Following Kobe on Twitter to see how he’s handling the injury too.

  76. Just got my stitches removed and placed into a cast at a natural angle that the foot drops into. Dr said that due to severity of rupture (had to remove about an inch and a half and had the big toe tendon transfer) I’m in this for 4 weeks but I can walk on it (put a wedge at the bottom).

    My question is how tight are these casts supposed to feel? It felt good earlier today but now my foot feels swollen. I’m thinking that maybe I overdid it.

    Good luck to everyone. Can’t wait to get out of this cast that I just got in but I know slow and steady is the way to go.

  77. I am almost 2 weeks post-op from complete rupture on the right leg. I had my first post-op appointment at 1 week. The sutures came out and the incision site looks great (they said I could even swim in another week, beats the recliner!) From reading all day it looks like my doctor is taking a very conservative approach for healing due to my job (firefighter). But I am already into a cam boot at 30 degrees and no weight bearing for at least another 3 weeks until my next appointment. I agree doing nothing is the worst part but it is conducive to the healing process!!!

  78. I’m about five days after first post-op visit, stitch removal. Foot was already able to achieve near 90 degrees, so doctor put me right into the boot. Happy about that, but told me no real weight bearing till next visit - 30 days away from that visit. Not so happy about that - I thought it would be a little sooner. My calf is sadly atrophied. Surgery site is looks like it is healing well and I am experiencing no real discomfort, except for plenty of blood rushing to the foot, if I am up and around for any length of time (on crutches, of course). Can’t believe I am not to use it at all for the next three weeks. Though I am allowed to flex and stretch it as long as I use only the lower leg muscles to do so.

  79. I’m almost two weeks post op and get the stitches off in about 3 more days (can’t wait!). I have a question for everyone, quite often while resting especially with elevation, i get a burning/electrical shooting sensation in the outer and front part of my foot. It lasts for up to 10 minutes and is almost unbearable. Is this normal and does it go away? I plan on asking at my post op visit but am going nuts in the mean time.

  80. Just got my stitches out and a cast on. They out the cast on with my foot hanging in a naturally hanging position. I had a little rash bumps but seems to be going away. Occasionally I feel some mild stinging paid at where the surgery site. It too bad. Overall didn’t have too much pain post surgery. Only bad part is the itchyness under the cast., but it isn’t too bad.

  81. Had my stitches out 13 days post op 3 days ago

    Doc agreed to put me in a VacoCast I brought. He had never seen one. PT in his office was interested and took copied all info I had.

    Doc put me at a fixed 20 deg and said no weight bearing for 2 weeks.

    I am thinking to put switch it to 20 to 30 deg as many have had that setting.

    Had swelling last 2 days so want to take it slowly.

    Ice and elevation help.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  82. pspain - my suggestion is to leave it where it has been set. 20 deg at 2 weeks is fine. Some are set at neutral day 1 with no problems (there is also some research to back that up). Your foot is already there so very little point going backward. Weight bearing and walking will also be easier in this position. Not sure when you see the doc again but I am sure he would not be pleased you changed it and if you reset it for the appointment then you may get a shock when it is adjusted up even more. You have your doc onside and willing to give a new method a go. That is a real bonus and rare for an orthpod. My advice would be to keep him onside and maybe feed him some early mobilization and weight bearing research. Hope you do well.

  83. 2nd post op visit is tomorrow at two weeks. One week after surgery, doc checked the wound, said it look great and had it recasted. Tomorrow, cast comes off so that stitches can come out after 14 days and then who knows? I’m hoping for a boot and the clearance to go ahead and push my recovery to the limits of my pain threshold. Is it common for the doc to allow me to start to flex the calf some more and bear all the weight I can immediately after stitches are out? I feel like I’m past the stage of not doing anything to jeopardize the wound. I’m dying to test my limits.

  84. Thank you SO SO much for this blog. It has been a dark month for me and seeing so many others that have had to deal with the same frustrations makes it a little more manageable.
    I fully ruptured my right Achilles playing pickup basketball on 6/8/2015, surgery on 6/16/15, and am now about 3 weeks post-op and in a Air CAM walker Boot, still non-weight bearing although I have cheated a little and occasionally used my boot as a very light balance point.

    As a former college basketball player and younger patient (27yo) recovering from complete rupture repair, I’d like to hear from anyone that might’ve been in a similar situation. How long did it really take before you could get back to full strength in playing sports? If you were dunking before did you ever regain the ability or near explosiveness? I have heard anywhere from 8-12 months for full activity from my surgeon and several other doctors/physical therapists, and I am really hoping it is on the shorter end of that spectrum. Any suggestions on rehabbing as quickly/completely as possible (other than just following the doc/PTs advice)? Maybe focusing on the more mental aspects of it, and how to get over favoring one leg over the other?

    Lastly, has anyone heard of or had experience with cissus quadrangularis as an herbal supplement for tendon/health orthopedic recovery? Would you recommend it?

    Thank you guys so much!

  85. Staxter, Kobe Bryant documented his recovery in the film, Muse. There’s a link on my blog - It took even the mighty Kobe 8 months to come back.

    Dominique Wilkins and Elton Brand also made 90% recoveries, but this injury ended several older players’ careers (Shaq, Ewing, Isaiah, Barkley).

    I’ve incorporated Super Cissus and Vitamin C into my daily placebo, and am glad I did.

  86. I completely tore my AT on June 3 this year. The doctor though it could heal with the conservative approach. I was in a cast for two weeks and everything was looking good. The calf squeeze test was showing movement in my foot which meant the tendon was healing well.

    I was put in the boot and everything was going great until two days later. I tripped and put my bad foot down by habit to keep me from completely eating it off the curb and into the street. When I put my foot down the AT re-popped and hurt like hell for about 30 minutes.

    I went to the doctor and got an ultrasound and tests and they decided surgery was now the best option.

    I had surgery on June 30. I was in a decent amount of pain the first 36 hours. Then I just took ibuprofen as needed. By day 4 I didn’t need any pain meds. The cast was on for two weeks and came off last week. I’m now at week 3 post surgery, week 8 past initial injury.

    I have crutches that I use periodically. I also bought an iWalk2.0 which is fantastic around the house. I also bought a KneeRover (with the big wheels) to be able to get to/from work and do some outdoor activities. It’s well worth it in my opinion for the duration of NWB.

    I’ve been in the boot and haven’t had much pain at all. Though I have bumped my leg a few times when transitioning from scooter/crutches to a chair. Nothing major, I had minor pain in my AT once when I slammed the toe of the boot into a table leg.

    Everything seems fine but I have yet to notice any sensation of connection between calf and foot. The calf squeeze does nothing and the few times I have flexed my calf (which is already well atrophied) there is no pain or movement in my AT that I can tell.

    Should I be able to notice any improvements or is it still too soon?

    I’ve got a call into the doctor as my next appointment isn’t for 3 more weeks.

  87. was wondering about peoples 2 weeks post op appointment. Its almost 2017 so hoping I can see if anyone around this time has a cast put on after the 2 week post op or if you go straight to the boot. I’m hoping I get a boot and not a cast.


  88. While I really appreciate this community and the support it offers, this site depresses me! I hate to think about the state that I am in. I just want to fast forward, wake up one day and be walking again! But anyways, here I am looking for the support of my people.

    It has been a tough time for me since my ATR on Sunday 3/26/17.
    I have been miserable and depressed, sometimes due to boredom and inactivity, some days from the pain, confusion, and not knowing what to do to alleviate the discomfort.

    I ruptured my left achilles playing indoor soccer. It was a total freak accident I guess, and just a simple step backwards to propel myself forward that did me in. I really don’t see myself getting out there again to play. It is just not worth the risk to me, to do this to myself again.

    Anyways, I went to the emergency the same night and it was immediately confirmed that I had a ATR. They placed me in a splint and scheduled me for surgery 8 days from that Sunday, which was Monday 4/3/17. I had almost no pain the week before my surgery, and I really was comfortable with how light and airy the splint was.

    The Monday surgery was a success, and I was placed in a plaster cast immediately. The worst days of this experience were definitely Monday-Thursday of that week. I was pretty annoyed to be going through that with almost 0 direction from the surgeon. He was not around pre-surgery as he was busy with another surgery, and post-surgery, when I awoke from the anethesia he was gone. I would like to have known what was going to happen, and what I needed to do in the following weeks. The nurse who was helping me knew little in specific in regards to protocol. I guess they don’t deal with ATRs too often.

    I constantly had my foot elevated, but the pressure around my ankle from the tight cast was unbearable at times. BUT, all pain and discomfort subsided along with the swelling. I had occasional sharp shooting pains at my AT location, but that did not last long. Week 2 of recovery was very smooth.

    At my 2 week post-up 4/17/17, my cast was removed to take out the sutures and I was given a boot, and was told NWB and I’ll see you in 6 weeks. Yesterday night ended up being one of the worst days of pain in this process. Anyone else experience this? The boot may have been too big or something, because the amount that my ankle was able to move in this boot, killed me for the rest of the night. Definitely my most miserable night so far. So first thing in the morning 4/18/17 I got an apt to have a cast put back on. I don’t think I was ready to have a boot on at 2 weeks post op…Well they put me in a splint and I continue to have pain, although not as much as last night. Is this normal to be in just a splint at this point? and to have so much pain all of a sudden. I was painless the week before this getting my cast removed.

  89. All,

    Just had my first post-op appointment yesterday. Surgery was on June 7. 2018 for my complete rupture, so I am now 12 days post-op. The doctor took off the split, took out the staples, commented that the wound is healing well, and put me in a boot. He said I need to wearing the boot at all times when moving around and when sleeping, but I don’t need to wear the boot when sitting. I spend most of the time these days sitting on the couch working remotely, so I have had the boot off some. I thought one of the reasons for wearing the boot was not just protection when on the go, but also to keep the toes pointed down to avoid strain on the tendon and promote healing. Does anyone have any insight as to whether I should keep the boot on when sitting on the couch all day, even though not needed for protection, to keep my toes pointed down? Thanks for any advice!

  90. I’ve really enjoyed reading about everyone’s experiences on this site. I am 14 days post op and just had my sutures removed. The PA put me in an air cast and said NP going 90 degrees right away. I left the office with my heel up but already feel like I can get the heel almost down into the cast. Was also told that I’d be wearing shoes in another 4 weeks (NWB). Battling boredom as I drive a lot for my job and unfortunately injury is on the right leg.

    This is my 2nd go around with ATR after 20 years on the other leg. I’m thinking there’s a message there on what activities I need to stay away from in the future.

    I told the PA I was doing stacked foot pushups with the injured leg on top of the healthy one. She advised against it. Anyone else have an issue with this move?

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