The First Two Weeks Post-Op

On Crutches

The first few days after the surgery was probably harder than the subsequent recovery days.

Under no circumstances was I allowed to bear any weight on my surgically repaired heel for 2 weeks. No weight bearing, leg elevation, and rest was the mantra.

The most important thing that I learned is the difference between elevating the leg and elevating the leg above the level of my heart. I was reminded again and again that I needed to have my leg elevated above the level of my heart.

When I failed to do this, my foot/ankle swelled up, and it became quite uncomfortable in my cast. Getting back on track with the elevation helped alleviate the problem. I couldn’t ice my leg as effectively since I was in a cast, so leg elevation was the only thing that I could do.

Warning signs to watch out for were discoloration, excessive swelling, and numbness/coldness in my toes. Also, any other pain is a good indication that there is something wrong (like calf muscle hurting to the touch). Luckily I had none of those symptoms.

I eventually bought a shower chair through my insurance so that I can shower on my own.

Shower Chair with back support:

(I have this one.)

I recommend getting the one with the back support since it’s much more comfortable. You can sit back and rest while showering. The shower chair really is a necessity, and it has rubber feet so that it won’t scrape up your tub. (A lawn chair might work too if it fits in the bath tub.)

I should have also purchased a shower bag for the cast (so that it doesn’t get wet). Here’s one that I wanted to buy:

But I’ve settled on a kitchen garbage bag as you can see, since I didn’t find out about them until a week later. And the garbage bag is a bit of a pain. I first used packing tape to make it nice and tight. However, when taking it off, it rips the garbage bag a bit as well as pulling some of my leg hairs out. ouch! I’ve resorted to just tucking the top part of the bag sort of into the cast and doing a shower towel like tuck.. It worked out somewhat, but the top part of my cast got wet a little. Cast cover would have been nice.

cast wrapped

I also did my best to stay in bed. I had my laptop with me so it wasn’t terribly difficult. I’ve been reading that the first 2-3 weeks is a crucial time for proper healing of the incision as well as the repaired tendon. I’ve decided to stay in bed as much as possible.

However, I still had a few slip-ups. I accidentally put weight on my injured heel while moving around in the kitchen, as well as the accidental twitches of the foot during sleep which results in a slight strain on my achilles tendon. I am wide awake after that, and the pain lingers for a few seconds. One hell of an alarm clock.

I was mildly worried whether I’ve done any permanent damage, but I can’t do much about it anyway, and I just had to be more careful.

I regret that the surgeon didn’t put me in a CAM Walker (boot) instead of the cast. The cast is lighter, but the toes are more exposed so there is more of a chance for me to strain the achilles tendon. Also, I can’t exactly adjust the cast to take account for the swelling. However, from the doctors’ perspective, they can be sure that I won’t be hopping around without the boot, and they don’t want to operate on a re-rupture. The nurse told me that the cast is also more close-fitting, so it’s better for immobility.

It’s actually difficult to keep the heel elevated at all times. Every time I get up to go use the bathroom, I feel the blood rushing down to the foot, my toes turn slightly purple, and it feels like it’s going to explode.

I slept with two pillows under my cast, and I took the prescribed Lortab 7.5 500mg, one to two in the morning and at night when I was feeling some discomfort. I stopped taking the painkillers about 3 days after the surgery, as I don’t like to take medication unnecessarily. I was also told that pain-killers can cause constipation, and I don’t need that either. I only felt minor discomfort in the incision area afterwards.

I’ve been reading that it’s not good to put direct pressure on the incision wound, which is what happens when you lie on your back and elevate your heel with pillows.  An article from the American Journal of Orthopedics (which I cannot find on their site anymore) recommends that you lie on your stomach or on your side while elevating the cast. The important part is not putting any pressure on the stitched area. It’s tricky to do, but not impossible.

Also, after being bedridden for so long my back was stressed, and it became more and more uncomfortable. Periodically moving around, elevating the leg in different “poses”, and stretching helped alleviate the problem.

Keeping myself occupied while resting has been the key to enduring the boredom of being bedridden and immobile. I was amazed to find so many trivial things that I could not easily do, but I adjusted (accepted?), after a week.

If possible, you really need to accept help and have someone take care of you. My girlfriend has been a trooper, and she’s brought me food, drinks, mail, etc. for me for most of the first two weeks, when she was home. As I was more mobile towards the end of the two weeks, I have been able to help out with small chores around the house.

When I am alone, I manage to make myself breakfast, lunch, etc. It really is exhausting to do these things, and the leg really needs to be elevated. So I only get on crutches for things that are absolutely necessary. I also steadily spent more time at the desk with my leg elevated (above the level of my heart).

Cast on desk


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591 Responses to “The First Two Weeks Post-Op”

  1. I thank you for the info. I am 24 hours post op and I am in quite a lot of pain. The pain is a burning sensation and my upper calf is sore. I have only got up a few times today. I am trying to keep up with the ice and elevation and the pain meds. When I first posted on this site I was 2nd guessing my doctors diagnosis and treatment. She was a physicians assistant and said no to surgery and heal with immobilization. I emailed doctor and they rushed me in for a 2nd opinion. The Orthopedic surgeon looked at my injury and said it most definately could and should be treated with surgery. The physicians assistant originally diagnosed it as an upper rupture saying surgery was not an option. She did no tests and did not even feel for rupture. The Orthopedic Surgeon could feel where the rupture was and it was lower not upper. He then called in 1 of his colleagues who confirmed his diagnosis. Had I not have had sites like this ro research my condition I would not have known any better.

  2. i snapped my achilles tendon 10 days ago now . i had surgery which is nt too pain ful , the pain i am getting is from my wrists ( using crutches) and back pain from resting . i do have a cam boot which is fantastic as you can remove it when resting. im slightly worried about recovery time as i been told anything between 6 to 12 weeks including physio .

  3. Nerys,

    Um… recovery time is more like 6-12 MONTHS. Sorry, but we’re all in this together…

  4. god!!!!!!!!! ive now had to use a zimmer frame as ive fallen over twice going to the toilet , my wrists are so weak . i am overweight so thats not helping . switched to healthy eating and lost 6 lb first week .im hoping this will help my recovery quicker . this site is brillant , every ones story is differrent but we ll all get there in the end . does anyone feel down ? im a bit weepy at the mo , so used to doing every thing for my family and now they have to do every thing for me .

  5. Nerys~

    I would recommend buying the shower bag for the cast. You can still use it after you go to a boot. A friend of a friend re-ruptured from slipping in the shower. So, If I’m home alone, I’ll shower with my boot on (covered of course), just so I have a little more stability. Otherwise I wait until my husband is home. I don’t need help really, but just in case. I have been using a metal folding chair if i need to sit.
    You’ll start inventing tricks soon. For instance, on weekends when i’m home alone, If I make something to eat, I put it in a sealed container and carry it in a plastic grocery bag. An apron with pockets helps. I always have a hoodie within reach, its amazing how much you can fit in that pouch pocket. A bottle of wine is my favorite thing to carry lately!

    Hang in there! You’ll come up from the down. We all go through it, you just have to ride it out

    damacar

  6. As far as your question about feeling down, I have definitely had a few good cries….I, like you, have had a hard time dealing with not being able to do for others– my husband and daughter. They are the ones doing for me, but this is just temporary– not permanent, so I try to keep that in mind although it’s not easy. None of this is easy, but we all will get through it. It doesn’t help that I have a history of depression and am a big baby. I guess I will learn a lot through this nasty experience :)

    I also am unsteady on the crutches, so I combine them with a wheelchair. Anyway, feeling down is normal. ….you are not alone.

    Marianne

  7. I tore my left achilles tendon about 2weeks ago playing basketball. I did it landing from an “alley oop” pass. Knew exactly what it was as soon as it happened, being that 6yrs ago I tore the right one in a similar situation on the court. No I’m not a professional or college athelete or anything like that but I did at one time play on a citywide level here in baton rouge, la and also throughout my military travel including a few large tournaments overseas. Because of the right rupture I reduced my play to low impact “pick-up” games at local gyms. I opted out of surgery on the right because it was only a partial tear. but I re-injured the leg going back to the court too early. I didn’t tear it again but put a terrible strain on it that stretched re-hab time about 2additional mnths. I eventually returned to “limited” full capacity about 1yr after the 1st injury. I was wayyyyy slower & all my “ups” was gone along with my calf muscle. It got better over time but never back to where I was. Maybe 85%
    Now here I am with a partial tear of the left achilles tendon. I was in such dis-belief when it happened that I never took the time to feel the pain. The memory of being “laid up” for months again immediately falshed across my mental billboard. Its all I could think of on the way to the hospital and while I lay there as the dr poked and prodded the back of my leg each time asking “does that hurt?” After seeing the specialist it was decided that once again surgery was not necessary. So here I am again cast up with my leg on the back of the couch feeling handicap. And yes it definitly sux because I’m also used to “doing for” others such as my energetic 7yr old daughter. Now she’s taking care of me and doesn’t mind at all, my lil princess. So to end, an achilles rupture is a very challenging long process but very recoverable. Just make sure you stick to the recommended healing process. It’ll show you how much you can endure and a lot about the people that care about you for sure because you are very limited for the next 4 to 6 mnths!

  8. brandondope - thanks for sharing your story. I also ruptured my achilles playing basketball, but it wasn’t as spectacular as from landing after an “ally oop” pass.

    Now with this injury, I am going to have to let go of my dream of dunking. ;) I am still looking forward to playing pickup ball again though.

    I wish you the best with your recovery.

  9. I am going to get my stitches out tomm. it has been 12 days since the injury. I accidentally put some pressure on my leg tonight while my leg was in the cam boot and it felt like I pulled a muscle in my leg. I tried to do the thompson test to see if the achilles re-ruptured but my muscle is so far gone in my leg by this point it didn’t work well. I am hoping I didn’t re rupture the tendon. I thought that was what the boot was there to protect…

  10. Hello Everybody,

    This is my first post on the website. I ruptured my Achilles on 7/13 playing lacrosse. I got surgery on 7/17. I decided to post because last night and today I have had the worst pain of the entire sequence of this injury (more than the injury itself and much more than the days following the surgery). I have been weaning myself off of the pain meds, but continue to take them at night to help me sleep. Last night after being in bed for about 1 hour I started to have a sharp burning sensation in my heel (not near the sutures and not internal where I would expect the tendon repair to be). The pain would be strong for about 10 minutes and then go away. It came approximately every 30 minutes. Today, I had no problems with pain throughout the day, and then again was woken up from rest to the sharp burning sensation. Is this just an indication that I’m not ready to be off the pain meds? Why would I have this sensation in my heel and not where the injury or incision was made? Sorry for the novel…

  11. Im almst 2 months out of surgery i get my boot off in a week. an d i can walk good. my doctor says im be at full recovery in five months. i am a pro football player. but i want to hear from others how long it took them to recovery fully

  12. Hello fellow ATR sufferers,

    I ruptured my left achilles June 25th, I will have my original cast on for approx. 8 weeks (August 19th) at which time will have the air boot on….whew, will finally get some breathing room for my leg….am sure my calf will be pretty pasty and scrawny. No real pain up to now , just suffering from the Okanagan heat. Am planning a move back to Vancouver, BC late September which would be 3 months post opp. and 1 month with boot. I hope this is realistic…….I guess just get more friends and have more brews in my fridge…

    I wish you all good recoveries. This site is a great support…

    Cheers Malcolm in BC…

  13. Thanks for taking the time to put up some really useful info. I have a question I have been trying to find an answer for. I am 2 weeks post op and when i lightly flex my calf muscle I feel the tendon move and a scraping sensation. Am I feeling the sutures or is everything just very sensitive in the cast? Has anyone else felt this?

  14. Hi all, good to see so many are with me on this. I completely tore my achilles’ tendon 3 days ago. Had no idea what happened and did not expect a tore tendon (age 27, usually tore tendons happens at 30+). But swelling came and pain increased, so went to see a general doc the next day. A specialist was recommended and surgery was arranged for the same night. It is now the second day post op and i’m back in the office. Doc put me in an ‘aircast’ boot and told me to move my foot daily as an excerise. The pain is just bareable with pain killers, but i find it hard to fall asleep at night. any suggestions?

  15. Hello all. Was playing basket ball Wednesday when it felt like someone kicked me in the back of the foot with all thier might. When i turned around to cuss him out…now one was there (damn).
    Saw a friend who is an orhopedic surgen on thursday, who put me in an aircast and had my operation on Friday. I am not one to take medicine and such (not even tylonol), but i have been popping these pain killers like skittles.
    Thing have been smooth so far, but yesterday (saturday) i had a minor trip and put some pressure on my bad leg. man, it hurt quite a bit for a minute or two, but it feels ok this morning. i am in a a cast with my toes exposed, with some type of reinforcement under my foot and behind my calf. I’m just now getting used to crutches….what a pain. hopefully i didn’t mess anyting up.
    hang in there everyone!

    Tim

  16. I just had surgery 2 days ago and your comments are already a God send! The doc put me in a boot as opposed to the cast and so far the pain is manageble but manuevering is a hassle. My wife and kids have been amazing! I could not go through this without them.

  17. I had surgery 2 weeks ago, have my first follow up visit in 2 days. Found some great tips on this site already (the shower chair is a savior - my wife is especially grateful for that ;-). I’m in a splint/cast with the foot down at about 45 degree angle. I’ve found that a large, soft, folded up comforter (folded over maybe 3 times into a square) is just the ticket to prop your leg up on when you’re in bed (elevated above your heart) with the leg turned slightly to the side so the wound isn’t pressed down against the bottom of the cast - ouch! When the leg is to the side - no pressure and big time relief.

    Good luck to everyone! One hell of a journey we’ve gotten ourselves into! BTW I tore mine playing a game of kick ball with co-workers - I hadn’t played since 3rd grade, now I know why. ;-)

    Kent

  18. Hey everyone,

    I popped my right achilles playing football (soccer) and had surgery just last Friday. It honestly feels so depressing not being able to do stuff for my family and having to be waited on hand and foot (the latter especially). I dont know what to do over the next 6 weeks or so while i’m in this cast. I tried going out but the crutches get really painful under my palms cos they’re not the kind where you place weight under the shoulders. Does anyone have an suggestions for making the crutches more comfortable?

    Best of luck everyone.

  19. The dependence on family and friends is tough. It sounds like you’re better at “giving” vs. “receiving”… nevertheless like most of going through the same emotions and frustrations, humiity is the key. Humility is knowing not only what you can’t do but also what you can… and there’s just a lot we can’t do.

    REST… keep that foot elevated and do the exercises to promote circulation. You’ll see by other posts that some must return to work soon after surgery… if that’s the case for you make arrangements to be able to sit so you are reclining somewhat (if you are in an office environment) with the foot elevated about the height of your heart (if posible).

    Crutches! I know, I know, I know… it’s been 24 days since my surgery and the crutches have been the bane of my existence since day 1. You can wearing cycling (gel padded) gloves because as you already know crutches are designed to have most of the weight on the hands - not under the shoulders.

    I’m in public relations and I have media tours starting next week. I was told about http://www.iWalk-FREE.com. “Hands-free” crutches… bascially you’ll become a pirate with a peg leg. I’ll be getting fitted this week by the designer himself. If you are based in the US I’ve seen websites where they rent this out. Even though it’s a Canadian product no retailer rents them out. I’ll document my experience via my blog with photos - http://achillesblog.com/frenzy/.

    The website has photos and a video, so check it out. Several Canadian athletes and TV personalities have successfully used it. My friend is a PT and she used it herself.

    Cheers!

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this site! It has been an amazing source of information and support for me. I completely ruptured my AT in my right foot on Sept 20th and I’m having surgery on the 29th (they wouldn’t do it sooner because it is too swollen, even though I’ve had it elevated and on ice for the last week….) Anyway, I was planning on going back to work in 2 weeks (after I get the stitches removed and switch from the post-op splint to a fiberglass cast. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations for when to go back to work?
    Thanks!
    Heather

  21. Hi, Ruptured my AT on 6th Oct playing football (soccer)and had my op on the 7th.

    I’ve been back at home a week now, and it’s been great to read about other peoples experiences.

    I’m back in next week to have my stitches removed and a new cast put on.

    I’ve managed to get more Info about my Injury off of here than i did from my Doctor.

    Cheers

    Jimbo (UK)

  22. One week out from surgery to repair high partial tear (closer to calf than heel). did it planting left foot to go for rebound - I guess IS too old for recreational basketball after all! Still not positive needed surgery - radiologist thought not but two surgeons I know both said yes, so as I’m an active guy with kids, opted for surgery. Hope it was right choice.

    This blog is great - I’ve pciked up some great advice regarding elevation, kneeling on a chair to use bathroom, shower chair, which have really helped. My wife has been a saint, she’s used to me being in the city and active all day and this has really thrown her already busy schedule into turmoil. Hope I can repay her with a nice vacation without kids when this is over!!

    My doc suggested I stay home and rest first two weeks (sutures out next wednesday) and then he’ll likely put me in aircast. Should I expect to start to weight bear then or will it be a while longer? I’m a trial lawyer and I’m already juggling a busy schedule to recuperate. What are the odds of managing to try a case while in the aircast a month after surgery? should i expect to be out of commission - at least insofar as trying cases - for two months or more?

    Thanks and good luck to everyone. remember, pain is just weakness leaving your body!!

  23. Hi we have some things in common: we both injured ourselves around the same time as I am also having my sutures taken out next wed and I am a trial lawyer. And I also was playing bball when I injured mysef. I was lucky enough to get two trial dates moved. We should check in on our progress. Good luck to you!

  24. Hello Everyone,

    Ruptured tendon in my left leg, guess my skateboarding days are over (Im 34). Had surgery 6 Days ago. I had to go back to work yesterday, i am in an office enviroment but it is virtually impossible for me to keep my leg elevated above my heart. I am worried that this will hinder my recovery. Anyone have any reccomendations or advice for somone in my situation?

  25. I did the same back in Feb and went back to work about 5-6 days later.
    It was tough but I just put my leg up on the deck which is definitely lower than my heart and it worked out ok. The worst was my butt getting soar from sitting all the time.

    Mine worked out ok and seemed to heal nicely.

    Hang in there it’s not that long before you will eb more model and then you can feel somewhat back to normal.

  26. Steve - I’ve been using an office chair at home to get around. Before my rerupture, I would sit in a regular chair at the dinner table and crank the adjustable office chair all the way up to elevate my foot. Do they have an extra chair hanging around you could use? My one warning is that I only do if for a little while and sometimes the back of my knee gets sore. Just a thought. Hope you work something out and good luck.

  27. Steve,

    I am in week8 of my recovery. I will definitely say that it is very important to keep the leg elevated above the heart at this time, and for the next few weeks to prevent excessive swelling (I assume your in a cast). And try to stay off your feet also. I know it is frustrating.

  28. thanks for the reply Jeff , Robert & Marlene. I have managed to move my work area around so i can prop my foot up on my desk. No kidding about the soreness in the butt and the back of the leg..Wow. My employer was nice enough to issue me a handicap parking space which makes things nicer. I go back to the doctor next week which will put me at 2 weeks post op. I am very curious to see the incision they made.
    Thanks for the support, everyone hang in there.

  29. hello everyone, been reading for a few days but thought today was the day to share my tale. Like many of you it happened playing basketball. Unlike many I had signs that my achilles was having issues. About a year ago it started to thicken, get sore after playing. I started iceing it, bought a stretching device and for the first time since I started playing basketball when I was 9 I started stretching. I would stretch before I played two times a week. I even would stretch it out after sitting on the bench for a few minutes during one of our games. I wore lifts in both shoes and wore a specially designed achilles brace to help take pressure off of the tendon. With all that, last Monday night my worst nightmare happened. They say “you know” when it happens, well they are right. I moved to box out a guy and heard the “pop” and felt the pain like I had been kicked right in the back of the heal. I turned to the guy I was boxing out and he was already running down the floor. I was convinced he kicked me and caused this injury. In fact, it took some reading on this blog to realize he diden’t kick me. The guys on my team came over to the bench to console me and I could tell by the looks on their faces what I was in for. For those who don’t play basketball, in the realm of the 40 and over basketball player there is the unspoken injury. It is not a knee, or ankle sprain or even heart attack. It is the infamous achilles rupture. On my night there were two other players that have gone through this, one was waiting to play and the other was our referree. Both gave me a look like “buddy, you have no idea what you are in for.” They were right, like all of you all that is on my mind is when I can I start doing something about this injury other than reading. I want to start PT, I want to start PWB, I want the damn boot. I got a cast and my doctor seems more conservative than Pat Boone. Today is day 5 after surgery, my wife has been just awesome. I have two young boys and they want to wrestle like we normally do, that is the only thing that brings me down. I want to play with those boys. Oh, well as I tell my friends and family. It was not a stroke or heart attack, and a lot of people entered the hospital the day I was injured and will never come home. It is nice to have others to share this journey with, and more importantly to learn from. mark in buffalo, ny

  30. Hey Mark,
    Welcome to the club.
    When its is said that “We feel you pain” we actually do.
    I did min eth same way on 2/25. Like you I am so frustrated that I cant do some of the basics. Thank God for my wife and daughter.
    I like yourself had no idea what was involved in the recovery. Almost wished I broke a bone . :)
    But like all the others on here, we will get back to normal soon.
    I hope everything goes well for you and if you have nay question please let me know. Jim

  31. Hi everyone,
    I ruptured my achilles tendon playing table tennis… Yeah, bloody table tennis! You never know…gardening can be dangerous too.
    2 days post-op now, taking painkillers but still experiencing pain in my foot, calf muscle feels like swelling all the time, no position is good when I keep my leg elevated and the boot is not that great. I control the pressure on foot with the boot, and it supposed to be better than plaster cast, but it’s not. It’s big (have to wear baggy shorts all the time, cause nothing else fits), it’s clumpsy, I feel less sensation on my leg, barely can move my toes. Maybe it’s just me moaning aand I will change my mind with time, but plaster seemed lighter, easier to get around, and you could see the position of the foot (you can’t in the boot).
    I think it’s brilliant that there are websites like this. I’m going to have a closer look at what you guy experienced and take some useful info. thanks. Ted

  32. I just got through my first week post-op, and it’s been relatively good. Sorry to those who are having a harder time of it, but perhaps this will give hope to those about to have surgery that it might not be so terrible…

    Firstly, my girlfriend has been amazing, doing everything from fetching me a glass of water, to cooking delicious and nutritious meals,and then cleaning up after. When this is over, I am going to owe her big time. :-p

    I live on the 3rd floor with no elevator, so on returning from the surgery, I sat on the first step, and then crawled backwards all the way, one step at a time. I then didn’t leave the apartment until my 1st follow-up appointment yesterday (1 week).

    My surgeon used local in addition to the general anesthesia, and I did not feel any pain even up to bedtime. I still took half a Vicodin before going to sleep (just in case), and I started feeling mild pain that night. The worst was between 24-48 hrs after surgery, when I maxed out my pain meds.

    But otherwise, the key was insane elevation of my foot. At night, I had up to 5 pillows under my foot. To brush my teeth, I sat in a chair and rested my foot on the counter. When I was on the toilet, I put my foot on a chair. I ate dinner with my foot on the table (all men should enjoy this opportunity while they can!)

    I used a wet facecloth with liquid soap to wipe myself clean, instead of risking a shower (my girlfriend helped me with my back). On day 3 she washed my hair in the kitchen sink.

    Mostly, I was on the couch during the day. Keeping hydrated was an issue, since going to the bathroom was a chore. I drank water mixed with Vitamin Water for the electrolytes. I also ate a lot of vegetables for fiber, since the Vicodin tends to cause constipation.

    I am happy (and lucky) to say that I stopped taking pain meds by day 5, because it didn’t hurt unless I stopped elevating my foot, or put pressure on the surgery site. :-)

  33. Hey Everyone,

    I’m now 12 days post-op and today was a little weird. I’ve had a strong tingling sensation in the ball of my foot and toes all day, primarily where the big toe meets the ball of the foot. It’s kind of like that feeling when your foot falls asleep. Haven’t had any pain in several days so this struck me as weird.

    Anyone else have similar feelings during their recovery?

  34. hi footballnow21,

    I get the tingling feeling on the toes especially at night right before bedtime. I believe it’s a lack of blood to the toes and so I have been trying to wiggle my toes down (toe curls) and also massaging them a bit by pressing down on them to get some blood flow.

    These two things seem to help with the blood flow to the toes and the tingling sensation usually goes away.

  35. Hello All -

    It’s been about a month since I tore my Achilles tendon. I tore it playing flag football with some friends, doing the same types of activities as I’d been doing since I was 10. I played football in college so I was in shape right? Well that was many moons ago, as I tore mine May 10, 2009.

    In reading yall’s experiences, I felt that same pop and feeling as someone kicked my feet from under me. I lay there on the football field, helpless, hurting, and limping to the sideline wondering WTF?

    Fast forward to today, I’m 5 days post op on my Achilles and I must say I’m feeling alot better now than I was on day one. I don’t get that feeling like someone is sawing my foot off when I stand up and feel the blood rushing to my foot when I stand up. I guess you could say I’m getting adjusted to hoping and crutching around. Oh, and my crawling skills have been upgraded as well.

    I just wanted to thank the founder of this site and to all the people who are posting their stories on this site. It’s good to know that I’m not going through this by myself, and that hopefully as time passes I’ll get to know some of yall, and I’ll have someone to bitch to when I’m having those, Dammit it’s summer and why can’t I go to the beach moments. It’s been a pleasure writing, everyone have a great day.

  36. Quick note - very apt anti-spam word - ACTIVE! Ha

    Will keep this brief but like others suffered the painful ‘pop’ playing football (soccer), heard the shot gun and turned around expecting to see the guy who had just kicked me. But very confusingly there was no-one within 10 yards- seems a very common story.

    Well I have just returned from hospital so I am 48 hours post op and have a below the knee cast. It seems that elevation and rest are ultimately the key initially but also physio and rehab as soon as the surgery has healed is key to a swift recovery.

    Its really useful to share experiences so if anyone finds any exercises that are particularly endorsed (initially or during weight bearing stage) please share them.

    I did plan on going to back to work over the course of the next few days but as with others as soon as I lower my leg I get the swelling and throbbing through my foot so probably best to keep it elevated for a few days.
    Most the pain is now gone but I reckon the worst was once the anaesthetic had worn off - they had to cut my cast on the 1st night as it was too tight and they left half a cast on loose meaning that it was rubbing on the wound for the first 12 hours…yes OUCH. Now the new cast is on so support is in place. Only taking a limited amount of painkillers instead of the codeine, ibuprofen, liquid morphine combo of the last 2 days!

    People say the biggest risk is infection due to reduced blood flow and tissue in this area. Apart from keeping clean anyone know of any other ways of preventing infection?

    Well quality website, lets keep in touch and fast track the road to recovery (and playing sport again!)

    Wishing everyone a swift healing process!

  37. I ruptured my achilles on Memorial Day playing basketball. Surgery was scheduled for that Friday. I took off the following week from work (actually I canceled my vacation which would have been next week in cape cod). The week was rest, elevation and ice. I feel good, did the steps at work all week and I get my stitches out tomorrow. We’ll see.

  38. I thank you for this site…it’s been a source of inspiration. I was turning a horse and my left foot hung in a hole and it tore my AT in two. The ATR happened on June 7, surgery on June 11 and I’m 3 days post op now… The worst pain was after the surgery when the “good” pain killers wore off…I’m not one to take pills, but what they sent home with me wasn’t cutting it. I called back and they prescribed a lesser souped up Tylenol that has helped a bunch. I can now sleep at night. I know this is just an inconvenience…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me !

  39. Michelle - Glad that you found the site to be helpful in your recovery. It’s good to sleep without pain! Keep us posted on your recovery. :)

  40. I’m out in Korea teaching English and just tore my right Achilles landing awkwardly playing a pick up game of basketball.I just got done surgery on a 50% rupture -the medical care here is great -and have been in the hospital for roughly a week.Like others ive read on here the surgery and pain aren’t the worse part its getting back to my normal life.Im an active dude and love lifting weights, playing basketball and football and realize these things arent going to happen for some time.

    My biggest concern is teaching and getting back in the classroom ASAP.I’ve banged myself up pretty bad before and had my share of stitches surgeries and broken ankles but this is definitely the biggest hit I’ve taken. I’m wearing the cast and hoping i can get a good feel for the crutches and only be in bed and completely out of action for 2-3weeks.I hate to teach in a chair, i like to be up and moving around or at least standing because i work with younger kids.Any advice or similar stories words of encouragement/discouragement?
    Thanks!

    PS-This site is awesome especially being in Korea where the language barrier keeps the doctor from telling me much

  41. Juice, I know exactly how you feel. I ruptured my right achilles on 12th May playing badminton. I’m still off work but refuse to go anywhere in a wheelchair. I tried it twice and realised its not for me.
    I’m now quite good on the crutches and use them wherever I go. I don’t see my injury as a barrier although it is in obvious ways. I’m not weight bearing at all at the mo as I’m still in plaster but I’ve just found alternative ways of doing most everyday things, especially as I’m a 41 yr old mum to two active young boys. Just keep practicing with the crutches and I’ve found that putting some foam around the handles helps because I have pain in my wrists from putting my weight on my arms.
    One benefit is the lovely triceps I’m developing. Now that I am pleased with :-)
    Good luck
    Debs

  42. My story is the same did my ATR while playing a pick-up bball. Heard the amazing “pop” running backwards and I stopped quickly to change directions. It’s funny because you look around to see if someone did something to you and noone is around! That was on June 10 and I was in surgery on that Friday morning. I go to the doc’s on this Thursday for second post op. I wish I was getting my boot so i can ditch these crouches. I can’t wait to get back to getting around like I want to. But all is well and God is good.

    P.S. This site is the best because you almost feel alone in this battle. So it’s good to just read the stories and relate with someone else.
    Phil31

  43. Amen and Amen…

  44. Greetings to all “Achillies Tendon” freinds.
    I tore my achillies tendon on my right leg 3 days on Monday June 29, had the surgery two days later on July 1. The pain after the surgery was out of this world, I was given 3 times the amount of morphene permitted for my wieght (211 lbs). I was put into a cast from the knee to my feet, with only my toes exposed. I was told the cast would come off in 15 days then I will be fitted with a walking brace or whatever you call it. My doctor told me I would be able to go back to work on Sept 2 walking normally. I find this very fast based on what others have posted on this site. I had a full tear of my tendon. The wierd part was the plaster people tried to fit me into a cast boot, yet decided I was in too much pain so they put me in a cast. I find it strange they did not have specific orders from the surgern. Anyhow, can anyone tell me if I will be walking in my normal shoes in 8 weeks?

  45. Brent:
    I torn mine on May 23, had surgery on June 1 and still am not allowed to bear weight. So, at 5 weeks no walking etc. I truely hope you will be in your shoes by 8 weeks but you might want to prepare youself for a bit longer. Stay positive.

  46. Greetings, all. I suffered an achilles rupture back on June 16th, which happened to be 4 days before my wedding!! (Unbelievable, right??) The silver lining in all this is that it happened during a company softball game and they are giving me Worker’s Comp! I just had surgery on July 9th, and I’m currently in the 2-week “holding area”. Just wanted to share my story and I’m glad to have found a support group for such an unfortunate injury. The boredom and depression are starting to seep in. (I’m a personal trainer part-time, so you can imagine how this is driving me crazy!). Thanks for letting me share! Any tips on how to cope are greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!

  47. I was in a cast for two weeks after my surgery. At the two week mark the doctor cut off my cast and put me into a ‘aircast’ boot. He told me to put my full wieght on my leg and only use the crutches at a minimum. I am very reluctant to put my full wieght on my leg since it has only been 2 weeks since the surgery. I hade a full rupture of my achilles tendon.

    Does anyone else find this way to early for me to be walking with full wieght on my legs …I had surgery 2 weeks ago?

  48. I had the same advice from my doctor… it took me a few days AFTER he said that before I went FWB [with inserts + aircast boot]. He said as long as the boot was on and properly fitted, I couldn’t re-rupture. It worked for me, don’t know if that’s the same for everyone. I think someone with a shorter-cast re-ruptured on a set of stairs.

    Just wanted to chime in that I was good after ~ two weeks with boot and inserts.

  49. Brent

    at my 2 wk post op visit, my doc said that the AT actually weakens right after week 2 for whatever reason then starts to get stronger approaching 90% at week 6 and then 100% at 6 months.

    My doc has ATR patients NWB thru wk 4-6.

  50. My foot feels numb and is swollen. Does anyone else have the same problem. I had my AT surgery two weeks ago.

  51. Brent, yes my foot would feel numb and swell a lot. it takes a while for your circulation to get back to normal. try to wiggle your toes and be sure to tell your doc next visit

  52. Two weeks after Achilles Tendon surgery, my foot is very swollen. I had the cast removed, and I am now in an aircast. (doctor said to apply full wieght) I have decided to start icing my foot to see if I can reduce the swelling. The thing that bothers me the most is they did not take any exrays of my foot. They looked at my leg and said I had a torn achilles tendon. I had surgery a day later in the hospital. Did anyone else on this message board NOT have an X-Ray done to see if their foot may be broken. My foot is swollen big time 2 weeks after surgery!

  53. Hi all
    I ruptured my tendon on 12 May and had surgery on 21 May. Initially I was in plaster cast for 8 weeks with my foot at varying angles to allow for recovery. I received my air boot on 15 July with three wedge inserts. I went on holiday on 18th July and was fully weight bearing with the boot used only for walking. Luckily I could remove it for sunbathing and swimming. Although I would only swim if the pool was relatively quiet as alot of the children were very active and the last thing I wanted was a re repture in the pool. I took the wedges out over three weeks and I now have one left. I am still off work as the foot swells up during the day and I still have numbness on the outside of my foot which feels really wierd. Does anyone know how long this will last as I would love to start trying to put my own shoes on but daren’t until I get the say so from my consultant. I also started physiotherapy just before my holiday but they can only fit me in later this month for another session. My consultant says that I should be running in six months and I can’t wait.

  54. Hi Debbie, Everything from what you say seems perfectly normal for this injury and I would say you are still on schedule. The more active you get you will still have some swelling etc. and numbness can also be there for quite a while as the nerve endings need time to recover as well.

    Hope you are running in six months, some can some can’t. If you do go back to physio make sure you mention the swelling and they may well give you some extra ultrasound to help the blood flow.

    Good luck
    Annie

  55. Hi Annie
    Thanks very much for your reply.
    Debs

  56. Hey guys and gals,
    I am 8 days post operative for a right ATR which occurred while playing tennis. I just knew it because I felt and heard the “pop”. Later that day I had an MRI which confirmed the diagnosis. That was on Aug. 1st, 2009. Surgery on the 7th. I have a hard plastic splint wrapped with cotton and Ace bandages. Kept the foot elevated and so far have not had any swelling or increased pain. Can’t wait to get the thing off, see the incision and move on to the next stage of therapy. From what I can tell by reading all these posts, I have a long way to go! I post back after my visit in 3 days.

  57. hello everyone; unlike most of u i ripped my tendon completely from the bone by (accidentally) putting my poor foot through glass!
    i am now 8 days post op and have my follow up with the surgeon tomorrow, does anyone know if i will get my cast changed? I have definitley had my teary points but i am trying to think positively! There is going to be a long way to go and positivity will be key. Feels good to know others are going through the same thing…

  58. Kimberly - keep you head up - take this thing one day at a time. It’s a long haul for sure. When I heard 9-12 months to fully recover, I could not believe it. As bad as this is though, it’s not cancer! You don’t have to look far to find someone with a REAL problem.

    As far as the cast, you’ll soon find it’s all over the place here. I never had anything other than a half cast, and even that was only for a week (then into the boot). Others are in casts for months. Depends on your doc and his view of the world. Ask your doc tomorrow for a timeline - I did and it took a lot of the guessing out of the picture for me.

    I continue to be amazed at that wide variations in how these boogers are treated. You’ll get through it!

  59. I am close to 7 months post-op, and now am coming to some sort of normalcy (relatively speaking). I figure another 2.5 months to regain more flexibility in the tendon and strength. Doctor told me that the 1 year mark is the point where you’ll be for the rest of your life, so please make a mental note of that. Does anyone know what material the surgeon uses for grafting?

    I was in three hard casts (1 plaster, 2 fiberglass) then moved to a walker boot. Started PT about 1 month post-op. Completed about 4 months of PT, and am continuing exercising and walking/jogging. I can’t fully run yet. For those in the cast, the advice about keep your leg elevated above heart is critical. You do not want to swell inside the cast. Also make sure the cast is not too constrained (ortho tech wrapped too tight). It was in my case, and I suffered secondary wounds from it which set me back. I always massage my AT, leg, foot; I use a portable ultrasound therapeutic unit; I use arnica and VitaminE oil. All these help in healing.

  60. Like many others here, I suffered a full tear about 18 days ago playing in a competitive basketball league and surgery 6 days after that.

    The way it happened seems fairly innocent - I was planting to change directions as I have 1,000,000 times before and I felt like I got shot in the back in the leg. I was sure someone had stepped on my foot but there was no one near me. I knew for sure that it was torn as soon as I was carried back to the bench.

    I am lucky that my wife has been amazing in taking care of me and driving me around. She has really picked up all the slack around the house and I’m going to owe her big time.

    I am in a slab cast and have my first follow up appointment in 3 days…I am looking forward to the possibility of getting an air cast but am not really looking forward to the long road ahead…..I know it will probably be 9 months before I can play ball again.

    This site is great for reading about other people who went through the exact same thing you are going through.

    Cheers!

  61. What a blessing it is to find this supportive and posiive site while laying in bed feeling sorry for myself. I, like many others, ruptured my at playing tennis. Had surgery 4 days ago and the biggest struggle I have is dealing with the boredom and keeping by leg constantly evevated. Yesterday I felt pretty good, no swelling or pain, and made the mistake of going to my daughter’s volleyball game, to lunch, and then a movie!!! Today I am paying for my outing with increased swelling. Although the temptation is great to go out and about, I can see staying home is a must.

    Has anyone successfully used a knee scooter when returning to work? I teach and really need to use my hands and move from place to place at a quick pace. All mobility tips are appreciated. Thanks for the outlet!!

  62. Ruptured my achilles tendon on 8/26/09, not diagnosed until my THIRD visit to worker’s comp clinic on 9/4/09 - saw surgeon on 9/8 and surgery was done on 9/15/09.

    So, I’m into my second week of post op with the foot up all the time (not always above my heart but doing the best I can here!). I’m really having no remarkable issues with my foot/ankle/leg. It’s a pain fitting the splinted foot under my covers and propping it on a pillow at night but I seem to manage Ok. I don’t have trouble sleeping like some people so I am thankful for that.

    We have a couple of office chairs with wheels on them that I use like a wheelchair. Also, I use it to prop my knee on of my right leg so I can wash my hair at the kitchen sink (nice little creative idea that works very well for me!). Using a walker was ok at first (it seemed preferable to crutches at the time) but then I got exhausted from hopping around on it. Went on to crutches which initially I could not maintain my balance on but now that seems better - I just have aches in my hands and forearms from them which I guess is to be expected.

    Here’s my “thing”: was told by my surgeon that she was surprised to find that I had a shortened achilles tendon which gave her less to “work with” when trying to extend it back up into my calf muscle. She says it may be a moot point to even bring this up but she wanted me to know this could possibly extend my healing time and that it might not even heal well at all if there are complications. Anyone else dealing with this?

    I have my first follow up appointment with my surgeon on 10/1/09 (a young woman who is a fellow from Brown University, specializing in ankle reconstruction) and she seems quite personable and has a nice beside manner which I am very grateful for. Will let you all know how that went. Please visit my own blog at http://dealingwithmyhealing.blogspot.com/
    if you want a more detailed account. Am enjoying hearing about others’ experiences so everybody hang in there!

  63. I totally tore mine on the 7th November, I was operated on the next day. A week later I was back to the doc who removed the cast and inspected the wound and has put another cast on for a month. All is going well as far as I know. There has been no mention of partial weight bearing at all and should there be any exercises that I should be doing to try and keep the calf muscle active.

  64. Well its been 9 days after I had surgery to repair my Achilles Tendon in which I had a partial tear and lots of scar tissue was present in my ankle bc I waited to have surgery. I am in a hard cast, my hands are sore from the crutches, and just in total agony because I have to depend on everyone to take care of me! I have weened myself off of the pain meds bc the pain is very mild and doesnt last long. How long til I can wear my regular shoes?

  65. Hey Necy:

    If I can quote from the movie Good Fella’s “these were the bad times.”

    Nine days post op, not a lot you can do except hang on. Accept help from friends and family and know that better days are ahead. I popped mine in May and feel fairly normal. Still some mild discomfort at times, but for the most part I don’t think about it.

    It might not feel like it right now, but you will get better. I’ll send positive thoughts your way.

    DD

  66. Dear Necy, The good news is your practically through the worst part! Hang in there, and let other people be a blessing to you, because that is also a blessing for them. When you can wear 2 shoes again really varies a lot. When I first got hurt (November 3) I just kept saying, “How long did you say this was gonna take?!?!?! How long?!?!?” It just seems crazy, doesn’t it? I just kept telling myself “This isn’t cancer, this isn’t fatal, this isn’t tragic, it’s just really really inconvenient.” By the way, I’m not in two shoes…yet. Soon, I hope :) Get better every day!

  67. Cripes. I just talked to my doctor’s office and I don’t even go in for my first follow up for another full week. That will make 10 days from surgery…is that normal? Now on the bright side, I don’t think I am slated for any casting in this process, but I am already bored/depressed. No idea how I will make it another week like this.

  68. I think 2 weeks is pretty standard for your first post-op visit. As to the boredom part- I spent a lot of time on Hulu.com, watching TV episodes I’d missed (I watched a whole season of Modern Family in one day!) and a lot of time reading library books and even though this might sound weird, I also spent a lot of time meditating and praying. If I had it to do it all over again (and I pray I never DO get to do it over again) I would subscribe to a daily paper, too. Lots of people on here also spent time exercising their upper bodies and core muscles- wish I could say I did that as well.

  69. I have read several blood clot horror stories on the site, so naturally I am now paranoid. From where I sit, some 4 days post surgery, elevating for most of the day, it is perfectly natural to feel a ‘pressure point’ on the back of the leg below the calf when the leg isn’t elevated, right? Since I don’t see the doc for the first time for another 6 days…

  70. If you read enough here, you can become paranoid about just about anything.

  71. did anyone have the local block in addition to general anesthesia? if so, how long did it take the block to wear off? thanks for any responses. i had surgery yesterday at 3pm.

  72. Obe,

    I did not, but from my experience 6 days ago, I would say that the local block lingering is a blessing. The first 24-36 hours post surgery are the worst. You may not even need narcotic painkillers if the numbness lasts long enough.

  73. I had both and it got pretty grim when the block wore off later in the day. I was told that how soon it wears off is highly individual ,but generally it wears off within 4-6 hours after surgery. Unless you have a pretty high tolerance for pain you are likely to need Rx pain meds. Fortunately, I know exactly what works and what doesn’t and I had the right stuff.

  74. Completely ruptured my achillies tendon last Saturday playing basketball. Have a “soft cast” on right now until next Monday (9 days) when I get my hard cast put on. Has anyone had experience with the VACOcast? I’m hopeful to recover as quickly as possible.

    Good luck everyone.

  75. I did have a block, and it lasted forever! It was called a “Politeal” block. I only ever needed to take one little percocet in the whole two weeks after surgery- though I did have a prescription for 1600 mg of Ibuprofen a day as anti-inflammatory and blood thinner.

  76. No experience, but I wanted one badly, instead of this big black velcro-laden thing. Too bad my insurance wouldn’t cover it. On their website, they show people that look like swimsuit models wearing their vacopeds while sunning poolside and even swimming!

  77. I’ve got the vacoped, and it’s kind of bulky. I dontthink I’m seeingthe advantages of it yet because I’m just on day 2 post surgery and still in a lot of pain.
    My block lasted exactly 12 hours and when it wre off - LOOKOUT! Pain!!!

  78. The pain can be pretty intense for the first 2-3 days after surgery. I had spinal surgery about 8 years ago and I don’t remember anything like the pain I experience with the ATR repair.

    This is what I had before and after surgery, http://www.braceshop.com/productcart/pc/DonJoy-MaxTrax-Air-Walking-Boot-16p870.htm and based on the photos the vacoped looks better. Mine had several velcro straps and after a while the velcro wasn’t working too well even though I cleaned all the fuzz out of it. I don’t know how they compare in weight, but vacoped looks like it might be lighter.

  79. It’s light compared to a cast, and one thing I am starting to realize is the comfort that can bE achieved by using the supplied vacuum pump to suck some air out of the bean bag type sock/ boot to contore better around the ankle.

  80. Thanks for the encouraging words. i had my surgery Jan 8 and I did have the block that wore off after 12 hrs also and had no other choice but to take my pain meds the first few days. I had my 2 week followup and they removed my 1st cast, removed my sutures, and flexed my foot in all directions. To my surprise I didnt have much pain when the Dr. flexed my foot. The downside to it was he put another cast back on for another 2 weeks. I havent been feeling any pain thus far.

  81. Hi all my fellow recovering achilles tendon friends. Of course, had we not ruptured our achilles, we probably wouldn’t be reading this. I ruptured my achilles playing basketball. It was quite painful. I was going up for a jump shot and heard a snap in my leg. I looked around to see if someone kicked me in the back of the leg. Of course, nobody did. It was just my achilles that gave way. I looked into many differen’t options and settled on surgery with a excellent surgeon in chico, ca. My first day after surgery was great. I couldn’t feel anything because i had so much left over pain killers from surgery. When that wore off though, i realized, this kind of hurts. After getting through day 2 i found i was addicted to pain meds wanting to take them every 3 hrs. we called the doctor the next morning and he told us to come in. He took my cast off, and checked for infection and re cast as well as cut it on both sides and wrapped the cast in a ace bandage to allow for swelling. Now i feel great. The most important thing is this: KEEP YOUR LEG ELEVATED. that’s all for now.

  82. Well, there is a community of suffers out there like myself :)
    I ruptured my achilles on Jan.30th at La Fitness in Northridge playing basketball. I was on the perimeter and made a move to drive to the basket (Derrick Rose style), then pop. There was not much pain at all, just more freaked out cause’ I knew this wasn’t a sprained ankle… I had my surgery last Monday (feb.8th) and now I am just going thru the process with this heavy cast. I had to ditch the vicodin after two days cause I felt like I was a mad man and emotional wreck. Vicodin didn’t numb the pain, but rather numbed my mind :) Six days after the surgery, I must say that each day really does get better (not just a cliche). Installing cozy towels and these furry things on my crutches makes them wayyy more manageable. And I have a wheelchair for the home which is important when you dont have around the clock care. My g-friend and mom have been amazing, but they need to live and have space too.
    Living in Los Angeles, I must say that warm weather has been a blessing! Being able to go out on the balcony and breathe is a savior. Dont mean to brag to all y’all who have to shovel that snow and ice. Anyways, I have been most curious as to what’s going on inside the cast. Sometimes it feels like a wet sensation, and I wonder is the wound bleeding or oozing? Could be psychological, but I will see in a week when this initial post-op cast comes off. Greatest fear is skin infection. But this is where I am, and I will post again soon. For all those who are reading and going through this, lets be strong soldiers and persevere! :)

  83. Hi MJ,

    You can have your no-seasons LaLa land! I went XC skiing this morning here in Minnesota, through fields and forest with frost-covered trees in bright sunshine. It was beautiful!!

    My rupture was last year on 2/8, also while playing basketball, (playing defense, George Mikan style), with surgery 2/13. I was out shoveling snow in my shoes 23 days later. No smog to breathe, either.

    Others here have described that wet sensation inside their casts, and apparently it is not an indicator of any problem. I was never put in a cast, so I can’t comment from personal experience. Perhaps others who can will chime in with more details.

    Trivia question: Do you know why that basketball team out there is called the Lakers?

    I hope your recovery goes well,

    Doug

  84. I’m with Doug. We have a good 7-9 inches of snow around our house, temperature today around 15F. It takes me about 70 minutes to get to the ski area where I teach. And the air here is clean. I lived in So Cal for 5 years and that was enough for me. The Lakers are call that because they were the Minneapolis Lakers until 1960 when they became the Los Angeles Lakers, but they started life as the Detroit Gems in 1946.

  85. Just another day on the couch. Thank heavens for wireless and Directv. This is getting old and it’s only week 1.5… My foot (at times) feels slightly numb/pins & needles from all the elevation. But I can tell it’s healthy cause’ no swelling or pain. Its important to straighten the leg periodically because one time I had it elevated on the couch for long hours, it felt locked up when I sat up. But I can say that the initial pain experienced a week and 1/2 ago since surgery has pretty much subsided. Now I’m just trying to keep the ankle stable and practice flexibility exercises with my leg. My right quad muscle kills because of no weight bearing on the foot (right atr). Just going thru the motions right now but I can wait for my doc visit in a couple of days to get the sutures removed. Anyone have a time machine??? Need to speed this experience up! If you have a DeLorean, I have a flux capacitor :)

  86. That period between surgery and the first doc visit is the worst. The absolute worst. At least you have timed it with the Olympics. I got NFL playoffs, but that was only on the weekends. I hope your doc sticks you in the boot after taking out your stitches. Life gets much better when you get your hands back and lose the crutches. Good luck.

  87. Hi MJ,

    This is what I did for my upper leg (lifted from a note on my blog):

    I started another exercise after that five day visit, to keep my upper leg in some kind of shape. I would lay on my back, with my knee bent about 90 degrees, keep my “good” leg in the air (holding that knee with my hands), dig my “bad” heel into the bed, and lift my butt off the mattress. This works the muscles on the front and on the back of the thigh, and the butt muscles, too. I did this often, every day, until I was walking again. The weight is on the heel, so the toes bear no weight, and there is no stress on the tendon.

    If you don’t want weight on your heel, try this (link to):

    http://achillesblog.com/doug53/2009/08/08/six-months-on-calf-at-full-strength/#comment-45

    Good luck,

    Doug

  88. I did my achilles three days ago (Monday) and am in a ’sock’ fibreglass cast for the first two weeks (no surgery). Every hour I have to get onto my cruches and bend my bad leg at the knee so the heel touches my bum, and repeat this ten times, also twiddle my toes ten times. Apart from this I laze around on our sofa/chaise longe affair with my laptop! Good news is I am doing a business degree through distance learning, so I have no excuses for not getting A+’s this semester!

  89. Btw weather wise - we have all four seasons in New Zealand, but it’s summer now - about 21 C (that’s 70 F if you’re not metric!) so fairly pleasant. No snow ever where I live, but lots of wind - I tried to navigate through the front door on day 2 and got my crutches stuck in it when it blew shut on me. Rather freaked me out! So the post can stay in the box til I get visitors or the kids come home :-)

  90. Glad to hear someone else had no surgery. Mine was a tennis injury on Sat. Met the doc, a friend of mine, in the OR Sunday. He said it was a high tear and would be a candidate for nonsurgical repair. Sounded good to me at the time but I’m having second thoughts. Maybe it’s the surgery crush we have in the states. I’m 59 and do not want to repeat and do want to be very active in sports when I heal. Also this doc does not believe in taking the cast off before 8 weeks, even with surgery. ANy advice?

  91. Hi. I tore my AT Saturday playing tennis, met the doc (a golfing buddy), Sun. morning in the ER expecting to operate. He said the tear was high enough and small enough (by feel) that I would be a good candidate for non surgery. Sounded good so on went the cast. Now I’m having second thoughts. Seems most folks in the states have surgery, especially if they intend to return to sports. I’m 59 but not ready to succumb to golf only yet. Also, he is an old school, cast on for 8 weeks guy, even after surgery. Any advice from NZ or anywhere?

  92. Hi Gunner,

    The nonsurgical approach is a perfectly valid option. The fact that you intend to stay active doesn’t change that.

    I do suggest, however, that you find another doctor to oversee your rehab. Being “old school” is not a good thing in this case. There is too much evidence out there that faster rehabs are better and safer.

    Best wishes,

    Doug

  93. What Doug said, Gunner!

    I’ve already told you about my non-surgical rehab, and the recent evidence that it works well. What I DIDN’T know then was that your tear was high (and the separation small). Several people here have mentioned that their surgeons WOULD have operated EXCEPT that the tear was high, near the calf muscle. So that particular rupture location seems unusually surgery-unfriendly, for some reason.

    The small size of your tendon separation should logically help the non-surgical approach succeed, too — though the randomized studies that found non-surgical just as good as surgical obviously included a bunch of large separations, too!

    I forget exactly what my Doc said after one of the UltraSounds I had, but I think he said the separation was 6 cm, which is NOT small — and my recovery has been going great, so far. (Thompson test and palpation both indicated a total tear, but one ultrasound looked like partial, and the next one looked partial but multiple!)

    As I’ve commented on my blog, it is counter-intuitive — maybe even incredible! — that a non-surgical protocol can achieve identical ROM and strength results compared to a surgical repair, including all kinds, sizes, and locations of ruptures. But that’s exactly what the latest and best studies have found (in NZ & Cda)!

    At almost 11 weeks, my own ROM already seems the same as my other ankle, though my strength still isn’t close. (2 shoes, little limp from weak/no “push off”.) The only visual indication of a difference is that my “bad” calf muscle seems higher (=~”tighter”) than my “good” one. (If that’s my biggest problem . . .)

  94. Hi Doug: Thanks very much. I had a great conversation with a friends son who is a PhD PT (not local though) and was emphatic about pursuing a non surgical and early motion rehab approach. If I can find a local PT who has experience and convince my friend the doc to let me work with him, do you think that would be sufficient?

  95. Hi Norm: Thanks for the reply. Just read your whole saga which gives me great encouragement to carry on with the non surgical approach and find a more contemporary rehab process. A couple questions:
    1 - how hard was it for you to avoid reinjury situations?
    2 - maybe i missed it but i went to both sites you referenced concerning the recovery protocol and did not see it in detail. Can you give me the right reference again? many thanks.

  96. Is there a certification or method of determining which doc’s or phys. therapists are up to speed on the best rehab methods? I’m looking for someone on the southwest side of Atlanta down through Columbus, Ga. thx,

  97. “If I can find a local PT who has experience and convince my friend the doc to let me work with him, do you think that would be sufficient?”

    In a word, no. Your PT’s options are pretty limited if your leg is locked up in a cast.

    Good luck,

    Doug

  98. Hi All,

    Complete rupture (basketball) on 3/10, surgery on 3/17 and an awkward struggle to keep foot above heart/chin level since. Oddly difficult to maintain. Anyway, my follow-up is on Monday (two more days) so I assume I’ll be enlightened to some degree then, but I do say that the pain has been steady since the operation. I’m basically passing time in cycles marked pretty much by how long the pain meds last and how soon I feel comfortable taking more. Is this common, or might it be that my surgery was on St. Patty’s day in the Boston area (Cambridge, to be specific)? It’s worth adding that it was a 7:30 am procedure and I did not smell whiskey on the Dr.’s breath during pre-op. I ask because we have two young daughters (3 3/4 & 1 1/4), no extended family around and I’m essentially useless–a burden, even–to my wife as is. Response most welcomed from optimists and otherwise bolstering types!

    Best,
    John

  99. John, your post-surgical pain sounds sad, but not out of line with most of the rest of the post-op reports on this page, starting with “the boss”, at the very top! I had surgery on my first ATR, 8 years ago, and skipped it for my second in December, opting instead for a new-fangled non-op treatment with rapid rehab that’s been shown to work just as well in a number of recent studies. My memory of late 2001 isn’t great, but I think I suffered and moaned for almost a week myself.

    The protocol I’m on — which I’ve posted on my blog — has produced very good results for both surgical and non-surgical patients in the studies. So if your Ortho has you scheduled for a slower rehab — more nuisance to you and your family, without any evidence of a better outcome for your leg — share it with him.

    This protocol calls for a transition from NWB (pure crutches) to FWB starting at 2 wks post-op, and finishing soon after 4 wks post-op. Once you’re FWB, you can start pitching in with stuff, because you’ve got your hands back. Big difference around the house, and at work.

  100. :) I like your blog. It’s good one.

  101. Thank you to whoever created this blog. Misery loves company :)

    I am on day 3 post-op and my block lasted pretty well for 24 hours. The day after when the block wore off I started feeling some pretty strange stuff. I was uncomfortable when I started regaining feeling, thinking that the cast was in the wrong shape (the area of my foot under the smallest toe seems pushed up too much), but now I’m thinking that maybe this is just swelling.

    I would say that the toughest thing about this so far is the psychological component. I had just given notice of leaving the company I’ve been with for 5 years to go traveling around the world, starting this Summer, and that very evening tore my AT playing basketball. Soon I’ll be out of work but not enjoying myself - instead doing PT and trying to get back to normal. Well, everything happens for a reason, I suppose.

    The other thing I worry about, like many of you, is getting back to 100%. Many of us did this playing a sport (I see a lot of basketball references) and so we want to know that we will eventually get back to 100%.

    Lastly, I hate having to ask for help. I live in a 3 story condo and the first night after surgery had my first fall trying to negotiate the stairs. I’m going to look into that i walk free thing. Hopefully insurance will help cover it.

    Any other recommendations for shower bags?

    Thank All, I feel a lot less alone after reading these accounts, dating back years. I know that many of you are not reading this blog anymore - off doing active things and enjoying life again. I can’t wait to do that too. If only I were more patient :)

  102. Hello all,
    I’m currently on Day 12 post op. I ruptured my right AT playing tennis on a whim in completely inappropriate footwear. Had the surgery a week later. I’m only 18, my surgeon said he’d never come across ATR in anyone as young as me! I’m trying to keep my leg elevated but it’s so hard as I’ve got exams and need to be more upright for studying. In the exam hall it’s so difficult to get comfortable although I have a chair to raise my leg on. My baby toe has become completely unresponsive and I get a painful sort of pins and needles on one side of my foot, and it feels really weird and papery to touch - is this to be expected or should I be worried?!

  103. First of all welcome to the club, not one I would choose to join but we’re all in this together. Don’t blame your ATR on footwear, it could just as easily have happened wearing appropriate footwear, mine happened while I was running in pretty expensive(~$120) Asics running shoes. Second I want to encourage you to set up your own blog. You will find it much easier to deal with and get better responses to your questions than you will in this thread. It’s really easy for your posting to get buried here and overlooked.
    It is pretty normal, at least in my experience, for toes on the ATR foot to become pretty useless after surgery. I’m almost a year past my ATR and the toes on that foot are still pretty useless. I seems a bit odd to still be having pain 12 weeks post op. I had some really intense pain for about a week or 10 days after the first three surgeries but almost none after the fourth. Talk to your doctor.

  104. +1! Kristy, tearing an AT while playing a sport usually means that you were in a position to transfer a lot of momentum to your leg, and a lot of force back from your leg to the surface you were standing on and running on. If you were wearing slippery shoes, for example, it would be hard to generate enough force to tear a semi-healthy athletic AT!

    I play beach volleyball, with sloppy traction, and court volleyball, with “squeaky” court shoes that don’t slip and give me great traction. If anything, the beach ball I play is MORE aggressive than the court ball — including 2-on-2(!) — but I tore BOTH of my ATs (8 yrs apart) playing court, not beach.

    So don’t blame the footwear. It probably happened because it was ready to happen. The key is in the healing and the recovery.

    When I was recovering from this (2nd) ATR, the bottom of my foot felt “papery” for weeks. When I slid it over a carpeted floor, it felt numb. Funny, too, because when I stood on it early in the rehab, it was very tender to the weight, but the skin nerves were weird. And that was without surgery, so it wasn’t because something was sliced, it was presumably a side-effect of being NWB on crutches for 2 weeks plus. (I don’t recall my toes going weird, either time, sorry!)

    As far as elevating your healing leg to make it comfortable, I’d say “Just DO it!!” Almost all of us needed a lot of that, it’s better for the leg to control the swelling, and most people will go out of their way to accommodate you while you’re obviously injured, so make it happen! There are ways to read books and papers while you’re leg’s up in the air, so figure out a way to make your leg happy AND pass your exams!

  105. @ normofthenorth and GerryR

    Thank you so much! I’ll looking into starting a blog when my exams are done this weekend!

  106. Hi everyone, just joined the blog today. Surgery was two days ago and tore my left AT last Monday. Having a difficulty getting around, getting comfortable, bathing, etc. Tips above have been very helpful (shower bag, lying sideways, etc). Have my first visit with the surgeon July 12th for incision to be looked at, etc. Just happy surgery is done and am now on day 2 of recovery. Looking fwd to being able to take charge of this.

    When did people go back to work?

  107. Lots of good tips within the blogs. I found sleeping was easiest on my side with a pillow between my legs. Many different approaches to rehab here. Personally, I have found the early weight bearing to be best for me. Boot rather than cast - can shower without as much hassle - off crutches sooner. Not sure yet if there are real long term physical benefits compared to others but certainly my mental outlook is more positive than lying around in a cast for weeks. I was back at work (desk job mostly) after a week part time and full-time the next week. Good luck!

  108. Thank heavens i found this website :-)
    I’ve been feeling like a lonely child in empty house..
    My right AC was cut by an accident of knife dropping on may 31st. major OUCH. Rushed to the ER, Doctor told me that it was just a deep laceration (only 5 inchs)
    and stiched me back up. Thinking everything will eventually heal, even when i couldnt give any pressure on my right tip of my foot, it took me 3-4 weeks after the accident that something was not right.
    After several podiatrist and MRI, got my results as a total ATR. Had a surgery on JULY 15th.

    After three weeks in a soft cast/ splint, Doctor put me on a boot which is very uncomfortable and heavy.
    I took off for few hours and noticed my right foot was discolored blue and purple.. I am quite worried. Also, i’ve noticed how I am still depending on my painkiller.
    I still have few minor pains, but if i dont take any med, i would wake up middle of the night feeling numbing and lots of needle poking my heel of a foot..
    I have been taking oxycodone for three weeks now.
    Help :*(

  109. First of all read the third paragraph on the main page here and follow the directions for getting your own blog. You are going to need it to answer all the questions and further explain what is currently not very clear at all.

    When you say “AC” do you mean air conditioning or did you mean “AT” as in Achilles tendon? Having your AT severed by a sharp instrument is not a rupture. Most of us here actually ruptured ruptured our AT doing some sort of physical activity like running(me), volleyball, tennis, basketball, etc and the tendon was not cut by some outside device, it just broke.

    Now that we got that out of the way, I need some help here because this is really hard to understand, but maybe I’m having a case of the “stupids” today. Somehow you dropped a knife which completely cut through your Achilles tendon? I have a razor sharp jungle knife/machete with a 12″ blade that is 3/16″ thick on the back and I’m not sure I could figure out a way to drop that baby so it could cut through my AT. Then the ER people never checked to see if the AT was damaged at all? Even ultrasound, a 5 minute procedure, would give then a really good idea of the extent of the damage. Utter incompetence on their part and grounds for a lawsuit. Putting you in a soft cast/splint after surgery to repair a severed AT and the sheath around it is, at least to me, pretty questionable practice. Was the surgery done by an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatric surgeon? There are many kinds of boots around, specifically what kind are you in? The best is probably the VacoPed or VacoAchill. Some are adjustable as to the angle of the foot and some are not. It doesn’t seem to me that your foot should be discolored. Is there also swelling? Does it feel warm or hot? Have the sutures been removed yet? You should not be having significant pain 3-1/2 weeks after surgery, but you don’t talk about significant pain, only minor pains. If you only have minor pains, why are still taking the pain meds? Oxycodone is an opiate and addictive. The entire sentence about waking up in the middle of the night does not make much sense, so you need to explain that a lot better. In the meantime, you need to discuss the discoloration and swelling(I’m betting on that) with your doctor. If your doctor is unresponsive or uninterested find an infectious diseases doctor because you could have a big time infection cooking in there.

    Get your own blog and good luck.

  110. Two days post op and I appreciate your blog. Seems like the sun will actually shine again. Thanks

  111. I tore my AT on Sunday (11-14-10) and immediately went to the ER. I got a splint to immobilize my foot and was fortunate enough to be friends with an Osteopath who was able to see me the next day.

    He said most people my age (40) opt for surgery but that it was up to me… Said I could do either and a year from now I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between either choice as far as my functionality and day to day life… Said surgery is “less likely” to re-rupture… said no surgery = 6%ish re-rupture rate… (surgery 1-2%). I won’t be shooting basketball ever again so I’m not too worried about 6%…

    I’ve opted to try to recover without surgery… my foot is in a cast in the “ballerina” position (toe pointed)…

    Tomorrow (11-19-10) I will get an MRI to see if the tendon is in a position that it will heal correctly… If not, then I’ll have surgery on Tuesday.

    So far I really haven’t felt any pain (unless I go braindead for a moment and accidently flex my calf muscle or someting…. and even then it’s very minor and goes away quickly)… I don’t know if it will start hurting as it heals or not… but from what I’ve read above I could certainly expect some pain if I have the surgery. Phooey. Would rather not.

    This is a pretty awful position to be in and it helps knowing I’m not alone :)

    Keep up the good work everybody.

  112. Icky, your risks should be even a bit lower=better than you heard, if you take care and follow a proven protocol. I have the most confidence in the one used in a just-published study out of U. of W. Ontario. I’ve posted their protocol at bit.ly/UWOProtocol , and the free abstract of the study is at bit.ly/UWOStudyPub . (That study had 3 re-ruptures out of 72 non-op patients, =~4%. And it goes quite quickly, which is good for the patient, the job, the soul, and friends and family!)

    As part of that protocol, try to get your foot solidly immobilized immediately, with your heel around 2cm elevated above 90-degrees=”neutral”. (That may be where you are now, but make sure it’s solid, and keep it up in the air for the first 2 weeks.)

    Get a good boot if you can. Lots of people here love the VacoCast (and they advertise here, too!), but even an ordinary orthopedic boot is pretty good, if it’s sized and adjusted properly. I like hinged boots, though you shouldn’t let it hinge yet. (The UWO study used fixed AirCast boots, with 2cm heel wedges.)

    DON’T go braindead! And watch Your Step! Your job for the next few weeks is primarily to keep those torn AT ends together and let them knit back together. And control swelling (with rest, elevation, and ice, and maybe compression).

    The best evidence gives little support to many common “logical” arguments for surgery. E.g., initial gap size was found (in one small study) to have NO effect on the results of non-op treatment in that same study. So your “if the tendon is in a position that it will heal correctly” sounds more sensible than the evidence says it really is.

    If you had a “Thompson’s test” that found a torn AT, the MRI probably won’t add much useful info, unless you have a vanishingly rare complication.

    Good luck, good healing, and welcome to a great community! Start a blog if you’re so inclined, and share your details, your progress, and your questions.

  113. Will try to figure out how to start a blog later… Limited to iPhone right now :(
    Thanks for the encouragement and information.

  114. My turn: I tore my left one on 11/27-Saturday. I was doing a sprint workout and it was my last sprint of the day. Standing start and it popped at first movement. Just like other descriptions, I thought someone had tripped me from behind and I even looked back to see who it was. Coupled with the sound I heard and the sensation in my heel, I realized it was my achilles.

    Surgery was yesterday (Friday). My ortho doc didn’t even order the MRI…said it was obvious it was a complete tear. Now I’m dealing with the constipation (Lortabs) and very painful burning sensation. Others have described the burning sensation and I hope it’s not serious. Any ideas as to that burning sensation?

    I get around with crutches and the knee scooter. The knee scooter has a pouch in front where I carry things back to the couch/bed. My wife has been very supportive…not sure what I’d do without her help.

    It’s hard mentally because life kinda revolved around my running. I run masters track and now my 2011 calendar is wide open. I’ll feel lucky if I can just go back to 5k’s.

    That’s my story for now. Glad I found this website and I hope someone can explain the burning sensation.

  115. So glad I was introduced to this website. I completely ruptured my achilles Tendon at the gym on January 26 and had the surgery on Jan. 28……so it will be 2 weeks on Saturday. I am in a hardcast at the moment and expect to be in one for 5 weeks. I knew I was in trouble when I felt the telltale kick and pop. The pain was unbelievable and I instantly felt like I was going to be sick.

    I stopped taking pain meds 3 days after surgery…couldn’t stand how they made me feel so now it’s just advil for pain. I was back at work almost immediately because, fortunately, my boss is very accomodating. I have pillows from home to elevate my leg and I can even go in her office, lay on her floor and put my legs up the wall…I cannot believe how much this helps.

    I had my first gym day and worked with my personal trainer…she was ready for me with a stool to elevate my leg so there was absolutely no weight bearing at all. It felt really, really good to have positive pain.

    I find evenings and early mornings the worst for tightness and pain but elevating and icing helps. I’ve realized that this will be a fairly long haul but I’m so thankful it’s not permanent.

    I’ve learned all kinds of tricks in a short period of time for getting in and out of showers and bathtubs, picking up stuff around the house and even doing laundry.

    I have, for the most part, maintained my sense of humour and have remained fairly positive but have had a few meltdowns over the frustration of it all.

    Again, so glad I was introduced to this site and love reading other people’s stories.

  116. Welcome to the (not as exclusive as I first thought!) club Janet. I ruptured mine just a few weeks before yours. I’ve gone down the non surgical route as I’m a wimp and didn’t fancy the op. I haven’t had the best of experiences with regards to my care under the north east NHS as I feel they’re being too cautious with me. I was put in a fibreglass cast with toes pointing down for 6 weeks - non weight bearing. I’m now in another fibreglass cast for another 2 weeks but I can partially weight bear now which has made a massive difference to me as I can do simple things like get my own water from the cooler now. I’m back at the hospital on valentines day where I hope to get a hinged walking boot and will be able to full weight bear and that’s where the hard work starts getting back to full fitness. There is light at the end of this tunnel so set yourself small goals (sounds like you’ve done a lot already). One thing I wanted to ask was you said that you’re in a hard cast but you’re icing your Achilles - how does that work with a cast on??? Keep posting to let us know how you get on - it also keeps you sane!

  117. Janet, sorry about the AT but glad you joined us! It is amazing how many tips and tricks one collects while coping with NWB and crutches, etc.!! After my first one 9 yrs ago, I was determined to write a pamphlet. Nope!And after the second one (~14 months ago), my voluminous comments here are still as close as I’ve come.

    I don’t recall offhand how strong the evidence is, but I know that at least some experts think that NSAIDs like Advil (ibuprofen) have a negative effect on tendon healing and regrowth. You might want to check with your Doc, or Google it, or both. . .

  118. Hi garyF

    Thanks for the warm welcome

    In answer to the ice on hardcast question. It was suggested to me by a nurse at the hospital. She said that it does take a while for the cold to get thru the cast but it will…just to make sure that I don’t get it wet. I find the best thing though is laying flat on the floor with my feet on a wall.

    I wasn’t given a choice as far as surgery goes…it all happened so quickly and two doctors said surgery so here I am.

    The reality of it all is hitting me in stages. I’ve never had a serious injury before this so basically I’ve decided that there is nothing I can do about the situation but I can do everything about my attitude.

  119. Hello Normofthenorth

    thank you for the advil warning…I will definitely look into it. I don’t want this to take any longer than it has to.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get much in way of instructions from the surgeon and won’t even see him until next week. The only thing I was told was absolutely no weight bearing at all and that I can return to work as soon as I was off heavy duty pain meds…I don’t think he realized that I would be off them in 3 days.

    When I asked about returning to the gym for upper body and some core work…he said that was fine as long as there was no weight bearing….no time frame was mentioned. So…..I saw no reason to wait around….I’m not sure what the protocol is and I suppose everyone is different.

    LOL…for getting clean laundry up the stairs I just put it in a garbage bag and go up on my butt and lift and move….for picking up stuff around the house…I just keep an empty laundry basket around and put everything in it and then move from room to room.

    It’s funny how putting a bag on my leg before a shower or bath has become routine….I don’t even think about it now.

    My frustration comes, though, when I have to go somewhere…I can drive….but once I get where I’m going…..and I have stuff to carry what do I do.

    The other reality is that if I have to be somewhere that standing for long periods is required or a big shopping trip….then I don’t think there really is a choice except to use a wheel chair…..that is a little disconcerting…..but I keep telling myself…it’s not permanent.

  120. Hey Janet,
    I know what you mean about reading other people’s stories esp when your own activities are limited. I’m at 10 weeks now and remember how I was dragging the laundry along in a bag and “crutching” to the laundry room. I have calluses on my hands. It’s funny how you find a way. I lost weight cause all I ate when left alone was grapes and pumpkin seeds because I could throw them in a bag and take them back to the elevation and icing station.(I too was old by a nurse to ice the cast and did)
    Keep your sense of humor and you will see some light at the end of the tunnel very soon! Good luck!

  121. Janet thanks for the tip about icing the cast - i didnt realise this would work!! Im very lucky in that other than the pain i got when it first happened, i only get sporadic pains & aches and even then it isn’t that bad. I’m intrigued, how do you drive with a hard cast on?!?? Have you got an automatic & does your insurance company allow you to drive in a cast? How I would love to be able to get back behind the wheel, my wife is sick of having to drive me everywhere  I’m hoping when I go back to hospital I’ll get more info on physio and timescales for getting back in a car etc. Keep us posted with your healing journey and I hope it all goes smoothly!!!

  122. Hey garyf

    I am fortunate, as well, that the pain seems manageable but I find that when it hurts it really hurts. Even if it were btwn a 7-10 I would not go back to heavy duty pain meds….I just can’t handle how awful they make me feel.

    It was my left leg so driving is entirely possible. As far as I know there are no restrictions with my insurance. I haven’t been behind the wheel yet…because I cannot figure out how to get stuff from car to work or gym etc…my hands are tied up with crutches. I may attempt to drive tomorrow.

    I hate the loss of independance and even though I am trying to get as much of my life back as I can I don’t want to be foolish either. I am now at the mercy of other people’s schedules.

    I try and celebrate every victory…..like the first time I got in and out of the bathtub by myself……I am fortunate that I was working hard in the weight room before this happened so I have quite a bit of upper body strength.

    Being in the gym again was another huge victory.

    LOL…I did have a meltdown over a pair of tights though.

    The hardest part of all this, though, has not been the injury itself, although that is bad enough, but the day after this happened I also found out my dog had cancer and we had to put him to sleep two days after my surgery. Cast and all I was on the floor with him when it was done….he was one of my biggest stress relievers and would have been right by my side thru this journey.

    I love this site….great opportunity to make new friends!!!!

  123. I found that using a backpack gave me some independence on the crutches regarding carrying stuff.
    I’m really sorry to hear about your dog. Stay strong!

  124. Yes, Janet, bags of all kinds are your friends, as is upper-body strength. And chairs with wheels, too. I kept a few mesh bags in my pockets, with handles I could tie to the crutches. It was awkward and “ugly” — and it definitely did NOT work for a cup of coffee! — but it got lots of jobs done. Soft places to KNEEL are also your friends.

    The faster (and best) protocols — like bit.ly/UWOProtocol — go from NWB to PWB at 2 weeks post-whatever, and from PWB to FWB (”as tolerated”) at 4 weeks. That protocol is from a study that produced excellent results in ~150 patients, both surgical and non — at bit.ly/UWOStudyPub . If your surgeon wants you to go a lot slower, present him with those, and ask how good HIS results are, in comparison! (In the nicest possible way, of course!)

    If you can get back on your feet in 4 weeks post-op (preferably in a good walking boot), you won’t have very long to get used to all that helplessness.

  125. So sorry to hear about the dog, my cousin lost his beloved boxer dog at the start of the year (also to cancer) and it was like losing a member of the family so I know how you’re feeling. Are you from the UK? if so, what part of the country are you from?? If you read my posts you’ll see I’ve had quite a battle with the NHS here in the north east to get treated properly. I took Norms protocols along but they dismissed them almost out of hand (that’s not the way we treat them here was the answer if I remember correctly!!) but i was non op so you may be different. The trouble with the NHS is that you’re in the lap of the ‘gods’ to a certain extent. I have borrowed a back pack from my nephew and it’s a godsend, I replaced glasses of water at home for a plastic water bottle that I fill up and pop in the backpack then carry to whatever room I’m in etc. When on my own (wife is still in full time job) I replaced a cup of tea for a thermos flask full of tea (you get the picture!). Hope all goes well on the driving front, let me know how it goes!! The beauty of this site is that we have all been through similar emotions and experiences and it’s great to talk about them and share them. As much as she tries to, my wife doesn’t really understand what I’m going through so I rely on this site a lot to help me through the good (and bad) times. Good luck with the healing process and remember to let us know how you progress!

  126. Hi Everyone

    Thanks for all the tips…I have considered the backpack idea…and it should work for most things….except getting a coffee upstairs to the office I work at….long staircase.

    I agree, garyf, that this is a great site for venting and sharing because everyone does understand. I know people mean well when they say they understand…but they really don’t…they can’t possibly…I know I didn’t until it happened to me….I will be very careful with that phrase in the future when talking with others who are going through something I haven’t been through.

    It’s funny how I get excited over small accomplishments…..a funny story….I decided to take a bath and figured I could get in by myself and up until that point someone was there to make sure and to help me out….this time I figured I could get myself out without help. My husband heard some thrashing around and figured he’d better check in case I drown myself….by the time he opened the door I was sitting on the edge of the tub with a towel….He said the look on my face was priceless…..like a little kid who learned how to tie their own shoe…..small victories…gotta celebrate them!!!!

    I was at the gym today working with my trainer….it is amazing how quickly she has found new ways to torture me. She’s tough….while she sympathizes and makes sure I am not putting any weight on bad foot….she doesn’t baby me either. I did almost cry though when I first got there though….a kickbox class was in session and normally I never miss that class….it hurt to see everyone in there doing what 2 wks ago I could have breezed through….so it was a tough moment.

    I live in Windsor, Ontario….and I guess I’ll see how progressive the doctor is when I see him next week….he told me the day of the surgery that he figures 5 weeks in a hard cast….another doctor said three…..I like the three idea better.

    LOL….I’m learning more about my achilles tendon than I ever thought I would in this lifetime…..I’m starting to get less squeamish about it.

    have a great day everyone!!!!! Happy Healing

  127. Janet, I think you’ve already become the all-time winner of “the mental game” here, with your celebration of small victories. (It’s not “funny”, it’s wonderful!) There will be lots more ahead, too!

    The fight for a fast modern rehab protocol may be tougher, since it often hinges on a small number of meetings with the key professionals. (Spend a few of them “guessing” what they’ll decide, and you may be stuck in a cast for too many weeks!)

    The good news is that Windsor isn’t very far from London, ON, home of “UWO” (which we all call “Western”), where the best study so far with a fast modern rehab protocol was done, and published in late 2010. They avoided casts completely, in favor of boots. For you, the sooner the better. A boot can do anything a cast can do, but not vice versa. Boots end up cheaper for OHIP, too, though the people who get paid to make casts may not be amused.

  128. BTW, Janet, have you taken the first steps to create your own blog? You obviously have the talent, energy, and interest for it! :-)

  129. Hi Janet,
    My protocol was quite similar to the UWO one that Norm mentions. Also, I utilized the VACOcast as a “cast and a fixed boot and a hinged boot” (it is adjustable to various angles of toe point and flex and you can even swim in it!). Because I was not in a plaster cast and had the removable VACOcast, I was able to get w/a PT and have her start massaging the scar and tendon area and get my ankle mobilized VERY, VERY early on (basically, around a week after the stiches were removed).
    I think this REALLY went a LONG way towards when I finally was weight bearing and now am in 2 shoes, to having great mobility and good flexibility and no pain. My doc. was extremely pleased w/the “suppleness” of my achilles and I have no doubt it is due to my PT being able to get in early on and break-up that scar tissue on the wound-site, and me having the ability (since I wasn’t in a plaster cast) to take off the VACOcast and move the foot and ankle around gently. If you end up in the plaster cast, I’d push hard for the 3 weeks over the 5, personally.
    Keep up the good work, and the positive attitude! I love to see that!

  130. Hi Everyone

    Yes Normofthenorth I would really like to start a blog…it was suggested to me by someone else as well…I’m just not sure how to do that.

    It’s been an eventful 2 .5 wks.

    Yesterday I asked someone in my household who shall remain nameless that I would like them to bring up the vacuum so I can vacuum while they went grocery shopping

    They actually said no. Oh boy….wrong thing to say and it was made worse because said person dared to suggest that I ‘couldn’t’ do it. That was a red flag moment. I, very sweetly, said that I would find a way and if they didn’t bring the vacuum upstairs for me that I would find a way to get it up the stairs myself…..interestingly….the vacuuming was done before I got home from the gym.

    It’s been an interesting 2.5 weeks….I went out last night to a comedy club….and I realized that I’m quite nervous in huge crowds…you have to be aware of where everybody is so that they don’t trip you or bump into you…not to mention where chair legs are in the dark. Not to mention trying to get bathroom doors open because people kind of stand there watching you struggle….then they say “do you need help?” I guess it wasn’t obvious with my hands on crutches and only one leg…..LOL….why do they make doors so heavy and awkward?

    It is also recommended that you don’t drink a lot when you only have one leg and need your balance.

    I find night the worst for pain when I’m in bed….I wake up out of sound sleeps because of it….any suggestions would be helpful.

    what could I take for pain….since I’m a little nervous about advil now. I won’t take any heavy duty stuff…is tylenol ok.

    Another thing….what does anyone do to relieve stress? I used to do cario and weight interval classes at the gym plus spin and, of course, walking my dog….I’m at the gym doing weights now….but….I found a good hour of some sort of cardio helped….now for obvious reasons….I can’t do that.

    Does anyone worry about rupturing the tendon on the other leg….that would be a complete disaster…but with all the hopping around….I’m now very aware that it could happen

    Have a wonderful day everyone!!!

  131. Janet - I’ve created your blog, and you should have received instructions on how to login, etc. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy healing!

  132. Lots of challenges, Janet!

    Tylenol is fine, not an NSAID, dulls pain a different way. Don’t take more than the label says, and I usually get relief with one ordinary pill, YMMV.

    Any exercise that doesn’t strain your calf-and-AT or violate your WB restrictions should be fine, including lots of cardio. Wave those weights around in the air until you drip with sweat. . . Yes, it’s easier to boost your heart-rate with your legs, running around, but there are other ways.

    There are also other time-honored ways to relieve stress. Rest, meditation, all that positive thinking you’ve already been practicing. . . and then there’s booze and drugs. And I skipped sex (but you don’t have to ;-) )!

    I’ve heard from a LOT of ATR folks, including too many who did re-rupture, and a bunch (like me) who ended up rupturing the other side. I’ve NEVER heard of anybody who actually tore the other side while recovering from the first, though lots of us worried about it.

    The bad news is that AFTER you heal, when you get back to the kind of sports activities that tore the first one, you will be at much higher risk than your neighbors of tearing the other AT. It’s way far from a sure thing, but the risk is there, maybe 5-10% if you resume the high-risk activities. (There’s a study about that, linked from the main collection of studies on the site. Look for the word “contralateral”!)

  133. BTW, I found that hopping “got old” very quickly, and I found other ways to get around — crutches, wheeled chairs and “kneelers”, etc. NWB gets old fast, too, which is why the fast protocols rock!

  134. Janet I worry every day about rupturing my ‘good’ leg as that tendon is a bit sore and the calf has gotten very tight. Having read other posts this is quite normal as your good leg is now having to take more strain than before. It has got so bad at times I’ve been convinced it was going to rupture or that I have tendonitis but (touch wood) nothing has happened. Ive read in Norms post that he’s never heard of anyone that has ruptured the other tendon whilst healing so fingers crossed we don’t become the first!! I haven’t got a ‘kneeler’ but have definitely cut down on my hopping and now elevate the good leg and rest the tendon on a bag of frozen peas each night before I go to bed. To be honest it seems to be getting better now I can partial weight bear as well but is still a bit tender. I agree that busy places are a nightmare and ive actually had my toes stood on twice - how they don’t spot my huge blue and white cast is a mystery!!

  135. Thanks Dennis….will get started on that…hopefully tonight.

  136. Yep, NormoftheNorth….nwb is getting old…..this morning the only thing i can think of is flexing my foot…..impossible of course with hard cast.

    I had my first really really frustrating moment yesterday…except for the incident with the tights…tried to make the bed…..Seriously, 20 min. later…I was so frustrated…it is the most tiring thing….and didn’t look that great either….stubbed my toe on the wall while moving around…..I’ve decide unless someone else does it….I’m not making the bed. I even cried…it takes a lot to make me cry….I do realilze I will have moments like that….hopefully they are few.

    LOL…love the stress relievers…will skip the drinking…doesn’t work well with two legs let alone one….I’ll give the drugs a pass as well…except tylenol….I’m not mentioning the third one….LOL

    Considering everything else I’ve accomplished in such a short time….I’ll just let the bed incident go.

    Well, garyf….definitely don’t want the title of “First to rupture AT on good leg while other leg is healing” Good to know it hasn’t happened to anyone else….if it has…please don’t tell me.

    Excited to start my blog…but work comes first…must pay the bills!!!!

    I posted this quote on FB today….hopefully it encourages everybody.

    anyone can give up…it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. but, to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart…..that’s true strength……unknown

    have a great day!!!

  137. Janet, if you can find or buy a low chair with wheels, you can kneel on it and scoot around, at least on one floor of your place. Tasks like making the bed suddenly become possible. Also moving a cup of coffee across the kitchen (or a whole pot), washing dishes, etc. Around here, we’ve got lots of cheap office and “student” chairs that work fine, as long as you don’t have deep shag carpets.

    Others have used (and mostly loved) kneeling walkers or various specialized “knee scooters” and other crutch substitutes. But they’re only worthwhile if you’re stuck NWB way too long. . .

    Starting your own blog — now that D has set it up — is just about as easy as posting here, and then the posts will be in one spot. When you get some time, it would be helpful to make a page on your blog where you copy-and-paste all your various posts and discussions, onto your own blog. No rush to do that (and most people never bother).

  138. Janet,
    I hear you! When I was NWB I had to let sooo many things go. I’m a neat freak and my husband doesn’t “see” the world through my eyes(haha) I would just throw the covers over the bed because making it was impossible. I’ve always kept shampoo etc. put away in the bathroom but up until a week ago everything stayed out on the side of the tub or shower so I didn’t have to gather. before showering I would get all my clothes together so I wouldn’t have to go back and forth. It IS exhausting just getting it together.
    I used crutches for 2 months because after the first couple of days my upper arms and core were sore. I figured I needed to build up those muscles and some exercise was better than none. Yes, my reasoning is messed up but so am I. I’ll have to say my arms look good but I have calloused hands. I had ways of carrying things and balancing. Where there is a will…..
    As for working at the sink and stuff I would kneel on a stool with my left leg and balance on the good one. Good luck and keep posting!

  139. Thanks Gailbuddy for your story. I, too, am a neatfreak and I’m learning what I can and cannot do…but for some reason…I have to try things just to see if I can do them.

    OK…..today was a bad day….actually it started yesterday when I decided to drive myself to work…..the driving part was fine….it was the “what do I do” when I get there that was difficult. I had stuff to carry up. I did manage but I’m rethinking driving myself to work….it felt risky and it was exhausting.

    Last night and today I just felt overwhelmed by everything……everything is an effort. I’m sure almost everybody here has felt that way at some time or another and it’s hard when there isn’t someone who really understands….although the people in my life have been absolutely wonderful….they don’t get it.

    I know this mood will pass and I will be fine tomorrow….I still believe that ” I can do this” and I haven’t lost my determination to make the best of a less than perfect situation but I’m trying to be kind to myself and accept that bad days will happen.

    My son said to me the other day “Mom your stubborness is an inspiration”.

    Ok….now this is the scary part…..today I fell…..I was at home…and I’m not sure how it happened…just lost my balance I guess…I did go down and I did put weight on bad leg….because that’s the leg I fell towards. I can’t flex my foot because of the hard cast so the weight went on the ball of my foot….I don’t think it was my full body weight but it was enough to scare me……everything feels fine…..no sharp stabbing pains or anything…I see the doctor on friday so I’m sure he’ll tell me….should I be concerned.

    Thanks for the support and encouragement…..really helps….hopefully this is my first and last bad day!!!!

  140. The fall doesn’t sound too scary, Janet, but don’t make it a habit. Watch Your Step!! Many of us — maybe most — probably stomped down on our cast or boot hard enough that we DID get some sharp pains. . . I know I did, at least the first time! (The second time, I got the @#$% off the crutches much quicker, and the banister was on the GOOD side of the stairway at home, so I escaped!)

  141. Janet - it sounds like the cast did it’s ‘job’ and protected the AT from what you’ve said. As Norm says you need to be careful as if you were in ‘2 shoes’ it might have been a different story so take it easy! I had some pretty dark days in the beginning, just like you because even the simplest task became a nightmare on crutches/with plaster on - believe me when I say it DOES get easier and you will get through it. Keep us posted on your recovery - ps, did you know your blog is up and running now? I checked your page before and there were no posts on it so all you need to do is log on with your username & password that Dennis should have e-mailed you and start posting!!

  142. Janet,
    Again, I feel you! When no one was looking I was always TRYING something to push the boundries.
    Fixing a hot cup of tea was my greatest accomplishment! On both crutches I would hold the tea, balance that crutch under that arm and still manage to crutch to the elevate and ice station(haha)A patient’s gotta do what a patients gotta do.
    I slipped a couple of times. I went down on my injured ankle so hard one time that I spent several minutes face down on the bed crying. Part out of pain, part out of frustration and also fear that I would have to start all over again with that surgery….but alas it was just a scare.
    The part about EVERYTHING being such an effort is so true. When you hit the sweet spot that I’m in now you will appreciate it even more. I’m at the point that I can do most everything I want but the cutting off point is so vague that you won’t know till you get there! I keep learning that every single day.
    Again, hang in there and keep sharing. It seems like when someone else says”me too” that’s all you need to keep keeping on!

  143. Thanks Gailbuddy….I cried as well when I fell…mostly out of frustration….LOL and now my husband is paranoid….every time I wobble he is ready to grab me. I will keep trying stuff to see what is doable and what isn’t…..I just can’t help myself.

    I’ve accomplished soooo much already. I was at the gym by myself tonight doing my own workout and had no problems moving around the gym. When people see me working out with my cast…they don’t dare complain….it was really great tonight…..to just be there by myself doing my thing.

    Tomorrow is my first doctor’s appointment since the surgery….I’m a little apprehensive….part of me keeps thinking he’ll wonder what the heck I’ve been doing and haul me off to surgery again. Last I heard I was getting another hard cast….I’m hoping I’m one of those quick healing people. Although I’m not for looking at incisions etc…I would not make a good nurse….I am very eager to see how everything is healing.

    I’ve regained my mental balance and my attitude is once again positive….soooo happy about that….I was beginning to feel like even I didn’t want to be around myself.

    Quote for the day:

    conquering a difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary line and adding to one’s liberty…….henri frederic amiel

    have a great night everyone

  144. Try to convince him to shift you into a boot instead of another cast! Boots ROCK!

  145. Hooray!!!!!!! A boot it is….Doctor took one look at me and said ” I think you’ll be happier in a boot”

    I asked him if I could put weight on my foot…I was kidding….but he looked at me with a horrified expression and informed me that maybe I could put my toe down for balance. Unfortunately the boot I need wasn’t in stock so it will be here Monday or Tuesday of next week….it’s to be set at 30 degrees….I’m assuming that’s standard.

    These things are seriously expensive!!!!!

    I am also assuming I should sleep with it as well…scared to flex automatically in my sleep and of course right now all I want to do is flex my foot. LOL..they had to x-ray it and the technician suggested I move my foot a little…for the proper position….I informed her that it doesn’t flex…..hard cast. The best part was when they had me stand and asked me to put my heel down as far as I can….again…hard cast it doesn’t go down.

    I still haven’t seen the incision…..they have cut the cast a bit but didn’t remove it until the boot is here. The doctor told me the stitches were disolving so no sutures to remove and when I asked him what it looked like in there….without hesitation and very emphatically he said “it was a COMPLETE rupture.

    so…I’m pretty excited. Good news all around.

    I have a big shopping outing planned….it will be a wheelchair for me with my friend pushing…scary thought…she said this way she gets exercise and I can hold her stuff.

    Quote for the day:

    in everyone’s life…at some time…our inner fire goes out. it is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being….we should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit…..albert schweitzer

  146. I’m so happy for you! The boot is the next stage towards freedom! Easy does it!

  147. Wonderful to hear you got the thumbs up on the boot. it is totally the way to go!!!! A wonderful milestone, indeed!!!!

  148. Yay for getting the boot! Do you know which brand and model of “seriously expensive” boot you’re getting?

  149. LOL..ok everyone…finally made my first post on my blog….now I will be a blogging fiend.

    Thanks garyf for the words of wisdom and encouragement….I am trying to be careful….although everyone I know thinks I will take too many chances. Although the fall was simply a foot getting stuck on a carpet. I have assured everyone that I am determined but I am not careless as I don’t want this long haul to be any longer.

    I officially got my boot today…they had to order one in. That baby cost $450.
    I”m reading upside down for you normofthenorth it is a vacoped. It looks like a huge ski boot. The nurse that fitted it said normally she just hands the boot to the person and the doctor takes care of putting it on…LOL…I guess he really wanted me in this boot. She said he called with very specific instructions to be very careful with my foot. The boot is set at 30 degrees so it’s like the cast and I can put absolutely no weight on it. She suggested that since I am seeing the Doctor on Friday that I not take it off for showers or baths until he checks the incision and that sort of thing. It is more comfortable than the cast….just knowing I can take it off is a relief….I have decided that some pants just won’t fit over the thing…it’s huge. So my new challenge is not moving my foot while getting pants on while boot is off…..LOL…will the fun never end.

    Sleeping with this thing will be another adjustment. I was expecting my calf to look worse than it does as far as muscle loss goes…..It’s amazing how much I’ve lost already in my upper thigh. I have started doing leg raises at the gym to strengthen my quad so that it won’t be totally pathetic.

    I asked the nurse today about physio…she said it will be sometime before I start…and if he does start sending me it will be very slow at first. I’m sure some of you can tell me when that might happen and how slow it might be.

    My friend took me shopping on Saturday…..the wheelchair thing was an experience…won’t tell everything here….have to save something for the blog….but I will say it has opened my eyes to the world of the handicapped. I was amazed at how many people averted their eyes in case they had to do something to help or when taking the elevator how people would ignore the fact that we were trying to get on and cut in front.

    My friend made it a super positive experience and for the most part people were wonderful but I think stores should make their aisles more wheelchair friendly. I am going to tackle the mall here in Windsor on Friday and see how that experience goes.

    For the first time since this whole thing began…it will be 4 weeks on Wednesday…..I actually had day where I did absolutely nothing….well I did go to the gym but then when I got home around noon…I slept for 4 hrs, woke, read, slept again, ate, dozed, watched tv and went to bed and slept again….I can’t even remember the last time I did that.

    It’s funny because everytime I go to the doctor or today getting the boot….I keep waiting for a different outcome….like it’s not going to take as long…or it was minor or something….did anyone else ever feel like that?

    Ok quote of the day:

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me…..an invincible summer……Albert Camus-lyrical and critical essays

  150. I feel your pain. The plastic around your cast brought back some memories. LOL

    I ruptured my left achilles tendon back in August of 2008. 2.5 Years later I’m happy to report I am just fine. I also had a plastic shower chair with a back. Too funny!!

    I totally understand about the swelling. Elevation, yes. Once the cast was to tight and they had to modify it. My toes were turning purple LOL All was good.

    I experienced swelling after cast was removed. Well, the final cast was removed. When I received my removable boot, I had some swelling if I was walking about all day. Nothing a little icing and elevating didn’t cure. Once back into two shoes was the best feeling. Walked with a slight limp but that passed as well.

    Good Luck. Keep me posted.

    Glen

  151. Hey everyone

    It has been decided with my boot that I look like a tranformer….the young lady that works for me has taken to calling me Optimus Prime….my trainer has decided the name suits.

    Getting used to the boot has been interesting. As mentioned previously, it was suggested I not take off boot until I see doctor on Friday. OK…it is next to impossible to get a pair of pants on over this thing…..so….off it came to get those on. My husband is super nervous when this happens….he thinks I’m going to fall or something. I have to say…all I want to do is flex my foot.

    I’ve noticed that I’m experiencing pain again…not huge pain but very achy and sleeping with this thing is quite the experience. Can anyone tell me when you can sleep without it….I’m sure it’s probably different for everyone. I’m a little nervous about it thoug because wouldn’t you automatically stretch, point and flex?

    My other thing is that in the dead of winter…my toes are hanging out. I can’t imagine putting a sock on under boot padding…the elastic would make me crazy…and ankle socks would cut right where the incision is…..LOL…I tried a man’s worksock over top and there is no way anything is going on over this thing….it’s huge!!!!!!

    It feels lighter than the cast but it’s bulkier.

    Sleeping is a serious problem..it’s very broken up right now…..not sure what to do about that. I was already a caffiene addict but this has kicked it into high gear.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is that I have absolutely no appetite since this happened……has that happened to anyone else?

    Any suggestions as to the sleep thing and sock thing would be great.

    happy healing eveyone

    todays Quote:

    the remarkable thing is…..we have a choice, everyday, regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day……charles swindoll

  152. Dear Optimus Prime…. (LOVE it!!!!)

    My boot story…
    I never slept in my boot (VACOcast). I didn’t ever do any weird pointing or flexing stuff in my sleep, either, but I can’t guarantee others won’t. I put my crutches right next to my bed against the wall in such a way that they “blocked” me from getting up w/out having to physically move them, so that was my safeguard against waking up half-asleep and forgetting and getting up and trying to walk. Then, I’d just crawl (short distance on carpet) to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
    Another thing I did while sleeping w/o the boot is I took a “body pillow” and folded it into thirds and put it under the covers at the foot of the bed, even w/where my foot usually resides, for 2 purposes:
    1) protection against my husbands feet (he’s not a restless sleeper, but just to be on the super-safe-side).
    2) to give some “lift” to the blankets (create a little “tent” for my feet). The sheet and down comforter felt like a heavy weight on my foot/ankle, otherwise.

    Sock-wise…I happened to have 2 pairs of socks that are made for when you wear clogs or mules. They only go down to the bottom of the ball of the foot. If you can’t find a pair of those, I’d suggest taking a pair of cheap socks and just cutting them off w/scissors right around the bottom of the ball/top of the arch area. Worked well for me.

    Hope that helps!

  153. Thanx iski7B

    LOL…my blankets are driving me nuts….they feel like they weigh a ton.

    I will be asking the doctor some questions tomorrow. I think the nurse is just being super cautious because they don’t usually put the boot on.

    I am concerned about the point and flex thing when half a wake. I was a dancer (ages ago) but I have retained the habit of pointing and flexing my feet. I don’t think I actually would because I am so aware of my achilles tendon now…..but…you just never know.

    I have my crutches kind right where they remind me not to get up without them. Unfortunately I live in a 1.5 story house so bathroom is on the main floor. Late at night I butt down the stairs…can’t imagine trying to get down half asleep…..toooooo scary.

    I will try cutting a sock….my poor foot is abused enough.

    Have a wonderful day!!

  154. I think I was 4 or 5 weeks into my non-op “cure” when my PT gave me the OK to sleep boot-less, and it seemed fine. (ISki, you were several weeks in before you GOT the Vaco, weren’t you?)

    In addition to being vulnerable to your husband, etc., there’s some risk that your foot will relax into a toe-down position with your calf-and-AT contracted. Some people find it “a stretch” (literally) to get back into their boot in the morning. After your boot is adjusted to neutral position, this will probably happen the most, and it may be helpful to sleep in the boot a couple of nights, even you gave it up earlier.

    If your normal “stretch, point and flex” is all toe DOWN, in plantarflexion, it shouldn’t do any harm (as long as its relatively gentle), since most good protocols have that as an exercise starting around 2 weeks in. In fact, it would probably be easier on your AT than pushing your toes down in a boot or a cast.

    But if it includes any dorsiflexion — especially toward the limit, past neutral, it’s definitely on the no-no list.

    Just a sidebar: If you young women are going to torture the local “leg men” with stories of your dancer leg flexes and thigh-muscle definition, you may have to start including photos. ;-)

  155. @Norm: I got the VACOcast as soon as the splint came off and the stitches came out (day 10 post-op).

  156. LOL……well normofthenorth…..i am trying to figure out how to post pictures on my blog.

    For me the point and flex would mean….total point and the flex would definitely be past neutral. I would think that I would be to aware of my injury to do that but the ‘what if’ thought did cross my mind.

    You did give me my smile for the day

  157. I got my VACOcast on day 29. I never slept in it. I DID have problems with the covers also. I too made a tent with the good foot and for a while slept with my AT foot on a pillow, I sleep on my side or back. I have a tendency to stretch and it can be painful but I seem to be okay now. The sleeping thing still alludes me…have never had an easy time of it and the new “dead man’s ankle” hasn’t made things any easier.

  158. So I just finished two hours of reading on this website and can honestly say that I am in more of a state of depression that when I started reading. I ruptured my AT Jan 28th playing basketball and just like so many people have stated, I heard a loud pop and felt as if someone struck my heal. And yes, I did turn around to see if anyone was there; to my surprise, obviously not. It was text book. I had my surgery two weeks later because bad weather forced the orthopedic center to close. I had my surgery a little over two weeks ago and upon coming out, I had little pain. The two days after that the pain was considerably more, but the meds kept it under control. I focused hard not to move my leg at all and was quite successful; i did, however, have the occasional whacked out dream (from the meds I wager) that would cause me to move or flex my foot and I would wake up in a crazy panic. After three days, I had absolutely no pain and I started doing some exercise from my bed and floor (pushups, situps, leg raises, etc). I bathed the third day and felt like a million bucks, relatively speaking. Now I know the recovery time is anywhere from 6-8 months but I thought that was just the conservative number that the docs give a person. After reading all the posts from everyone here, I am starting to feel that I am deceiving myself. I have been feeling so good, even though I did have a slip in the bathroom, and have began to put some weight on my foot and have been doing flexing exercises for my AT and calf. I have absolutely no pain whatsoever, Thank God. I go in Tues to have my stitches removed and have my foot put into a cast; its in a half cast wrapped with sports wrap.

    MY QUESTION: Has anyone on this site had similar experiences like myself where they actually flexed and put weight on their AT/foot and found that they accelerated the healing process? I am going to discuss all this with the doctor but I was hoping someone could give me some good news and hope that I can be walking in 3 and half months as apposed to 5 months. I know that the AT is not a very vascular tendon, but figured mild flexing of the tendon by pointing my foot further downward would aid in the healing process. I hope, after reading all these posts, that I am not working against myself. I would be devastated.

  159. Actually my last post I made a mistake, I did not mean to say that I am going to have my foot put into a cast Tuesday. Rather, I am having it put in the boot. Sorry for any confusion.

  160. yes, from my experience and reading others I would get into a boot FWB as soon as possible(not a cast) right when you get the stitches out if you feel up to it(asuming your in one now). I was where you a year ago. MikeJ see my blog. However, I don’t know what your situation is so as always talk to your doc.

  161. Who told you it would take 5 months for you to be walking? FWB walking IN the boot should happen at or just after 4 weeks, and walking in 2 shoes, at or just after 8 weeks, if you follow the protocol in the newest (and best, IMHO) study that treated patients surgically AND non-surgically. I’ve posted that protocol at bit.ly/UWOProtocol , and there’s a more “official” version linked from the study, which you can find linked in this site’s list of studies.

    That protocol says it’s OK/helpful to flex gently (only below the neutral position) starting at 2 weeks “post”, and gentle PT can start at the same time. Trying to plantarflex inside a boot or cast pulls directly (isometrically) on the AT, so I’d avoid it for now.

    The most aggressive post-op rehab that’s documented here is on doug53’s blog. Nobody knows how likely you’d be to re-rupture following his path, but he came out fine, and FAST! It’s a good read.

  162. I read doug53 (now 55) post and it was helpful thanks. I hope I can mimic the same; however, for a man of 53 that claims he was in just “ok” shape but rode 50 miles a day…i think im still in for a long upward battle. Well see tomorrow, stitches come out and I have already started walking with no crutches on my splint. The funny thing is, i can totally put all my weight on my ball of my foot and stand….painless. Is this normal? Do you think the doc did something wrong? Im very confused.

  163. I had my surgery on Feb 24 2011 and now i am in a cam boot till the doctor decides when to drop it. Mar 21 is my first day of physio. I started to have some tinglings/pinching in the area where the surgery was done from Saturday night. i hope it stops today. The stiches are off and now I can shower without issues. I still am on crutches and I am very very cautious.

    Will keep all informed on the progress. My goal is to walk and drive by Apr 18 2011.

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  166. Hi all, I had my surgery 3/15/2011, so I’m 2 days post surgery and I’m wondering what the next steps are? I have a post op appt on the 24th, which i assume will be to take out the stitches but will i stay with this cast for 4 weeks? Then do i get another cast?

  167. Well I am 7 weeks out after surgery and the doctor told me that I can walk in the boot (i have been for 3 weeks already). The problem I am having now is that my heel is killing me. It’s excruciating pain and I cant understand why. The heel lifts only make it worse. I am going to buy some doc scholls gel inserts and see if that does not alleviate the problem. Doc said I can start rehab now and says that if i stay at my pace, i should be running by the 4 maybe 5 month mark. Does anyone else have pain in their heel like me?

  168. Oh yes!! I have not had the surgery but the heel pain is terrible. Even worse during (and after) heel raises which is a no win situation as I know I need to do these to increase my calf strength so I can lose my limp and walk properly!! I’m hoping this is normal and will gradually disappear but I’m now 15 weeks post rupture.

  169. Hisham, there’s heel pains and there’s heel pains.

    If you’re talking about pain on the BOTTOM of your heel, then I’d say “welcome to the club!” because the majority of us felt that pain. Soft footbeds (or Crocs shoes) help, and rolling your heel around on a small ball (while seated) usually helps, too. And time. In my case, exercise didn’t make it worse, but rough and hard surfaces and the like sure did.

    If it’s a pain at the BACK of the heel, that’s different, and I’d take it as a sign of over-stressing the calf-and-AT (and especially the link between the AT and the calcaneus = heel bone). I developed one of THOSE pains after my first (2001) rupture by (grossly) over-doing 1-leg heel raises, and I backed off until it stopped hurting, which took a MONTH.

  170. hey everybody, i ruptured my AT on 3/14 and didn’t get surgery til 3 wks after. i am now 5 days post op and feel like i’m recovering well. my question is how long i should be elevating my leg. i’ve been doing it everyday after the surgery and the nurse told me that i’d only need to do it for 2 days and longer only if it hurts. well, it doesn’t necessarily hurt when i don’t elevate it but it begins to swell. should i still be elevating it? my first post op appointment is next friday.

  171. Hey Martin,
    Sorry about your ATR. Elevate as needed. I am 4 months post op and STILL elevate and ice from time to time. The more you elevate in the early stages the less inflammation..Good luck and let your body guide you!

  172. that makes sense, but is there any damage being done if i take a break from elevating it every now and then? for instance, since i am stuck in the house i might play some video games or jump on the computer. im more comfortable sitting while doing these activities.

  173. Many of us have arranged footstools and such, so we can do seated things with our ATR leg elevated somewhat. Not necessarily above the heart, but every bit helps.

    I think swelling/inflammation stretches tissues and cells, and impedes healing. It also creates symptoms like joint stiffness which are similar to, and confusingly “mask”, symptoms of the ATR recovery itself. We’re all different in how long the swelling/inflammation (and elevation) persists. At one point, I posted a page with a title like “This swelling and elevating is getting OLD!” because I couldn’t believe how long mine was lasting. It did pass. The habit of sticking my leg up on a footstool eventually passed, too, though it took a while longer! ;-)

  174. Thanks for the informative blog, I had my rupture last week and surgery a few days after. It’s only day four post op and I am on the path to recovery as well. I’ve experienced all of the symptoms you’ve mentioned above. It’s nice to see what other people are doing and what they’ve experienced. The first night after surgery was absolutely miserable! I thought someone sneaked into my bed and performed a second surgery while I was trying to sleep…I am hoping for an aggressive rehab and PT to get back to my active lifestyle, I guess we’ll see if my body will allow me to do that.

  175. Hi people. Thanks for for this blog and for all the experiences written here. I came to New Zealand to work for 3 months here and travel in the weekends and i ruptured my achilles after month and half playing football. Went to hospital right next day, and the doctor said that maybe i didnt had a total rupture, cause i still had some movement in my foot. Anyway they put me a fiber glass cast for 2 weeks, and im going to change it this thursday. Till now, after the 1st day with the cast, i didnt had any more pain, i move my toes perfectly. You think is possible the doctor to put me in the boot after 2 weeks? or even put some weight on the foot? or is definitly to early and risky? i just hate to walk with crutches and being some limited to do even the most basic stuff.By the way…im 31 years old and was used to play football once a week. Thank you wall

    Cheers

  176. Hey JohnD,

    Welcome to the “club”. It sounds like I’m on a similar time table to what you are. I had my surgery on March 17, just had my 4 week follow-up appt.

    As far as an aggressive recovery, talk to your doctor/surgeon a LOT about that. For example, at my 1-week follow-up, I prodded him a little bit to get me into the boot at 1 week rather than going with another cast/splint. The longer your leg is in that cast, the more you’re going to have to UNDO or build back up when you finally get back out.

    Good luck. I’m very happy with my recovery at this point. My 4-week follow-up was last Friday and at that time the doctor gave me the green light to start putting full weight on it and walking without the crutches. I’m being very careful to learn how to walk “the right way” again and not just limp around. I’m planning on using the crutches for several more days to help this process along.

    I’ve actually already been riding a bike for the last several days. To qualify that, my autistic step daughter has a 3-wheel “grandma” type bike with a basket on the back for going to the grocery store or whatever. It’s stable, easy to peddle with little to no pressure in first gear, and gives me a chance to get my legs moving. The doctor said it was okay, as long as I took it somewhat easy and STILL HAD THE BOOT ON. I said no problem. In all reality it’s probably no different than riding a stationary bike but with some scenery!!

  177. One more note on SWELLING:

    I don’t know that I’ve heard anybody else mention what my doctor gave me post-op for swelling. Directly after surgery (before I even woke up actually), they wrapped my cast/splint in some material containing some water bladders. That was hooked up by hoses to a cooling unit which plugged into the wall. The cooling unit pumped COLD water into the bladders enveloping my cast.

    They told me to keep that on virtually 24/7 at LEAST the first week, in ADDITION to keeping it elevated as much as possible.

    I followed that VERY strictly, even though it was like being hooked up to an anchor, for the first week.

    My understanding is that this can SIGNIFICANTLY speed up recovery time because of how much it does to knock out the swelling.

    At any rate, as I said before, I’m happy to have just had the cast/splint on for just a week and if the cooling unit contributed to that, it was well worth it!!!!

  178. I’m a few days out of surgery, and this is the first day I didn’t take the pain medicine. I’ve had many knee surgeries, but this one was much more painful and the rehab seems like it will be tougher. My biggest worry is that I had to catch my balance three times with my bad foot, and I fear I might have done some damage. Have most of you had to put some weight on the repaired foot at some point? Did it do long term harm?

  179. Many of us slipped, few of us reruptured. But those who did got to think about it for a long time. I think one of many good reasons to follow a fast protocol — one that gets you off crutches and FWB in a boot at ~4 weeks in — is that you have a better chance to avoid those slips.

  180. i had a slip when i was NWB in my first CAST and felt terrible when i did it. i had a shooting pain go from the sole of my foot all the way to my thigh and i thought i had done some major damage at first but the pain went away within 20min or so. i got that cast removed 3weeks post-op and a new one fitted which i was told is weightbaring (although never told how much weight). i felt much safer with it on and was more confident in my movements and had my crutches thrown away by 4weeks post-op and walkin about as normal still in the cast. alot of people say that the boot is much better than the cast on this site but i am very happy with my cast and the protection it has given me which i do not feel would be achieved with the boot. i cannot take cast off so its stuck on there till the tendon has healed, the boot can be removed which cannot be a good thing in my eyes.

  181. I got my post surgery cast replaced with a smaller lighter cast last Wednesday. It really is much easier to work with, but I still need to keep my foot up a lot. I’m using a knee-walker whenever possible and that is helping me a lot. Crutches and one leg are awfully wobbly. I recommend the knee walker if anyone’s considering it. Anyway, so far, the minor ‘foot faults’ seem to have done no harm, and I’m moving along.

  182. 24 hours (exactly) removed from my surgery, and I’m doing alot better than I expected. Leading up to the surgery I was kind of worried about how the recovery period would be… Even moreso than the actual surgical proceedure, although I’ve never had surgery before. I own a clothing store and an event promotion business so I’m a really busy guy and sitting in my bed for 2 weeks is going to be (and already is) torture.

    I haven’t really experienced any pain outside of periodic numbness of the toes, probably because I don’t always keep me leg elevated enough. Aside from the general anaesthetic that they gave me, they also gave me a shot that they called a “nerve block” which pretty much took all of the feeling out of my leg up until right now. So I’m guessing this is when the “pain” starts. Just took my first dose of percoset, I’ve never taken it before but I’m guessing that it hasn’t kicked in yet because I don’t feel any different lol.

    I’m really going to try my best to stay off my leg but I’m super independent and tend to break doctor’s orders whenever i’m sick lol… Hopefully in this case I don’t learn the hard way, I’m just staying as positive as possible. I’m glad that I found this site and will definitely look to it as a point of reference and support.

  183. Nudy: Once that nerve block starts to wear off, you will likely feel pain. I also had percoset and it did not work for me at all. I gave up after taking a few and just took Advil, which seemed to work really well. You will definitely have pain and tingling in your toes, but it should subside pretty soon. Keep your leg elevated and ice as much as you can.
    hang in there!

  184. Clarence Clemons dies and a giant Asbury voice dies with him. He’ll be jamming with that famous group in Heaven now…

  185. hello, just discovered this wonderful, helpful, encouraging blog. have to quickly say i’m a bit of an imposter, mayble, cos my surgery 2 weeks ago was decompression surgery for 2 years of quite acute tendonopathy, but so much of it sounds the same though I’m not in a cast but crutches to help me walk only on the ball of my foot. The pain (heel and into wound site) is only just starting and i’m grateful to read all the posts and discover that this is probably ‘normal’ - though it feels like hell when i get a belter. I’ve been given no aftercare advice at all, the pain meds made me feel dreadful (Tramadol) stitches were taken out 4 days ago. I’m just wondering how long this is all going on. At least I’ve got Wimbledon tennis to watch at the moment! Thanks everybody and good healing to you

  186. Anna, your story sounds like it could be quite similar to mine, did you have a graft with the decompression? If you have time, set up a blog. Its really helpful and I have had a lot of advice/enouragement this way. Gailbuddy and Smish3 went through a similar journey to mine before finally having surgery, I found their advice invaluable.

  187. thanks Alison - no, I didn’t have a graft. i’ll think about the blog idea. its great that there is such a supportive community out there. best wishes

  188. I ruptured my achilles tendon on the 18 June 2011. It was initally misdiagnosed as a calf muscle tear but upon visiting a physio therapist they advised I go back to my doctor. I went back and he ordered an ultrasound which showed a 50% tear. My GP recommended an orthopedic surgeon who advised surgery was in order. I was operated on on 28th June (ten days after the injury). I am now recovering at home. the blog has been quite useful in providing advice.

  189. Ruptured my Achilles tendon 24th of june 2011 playing basketball . operated on the 29th of June 2011. this is my 3rd day since surgery in a half cast. i get pain on the Achilles area only when i stand up on my crutches and it feels heavy as if the achellis area is ballooning up with blood.Also one time while sleeping I over extended my foot a bit and felt sharp pain for 30 min until it subsided. any one get similar feeling when standing on crutches? when will i be able to stand without this awful feeling? By the way i use the desk chair with wheels to go around the house, its a great idea if you live on one floor and the floor is not carpeted.

  190. Hi whyme,
    The feeling you get when you stand is pretty typical - I had it too at first (I’m now at 5 wks post-op). If I remember correctly, the ballooning/throbbing when standing was mostly during the first week. Swelling will still occur for quite a while yet whenever its not elevated for an extended period of time, but that instant throbbing feeling won’t stay around for long.

  191. Hi

    Even with my leg elevated the stiches still hurt. Are painkillers advisable post day 3 after the op ?

    Any advise for cold toes ?

  192. my doc told me that the stitches will remain a tender area with some mild swelling for a while. is the pain unbearable? i found that on my day 3 i really didn’t need painkillers anymore. everyone’s threshold is different. after a long day 2 days in a row though, my leg is throbbing and i took one.. We are moving so i have to try to help pack.

    sorry about the cold toes. mine have been on fire….

  193. thanks jeff31
    hi abiseshen im taking ibuprofen and paracetamol. The nurse advised me to take them up to 3 to 4 days even if there is no pain, not sure why but apart from reducing pain pain killers also act as anti inflammatory specially the paracetamol . but always ask you doctor.

  194. tkd108,
    My GP gave me a script for some very strong codeine based painkillers but I never filled it. I had 3 days supply given to me at the hospital and I never finished them. Strong codeine is almost like morphine. In fact the liver converts it to morphine in your body and morphine makes me sick. The doc also told me that straight paracetamol (500mg) if taken every 6 hours was a very effective pain relief strategy and warned me off anything like ibuprofen. He said this type of drug might inhibit healing. I tried not taking painkillers because I hate taking drugs but I had a great deal of pain in my gastoc area every time I got up. He was right about the paracetamol and I used it for about 2 weeks post op. I was also advised not to take more than 8/day.

    Regarding your cold feet. I had the same problem but its winter in this part of the world. My daughter is an ER nurse and she felt my injured foot and was concerned that my toes were cold but then she felt my other foot and they were the same. Cold toes can be an indication of poor circulation but it could be due to other factors. A quick google and I found this
    http://www.health-first.org/health_info/your_health_first/kids/cast_care.cfm
    Point 4 under cast care.

    I also found a this website
    http://www.piggywarmer.com/castsocks.html

  195. Sorry, my last post was for abiseshen not ikd108

  196. With you there Stuart. I reacted really badly to morphine and codeine and felt sick every time I moved. Glad you posted this as it reminds me how much better I feel now!

  197. Well, like others, I have found these posts to be very informational and encouraging. I ruptured my AT on June 26th while hurdling competitively. It popped while landing off of hurdle # 2. My adrenaline from the race covered up the pain of the injury so I was quite baffled as to what exactly happened. It looks like I am not even as good as I once was once. That one is for all of you Toby Keith fans…
    The most frustrating part about this besides being so immobile, is that now my wife has to carry the load. I just had the surgery on June 30th and have been primarily elevating and only getting up to go to the bathroom. Similar to most of you I assume. Though, we have two very high maintenance dogs that I usually took out potty and fed them, etc. Now it is all her. Granted, we are both teachers and have summers off, but this makes matters worse because now we really can’t make the most of our summer break. She does run her own business all year as well and I see this slowing her down that way too. Don’t get me wrong, she has been great. I am just so used to taking care of her. Very frustrating guys…I know I am not the only one. Thank you all for taking time to share your stories. Good luck with recovery! I will be reading…

  198. One more thing…I really only had pain through the first day. It felt great with very few pain meds through days 2-4, but the pain has come back as I have began to be a little more active. Is this from the swelling? The pain is actually on the outside of the ankle joint, not near incision. What can you gather from that? I also ran out of a med that controlled the inflammation. Thx!

  199. Yup with you there UncleBuck. Everything you say sounds familiar. None of us are used to it and its hard to accept. I have learned (as you are) how important those people are who are close to me. I try to ’spread it out’ a bit between different family members and friends. Know exactly what you mean about missing a break. Not sure about the origin of the pain. I have to elevate the leg most of the time when not walking about. Does ice help at all? I get some compensatory pain not caused by swelling (back, hands from crutches) Happy healing, you will get there in the end! :)

  200. Ali39, thx for the reply! I didn’t mention that we really have no family near us. (most of them are at least an hour and a half away) I have asked a few friends and former students to help out, but I tell ya, talk about feeling inadequate. Sometimes you just have to swallow that bit of pride. It’s times like this when u find out who your friends really are. Today is my birthday, so I am basically spending it alone while the wife works on the yard, etc. That is my birthday present I guess. ;) I am “RICEing” as I type this. Wish I could at least dorsiflex my foot. THAT would be a great gift! Take care all!

  201. Yeah I know exactly what you mean. I got a bit fed up of having to be grateful all the time. It was very annoying!! I had months to get used to it before the op so I had a few offers of help, most of which I declined as I just about coped. When I had the op I had to get back to some of those people and say HELP. I did some things like shop on line which was totally new to me but it all helped. You are likely always very independent, its not easy! But we all need a bit of help someimes. It IS temporary. You will get there. And…many happy returns! You are due a much better (fitter) birthday next year!!!

  202. Yeah I know exactly what you mean. I got a bit fed up of having to be grateful all the time. It was very annoying!! I had months to get used to it before the op so I had a few offers of help, most of which I declined as I just about coped. When I had the op I had to get back to some of those people. I did some things like shop on line which was totally new to me but it all helped. You are likely always very independent, its not easy! But we all need a bit of help someimes. It IS temporary. You will get there. And…many happy returns! You are due a much better (fitter) birthday next year!!!

  203. Sorry message went in twice! I temporarily went off line. Anyway, I also have leg on bag of ice, I guess a lot of us have right now!!

  204. Hi there,
    This is my first post. I had my achillies tendon surgery yesterday, and while my tendon had not ruptured, I had been in pain for a couple of years and unable to pursue the active lifestye. Before surgery, I tried physical therapy, rest, ice etc (for years). An MRI showed that my tendon was a mess and I had a pocket of fluid and per three different opinions, at strong risk for rupture. Since I was planning an “adventure of a lifetime” in December (travel to Thailand), I decided to get it done.

    The “lita version” of the surgery — doctor went in lengthwide, cut open my tendon, scraped out the yucky stuff, put in a suture, injected it with my platelets (to help with my healing).

    I have found the comments here are very helpful. I have great friends making meals twice a week, but hate to be asking for assistance for silly things like a drink of water.

    I am in a “cast splint” and using a knee scooter (a great thing). I do have some questions from a newbie.

    1. Am taking vicodin for pain every 4 hours. It seems to hold the pain down, but am still hurting (which sounds normal at this point).
    2. Does anyone have tips on a comfy sleeping position. It seemed like I was up most of the night, trying to find the best way to get comfy.
    3. Any tips on how to shower?

    Thanks so much!

  205. Lita, welcome to the ATR club! Believe me, I am not excited to be a member. But, there are some great peeps in the same boat as you and me. So, sleeping position: for laying on your side ( I am a side sleeper), tuck some pills between your legs and elevate foot on more pillows as it rests on its inside ankle. Very comfy! U need a shower chair also! That is all I have for now! Post more later….hang in there!

  206. I meant pillows! Not pills! Lol!

  207. Hang in there Lita!! The first few days are the hardest. Being a little weak from surgery and on pain pills makes you feel very vulnerable. Be very careful in the splint. I fell once at that point - on crutches and really hurt my foot. Did not re-rupture, but sure was worried! Once you are in a boot, you will feel much more secure. A shower chair is a must. Also, I used a thermos that I had to carry drinks - sealed completely tight and a small backpack. It is almost impossible to carry things, so the backpack is a lifesaver. Good luck!!

  208. I never thought it would happen to me. My AT snapped on Saturday, half way through a squash match and 3 hours after buying my first iPhone. I’m wondering if the two are related, as it is a lifesaver having acess to the Internet and finding this blog.

    Had surgery on the same day and am resting at home in a half cast for 2 weeks before I get a full cast.

    I’m scared about the future - I can handle no more squash but I just want the basic confidence to walk, hike, cycle. I’ll even back off triathlons if it keeps the AT intact :(

  209. Oh Hannah,

    So sorry you’ve joined us. Your fears about the future are normal, but you can put them to rest. It’s a long recovery — I’m at 11 weeks post-op and just learning to walk in my shoes again — but when all is said and done your tendon will be stronger than before. You’ll have no reason not to do those triathlons! :-) Read lots and taken an active interest in your recovery, but don’t rush. Keep yourself healthy, exercise the rest of your body once you’re able to, and the tendon will heal in its own time.

    I’ve spoken to other ATR sufferers who have since recovered and they all say they have no fears about their repaired AT — it’s stronger than it was before. But many worry about the other one. (And if you did give up squash, I would suggest that might be the reason why.)

    Take care, and happy healing.

  210. Hannah, Deana is very right. Once you get yourself through this, you will have a greater appreciation for your achilles and the how much we ask of it. When you come out the other side you should still be able to do all the things you did before. This time you will know how to strengthen the other tendon and if you continue to strengthen it and not slack off then you should be OK. There are no guarantees in life. It comes down to what you want to do in life and what giving up these things means to you. Even if you give them up then there are no guarantees but you have had an active and fulfilling life up to now and at this point everything seems a bit dark. Things will change as you heal so don’t make big decisions just yet.

  211. Hi Hannah!

    I ruptured my AT on May 31st and I’m a ballet teacher/choreographer (former ballerina) so your worries echo mine! Waiting at the ER, I thought about how I just would like to walk normally and would probably have to give up demonstrating choreography and class work. I envisioned myself turning into a latter day Margaret Rutherford (best known for her Miss Marple films of the 1960s) and packing in all the youthful athletic stuff. But I just made the transition to PWB in a boot 6 weeks after surgery and I don’t feel quite so bleak about it. While I may never have the nerve to push up into a huge grand jete (because I NEVER want to go through this again!) ever again, I think I can imagine myself now pretty much back to normal as a ballet teacher. Anyway, sorry for blathering, but you’ll get there, Hannah! All the very very best to you and your AT recovery. It is a good time to catch up on detective novels and paperwork though!

  212. Stuart, once again I find myself wanting to post “+1″ in agreement with your comment — but this time I think I disagree with one sentence: “This time you will know how to strengthen the other tendon and if you continue to strengthen it and not slack off then you should be OK.”

    I’ve never seen any evidence (or even credible-sounding undocumented claims) that there’s a way to strengthen an uninjured AT — at least, a way that doesn’t also proportionally strengthen the calf muscle, which is usually the thing that ruptures an AT. The elevated risk of rupturing the other-side AT after recovering from an initial ATR is statistically real and significant, and documented in a study that’s linked from the appropriate page on this site. (Click on “ATR Rehab Protocols, Publications, Studies” near the top of the Main Page, and look for “Contralateral (your other) Tendon Rupture study”.)

    The studies I’ve seen on pre-sports stretching are mostly negative (it makes injuries slightly MORE likely, and also diminishes strength and sports performance!), and even the studies on warming up seem more like “Meh!” than “Silver Bullet”.

    What have you seen that might help to prevent a “contralateral” ATR, other than avoiding AT-explosive activities?

    (BTW, I’m also a “citizen scientist” rather than a credentialed, professional medical or health-science expert, FWIW.)

  213. Norm, I was keeping it simple but there is suggestion that collagen(I) can be encouraged in the tendon by heavy load eccentric exercises. It also strengthens the gastro-soleous complex and with some exercising of the Flexor digitorum longus you should offer the other tendon the best chance. I have read the studies relating to the contra-lateral tendon and understand that we are 200 times more likely to suffer from a rupture there than someone in the general community that has not ruptured an AT but not everyone who has ruptured one will do the other. In some ways, you are luckier than most of us in that you no longer have to worry about that. The following link is another good reference for those following this chat. It is a bit technical but sums up things nicely.
    http://www.takethemagicstep.com/coaching/families/health-management/managing-achilles-tendon-injuries/#part1

  214. I do not understand how it is possible that if nothing prevents injuries why the world class athletes keep warming up and stretching before performing?

  215. I don’t think warming up is wrong but I haven’t stretched before running in years. Warming up is about getting blood flowing into those areas you are about to use in your activity. Most people are moving away from Static stretching (like grabbing your toes and pullng your quadraceps to your bum) to a dymamic type and there is too much to explain there so you will have to look it up. I would simply start walking then for the first part of the run keep the pace down and the stride shorter. I didn’t stretch much after running either but again would go for a walk, this is if I could stand up. I still had some injuries, but doing the distance I was running it is to be expected. The physio would give me area specific exercises and sometimes stretches to sort it out. To bring it down, stretching cold muscles and tendons is probably not good for you but some people have been so used to doing that from a very early age and can’t break out of it.

  216. For anyone reading my coments about heavy load eccentric exercises, I just want to be clear that these exercises are not intended for anyone who does NOT have a COMPLETELY HEALED tendon and then you should be shown how to do them by a real expert or PT.

  217. Hi Deana, Stuart, Daisy,

    Thanks for your messages and for sharing interesting thoughts around the future possibilities…and thanks also for the nudge into positive thinking.

    Daisy - so sorry to hear of this happening to someone who is active by profession. I’m crossing my fingers for you to have a perfect recovery and many more years of inspiring other ballerinas.

    My surgeon sent me photos of the surgery and I have to admit that his stitching around the tendon looks amazingly robust (and really neat); I can well believe that my repaired AT will become stronger than the uninjured one. Actually, the uninjured one currently feels rather stiff - hopefully just a symptom of me not really using it much at the moment.

    Today’s mission is to read the healthy eating pages of this blog. Life is so wonderfully ironic - I’ve just come back from a 1 month business trip to London where I consciously chose to prioritise work above exercising. I wanted to focus on my work, thinking that I’d get back into shape/fitness back here in Singapore. Now I can’t do either but I still have to deal with the extra kgs I gained during the trip! It just goes to show, nothing in life is more important than your health and you should never miss an opportunity to do a little exercise!

    Best wishes to all,
    Hannah

  218. Hi Daisy,
    I’m a dancer too, and I ruptured mine on Apr 18 in a Ballet class. It happened 5 minutes before the class ended, so obviously I’m pretty warmed up, actually sweaty. Even till now, I still haven’t figured out what I did wrong that day, as it’s pretty much the same thing as I always do in every class. All I can remember: it was between two Cabrioles, my teacher told me it’s probably the landing of a jump that caused the ATR, but she’s not sure either . How did your injury happen?

    Also I didn’t go with surgery, but with the cast. Till now it’s already 3 months, my doc said he was very pleased with my tendon recovery after he examed it last Friday. Now I can make some tiny steps on two feet in short distance with obvious limp, however for the long distance I always use crutches. Of course, I’m going to take a break from dancing for another month or two, however I’m even thinking should I try a dance style with less or even no jumps at all, as I’m really nervous, even just think about it. I’m sure you know my feeling.

    Thank you for any advice you can give!

  219. Hey Dancingbunny!

    Always great to hear from another in the ballet army! And yikes! I can just imagine (NOW after my own injury!) having a ATR happen in the middle of two cabrioles! You poor thing! It is such an extreme and demoralizing injury but especially for athletes of all stripes.

    I had recently choreographed “Romeo and Juliet” and was backstage at the opening performance of the two week run, doing all the director stuff — making sure the lighting was working, costumes holding together, morale boosts to various cast members etc — when a dancer ran into the wrong wing for her exit. As you well know, that happens all the time for one reason or another in the theatre but I was in that particular wing and I side-stepped automatically to avoid a wreck with the ballerina.

    I heard a popping sound and felt that I had lost the heel of my shoe. Indeed, my first thought was that the rubber heel of my split-soled jazz shoe had come off! I sat down in the wings to yank off my shoe and make various frustrated remarks about the shoemaker when I saw that my shoe was in excellent repair. My next thought was “My god — it’s the Achilles Tendon!” and checked my tendon which was soft and nonexistent.

    Needless to add, it was off to the ER and joining all the brave souls here in the ATR club — the exclusive club nobody wants to join!

    I totally totally understand your anxiety about returning to class. Right now I find it hard to imagine ever striding confidently down a sidewalk to the local coffee house — llet alone executing a triple pirouette! I think we’ll get there though!

    I have had my ACL done (it severed coming down from a pirouette combination during my Sugar Plum Fairy variation on a long Nutcracker tour some years ago) and felt anxious then, as well, about returning to activity but it did come right after rehab. Now it’s just a memory. I’m hoping the same for our ATRs!

    As for any advice — my instincts are to listen to the body, go slow and not rush the rehab process. You know the old joke about ballet dancers and orthopedic doctors:

    Doctor: No dancing for six weeks — lots of ice and rest!

    Ballet Dancer: Yes … but do you really want me to do?

    All the very very best to you in your recovery! Please keep me updated on your progress back to ballet class and performance! I’d be very interested indeed!

  220. Hannah, when you go back to see you doctor, ask him when you could start some exercise like static bike riding. He may suggest that as long as you push the pedal with the heel of the cast/boot it would be OK to start at week ?? Also when you feel able, you could start working the unaffected muscles. Exercise provides a number of benefits physically and mentally. Most of us feel it a bit in the other tendon. My physio suggested I give it some massage along with my injured. It has helped.

    Dancingbunny, you will probably have to accept that you did nothing wrong and that most likely there was already some weakness or degeneration in the tendon caused by years of stress. Imagine an elastic band that has been left in the sun and compare it to a new elastic band. The term used now is tendonopathy. I have been thinking about having some scans on my other tendon. Given I was a long distance runner, I would expect to see some degeneration. Maybe it is better I don’t see it. Some people will use one leg more so it may not be as bad in the other tendon.

  221. Hey Hannah!

    You know, it’s funny that you mention a stiffness in the other tendon! I have felt a fleeting sense of that as well from time to time. Of course, I have the instant worry: No! Not the other one! But I think it’s a mild overuse thing from hopping along with the crutches interspersed with doing absolutely nothing while I sit with the repaired leg propped up.

    I also hear you on the frustrations of worrying about weight gain. I’m used to demonstrating for roughly 20 hours of ballet class a week plus rehearsals — this sitting about is awful. I am trying to not drift into comfort eating and stay with simple salads and protein. Once and awhile though, I give in to the temptation of a club sandwich!

    All the very very best with your recovery, Hannah! It sounds like you’ve made a great start and I know you’ll be picking up your squash racquet again!

  222. Hi Daisy,

    You are so sweet! Thank you for sharing your story with me to cheer me up! You’ve gone through so much, and still so strong!! You made me feel so much better! Your story just reminds me of my injury moment, so vivid as if it just happened yesterday…

    Interesting enough, I had knee injury too, about a couple years ago, don’t even know exactly what injury because I never even went to see the doctor, but it was bad since I walked limpy for a couple months, then went away. Funny thing is I recall that happened after a cabriole too! Guess that’s my curse, I’m not going to do cabriole any more! :-) However because of that knee injury was on my left knee, and my ATR also left, so now when I’m learning to walk, have to be very careful not to lock my knee. fun stuff….

    Love your humor: Exclusive ATR Club, what an honor! haha…

    Please keep me updated with your progress too.

    All the very best to you too, and have a very complete and fast recovery!

  223. Hey Dancingbunny!

    Your comments here are always so charming and upbeat — you cheer everybody, I think!

    Yep — we dancers seem to collect knee injuries like some people collect new shoes! So much torque fused with turnout. The Achilles Tendon rupture is not quite as common but getting more so due — in my opinion anyway — to the huge diversity in modern choreography and the workload of today’s dancer. In earlier eras, ballet dancers’ technique was more focused and generally, they performed a little less.

    I hear you on cabrioles. There are quite a few steps requiring ballon and batterie that I will no longer demonstrate with any real vigor once I’m reasonably back to rights! Fortunately my focus as a teacher is in preparing the advanced levels for professional work so they have a pretty good command of vocab. It’s the ability to adequately demonstrate musicality I’m missing — how to breathe life into an enchainement in the way that the music demands. Sometimes they just have to SEE how an old pro gets the job done. Currently I just have to talk them through it from my chair! Well, at least their upper body work and port de bras will be pretty polished going into Nutcracker season! (grin)

    Thanks for the heads up on the sensitive bare foot thing! Something new to look forward to — yikes! Continue to recover well, Dancingbunny! Hey, while maybe Waltz of the Flowers is out this year — maybe you’ll be ready to dance a parent in party scene!

  224. Daisy - Dancingbunny, I don’t know much about ballet but I a sure its great for you to have someone else here who does. More and more dancers are joining us but what surprises me is the number of ladies. All the experts have said that it is male dominated. Good to see you girls keeping your end up for equality. My physio (a lady just 40 and playing competitive hockey) always has a tongue in cheek joke at my expense with the other patients because I fit the profile. ‘Older men thinking they are 18′. I wouldn’t wish it on her but I think she is a prime candidate.

    Daisy, even though I am ballet ignorant I know how much demonstration is important to teaching but there is a good side. It’s easy to say ‘this is how you do it’ but now you have to dissect everything you used to do on your feet from instinct (practise and repetition) and put into words that others can understand. It may actually make you a better teacher when you are back on your toes.

  225. Hi Daisy,

    Thank you for thinking of me a role in your dance: a parent in party scene. Wow, have to be a limpy one, better with crutches!:-)

    I hear you about demo in a chair. Don’t worry, same here, when I’m facing the mirror now, all I can do is port de bras. I tell you I got to make a dance just with that! And name it: ATR Club Exclusive?

    The good news is I’m going to wear my sandals today finally and for the first time this summer! Yaaah! Never thought of wearing sandals can be an event!

    Happy Friday!

  226. Hey Stuart!

    Your comments are always so well considered and excellent! Talking it out does give one an even deeper understanding of the technique so perhaps I will become a better teacher! I hope so! That would be a grand outcome!

    And yes, it’s great to have another ballet person here. It’s such an insular, odd little world! (grin) We are doing our best to provide some parity with all the football and rugby players.

    Thanks again, Stuart! Always lovely to see a comment from you on the site.

  227. Dancingbunny — hurray for sandals! You’ll be taking your place at the barre any day now! Colour me pea-green with envy! (grin)

  228. Stuart — I hear you on the tongue in cheek “older men thinking they’re 18″ humour. You seem far too level-headed to let it get to you but I admit I bristle a little when I come across that kind of thing.

    One reads that sort of thing on some of the ATR medical sites and it seems very unkind to me. It seems to me that fine amateur athletes work very hard at their sport and often under far more trying conditions than professionals. I know many very fine ballet dancers who prefer to dance as an avocation (the general income for professional ballet dancers being pretty modest) even though they could have easily stepped into world class companies. I always feel these dancers and athletes should be congratulated for continuing their training rather than patronized.

    But maybe it’s because I’m an aging former ballerina! (grin) Talk about a youth cult! We’re obsolete at 28! Age talk makes us profoundly anxious. (grin) Anyway, I’ll stop blathering now!

  229. Daisy, I have a very thick skin and I guess the Australian sense of humour is a bit different to the rest of the world. When someone pays out on you then you get a chance to do the same back. Now when the someone is a woman the battle between the sexes for dominance adds another dimension which can be fun. When it gets personal or judgemental I bristle up too but it still a lot for me to snap. I read Tamal’s (tkd) experiences and have to admit that I received similar attention but thought nothing of it. Having said all that, most of my friends around the same age tend not to be as adventurous and for the last 10 years or more I have been doing things with people in their 20’s and keeping up fine. My physio is right, my head is under 30 and my body is over 50 but I won’t change it. Soon I will be moving to my most favourite part of Australia to build a house and live. In the winter, just to the west are beautiful snow capped mountains. I will be surrounded by mountains, trout streams and tall timber. This is what keeps me focused on healing well. I will be able to hike, fish, ride (horse and bike) all from my doorstep and when able it will be the best training ground for my next marathon.

  230. Stuart — your new digs sound grand! I envy you the opportunity to train in such a gorgeous location. It has been ages since I’ve been to Australia — toured there with a stadium rock tour in the 90s and thought it was incredibly beautiful!

    Although, I must say, you have some amazingly poisonous snakes and spiders there! We had a bit of a run-in with a Brown snake in one venue’s dressing room — I think the poor promoter is still apologizing. Poor man. But it was quickly dealt with and I learned a little about this impressive reptile!

    I actually grew up in North Wales,UK. but have lived in the US now for a long time. I feel very mid-Atlantic these days — not quite British, not quite American!

  231. Its funny how snakes don’t bother me. I have faced off with quite a few and only ever been chased by one. They generally get out of your way but to find one in a dressing room is a bit unusual and scary. In the back of my mind is the thought that someone was playing a prank. That would be the wrong side of Australian humour. I have thought that if I lived in the US or Canada I would probably live where I would have to worry more about bears. That is scary. Very few people get bitten by snakes and die here. The majority of people who are bitten were trying to kill or catch them.

  232. Stuart — I wonder if it WAS a prank! I could see this particular rock act as being regarded as a little on the fey side. LOL!

    Yes — I did see a documentary a few years ago (”Grizzlyman”) in which a man who believed he possessed some sort of spiritual bond with grizzlies was devoured by one unconvinced and hungry bear. Not a pleasant way to go.

    Fell in love with a little Australian film some time back — “Kenny”. Terrifically done. Thank you, Stuart, for always responding to comments here with such charm and grace.

  233. ‘Kenny’ - now there is some good Australian toilet humour. You have to know the movie to get that joke. Here I am thinking you were a cultured and refined lady.

  234. LOL! Ballet is such an airy fairy profession, one needs a little earthiness or we’d all float away on great, pretentious wings!

  235. New to site and I am joining the club. Not so happy about joining and sure the rest of you weren’t either, but glad for this site to share experiences.

    So I had surgery from an ATR 1 week ago today. I was put in a soft splint post op. Had my first doc visit 5 days after surgery so the doctor could check the incision site. Everything was great until they changed my soft splint. The day after when I woke up I had pain in my calf and every time I would go to the bathroom I would feel a mad rush of blood down my foot and my calf would feel like it just had a charlie horse. Pain would not go away in my calf so I called the doc today and they had me come in to change my splint and check for possible blood clots. Splint changed, no blood clots (thank you Jesus) and back at home. The new splint felt great leaving the doctor’s office today but when I just got up to go to the bathroom I am feeling the same pain in my calf muscle. If I try to crutch around with my leg straight the toes turn purple rather quickly and calf muscle hurts like a cramp muscle. If I crutch around with my knee bent at a 90 degree angle my toes don’t get as purple but my calf will cramp like a charlie horse. They plan on keeping me in this splint for 5 more days and then changing me into a walking boot. I can not put pressure on the foot for 6 weeks after surgery is what the doc said and then can put pressure on the heel only for the next 3 month, basically walking pegged leg for 3 months. I rest all the time and only get up to go to the bathroom or to go to bed. I have been resting my foot straight up with pressure applied to the incision site all the way up until 20 minutes ago when I read another thread specifically warning against it. Will the rush of blood stop in due time when I get up and use my crutches, exactly how long until this stops after operation? How about the calf hurting, anyone else experiencing this? Today when I saw the doc he said to keep taking the pain meds and muscle relaxers. I have oxycodone #5 325mg for pain and methocarbamol 750mg for muscle relaxer. I think I should get off of these and try to use ibuprofen. My worries are that the body heals slower when in pain, so I was told. Any advise from past experiences would be welcome. I am even trying to move my toes and ankle on the ATR foot to keep blood flowing from the scare of having a blood clot. Is this also something ok to do? Thanks

  236. Hi Klord, can’t answer all your questions (any more worries about blood clots definately speak to your Doc again). I had a lot of calf pain, and still do, in the end I used a Knee scooter. It took me a while before I rented it, but it really helped in the early days as I was only comfortable on my knees post surgery. Just a thought. Hope all goes well with the healing.

  237. My AT was basketball related as well, only thing was that I wasn’t playing, I was cheering for my son. In a close game with 10 seconds left, my kid drives coast to coast and scores two to put his team up one. As soon as he hits the shot, I’m out of my chair yelling but as I did that, I hear a sickening snap, like a broke my leg, and then severe pain. I suspected immediately what it was and had to note the irony of the situation—my son’s playing, yet I’m the one who gets hurt.

    I had surgery 4 days ago and have a splint on with my foot angled downward about 60 degrees. The splint has been a major pain due to swelling which I alleviate with elevation. The doctor gave me a bunch of oxycodone for pain which I discontinued after 2 days so and the main pain I have now is when I get up in the morning and put my leg down. The blood rushing down causes a sharp pain initially. Moreover the swelling makes the splint highly uncomfortable. Elevation reduces the swelling, so I try to do that whenever it starts hurting.

    I’m a self employed CPA and some years ago, I set up a system that allows me to work from anywhere and that’s a godsend now as I can still work from home. My doctor tells me that I go through a series of casts from here until I get a boot and this initial period of casting and booting will take 4-6 weeks. I like working on my garden and an old BMW I have and all of that is on hold now. That’s a pain, but there are far worst ailments one could have, so I’m not going to feel too bad about my situation.

    I’ve gotten used to handling the crutches, but the suggestions here about knee scooters and the walker are things I might consider doing. I had thought about getting a wheelchair as well for long distance movement. My wife and kids have been a great help.

    This blog has been extremely helpful by mainly controlling my expectations. This will not be speedy and as long as I know that, I can plan accordingly. Also, I know I’m not alone

  238. Hi guys,

    I’m new to the “atr” club. I was running in a crazy race called Tough Murder - been training months for this. I was probably in the best shape of my life when this happend. When I hit mile 7 - we had to run up something call the “half pipe” - its bascially a sllicked version of a half pipe and your teammates have to catch you when you hit the top. I made it about half way up when I heard a pop and felt something snap. I knew immediately it was my achilles tendon. I just crumbled down the half pipe and crawled to the edge of the ramp. I think lookigng back now, the medic who put me in a splint immediately also knew what it was. The odd thing was, I had felt no pain. The only pain I had felt was when they took off my shoes and when I was in the ER trying t stand on it.

    I went back to work that Monday and started calling othro doctors. Everyoe was saying they could not get me in until weds. I finally had a place call me back and was able to sneak me in Monday afternoon. As soon as my Dr. took off the splint - he said you need surgery and I’m getting you in on Tuesday. He didn’t do any x-rays. Everything was happening so fast. What I was most upset about was I had a girls trip to Vegas that weekend and he was like…honey, you are not going to Vegas anymore.

    Anyways, it’s been a week since my surgery - my case is a little different cause I’ve had a known problem with my heel in the past - my bone was sticking out further than it should have but I was too stubborn to ease up on my activities. I had already quit rugby a few years prior because of my AT pain. The Dr. had to shave sown my bone so they could get the tendon to get round it. They numbed my leg for 24 hours so when I woke up from surg I couldnt feel anything below my knee.

    All in all - I’m bored to death sitting around but in the long run, this surgery will have been a blessing for me since I should have had it done years ago. I think I’ve been luck “knock on wood” but I haven’t had too much pain - just some stinging in the sticthes area and I’m just taking a pain pill at night since thats when it seems to come. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories - this so far is what’s been helping me get through my days.

    Thursday is my first post-op visit - I can’t wait!!!

  239. All the very best to you, Rugbyjo, in your recovery! I’m so sorry that you’ve joined the club! We’ve all been at first week post-op stage and know how you feel — if that’s any consolation at all! (grin)

    The boredom can really be deadly at first for people used to a lot of physical activity. I just had to learn to breathe deep, relax and catch up on a pile of detective novels. When I feel too cranky and impatient, I try to remember that, at least, I’m not a recent amputee learning to deal with a prosthetic. The Achilles Tendon will heal eventually and in about a year — thank heavens! — this will all be a memory!

    Again, all the best to you in your ATR recovery!

  240. Hi everyone!
    Thanks for creating this blog and sharing your experiences. I find it really helpful to read your posts and a great way to cure the boredom during the healing process. I’m turning 37 this week and I just ruptured my Achilles tendon on July 4th. My surgery was last Friday and I’m feeling great. I’m very optimistic. So i am just a few days post op and there is little no pain just some tingling sensations and some slight itch underneath the splint i’ve been placed into. So far the bad part of recovery is the lack of mobility and boredom. But by far the worst for me are the god forsaken crutches. I hate them! They make everything even using the bathroom a huge chore and although yes… you get used to it and get faster at things… you also get sloppy and take risks. I think this is prob. my biggest worry for rehab, not falling down while doing things around the house. I was reading some posts way back in 2008 here on the thread and a guy talked about the iWalk Free hands free crutches. It is a great idea but the product is $400+!!! Even renting the item costs $130/ month and only some medical supply companies let you rent it. SO it got me thinking… why can’t i fashion my own device from an old crutch and some wood? So i’m determined to try. I’ll let you know how far i get. I’m wondering — where are all the people who want to resell their used IWalks? AND Has anyone ever tried making their own hands free crutch?

    best wishes!
    Calyxa

  241. Hi calyxa,

    Wow, I want the I walk hands free crutches - but that’s alot of money to spend.I think you and I are around the same time for surgery as mine was on 7/26 - last week Tuesday. It seems the hardest part with the crutches is getting your own food and just wanting to stand up and walk but you’ve got this splint on your leg and the injury making it impossible. I guess its just getting used to it. Good luck with your recovery - i hope it goes well.its nice knowing that there are many of us out here dealing with the same thing.

    Cheers!
    Jojo

  242. - Calyxa

  243. opps. i mean…..

    hi Jojo!

    Glad to meet you. I’m about to start a blog on the site. I invite you to check it out and hope you’ll blog too it seems that yes we’re on a similar schedule, Hang in there, we can do this!

    - Calyxa

  244. Ruptured my left AT last Saturday (8/6) playing soccer. Had surgery Thursday. Seemed to go as planned. In pain as should be expected. Percocets making me sick feeling. Gonna try lortabs. Thanks for the posts. This board is a wealth of good info. I knew what it was right when it happened, although I couldn’t resist looking back to see who kicked me. Time to hang up the cleats I guess. Just turned 40, getting way too old for this type of injury…
    ~Tom

  245. three weeks post op - so depressed it’s unreal!

  246. I play all kinds of sport and staying in the house, leg elevated, playing computer games, surfing the net is quite purely killing me…. How long is this going to last for? the foot has been elevated almost into the neutral position - what happens then? when can i put weight onto it?

  247. John., hang in there. It might not seem like it now but you WILL get better. I borrowed a wheelchair for a while with an elevated leg rest, my family used to take me out in it. There are a number of different approaches and it depends on which regime your doc is following. But..there is a lot of information on this site you can search while you are recovering. Set up a blog if you can.

  248. thankyou, really appreciated…

    it’s the first time i’ve ever been injured where it has totally taken me out of action, i never thought i would be sooooooooo bored……… how long did it take you to get back to running again? i really hope i will gain full fitness again….. my doc said i wouldnt be able to snowboard or play squash again. i really want to prove him wrong!

  249. John - I wasn’t going to weigh in on this because I have had too much to say already today but I would have to say, without knowing the details of your injury, there is NO reason why you cannot go back to doing all the things you used to do unless there is something special about your injury or your rehab is mismanaged. It may take a while and you will need to be patient. There are so many people here that are back to normal activity so you can gain encouragement from their experience. I told my doc that I really had hoped to get one more marathon in and his instant reply was ‘I can’t see why not’. I am not running as yet at 5 months but others have started earlier than me. I know I can jog and my strength is great but I don’t have enough flexibility in the foot to run and it is not worth the stress on other tendons to push it. Ali is right. Things will improve soon but much depends on the way your doc is treating you and we don’t have enough information from you to make any judgements on how long it will be. If your doc is treating you with last century protocols then it will take longer. Do some reading on early weight bearing and motion. The links are all on the first page. If you don’t understand then ask and someone will help you out. Get a page of your own started if you think it will help. Getting into 2 shoes seems to be the focus for most at this early stage but it is only the beginning and usually the shorter part of the rehab. There is nothing stopping you from exercising the rest of your body. My upper body has really toned up while I have been sitting around and exercise endorphines are good for battling the depression. Lastly, it is your PT that will get you back on your feet so make sure you get yourself a good one. While you are doing nothing, do some research into who is good near you. Good luck.

  250. discount uggs outlet Its like you research my mind! You seem to find out so much about this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I think which you can perform with some pics to generate the message home only a little bit, but other than that, that is great blog. Discount Short UGGs on Sale

  251. hi there guys, thankyou, great help…..i know i will get there….something like this makes me feel very lucky to be honest that it is nothing permanent….

  252. Not sure if I am posting this correctly but I have a question. 3 days post op in cast and while sleeping today I have flinched twice causing severe pain. Could I have hurt anything ???

  253. kylec - A well fitting cast is keeping everything in place. NIght times it can be hard to judge which position your leg is in. I got a foam wedge to keep the leg in one place. I had a lot of pain at different times and it was hard do distinguish pain from healing. If you are worried ask your doc to check it out. Happy healing.

  254. Kylec - Ali is right about the cast. You are not likely to do any damage in bed from a flinch. Your foot should be pointed down so there is not pressue on the tendon or sutures. Many of us have experienced spasms in the leg at night and usually there is a sharp pain. I had spasms up to around week 4 but by then there was no pain. As Ali said, if in doubt, see your doctor. Advice from this site can be helpful but it should not be considered a replacement for good medical advice. Use it for information and support and maybe to advocate to the medical pratictioners if you feel they are not treating you properly. Above all, use your commonsense as you work your way through this. The first few weeks are usually the hardest to get through. Good luck to you.

  255. Just joined today. I had my surgery on Monday 9/26 and my surgeon put me in a splint. I had my first post op appointment yesterday, 9/30, and he took out my staples and put me into a CAM walker boot and told me to stay off it. It hasn’t even been a week yet and I’m much more comfortable in the boot and can actually get across the room without crutches and without pain. I really have to be careful not to put weight on it even if it has become more comfortable. I only feel a good amount of pain first thing in the morning when I wake up. Am I being too optimistic to think I won’t need crutches for another 6 weeks???

  256. A generally considered good/pro-active protocol is:
    0-2 weeks - cast, no weight bearing ie. Foot up, using crutches (NWB)
    2-4 weeks - boot, some weight bearing ie, foot down but using crutches (PWB)
    4-8 weeks - boot, no crutches (FWB)

    Personally I would say be careful for another week, then it’s up to you.
    I also skipped straight to FWB in boot at 2 weeks as I felt no pain at all. Some people don’t, others do. Just be careful and take it easy and in the meantime have a read around the site.

    Good luck!

  257. petesimba- It is very normal to get the instruction from the doctor to be NWB for 6 weeks. This is how some doctors treat the injury but it is not always the case. Many of us here have thrown away the crutches much sooner. The first 2 weeks are quite important for you to rest and elevate as much as possible. All the studies this century have shown that early weight baring does can assist recovery. Most of these studies do not suggest you do that before 2 weeks and usually around 3. There is generally a progression from PWB to FWB. To answer you question, no you are not being optimisitic. Let your body give you some guidance but don’t push it.

  258. Thanks for this blog. I’m recovering from a shoulder injury, but this is crazy. I can’t even imagine not being on your feet for two weeks. God bless your recovery.

  259. I completely tore my achilles and fractured my heel playing rugby on 10/8/11. I had surgery re-attaching the tendon and re-assembled the hee; with four titanium pins on 10/10/11. I had general and the block and now have Vicodin and intense pain. My concern is I have 2 weeks vacation I’ll use to care for the injury, but then I must work. I’m a psychologist in a prison and need to be able to walk with no crutches/scooter/wheelchair as these are “safety” hazards. I could take more time, my doc wants six weeks, but Imust work as I am the primary contributer for two households and must bear weight on my walking boot after two weeks recovery. How does everybody think bearing weight after two weeks will go?

  260. Jim, that is a tall order. I was very aggressive with my schedule, and was not full-weight bearing until the 4-week mark… plus I did not have the complication of the fractured heel.

    Would the iwalkfree crutch, strapped to your leg, also be considered a safety hazzard? I’m assuming the concern with a crutch is that it could be taken from you and used to beat somebody about the noggin’. While not impossible with the iwalkfree, it would take considerable more time and effort to separate you from the device.

  261. Jim,
    I was in a cast for just under five weeks after having my surgery on 4/21/11 … I was told no weight bearing at all for four weeks. I began to “cheat” a little and started walking on the side of my cast by week 3 1/2. But even then, I was extremely careful and nervous. I also was on short-term disability from work and only did my hobbling around the apartment.
    Time wise, I think you’ll be superman if you can put any weight on it after just 14 days. Please be careful.
    Best,
    Chris

  262. Jim,
    I was in a cast for just under five weeks after having my surgery on 4/21/11 … I was told no weight bearing at all for four weeks. I began to “cheat” a little and started walking on the side of my cast by week 3 1/2. But even then, I was extremely careful and nervous. I also was on short-term disability from work and only did my hobbling around the apartment.
    Time wise, I think you’ll be superman if you can put any weight on it after just 14 days. Please be careful.
    Best,
    Chris

  263. Hi to everyone, and thanks for this awesome blog.

    I ruptured my AT on 13.11. and had my surgery on 18.11.
    Doctor performed it percutaneos method in local anesthesia.
    They put me in a cast that is hard only on front side, nothing on my calf muscle, and all wrapped around with lots of bandages with my foot downwards. I feel very little pain and i manage it with painkillers sucessffuly. Most of my time I’m having troubles finding a best position for my leg - should i put it on side, or straight laying on my back, how much pillows to put under and would it make a pressure to AT. I sometimes wonder if percutaneous method was the best for me, and is it more likely to end with rerupture. Now hear this: my ATR comes 10 days before my wife is to give birth to our baby, and my father who lives 250 km away from me broke his hip 7 days ago at age of 64. Not a good time to ATR, when they all need me.
    But i think the solution will come somehow.

    Greetings from Croatia for my new community, and keep on going!

  264. Niki- a good tip I read here was to place padding/pillows *under* your mattress. That way, no matter what position you lay in, your foot will be elevated, and there is no risk of it slipping/rolling off of the pad. As for back/side/stomach, I think it’s just a matter of finding whatever is most comfortable for you. If you’re well wrapped in the splint, I don’t think there’s much risk of doing additional damage. For me, laying on my side (either side), with a pillow between my legs was sometimes helpful.

  265. Hi Niki!

    I’m so sorry you have joined our ATR club especially as you seem swamped with other important claims on your time!

    Ryanb’s suggestion is fab! Wish I’d thought of it when I was in that initial phase! Brilliant!

    After rupturing my AT on May 31st, 2011 (surgery to reattach on June 7th), I am finally in 2-shoes and walking about my rehearsals and daily duties a little stiffly but with increasing dexterity. So it does actually get better and one day, in the not too too distant, you’ll be up and around again! There is wonderful advice and friendly support here on this fantastic site! I hope it helps you as much as it has me over the past few months.

    All the very very best with your healing, Niki!

  266. Hi Niki - Welcome to the club that on the whole, it’s best not to qualify for :) Having said that you’ve already discovered what a great resource and supportive community this is.

    I’ve been in a hard cast for a bit over 3 weeks, took me a week to get used to sleeping with my leg elevated. Can’t say it’s a great sleeping experience but you do get used to it. Just have to find the position(s) that work best for you. Biggest challenge for me is sharing the bed with my wife, 2 cats and (sometimes) our golden retriever with my leg on it’s mountain of pillows!

  267. ryanb, Daisy and jjniss,
    Thanks for your advices and positive toughts.
    I’ve red almost every post on this blog, and will always remember it. I’m planning to stay positive as much as i can.
    My boss called me today and said that he is expecting me at work as soon as possible. I think I’m gonna say no to him as long as I’m not allowed by me doctor, and no matter consequences. Now I sleep alone in bed in separete room without my wife, surrounded by my pilows, moving my leg all around when I become nervous.

    cheers you lovely people, and all the best in your recovery

  268. Niki — you’re totally right! Don’t let your boss push you in faster than you feel like going! This is a tremendous injury when all is said and done. Take your time in recovery and go at your own pace!

    My poor husband hardly got any sleep in the first few weeks post-op! Shifting about with the cast and elevation pillows was a major event every ten minutes or so!

    Get a lot of rest and catch up with old movies and detective novels!

  269. Thanks to all for posting. My story includes 12 days in a splint following surgery. I had a total rupture and reattachment. I am 55 years old and was only in a splint and non weight bearing for 12 days. At the 12 day mark my doctor removed my stitches and put me in a boot. he gave me crutches which I used for the next 2 weeks with partial weight bearing. I am now beginning week 5 post surgery and walking with full weight bearing in the boot. I have had 4 PT sessions that consist of massage and a few exercises…leg lifts, small muscles in the foot, isometrics. It appears to be a very aggressive rehab, but it is working quite well. I was only out of work less than a week.

  270. Hello to all.
    After limping around for 5 weeks, and two mis-diagnosis , ( I wish I would have known of the Thompson test earlier in the process). Finally had my surgery done 10-26. The Dr. was surprised that my AT was not degraded very much after such a extended time, and completed a successful reattachment.
    I am in a full cast from knee toe.and was able to get 4 to 5 hours of sleep my first night. Was having quite a bit of pain this following morning, medication helping somewhat. I started reading some earlier posts mentioned that keeping your foot not only raised, but elevated ABOVE YOUR HEART, and it has made an immediate and substainal improvement in lessening my pain and anxiety. I am a 58 yr old man who is very fit and active, and am still getting my head around this extended time for recovery God bless everyone

  271. yes, in my experience elevation above the level of your heart (and icing) is EXTREMELY important, esp. the first couple of weeks post-op. good luck w/your recovery.

  272. Today was my first post op appointment with my surgeon.
    He remowed my stiitches and they put me another cast. That new cast is very uncomfortable, because it makes a lot of pressure on my foot and instep so it hurts bad and it makes me very nervous. I think they fitted my foot more downwards then before. I wonder is it ok.?Has enyone had these problems?

  273. in my experience each new cast (i’ve had 3) feels odd for the first day or 2, but then your foot gets used to it and it will be “normal”.. not sure re your foot position… usually they try to point them up more w/each successive cast, but this is only your 1st post op so not sure..

  274. On other peoples photos their toes are visible, mine not. They are squeezed in cast and bended down. All the feeling is more then uncomfortable, and not to compare with my first cast. First one was better even it was with fresh post op pain.I expected to be odd feelinf but not pain and crimps in my toes

  275. Starting day 2 post-op.Slept well on my stomach most of last night with leg very elevated. My cast , unlike Niki’s first one,completely covers my calf , but has a small opening the length of my shin in front, and thankfully my toes are not enclosed, as I like to be able to wiggle them and be check them out for any swelling or discoloring, so far so good there. Trying to get any icing benifit through the heavy wraping and casting on my AT area seems to be futile,as I can’t seem to get any “cooling” sensation through all of that material. Any coments or suggestions on that would be helpful.

    I have my first post-op ck up next thurs, and hope to get the OK to fly for a long planned weekend to Vegas with 3 other couples, to see Boise State - UNLV football game. Not sure yet if I want to navigate through all the commotion of a stadium event, but a least I’ll be able to “kick-back” at our resort hotel instead of stuck here home alone in Twin Falls ID. My fingers are crossed.

  276. I had a full Achilles Rupture on Oct. 6. I had surgery Oct. 14. I ruptured mine playing basketball. I have replayed the event in my head over and over again. “All I did was jump”. After reading all of these blogs, I think that’s the common theme. Most of us are in pretty good shape and this Achilles injury came unexpected. I’m 2 weeks post op and I got my stitches removed. My doctor told me 2 more weeks non weight bearing, then 4 months of physical therapy etc etc. For those of you in a boot like me, how are you avoiding blisters and calluses on the bottom of your feet? With the heel pads in place, my toes and the ball of my foot are in constant friction with my boot padding.

    Psychologically, I’m trying to remain positive. It’s just hard when you go from being in the best shape of your life to relying on friends and family for everything including life’s simple tasks.

  277. Deric,
    Hang in there. Some of us where trying to get healthy. I am overweight and diabetic, but have started playing basketball last year to get myself going. It is how I had kept the weight off most of my life. I was getting to the point where I was able to run for most of the night. The tear was Tuesday, surgery Thursday and the missed events started Friday. For being overweight I am a high energy person who rarely sits for a few minutes. Tough to depend on people, but I am glad that I have people to help. My wife, 2 young kids, and my in-laws are the only reason I haven’t gone insane yet. I guess I have 5 months and 28 days before I play basketball again, but I have to say I am thankful every day for the help.

    Thank you too, as I suspect I will be learning a bunch from you as you are a couple of weeks ahead of me in recovery.

  278. Stormin, my doctor gave me a script for a blood thinner for travel. Some sort of self inoculation to prevent a blood clot. Might ask about it.

    And Deric……maybe loosen your boot up a bit. I have had no issues with blisters, but then again my doctor did not put any extra heel pads in. Hang in there! Get to PT early if you can, the massaging really helps.

  279. efrain66 - good luck with your recovery. I too have help from family members and friends. It just sucks because I am fiercely independent. If you have any questions, let me know and good luck.

    2old4sftball - I too had to travel. I had to fly for about 6 hours so my doctor made me take aspirin 3 days before and days after travel. I didn’t have any trouble flying and I flew 7 days post op. I sort of figured out the blister thing. It’s not really blisters. It’s more of an irritation that can form blisters if not attended to because my foot is pointed downwards and there is a lot of friction on the ball just below my big toe and the surrounding area. I have found relief in chafing ointments and believe it or not - chapstick since it reduces friction with a waxy feeling. I do have one question. How strong is our Achilles post op? I know no weight bearing etc etc, but do I have to worry if i stub my toe or something? I mean, how fragile is this thing right now? I’m 17 days post op right now. Also, when should I start PT? I’m a 30 year old extremely active male who cannot sit still. Good luck with recovery everyone!!

  280. Deric,

    we are close in term of when we tore our AT. I ruptured mine on 10/2 and had surgery on 10/7. I am now in my second cast and have my 3rd post-op appointment today. Hopefully i will be put in a boot, but understand that I can also have a possibility of getting another cast.

    The crutches are actually getting easier to get around with…… I have lost a lot of muscle mass in my right leg and that kinda bothers me…….. I am a basketball coach, and ex player so i was super involved in sports and activity and this injury is a real bummer.

    Take it slow don’t rush it….your healing for the rest of your life and not just the next year or so….so the marathon mentality is much needed…….

    This site is a great great asset….. to here other stories is good to keep accountability.

  281. Hi everyone,
    I just returned from my 2nd post op check with my surgeon.
    3 weeks post op. He remowed my cast, did some stretching tests of tendon. It hurted quite a lot and i was affraid that he would tear it, but it managed. He said that he is very satisfied with recovery and how it works. then put me another cast with my leg straight for a week. I asked him for a walker boot, wich are by the way very hard to find here in Croatia and our health insurance doesn’t pay for it.I was ready to buy them on my own, but he said that i won’t need it, and he is gonna put me some orthosis after this one week cast, still NWB but do some home exercises. I would love to hear your opinions based on your experiences.
    Here is the link for that othosis.

    http://www.bauerfeind.com/en/products/supports-orthoses/foot/achillotrain-pro.html

    Thanks!

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  283. Hi, newbie here. Still trying to figure out how to navigate site and blogs. Briefly: Left ATR on 11/13 ( soccer), surgery 11/16. Now postop day 2 trying to keep leg (and spirit) up…quite frankly a bit overwhelmed. For instance what would be best way to keep leg elevated? Couldn’t get to article mentioned at top…
    Thank you for sharing on your recovery experiences and creating such a diverse and supportive community. Hope to be able to contribute as well. Best recovery,

  284. easiest way = couch or bed w/leg on pillows.

  285. Thank you np13. Yes i’m using pillows. What i’m wondering is if supporting just the ankle/foot or from the knee down and if sideways or with the heel down…at the beginning of this section he was saying that heel down was bad for the incision…but it seems the best way i can for now…thanks again,

  286. great site…thanks to all..tore right achilles dec 4 and had surgery this morning…surgeon said that when my cast is removed 2 weeks later, i will be in a firm cast for 6 weeks…however i’m hearing its better to be in a removable cast after 2 weeks and start range of motion and isometric exercises but no weightbearing until 6 weeks…any advice?

    PS…thanks to wife and family for all their support!

  287. Hi everyone,

    I’m reporting of my recovery progress. I’m walking in my shoes FWB all the way!!!
    In my previous post I was very sceptical about recovery protocol followed by my surgeon.
    But according to my progress I was very wrong. 4 weeks post op cast comes off and I was given Achillo train brace for 2 weeks NWB and make some home foot exercises. 6 week post op surgeon gave me free to FWB and emediate start of PT (for 3 weeks). After one week of PT i was able to walk FWB without crutches even outside.
    I couldn’t belive my progress and such confidence as I was walking.
    surgeon told me that there is no need to be immobilised so long, because 6 weeks is just enough time for tendon to heal and that more damage is done by muscle atrophy.
    So that’s my story so far. I belive I’m gonna make more progress in PT following and making natural moves during walk. Encouraging story without doubt.

    be patient and brave and the day will come.

  288. I am about to have surgery done in two days. I stumbled upon this site and it looks like it has some great information. One thing I am concerned about, and it is a but gross I know but how difficult is it going to be going to the bathroom when you are non weight bearing on one foot?

  289. Very sorry to hear about your injury. Might I ask, how did it happen? I was injured on Nov. 13 playing football, and had surgery on Nov.18. I’m only 8 short days away from going into a boot. The part of using going to the bathroom isn’t that bad. This may sound bad, but I don’t mind saying it b/c we’re all family on here LOL:) If you are a guy, I’d recommend sitting down to use the restroom, whichever you have to do! You sure don’t want to lose balance while trying to stand. It’s definitely NOT an ideal situation to be in, but you could be in a much worse one. Check out my blog, it may answer more questions you have or simply reply back to this comment. Best wishes!

  290. Thanks for the reply. I’ve had a bone spur under my Achilles for years. Over years of beating on it the spur tore my tendon. Luckily it was still hanging on by as the doctor said a strand the size of a hair. I just wen in for surgery yesterday.

  291. 1 week Post-Op & they allowed me to leave un-casted. Im suppoec to wear “The Boot” if i meander out. They also suggested letting the incision air out, which I did yesterday.

    Today my foot appears a little swollen w/ little to no pain except soreness in my calf area. Ive put zero weight on foot since basically day 1 of the rupture & yet somehow I seemed to hv developed a bunnion as i am still bruised near my toe & it feels arthritc.

    Ive obbviously been very very careful & was wondering can I really do any damage (aside from falling) to the achilles? I am able to stretch the foot/ankle with little or no issue and have been pain-free since the rupture occured.

    Any thoughts/observations/etc are appreciated

  292. Hi all,

    I hope you are all recovering/recovered well.

    I joined the ATR club on the 23rd December 2011. I was on a night out with friends just dancing when i felt the ‘pop’ at the back of my right leg. I headed home thinking it was just a bad muscle sprain, i R.I.C.Ed my leg but headed to A&E 4 days later when it was no better. I was kept in and i chose to go down the surgery route which i had the following day. Surgery went well but i was in a lot of pain that night and no amount of painkillers helped. I left hospital the day after surgery with a ‘back slab’ cast and crutches which i am getting the hang of now! I’m 9 days post op NWB and no pain at all, i have to self inject blood thinning medication everyday (which i don’t think i will get used to! but it’s got to be done) I have my first post op check up on Monday.

  293. I wish I would have found this site sooner. I hurt my let in May. Had an MRI in middle November and surgery Dec 27th. I am trying to do exactly as I was instructed so I can heal correctly. The one thing I don’t like is the elevator they gave me for my leg to rest on. I was hoping I could read everyone’s suggestions and see that after 2 weeks you no longer needed it. Oh well. Was also glad to see others showering with a bag over their cast (so have I) and getting around on crutches some. I am so ready for this to be over and get back to normal life.

  294. I stumbled across this site last night… Couldn’t sleep due to pain. I had my surgery yesterday, 1/11/12. Anesthesia wearing off. I had the local, popliteal block and prp injections along with my repair. They put a splint on me and walking on crutches. I’m laying on my recliner right now with leg propped up. I have my first follow up appt nxt week. Don’t know for certain what my ortho going to do next. Been out of work since 9/24 on workers comp and Ive been past the breaking point. Ready to return to work!

  295. Hello my tendon sisters and brothers,
    I am on day four,down to 2 vi odin a day. Keeping my foot above my heart all day. the thing I want to share is before my surgery I was able to get a knee rider as crutches are very hard ffor me to tolerate. So I practiced with it before my surgery and it is great! Right now I just use it to get to the bathroom, but once I can get around more it will get me around in style with NWB. It is like a kids scooter/razor only your knee is on a seat and your ankle just rides along. Check with your insurance co. As they paid for mine. Another tip, you should call your co. To see if they offer home care, as i was so surprised that I had coverage for a few hours a day. This take pressure off your family and friends. It’s nice to have company during this time but hard to make everyone your servant…at least for me, that was my role-mom,flight attendant etc.
    My first follow up is in 2 days I think all is going well. This cast won’t come of for 4 weeks. I am just taking a low dose aspirin for clotting, my doc said shots and all that is not necessary-hope is right!

  296. Hi Brenda, I’m also a fan of the knee scooter. It was so easy to transport stuff around in the little basket, it also helped me to grade the proportion of time I was up on my feet early on. Happy healing to you.

  297. Hi everyone! I’m on my third day post-op. I ruptured my AT on 4 Jan. I had the operation on Friday the 13th. I was put into a back cast after they put a primary wrap on and then a secondary wrap to keep my leg formed to the back-cast. I took my first vicodin (5-500) 4 hours after surgery and every 4 hours afterwards. I was pain free until the block wore off. I suffered through the first night. Saturday afternoon I had enough and called the surgeon. He had me double up on the vicodin and had me call an hour afterwards if I was still in pain. The vicodin was ineffective so he prescribed Norco 10-325. That did the trick. I finally had a descent night rest. My leg started to swell Sunday evening; even though I kept my leg elevated and iced. I loosened the secondary wrap, but it is the primary wrap that’s too tight. I woke up Monday morning and it felt fine, but by the afternoon it’s swollen again.I noticed both times it occurred after eating roast beef dinners. Coincidence? Too much sodium.

  298. Injured my AT on July,10, 2011, dropped a piece of broken glass and it severed the tendon, nerves and just missed the artery. I’m now six months post surgery and can now walk normally, but still have a lot of swelling around the ankle and scare, still have some numbness in spots but its getting better busted a slow process…

  299. What a great site! Well, mine was a classic rupture…first day back teaching PE after the Christmas break and I took a few strides and a jump in a dance lesson and on take off I heard the pop, thought someone had kicked me and obviously this hadn’t happened with a class of 11year old girls! Knew straight away what had happened and hobbled over to a bench. That was the Monday and had the operation Friday 13th. Due to see the surgeon on Thursday (2weeks post surgery). I’m feeling down right now as so used to dashing around after my two young children and actively teaching. It kills me to think it could be 6months return to work, but I know every recovery is different so am keeping my optimism up!

  300. I’m exactly two weeks from my right ATR. I did it playing basketball, 10 minutes into my first competitive game in years, I just turned 31. It felt like someone tripped me or hit me with a baseball bat across the back of the leg, I even looked up to my good friend whom I passed the ball to and said, “what the hell was that”? I looked behind me and so no one there and then realized I was in real trouble. Because I was going forward and not side to side I knew it wasnt an ankle. I was carried off the court and got a morning appt w/ our Orthopedic doctor. I saw his physician assistant and after explaining what I did, he did two tests that confirmed the rupture. He had me go across the hall to have an MRI confirm this. I had my surgery 8 days ago. I’m in a splint (hard cast on bottom of foot and up the calf with an ace bandage) and will get into a hard cast in 4 days. Doc says a hard cast for two weeks then into a hinged boot after that. I’m hoping to be in shoes and walking into rehab by the end of March. My pain meds in the hospital wore off about 4 hours after surgery and the vicodin didn’t work well so I had my wife fill the percoset script. That did the trick. I was told 1 or 2 pills every four hours. I took one every four w/ a half in between pills. All good now. I take a Percoset or two during my night of sleep, I’ve been getting a sharp pain in my heel the past few nights. I’ll take a half of vicodin or advil a couple times throughout the day to help me get comfortable at my desk job. Good luck to all

  301. I ruptured my Achilles tendon on Sat. Jan. 21, playing basketball. I went to the doctor the following Monday and my doctor had me take a MRI the next day. Of course it is a complete tear and he scheduled surgery Tuesday the 31.

    I’m 50 and this is my first surgery ever. On the day of the surgery I was offered lidocaine which I declined. My doctor gave me a prescription for 325mg of oxycodone which I have not taken any nor do I plan on taking.

    It is 26 hours post surgery without any kind of meds. The night was rough but the pain has subsided some and I’m hoping to do a little better tonight. I will update to let you know how I’m doing without any type of meds.

  302. Ok, I’ve searched all over this site and no one seems to complain about this problem and I’m going to guess that I’m not the only one (I am looking for suggestions and support). I am about 7-8 weeks post-op and have been FWB in my boot for awhile. The worst pain for me so far has been the leg hair that seemingly pulls when I walk around in the boot. I’ve tried different socks, no sock, with ace bandage, etc. all with similar results of painful hair pulls. Has anyone else experienced this?

    I’m very tempted to shave my entire injured leg. The last time I tried this was in college (don’t ask why). I remember it took nearly an hour for me to shave one leg. I guess I’m a hairy monkey.

    Help my hair pulling crisis!

  303. Dear HairMonkey,

    I would suggest clippers instead of shaving. Getting the bulk of the hair off so that it won’t pull should work better than shaving which would be itchy.

    Susan (12 weeks post surgery tomorrow)

  304. Thanks Susan.

    Also, has anyone had a rash on their injured leg while wearing a boot? My guess is that it’s from wearing the boot all day and it’s aggravating my skin.

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  309. I ruptured my left Achilles playing netball on Thur, had op yest 13th March, all seems to be going to plan.. I do have some pain, been taking paracetamol and ibuprofen but think I need something stronger.. also worried about things to look out for re inflamation, swelling etc. Any feedback on this gratefully received.
    Thanks

  310. I ruptured my Achilles last tuesday playing basketball and had surgery last Thursday 03/18. So it’s been 5 days but I’m going crazy not being able to do anything. I’m hoping I can go back to work next week but we’ll see what dr says. Does anyone feel like the splint and ace bandage became looser? I feel like now it has become a lot looser then initially.. Not sure if that’s normal

  311. Surgery on 03/15 correction

  312. Hoolz41 HI Sorry you joined the club. The reason semi cast is loose is the swelling has gone down. If you don’t keep foot elevated it will swell and be tight and in the morning will be real loose again. After month of casts etc you start to loose muscle and leg starts to shrink. It’s all normal. I’m on the second round had full tear in Nov and before was totally back up at 10 weeks I broke it again. I’m at 6 weeks this round. Make sure you follow all Dr instructions. You definitely don’t want to be in my shoe:(

  313. Harleylady-thanks for the response. Hope ur recovery goes quick

  314. I had my surgery yesterday. The nerve block just wore off a couple hours ago and my heel is KILLING me. The percoset is NOT working. Thanks for tips about not putting pressure on heel. I hope the pain goes away in the next couple days,

  315. I ruptured my achilles on Monday March 26, 2012 while playing indoor soccer. Went to emergency that night for 5 hours and was put in a cast. The cast they put on covered only the bottom and heel part of my foot pointing downwards. I had an appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon on Thursday March 29, 2012. The surgeon recommended that I have surgery as soon as possible and booked me in for Sunday April 1, 2012. They re-casted me similar to my first cast in emergency (i.e., only the bottom and heel part). Had surgery yesterday and noticed the cast now covers only the top part of my foot. I asked the surgeon why and he said that the first 2 people who put on my cast did it incorrectly. It should only be done on the top part to prevent the foot moving upwards. I am seriously confused. I dont understand why they couldnt have just casted the entire foot. It was easier to rest and I thought it would protect the wound better. How was your foot casted right after surgery. Thanks.

  316. Hi Jay, Welcome to the club, sorry you had to join us. The reason for the half of cast is to allow for swelling. The reason for toes pointed down is to give tendon room to heal without tension. Check out the list of things you will need to make your life easier. Like cast cover from local drug store $13. well worth it. Shower chair, crutch covers etc. The more you read, the less you’ll feel alone. It differently help me calm down from the anger and why me, and settle into just getting better.

  317. I read where some of you are getting leg cramps. I have had problems in the past, I’m taking extra precaution with a cast not to get one. I take potassium twice a day, and drink tonic which has quinine in it. IN all the 6 months I’ve been laid up with tearing and re-tearing I’ve not had one leg cramp. You can also eat lots of red peppers, and bananas. Pills are easier and cheap.

  318. This is my first post. I ruptured my left achilles tendon last wednesday (3-28) playing basketball. I was in excellent shape, under 10% body fat and stretched regularly and lifted weights 4 days a week plus loads of cardio. I will be 34 this coming Friday and cant imagine wanting to play sports again after all of this pain and frustration. I had my surgery yesterday, the anesthesia is wearing off and my pain is barely tolerable with Vicodin every 4 hours. This site and the comments have been a tremendous help, I’m here for anyone that would like to share their experiences or read about mine.

  319. Smamuel,
    Gotta take this one day at a time. For me it seemed very dire at first yet as you make progress, your outlook changes. Six months from now the pain will hopefully be a distant memory and the thought of playing sports will have an appeal again. No matter how old you are, you’re never old enough to give up on the things you like to do. Some people say that the toughest thing to deal with regarding an ATR is what it does to your attitude.

  320. Starshep,

    Thanks for the encouragement, today is already better than yesterday, just going to keep positive energy flowing and take it one day at a time.

  321. smanuel,

    People like to say - Oh you can get back and play bball again and you need to fight fight fight and get back on the court etc… Truth be told, you need to move to low impact stuff now. Unless you have incredible short term disability and a very understanding wife.

    For me, I blew it out playing tennis and to comeback and play competitively again - I put too much torque and strain on my body the way I play so the rational answer is no. And people say tennis stays with you your whole life. What a bunch of BS - I guess it does if you just bunt the ball back.

  322. Sorry to hear you troubles Tony, but most people do indeed return to most of the pre-injury activities (quite a few professional athletes have had this injury and returned to their sport) and most studies show that you are no more likely to have a rupture 3 years down the line just cause you had one now, yes its a nasty injury, but you do have to think positive, I’m 26 and I’m damned if I’m not getting back into sport, negative thinking just makes the mental side of the recovery (the hardest part for me) worse.

  323. Hi all, this is my first post. I ruptured my AT yesterday, (7 April) while working outside, I slipped down a slope and it was a good 10mins before anyone heard me screaming! I’m a midwife from New Zealand and mother of four, so need this like a hole in the head! The dr I saw yesterday told me I would be in a cast for 4-6 weeks and then a boot for a few weeks! I thought that was bad enough, but had plaster checked today with different doc who said 3-6 months! Wholly!!! No one has even spoken of surgery. Im booked to see orthopedic surgeon in two weeks, and now after reading this site I’m alarmed that many have had surgery just a week or two post injury! Its Easter weekend here so many docs are closed, come Tuesday I will be getting a second opinion! Thanks for this great site, I have learned so much ….albeit stuff I probably didn’t want to hear!

  324. Hi there Lou, sorry to hear your joining the ATR club. Have a look around this site there is a lot of information and inspirational stories on here.

    3-6 months in a cast is a very long rehab protocol (check that is actually what they ment, not that “recovery will take 3-6 months, cause that it certainly will) check out the UWO study and others (follow the link to ATR Rehab prococols at the top left of the site, and go down to non-op studies) 4 weeks in a cast would not been that unusual though still slower than the recent studies suggest, I would see if you can get them to put you into an achillies boot (there are several varieties) after 2 weeks in cast, you will still be non weight bearing but its a lot more comfortable! Also don’t worry to much if surgery is not recommended, the same studies have shown that a good non-op protocol produces very similar results to those that have had surgery with only special cases falling outwith this, many people on here (myself included) did not have surgery :)

  325. Hey beralic, thanks a lot for your advice! I do think the docs meant that the rehab takes 3-6months, not that I’ll be “casted” that long. They did mention an archillies boot so i guess ortho will sort that. I will check out the study’s you recommend, thankyou, as feeling a bit anxious about best decision for best outcome. Its great to hear your recovery yielded similar results without surgery, I’m sure much like others Im feeling quite stressed at the timeframe to recovery, and noone im sure likes the idea of surgery, however, unfortunately my job isn’t one whereby I can afford to get injured or be out of action for a great length of time, so im committed to doing whatever it takes! At the mo, resting up and trying to keep the cat who insists on sleeping at my feet from lying on it! Kia kaha!

  326. Hi Everyone!

    Firstly, I´d like to say thanks so much for this fantastic site. I have been lying here the last few hours in bed with my casted leg elevated, reading all the various blogs and opinions of the AT club members, and have felt the most positive since my operation Friday 30 march.

    That damn, fatefull ATR happened at rugby training on wed 28 march in the last minute (literally) of a 2 hr training session.

    I received the ball and executed an explosive excelleration motion (obviously unsuccessfully),when I felt someone had kicked the back of my achilles and “heard” a popping sound from someone treading on my shoe causing me to fall right down…however there was no-one behind me and all that i had felt and heard was my left achilles tendon rupturing.

    At first my team mates were saying oh just walk it off you will be ok, and I tried just that. There was no immediate pain, not like an ankle tear or strain, just a weird floppiness to my foot.

    When I sat down to work out what it was, I could clearly see no taught tendon where there should have been one, only mush….bugger! I then knew immediately what had happened

    I was assessed at the ER and they did all the appropriate tests which indicated at a clear tear/ ATR and I was given the choice of
    surgery or non-surgery. with either spinal block or full anaesthesia…I chose the the option with the least chance of re-tearing…surgery with spinal block.

    It all went well, the surgeons told me, ( who happened to be my husbands best friend!!!! and my daughters best friends father!!!!!)

  327. …..so to make my long story even longer…I have been put in a fibre glass type cast from knee to toes and hobble around on crutches NWB. It is now 10 days since surgery and have my stitches out in 11 days.

    After reading the various information about this type of injury, I am the typical prototype…I am 38 years old, (although i think I’m 25- and so do many others to my defence!!) have been extremely active my whole life and representing my state and county in many sports. Suggesting overuse and degeneration of the tendon.

    The biggest contributor, I´d say is that over the past 6 years I have had 4 kids and have just dived into the elite level on and off in-between births without any continuous training or much prep…..stupid on reflection, and which certainly doesn’t help!

    Im finding it hard dealing with the immobility and the prospect of such a looooonnnng recovery. With any past tears, sprains dislocations etc, it was just strap well and get back there out on the files to finish the game!

    I don’t want to think I am too old and time to hang up the boots- I have many more games left in me….

    Can anyone give me some motivating stories on recovery and good tips?

    Thanks from this mongrel mix of Aussie/Viking

  328. Sars:

    I can’t tell you too much about recovery since I ruptured my AT only 7 weeks ago. What I can tell you is that once you get your boot and can ditch the crutches (in my case it was in 5 weeks), things will open up a bit for you. You’ll be able to carry things and go up and down stairs with greater ease. It might not seem like much but after the restrictions of the crutches, it is a big deal. I’m looking forward to my next milestone, which is 2 shoes, so I can finally drive a car again. Hopefully that will happen in 3 weeks.

    Patience and maintaining the right attitude are the big things with this injury. Keep looking forward and take one day at a time

  329. Hi Everyone, 12 hours post surgery for achilles repair from Haglunds Deformity, Surgery is the same as a torn achilles.

    I had a nerve block that’s supposed to last 18-24 hrs. I feel no pain, however, a lot of numbness in my toes.

    Did anyone have a nerve block? How was your outcome - any complications?

    How long should the leg be elevated - # of days?

    Thanks everyone - feeling very scared right now - no turning back.

  330. @rmo009, I elevated a lot, you really want to decrease the swelling, it’s your bodies response to injury which is good but you need to decrease the inflammation so you can have some circulation and those toxins from the inflammation can leave the area…So don’t be shy in elevating, also it needs to be above heart level to be effective. I elevate still at night when I sleep and I’m a little past 8 weeks post treatment…I also think you’ll have to deal with quite a bit of swelling for 3 or so weeks…Hope that helps…God bless and be well. P.S. no nerve block for me.

  331. rmo009,
    I also had the nerve block for both surgeries. The first time, the loss of feeling lasted me almost 48 hours and that was pretty scary–although my surgeon said I would probably be thankful because the first 24 hours can be the most painful. When I came back for the 2nd surgery 2 weeks later, I told the anaesthesiologist to cut the nerve block medicine down at least two fold and indeed the numbness only last about 24 hours that time around. Anyway, don’t panic, your feeling will no doubt come back 100% and you might need a Vicodin or two to compensate! :) I think ultrarunning answered your question nicely regarding elevation…
    Brian

  332. Hi All,
    Thanks for the encouraging words. I am now almost 4 weeks post op and had my sutures (15 of them) taken out at the 3 week check up. My cast was replaced by another cast with a softer front, hard back as I was unable to put my foot fully flat on the floor. This would have enabled me to put the boot right on. So, :( now another 3 weeks in a cast. At least the foot is not as pointed as the first cast and I can walk a little on it. Not pushing it though!

    Answering the question of anesthetic, I had a spinal tap/block and regained total feeling (unfortunately) back a few hours after surgery. I guess they don’t use so much drugs on patients in Norway! I had the worst night ever- being in a world of pain I couldn’t lie still a second let alone sleep. It was awful! I have had 3 births with no drugs( not even gas!) and a c-section and this first night post op was way worse! Be happy if your nerve block lasts 24 hrs I say!

  333. I just had surgery yesterday to repair my ruptured Achilles. I’ve done a good job of keeping it elevated, and so far my only complaint is an infrequent burning sensation where I assume the incision is.

    Is this normal?
    I find it most comfortable for my leg as a whole to elevate my foot with my calf on top of a few pillows? Could this be irritating the wound? Any suggestions for other elevation options?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  334. By the way… Is there a search option for posts / responses? (I looked but can’t find it and realize this may have already been answered.)

  335. leljr,
    I had ATR on 4/30 and surgery 5/2 and have the same feeling - no answers for you. The swelling also causes pain in between motrin doses - and now I’m hearing motrin inhibits tendon healing - yikes. Don’t know what else to do to reduce swelling in my splint as my leg is eye level most of the time.

    Did your doc tell you it was ok to wiggle your toes? This seems to help swelling but I feel movement in tendons behind heel when I do this.

  336. Kimjax,

    I’m two days post-op and my doc said wiggle away. It has helped to keep the blood flowing. It is getting hard to find a comfortable position. Yesterday I had to take something stronger than Tylenol. Today I was able to make it most of the day with just Tylenol. Nighttime has still required Vicodin. Stay away from the motrin until after the wound has healed. It is not a great post-op painkiller due to the blood thinning.

    Tomorrow I should get put in the cast if all looks good.

  337. Constamj,
    Thanks a bunch! I was worried it would pull on the tendon or something. I’d prefer not to re-do this experience doing something stupid. :) I just quit the Motrin today - the strong stuff made me sick so I had no choice. My splint is getting pretty loose as the swelling goes down - I get a cast ( or boot) Wed. It will be 7 days postoperative. I want to buy the Vaco Cast if it’s as good as advertised - but not sure if a cheaper version will do the same. Doc gave me the Maxtrax and it was too heavy and bulky for my small frame. I’d really like something that could get wet, too!

    Sounds like we’re in about the same place.

  338. Thanks! I’ve been wiggling my toes a bit, though that may just be for my own comfort. On a related note, any suggestions for cold toes? Mine aren’t too bad (not discolored) but they do get chilly at times? Should I be concerned?
    I am jealous of & amazed by you folks who are staying so positive through your recovery! I’m sure ill get there… But not yet. I’m 3 days post-op, and I’ve always been a very active guy. Any suggestions to keep me busy? Can I start light upper body lifting / core work later this week? But honestly, you guys are great… I’m so lucky to have found this site, and to know that I will pull through this alright.

  339. Hello everyone. Its been 2 weeks since my surgery. Last week got my sticthes out and i am in a cam boot. Its healing very well but have alot of swelling still. I am still of from work but i am in no hurry to go back. It is easy to get down though. Im hoping for a quick recovery. Im glad im found this forum..

  340. i had the surgery May 8. complete ATR. Today May 10, I tried to get off oxicodone and walk a litlle with the other foot. in the evening it seems like my foot is on fire. i took a motrin …no change. Finally i gave in and took Oxicodone. Anyone notice the burning. It seems like my foot is on a stove.

  341. Soccermad, Stay away from the motrin for the first couple weeks at least. It is a blood thinner and can slow healing. Hydrocodone is not as strong as the oxi and for me it works really well. I have only been taking it a night. As for the burning, it should only happen after you have had your foot elevated for a long time and you put it down. At first it felt like my toes were going to blow off. Basically the capillaries drain when the foot is elevated and when the foot is lowered they fill back up. Really fast!

    If it is burning when your foot is elevated you may want to get that checked out.

  342. Soccermad,
    I’m using Tylenol - doc said Motrin inhibits healing (AFTER I used it the first 4 days). After I got my cast, I had to use hydrocodone at night for 2 nights as it had a lot of pressure points. At 10 days, I still have the swelling leg when down - its worse with the cast. Order your Vaco boot now if you can afford it!!!I waited and would have been able to use it at my first postop if I’d had it. (it can replace a cast). It vacuum hugs your foot so there’s no movement like in my cast. It’s also super light. Can’t wait to put it on next week. Wiggling my toes helps with circulation, and elevation and icing give relief throughout the day.

  343. Same thing after surgery. It felt like my foot was on fire. Its been 18 days since.my surgery. Healing is good but I have still have alot of numbness in my toes and foot. Is this.normal?

  344. Hi All,

    I think i’m the newest member of this exclusive club. I’ve done my ATR (right leg) last Saturday night 12/05/2012 playing soccer. Similar to others, it felt as if someone had kicked me from behind, and i heard a popping sound. I had U/S on Monday, and had surgery about 68 hours post injury.

    Surgery was under general anaesthetic and it took 1 hour. I have had minor pain, and have not been taking anything for it as it is manageable. My foot is in a cast and i’m due to see the surgeon next friday to probably remove the stitches and place it in a boot (but i could be wrong).

    My issue is that i’m expecting my first child in exactly 32 days (it will be 5 weeks post surgery for me)!!! i’m wondering when can i drive? Would i be able to hold and walk with my baby? How strenuous is the physio post the boot?

    Thanks all for your help, and for the great site…

  345. First of all, congratulations on the baby! How exciting! Second….it might not be 32 days. My first was born a week after her due date and my second a week before his. At 5 weeks post op you will most likely be somewhere between pwb and fwb so carrying the baby might be tricky and probably not a good idea. As for driving , I can’t answer that since I ruptured my left. Congrats again!

  346. Jalal, you were playing soccer (aggressively enough to R your AT) exactly 37 days before your child is due?? And took no pain-killers after ATR surgery??

    If you can do all that, you should easily be able to follow one of the modern aggressive protocols that will have you Full Weight Bearing at about 4 weeks, and you should be able to juggle your two twins, standing up, soon after childbirth! No, seriously, you may be “booted” but not otherwise much impaired by the time you rise from giving birth.

    Some of us — all of us who followed the very successful UWO protocol (at bit.ly/UWOProtocol ) — began PT BEFORE leaving the boot, even starting at 2 weeks post-op or post-non-op. At that point, it’s very far from strenuous, very gentle indeed. None of the exercises is what I’d call “strenuous” until maybe 3 months or more post-whatever.

    Good luck with all of it, and keep us posted!

  347. Thanks Jennifer and norm for your replies,

    My wife is the one giving birth…. i smiled when i understood what you were talking about (the thought of my 8 months pregnant wife playing soccer and rupturing her AT is probably not what i was hoping for)

    The more read the more i think i probably won’t be able to drive my wife to hospital or be of help (the level i was hoping to be).

    It is also dawning on me that this will be a loooong recovery 8-12 months, may be a blessing in disguise as i’ll be able to spend more time (on the floor) with my newborn son.

    Thanks again for a great site… I’m a pharmacist and will be recommending my patients with similar injuries to visit, learn and find support.

  348. Jalal, sorry to hear you joined our ATR club, but a big congrats on your new child coming soon! Just wanted to mention that after I ruptured my right Achilles, I was in a splint the 1st two weeks after surgery. I began driving with my left foot only (automatic transmission) at about 7 days post-op (due to an emergency). At 2 weeks post-op, I switched to a cast and almost immediately started using my right foot for the gas pedal and left foot for the brake. So assuming you drive an automatic, you should be ok with driving within the next week or two. Good luck with your recovery!

  349. Oops! Try hard to follow a fast protocol like UWO and you should be able to offer as much help (& need as little) as possible. The bulk of the recovery happens “front-loaded”, in the early months.

  350. Hate to say it, but I am the newest member to the ATR club. I am 6 days post-opt. Today they removed the splint and placed me in a air cast/walking boot. I have noticed A LOT more pain in the new cast. Has anyone used the Vaco Cast? I am wondering if it is worth the $300 to buy it. Also, did anyone else take off the air cast when elevating their ankle and put ice on it? My surgeon was really short in my post-opt today, left me wondering these things.

    Good luck to everyone on their recovery!

  351. I was put in a cam boot after a week too. And I am now on my 4 week. I am still elevating and every so often icing it. When I first got the cam boot I also had more pain. To me it seems heavier then the cast was. I have two more weeks left till I will start pt and start putting weight on it.

  352. Hi all,

    Completely ruptured my Achilles 2.5 weeks ago, 1 week post op. The first day/night after surgery was pretty bad once the block wore off, but ok after that. I’ve also experienced heel pain yesterday that magically went away, but some tendon pain today. Is it normal to just have certain parts hurting at this specific point in the recovery? I’m completely NWB and have kept to that and am mostly on the bed with the leg elevated except for bathroom breaks. Also, frustration is rising because I’m used to being active and I’m fairly young (24 yrs old). Anyways, I hope everyone else is healing well.

  353. bhandarp,

    I had pains in different areas of the leg/foot during the first 8-10 weeks - never really bad but certainly uncomfortable at times.

    The heel pain seemed to hurt frequently until I was able to walk for a few weeks FWB - then it left for good! The swelling and having to elevate frequently was bad for the first 8 weeks or so, then got progressively better to where I hardly notice it now at 17 weeks, unless I really overdo it. I also had tingling and numbness in my toes for about 4 weeks after surgery, but that went away for good quickly after that. The tendon pain or more usually a tight feeling starts to get better as you begin to stretch it and do physical therapy. Also, the other leg, hip, achilles and sometimes back can get cranky mostly due to walking in crutches, unevenly with a boot, etc so I personally started walking around the house in bare feet the moment I became FWB, and used the boot only when I went outside, to try to minimize those issues. Also, there are some exercises you can do even with the cast on - check out this blog’s home page for the rehab exercise link and look for examples of week 1-4 exercises.

    Those were my experiences at least…the time goes by relatively quickly if you focus on getting to the next milestone (PWB, FWB, no crutches, 2-shoes, PT, exercising normally, etc).

    Heal fast and well!

    John

  354. Michael,

    Sorry you have joined the club, but glad you found this blog site as it is a wonderful place to get information and share your experiences and key learnings.

    You will generally only get 10 minutes for each surgeon visit, so be prepared with all of your questions before you see him next - I put them in my iPhone as notes to be sure I ask all of them!

    I wanted to get the Vacocast initially so I could use it in the pool for swimming and aqua exercises, but got talked out of it by my surgeon as being un-necessary - he wouldn’t let me use it in lieu of a plaster cast, and I had already paid for the standard boot before my surgery, so let it go.

    There are several bloggers on this site who have tried the Vacocast - one of the newest is kimjax who has set up a personal blog site. Try checking her site out, as she has had some ups and down with her VacoCast but I think would now say it was worth it - you may want to ask her on one of her posts.

    Good luck with your rehab!

    John

  355. Hey John,

    Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll focus on the milestones and work on some of the early rehab exercises in the meantime.

    I hope your recovery continues to go swimmingly!

  356. Michael, I felt the same way with the initial boot that I got from the doc. The sole was way too heavy and yanked on my AT. I ordered the Vaco cast which was MUCH lighter and minimized the stress on my knees and AT. I don’t love the Vaco liner, and it takes some playing around with it to eliminate hot spots - probably what’s causing your additional pain right now. I ice on my knee above the boot and usually have relief pretty quickly as the swelling goes down. Heat really makes me swell.

    I would order the Vaco again, but find it very uncomfortable for sleeping. (The sleek design makes in flop over easily when on your back) I’m trying to find a “night boot” right now, and will post what works. The protection of the Vaco is also terrific - much superior to the foam only backing on the black boots. HTH, Kim

  357. Hello,
    Discovered this site prior to surgery.
    31 year old female with a superbowl injury (litteraly) 02.06
    I was “Nancy Kergan’d” in my L ankle w/o treatment or surgery until
    May 17th (Long Story). I failed the Thompson’s Test and with MRI confirmed almost full thickness tear on my heel. Funny thing I could weight bare on all almost of my foot . Now In a open toe plaster cast to my knee.

    I only have Hugo (Rolling walker) and crutches. No Help :( I came up with crafty ways to reach,eat, wash, etc. The worst was going to the bathroom on 1 foot OMG! But after day 2 and wipes :) I figured how to lift myself 6ft 260lb on a stool to properly clean. Sponge bathing no shower chair, I hopped to my car twice for real food, used a backpack and did it safely but paid for 2 days im body pain. Not much swelling taking half of percocet to sleep. My ortho told me to also take aspirin everyday ! Is this normal? First post- op tomorrow, praying for a boot. This site is a God send!

  358. I tore my achilles while on vacation with my family in in Maine. I was running out of the water and one of my steps felts like I put my foot in a hole. Of course, there was no hole. That was the feeling of my AT snapping in half. That was on July 3rd. Today I’m one week post op and I gotta say that the worst feeling is the depression. The long road ahead, the lack of mobility and my inability to play like I used to with my two kids (both under the age of 2). I’m off the pain killers–they gave me a really bad hangover and my doctor put me in the boot a few days prior to and directly after surgery–from what I’m reading it sounds like that’s a good thing. Hopefully, my stitches will come out this thursday at my second post op appointment.

    I find myself sleeping a ton. Big naps in the day. 3 or 5 hours at a time.

    My biggest concern is that at 12weeks post op, I have to be on stage playing guitar with a band for a big reunion concert. I realize that I’ll be sitting or maybe leaning on a stool but I’m going to work my ass off to get to anything beyond that. Fingers crossed.

  359. Im at 10 weeks now and standing unaided no problem, In fact day to day life is pretty much back to normal, other than obviosuly no sport and just waiting for the nod to be able to drive. I run a number of junior football teams and am quite able to stand for a few hours coaching them with a little bit of movement. It might seem a long way off yet but the doctor has put you on the right track with the boot so you now have to stay positive, ask the right questions at your next visit to the hospital and they will push you down the right track.

    I felt exactly the same 8 weeks ago but if you read my blog from today cant believe the progress over the last 10 days. The next few weeks will be tough, but keep your chin up, aim for the short term goals and you will be there soon

  360. Hi brooklynboy,

    The first few weeks suck. I had surgery on may 24 th and am doing so much better now. I will be nine weeks post surgery on thursday and am walking around in two shoes, although slowly and with a limp. I would imagine by 12 weeks you should be fine for a show, especially if you can sit when you need to. I slept a lot too, took a nap everyday my three kids were in school. The fatigue goes away too as you heal.

  361. Wow. Both of your responses give me great hope that things won’t be too bad too far down the line. Two shoes at 9.5 weeks post op is a lot further along than I thought was possible. Again, I’m totally new at this and just trying to learn as much as possible.

    The plan is to get my stitches out tomorrow. Hope all goes well and my doc will give me a better sense of what to and not to do–cause right now, I want to crutch with my foot down in the boot. That’ll make a huge difference in my day to day.

  362. I had my AT ruptured last Tuesday and had the operation next day.I’m home-resting now with a cast and I was told that I’ll get my stitches taken out in 2 weeks,then I’ll spend another 4 weeks in the cast.After they’ll take off the cast,I’ll start physiotherapy…Now,some people wrote that it took almost 1 year for them to fully recover which creeped me out a little.Please give me some hope as this is making me sad greatly.I live abroad away from family and friends so will be doing things by myself.

  363. burak29,
    Very sorry to hear your story. It is true that full recovery can take one year, or even longer. However some people are back to their normal lives after six months or so.
    I ruptured my Achilles last September, and I am also on my own without family or friends nearby.To me, it was a life changing event, and a very difficult journey. Stay strong, eventually you will heal. This forum is great, you should start your own blog so we can follow your recovery.

  364. burak29,
    While on the average it take people 6-12 months to fully recover from an ATR, that means back to playing sports at the level they used to be at. For some, they have recovered even faster. While that may sound like a long time, remember that at 5 weeks, many people are full weight bearing in a boot which means that you can pretty much do all life’s necessities. At 10 weeks, it seems that most people are back to driving.

    Hang in there for another few weeks and you’ll b e amazed at how much better things will quickly become.

  365. I thank all of you who replied to my message.as you said,it already made me appreciate my normal life better.I just wanna be able to walk freely once again without the cast so I guess I’ll just hang in there.I’m glad you are around as people who have never gone through this,don’t understand my feelings at the moment.thank you.

  366. My Achilles tendon popped while I was dancing and jumping at an evening service with over 200 young people on July 3rd. I didn’t go to an Ortho doctor until August 3rd. I am scheduled for surgery on August 8th. I am nervous about the surgery. This site has helped with some of my questions.

    My biggest issue is that I want to be up and moving, back to work by the 20th of August. I am in ministry and I run a school of ministry 9 months out of the year. I am determined to get back on my feet or foot with crutches before September 1st. Surely there is a way to modify my activity so that I can get back to work. Thoughts, suggestions are welcome!

  367. Get a comfortable backpack. Possibly place a stool in your bathroom to help.

    After a while crutches can make your good leg very sore. You should take it easy and easy your way into crutches. It may give you more longevity with them than it did me.

    Swallow your pride and ask for help if you need it. Not sure if you are having surgery or going conservative. But I would plan for 6 months. I re-ruptured mine and find that asking for help the second time around has been much easier for me personally.

  368. 6 months at least. My apologies.
    Good luck.

  369. 3 weeks ago today I ruptured my left Achilles playing tennis. I knew right away it was bad. I pushed off my back leg and felt like I hit a sink hole and then I felt the punch in the back of the ankle. I went to the ER and that following Tuesday had surgery. The first few days were rough. More emotionally than physically. The pain was manageable and subsided within a few days. I really wasn’t ready to face the recovery. When my surgeon explained it I kind of zoned out. I am 47, have 3 kids and have been an athlete all my life - played field hockey and lacrosse in college - and was NEVER injured before. The idea of 6-12 months of rehab is hard to grasp. Yesterday I had my stitches removed and I am at 90 degrees so they took the cast off and gave me the boot. So relieved to be able to shower without a garbage bag and also take it off at night. Mentally that has already helped. Really the biggest hassle about the whole thing is the crutches. Every little chore is a total pain and becomes very frustrating. I rented a scooter that you kneel on and has brakes and a basket and that has been a huge help. I would highly recommend it. I stumbled on this blog and found everyone’s stories so helpful and thought I would share mine too. I am very inspired my Olympian Misty May-Treanor and can only hope there are great things ahead for all of us.

  370. Beckster

    glad to hear that you are healing well. I detached my achilles this past May, had surgery 2 weeks later and just graduated from cast to boot two weeks ago. It was great freedom to bathe or shower without a bag! Today my ortho gave me the green light to start putting full pressure using the boot which I will wear another 5 weeks. Your right about the crutches….I also rented a knee scooter and it helped big time! How much longer do you have in boot?

  371. Hey everybody - I feel like the experienced one here, with some caveat’s. I’ve been through 3 surgeries and will share a little. I have the Haglund’s Deformity issue and have had both Achilles Tendon’s repaired. 5 years ago I started developing tendonitis due to the deformity (bone spurs on the back of the heel ball, right under the tendon). My Dr.’s didn’t get to this diagnosis for many months, and after a couple of rounds of Prednizone and rehab and finally an MRI I had repair surgery almost a year after first symptoms. My tendon was about 1/2 torn through. I was 9 weeks in a cast, then the boot and rehab and really about 6 months till I was clear to travel (for work). I was on crutches for just over 2 months (hate crutches). Took about a year to feel back to normal.

    Flash forward to about a year ago. Started feeling ‘familiar’ symptoms on my other foot, put up with it for a couple of months (not wanting to go through this again) and finally went to the Dr., got an XRay, saw the bone spurs and schedule surgery. Dr. said surgery in Nov went well, no damage to tendon, just a clean up operation. Rented a knee scooter this time (so much better than crutches). Back on my feet in about 4 weeks, out of the boot pretty soon (Dr. said to get out of the boot as soon as my foot would tolerate it). I started walking and water walking, and was back in the boot after a couple of weeks, then out of the boot, then back in the boot and long story long, was back at the Dr. after 4 months with a lack of sustained healing. He tried rehab and special magic ointments and kept me in the boot fulltime for a month and finally scheduled surgery again to fix what must be a small tear.

    We’ll never know if he missed it the first time, or if he and me had me too active too soon. Either way I am now 6 weeks off me foot (just a boot, no cast at all this time) with 2 more weeks to go. He’s being very careful this time.

    I used a shower sleeve when I had the post surgical wrap. I also had an ‘incident’ on my knee scooter about 3 weeks ago, where I caught a wheel on something outside and turned it sideways, knocking me off of it and banging my bad log knee on a metal plate. Cause a deep abrasion what isn’t going to fully heal till I’m walking again (wound area is in constant contact with the knee scooter and if covered doesn’t dry enough). Anyway, minor issue.

    When I fell off the scooter, I ended up standing in the street on 2 legs (including my bad one). seemingly no harm no foul, seems to have not caused any issue, as the boot did its job and kept me from flexing the foot.

    I tend to not wear the boot around the house and 100% wear it if going out of the house for any reason.

    After 2 surgeries and almost a year of not using this foot as much as the other, I’m showing definite muscle atrophy on my left calf and am concerned about that. Other than that, life is good.

  372. Sorry I’m so wordy. Can’t help it.

  373. I had no pain after surgery. I put my leg in a black rubbish bag and wrapped the opening around my leg followed by putting a medium sized thick elastic band on the top to cover the cast in the bath/shower and I reused it everyday.
    The hospital took off the cast and stiches after 10 days and gave me a boot. One crutch slipped on the floor and I put my booted foot down to stop falling. I tore the incision slightly and the pain was bad and lasted for about 60 seconds. I hope I have not re-ruptured it. The pain has not come back. I cannot drive and the boot and crutches are a real mission to be mobile. Instead I stay indoors and do not wear the boot or use the crutches at all. Instead I hop around the house and use my arms and hands. I sleep without the boot and keep my calve on a big pillow so my incision section does not touch the bed. I beleive the tendon will heal faster without the boot as long as it does not bear any weight and the gravity on the foot itself keeps the tendon in a contracted position. It has been 12 days since the surgery and I can now twist my foot towards my knee by about 1 cm whilst lying down. This means it is irecoverying well and is not re-ruptured. A few things I do is excercise the leg and promote blood circulation by lying down and moving my knee towards my chest and back down several times.

  374. Hi Everyone,

    Great to have found this forum. I have had my boot / air-cast now for 1 week and all seems to be going OK, though sleeping with it on is still very difficult as its very heavy and cumbersome.

    I’m not sure if this is a UK thing (I live in Kent, South East England) but I have been prescribed Fragmin, blood thinning medication fsince the diagnosis of my AT rupture. The medication has to be injected which thankfully my partner does! I have just been told that this medication should be for 6 weeks max which contradicts what I’d been told to start with. I don’t want to risk a blood clot in my leg but I’d be happy to not have to inject any longer.

    Does anyone else have experience of this?

    Thanks

    Rob

  375. Hi Rob,
    Are we talking about a VACOped Boot ? If it is, I found (& still do), taking off the ‘outer shell’ a lot more comfortable in bed, whilst still keeping the strapping in place; a bit lighter also. Yes, I am NHS, up in East Yorkshire; they gave me a choice of self injections or Pradaxa anticoagulant tabletswhich I chose, when I was in pot: I then found another orthopod in another hospital (still NHS), bought my own VACOped and presented with it. Told my new orthopod about the Pradaxa tablets, who suggested I
    took an Aspirin a day, as I was using the boot, rather than casting. He thought that Pradaxa was ‘overkill’. FYI, with the ok of the orthopod, each evening I take off the boot, to let my ankle get some air, elevated on a stool, definitely no weight bearing, for an hour or so; this helps circulation obviously and gets rid of all the dead skin !

    rogerg

  376. RogerG

    I was supplied with a VACOped Achilles Pro boot by my NHS hospital after week 2 (first 2 weeks in a cast). I wore the boot in bed during weeks 3 and 4 only, without the sole of course, then kept it by the bed at night for when I went to the bathroom or downstairs. Also at the end of week 4, the Achilles sole was replaced with the flatter version. During weeks 3 and 4 I was weaning off the crutches, sometimes reverting to one or both for more difficult terrain.

    With this boot and accelerated rehab giving me early mobility, I was not given blood thinning tablets or injections. However, as I’ve said previously, we’re not all the same and require different treatment variations - just need to be confident that our specialists are just that (specialists), and that they have kept up with the latest protocols and technology.

    I almost missed this string, which was originated quite some time ago and not used much.

  377. Hillie,
    I’m now approaching 9 weeks since my ATR; first 3 in pot equinus (pointing down); then in VACOped
    non weight bearing, two crutches for three weeks (that’s 6 weeks nwb) also equinus angle; then 3 weeks
    full weight bearing in wedge sole, no crutches. Seeing my ortho on Monday for an evaluation; hopefully going into flat sole @ 15 degrees. All subject to pain. Strange, but one of my worries on this non op protocol, is that, apart from when I had the accident, have had no pain whatever. Worried that it might not be healing/two ends joining: doubtless I will find that out on Monday ! Can I ask again, if anyone out there has experience of ultrasound therapy (not scanning) to increase bloodflow/healing; lots on Google re extra strength in laboratory animal testing ????

    rogerg

  378. Hey peeps,

    WOW - what a great site! I left the (public) hospital here in rural Australia with very little information (after surgery on 22/08), feeling very uninformed and powerless..but now I feel forearmed!

    So did my achilles playing AFL (our footy code) on 18/08 and heard the “usual” bang/snap and was cursing all the other team for ‘kicking my ankle’, but apparently there was no one around me…HA! ;-)

    Had surgery 4 days later and apparently all went well. Rested for a 7-10days at home (thank god I’m currently living with family!) and got a cam/walkabout boot fitted on 30/08. But wasn’t given exact instructions re: weight bearing, so did 2-3 hrs shopping yesterday with crutches, only to realise NOW that I completely over did it and now need to ensure I don’t weight bear at all!!! DAMN…but the swelling has gone down, due to rest/elevation and I’m not in any pain etc. So hoping everything will be OK?!

    So reassuring to hear similar issues/problems/pains etc. Hoping to return to work next week with 1/2 days, so I can continue to rest. Determined to be a “good” rehab girl, as I’m dying not being able to exercise (!!!!!) and can’t wait to go snowboarding again!!

    BC here we come!!
    Best Wishes to all!
    Cheers,
    Emm

  379. Ps- shower chairs are the BOMB!

  380. Hi all
    What a relief to find a site like this. Many people comment on the fact that they are desperately seeking information, seen as the time you get to ask questions with medical staff is so limited.

    Ruptured my AT fully 23/08 playing badminton while on holidays abroad. Transferring onto UK NHS care (I am also based in Kent) has been a battle but 2 weeks post op I managed to get a new cast, as per instructions of the original abroad-based surgeon.
    Two questions:
    - Can you tell at this early stage whether the surgery has been successful? My foot still feels very numb, and when its initial backslab was taken off for wound dressing my foot still felt very sloppy. Although I have been very strict about resting, with elevated foot, and have done no weight bearing at all, I am worried this means the repair has not “taken” properly.
    If it had somehow re-ruptured, what would be the signs?
    - Anyone else in the UK been given a boot rather than a full plaster cast? Do you have to ask for it or pay towards it?

    Many thanks!

  381. Hi,
    Depends on your consultant/ doctor protocol mine NHS in East London was 6 weeks cast. The angle of the foot in the cast was changed every 2 weeks. Then Aircast boot for 6 weeks with wedges. Now at 12 weeks just going into shoes
    ( trainers more like!) and weekly physio in NHS hospital. It’ s a long haul but patience is the key, you will see slow improvements over time. In the back of my mind is the fear of re-rupturing and having to start all over again!!!!!

  382. Tore my Achilles 5 days ago. Surgery tomorrow. The most difficult part has been the burden I clearly now have become for everyone. I can see how tired my wife is. I tried tidying the house the other day, hoovered loaded the dish washer etc but fell over. I’m not much use to anyone, just a massive hinderence. It’s only been 5 days. She is walking around miserable with tears in her eyes. 5 days in man! Feel like topping myself.

  383. Thanks Jphil for the info - I am literally counting the days until I can see the consultant and have confirmation that the repair is on track. I am sure fear of re-rupture will be a permanent thought from now on, but am hoping that over time it becomes less of a dominant concern. Though TBH I really wouldn’t want to be going through this another time ever again.

    @ Tom - hang in there. If you are used to being quite independent then suddenly being dependent is horrible isn’t it? I totally relate to you describing it as being a burden. The first couple of weeks my husband was exhausted too, and like you I was trying to keep doing things as if I still could / possibly because in my head I hadn’t processed what had happened. Eventually I was told by the nurse that I really needed to put my feet up for longer periods otherwise the leg in plaster was getting really swollen. I feel better for having taken her advice. Little by little you will find things that you can do - I hired a wheelchair so we can at least go out, have crutches round the house as it is more stable than just hopping without support, and a strategically placed chair in the bathroom to be able to wash safely (I can rest my knee on the chair). I can also vac if I sit on the floor and shuffle on my bottom. None of that is glamorous but it means i can contribute AND be safe at the same time. Good luck, & keep posting if it gets to you. x

  384. Hi Tom

    Have you got kids? That makes it busy! I felt the same with my hubby - mostly at weekends when he had to fit in all the chores/shopping/ferrying kids around that I couldn’t do. It was a relief for him to go back to work! While he was at work though, I did as much as I could - swept the kitchen floor and cooked in a wheelchair, hoovered whilst hopping (don’t do too much hopping though) did online shopping for groceries and other things, and tried to stay on top of the paperwork. The trick was to do it much slower than usual, but then there is plenty of time! I did fall once in my cast - missed the wheelchair when sitting down too fast - but I seemed to just roll over and only my dignity was bruised! Once you have a full cast or boot, your leg is pretty protected so you might feel more able to do things on crutches. My arms got pretty toned too, always a silver lining. Good luck - it does get better! :-)

  385. Like everyone has said, hang in there Tom. It will eventualy get better, slowly, but it does. I know exactly how you feel. I am married with 2 kids. My wife’s business is out of state and requires here to travel for a week every 6 weeks. Well I ruptured my right achilles like a week before her trip. But luckily the kids were also traveling with her that week to visit relatives. But it being a right achilles rupture, I couldn’t drive. So I had to have my dad fly out to take care of me while she was gone. When she got back she had a full load of taking care of me, the kids, the house, and anything else dealing with the family. She also had to drive the kids to school and drive me to work and pick up the kids from school and pick me up from work. I have had that worthless feeling many of days.

    I am now 4 months post op and in a cast. My leg doesn’t hurt at all. My bruises on my hands from crutches hurt more than anything. I suggest picking up a knee scooter or the sit down riding scooter where you can prop you log on the bar. I have the sit down scooter and it is a HUGE help. My wife is on her trip and the kids stayed home because of school. I have been able to scoot around the house and make lunches, do laundry, cook, do dishes, clean up, etc. With out the scooter I would never be able to do it.

    If you are interested, I got my scooter from http://www.goodbyecrutches.com. They are great and very helpful.

  386. Tom:
    The thing to keep in mind is that your condition is only temporary. As you get better with the crutches you will become skilled enough to do more things. When you go to FWB, in a few weeks, you will be able to do most any chore. Let some things slide for a while if you can. Seek the help of other people to help take the spread the work. Focus on the present and don’t panic.

  387. Crutchesintx- you’re 4 *WEEKS*, not months, right? You scared me there for a minute, had to go check your blog ;-)

  388. I did too! Lol

  389. Hi all…I’m so glad I found this site!

    I fully ruptured my left AT playing baseball exactly 1 week ago today. I was running the bases when the AT popped and my leg gave out resulting in a hard fall. I also strained my left calf, got 8 stitches on my left leg and lots of road rash requiring daily dressing changes. It has been a frustrating & painful event since the moment it happened and only reading about it has helped somewhat.

    I have been amazed at how poorly the medical community in general have dealt with my situation. The first ER Dr. I saw told me my AT wasn’t ruptured (even after doing an ultrasound) but suspected my calf was torn. He sent me home with stitches & crutches since there is nothing else they can do about it. I visited a different ER 36 hours later and the Dr. immediately diagnosed the ATR and had me set up with a ortho. surgeon 48 hours later. This is where things get confusing…

    In this same OS office, 2 different Dr.s have 2 completely different perspectives on how to treat a full ATR. The younger Dr. believes they should all be corrected with surgery and the older Dr. won’t even do surgery any longer on ATR’s, but believes in 100% ‘conservative approach’. I was told the pros & cons of each method and told I had to decide for myself. If the doctors/medical community can’t decide which approach is better, how can I be expected to make that decision??? I do appreciate that many of you didn’t have a choice, but I just wish there was a definitive consensus on the best method of treatment.

    I am also very skeptical of the OS’s approach of restricting mobilization until 6-8 weeks out. Everything I have read seems to indicate early mobilization is showing excellent recovery results. Anyone have any experiences regarding delaying mobilization?

    I still have until tomorrow to decide on surgery or not, but I believe I will choose to not have surgery and hope for the best. I’ve got a CAM boot, crutches, and a wheelchair (I travel a lot). I have to thank my loved ones so much for putting up with me…and it’s only week #1. I can’t imagine what this will be like 2-3 months from now.

  390. Hi Darren! That is quite an ordeal for you. I can’t believe how mismanaged your situation has been. Norm might be the perfect person to answer this question, but I’ll throw my two cents in for what it’s worth.

    Right now I am mostly concerned that you have gone so long without a proper diagnosis. Is your foot in equinus while in the CAM boot? Have you been putting any weight on it. If you answered yes and then no respectively then I would think that non-op could be a good course of treatment for you as healing would have already comenced.

    If you chose to go non-op I highly suggest promoting your doctor to follow the UWO protocol. That has been the protocol that has shown to have very positive results.

    But the choice is yours and there have been many paths of recovery followed by many in this community.

    Let us know what you choose. Happy healing!

  391. Making the decision to have surgery or not is a tough one. I personally chose surgery and have been very happy so far but there are MANY successes with non-op on this blog. I am 15 weeks post op and things are rolling along. It mentally helps me that I when I return to Ironmans and long distance running, I know that my achillies is literally stiched together.

    It is a challenging road either was you choose, but keep in mind that it DOES GET BETTER! Try to look at the positive, and try to settle into the “muck” of this injury. You have to let your body heal and also find the right balance between active recovery and pushing too hard. This experience has been life changing for many of us - and has given us opportunites to shift for the positive. (Just think about all the abs you can do and all the upper body work….)

  392. 48 hours after ATR I was given a CAM boot by second ER, but locked in neutral position and I did put some weight on it. 120 hours after ATR the OS gave me a different CAM boot locked at 45° of plantar flexion and have been NWB since.

    All these new terms we are forced to learn…sheesh.

  393. Hi Darren,

    I also did mine playing baseball. Jumped for high thrown ball and pop. Thought someone had thrown a ball at the back of my leg since we were practicing, but no one was there when I looked back.

    I went surgery because I researched other athletes like Elton Brand, David Beckham, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Terrell Suggs, Ryan Howard, etc.. They all chose surgery so I figured if they all were going back to their respective sports then it was the way I wanted to go.

    Many of us will never be at their level, so surgery may not be the answer for everyone. Lots of non op success stories here. Good luck with the healing process and hopefully you are back on the diamond next season.

  394. Darren99,

    I went non-surgical but I was in a cast at full equine position less than 24 hours after my ATR and went with a fairly fast modern recovery protocol. I’m at 29 weeks and am totally satisfied with my rate of recovery. I can walk at full speed without a limp, jog and am back to my favorite sport, weight lifting.

    Normally I am a big proponent of going non-surgical. Using modern fast recovery protocols, non-surgical gives results just as good in term of recovery rate and rerupture rates as surgical. Plus there are no complications related to surgery such as infections.or the wound not healing. Yet, there are 2 things that concern me about your situation. The first that it took them so long to get your foot into the proper locked position and the second being that your doctors are intent to keep you immobilized for up to 8 weeks.

    You could give non surgical a try and either try to convince your doctor to adopt a faster protocol or find a new doctor that will. If it turns out that the non surgical method does not take, you can always get it operated on. If you are concerned about the possibility of losing that time, you might prefer to go surgical now and get it over with.

  395. Darren, I think you’ve already found some good info yourself, and gotten more good stuff above. Yes, opinions differ, and both approaches eventually produce very good results for the vast majority of ATRs.

    It sounds as if 5 days passed between the ATR and your getting immobilized and NWB in equinus, which is not excessive for a good non-op cure, IMHO. E.g., the “UWO” study — full text available on this site, look for the Protocols and Studies link on the Main Page — admitted all patients whose ATRs were less than 14 days old. So I don’t think there should be any serious concern that the non-surgical protocol won’t “take” — though I think all of us suffer from that anxiety, even WITH surgery! ;-)

    I’ve long wished (and even asked one of the UWO authors) that the authors had “mined” their data to find out if the non-op patients that got the promptest non-op treatment post-ATR fared better than those who waited closer to 14 days. I’m guessing they did, but the study’s non-op results were very good anyway, and I doubt that the average patient got immobilized/NWB much quicker than you did.

    You can look at the study’s raw data and the analysis yourself, if you don’t mind reading that kind of technical writing. Their results (also discussed on a few of my blog pages) were almost completely statistically identical (between op and non-op) among ~150 patients divided randomly. Looking at the raw data does show a slight bias in favor of the surgical group (a bit more strength, even at the last check-up, IIRC), but with fewer complications and no scars in the other group.

    The re-rupture rates were both very low — 2 post-op and 3 post-non-op, each out of about 75 patients — which is again slightly biased toward the surgical group. Again, all of these results were close enough that they fall within the “19 times out of 20″ statistically insignificant range of difference. (I also think 3/75 is pretty close to the irreducible minimum re-rupture rate for this injury.)

    Crutchesintx is also correct that almost all top-level athletes are still getting the surgery, despite the UWO study and a few others since 2007 showing precious little benefit. (The surgeon who talked me out of surgery after meeting with the UWO authors is one of Toronto’s top sports-medicine surgeons, including the chief surgeon of our professional football team. He stopped doing ATR-repair surgery because “I didn’t become a surgeon to do surgery that has no benefit” — but I think the only pro player on his team that has ATR’d since the Dr.’s conversion has gone for the operation!)

    One possible recent exception among elite athletes is a British Olympian who was diagnosed with an ATR last February, immobilized and did PT without surgery, and won a gold medal in the recent Summer Games. I don’t remember his name or even his sport, but maybe somebody here can fill it in.

    My reading of the pre-2007 data compared to the post-2007 studies has convinced me that going slow and “conservative” with non-op rehab is associated with inferior clinical outcomes (including 10-20% rerupture rates), and should be avoided if possible. (Going slow is also a bloody nuisance!) But following one of the modern fast protocols that has demonstrated excellent non-op results (like UWO’s, also available at bit.ly/UWOProtocol ) is a worthy choice, and the one I recommend to my friends with ATRs. As long as you are in a boot and have access to PT (and possibly even without PT), you can follow a good protocol without a lot of medical supervision, IMHO. There are some very rare complications that need special care (including surgery), like ATRs that have torn a piece of bone off the heel bone (calcaneous), but they are rare enough that many/most professionals proceed by ignoring them unless there are obvious symptoms or indications.

    Lots more info and discussions on my blog, in the UWO study, and elsewhere.

  396. Crutchesintx: I was rounding 3rd in full sprint when mine popped. When I crawled/hobbled back to 3rd (so I wouldn’t get tagged out) I actually asked the person at 3rd if they hit me. LOL

    Thank you all for your advice and wishes. Most appreciated.

  397. Thanks for the supports guys. It means such a lot.

    Had my op yesterday. Pain has increased ten fold. The cast they put on me was far too tight and crushed my little toe underneath the toe inside it. Started worrying about compartment syndrome. Had the cast replaced today. They’d put the totally incorrect cast on. Never mind.

    I work for the local government as a fitness consultant and a PT/nutritionist in my own time. I’m used to working 60 hour weeks. Im finding not being able to support my wife/kids v difficult. Feel lazy.

    I’ve been looking at supplements to help repair, zinc, magnesium, fish oil, bcaas, gotu kola so far and avoiding sugar.. Which is very hard as I’m making a lot of cortisol right now.

  398. Hey Tom,

    Keep your head up it gets better. I’m now 6.5 weeks post op and have progressed to full weight bearing w/a cam walker boot. Try to keep it elevated as much as you can and like someone earlier said check out goodbyerutches.com. I rented a hands free crutch and it was awesome. It allowed me to walk around the house and be independent with things I otherwise couldn’t with crutches.

    I remember having pain for the 1-2 weeks when my leg was in a dependent position but it improved after that. Good luck! Here’s a link to me using the hands free crutch..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXrw2aSOxgI&feature=share&list=UUkDC6q3q7K0omupbh62GleA

  399. woops the link is goodbyecrutches.com

  400. SNAP !.. yes a familiar feeling to all. I’m 32 and I live in South Spain did my AT (full break) right leg while playing football (soccer) on 24th August, No one was near me but they all heard the crack sound ! I had open surgery (not the 3 incisions method) on 30th August, a half moon shape scar and 15 stitches, Surgeon was top class (youngish Spanish guy) he was quite pleased with his work, he made my new repaired tendon about twice the thickness of my left one. Don’t know how that ll look but I don’t care if it works well. Last week got stitches out.

    He did say the tendon ripped like a dry rope (shredded) and was a mess - he seemed to suggest I have a chronic disease in the tendon (anyone know about this ? ) and I just wonder what my other tendon is like, could it be potentially the same ! thats the worry, in a way I sort of wish to have both done .. but then I would be flat on my back for months ! so maybe not. ..

    I’m married so like you all with family it has been wonderful help, although I feel crap at times cos I can;t do much, and my wife feels craps at times cos she is doing everything.. but we r managing through. The weekend it happened I made a lamb dinner while hopping around the kitchen, since then my determination has weakened with fatigue, lack of agility and sore hip on the other (good side) man even going to the loo is full of difficulty, I mean No2’s cos you can’t relax and can’t put weight on the leg, needless to say there is a lot of paperwork! and while balancing on one leg that ain’t easy either.. sorry to be gross!

    I’ve always had weak ankles and have gone over on them sometimes in the past, so whenever I play I usually strap up my ankles really well and usually quite high up towards the lower part of the shin. I was wondering if this tight wrapping caused pressure on the back of the tendon causing it to snap - anyone know about the influence of strapping. ?

    Past two weeks has consisted of learning more spanish, learning some new songs on guitar, reading, sleeping, eating the food handed to me and stabbing myself with an injection once a day for blood clotting..
    Last week I went back to work (thankfully I have an office job and I can work from home) Today 17th Sep I got my cast off, thats two half weeks after surgery and I’m in a walking boot doing PWB with two crutches. Still not driving. Car is filthy !
    Next week the ROM boot angle will be lowered and more PWB until no pain, then the Physio starts. Interestingly my surgeon suggested Physio eventually for the other leg to strengthen and provide preventative treatment for the other tendon - anyone had this ?

    As I’m now in the ROM walker.. doctor suggested getting a support sock to go on with the ROM walker.. anyone recommend a type ?

    Its been a good website, although some of the negative stories are discouraging and depressing.. but it has prepared me from day one on surgery, type of things to expect and to know other people are going through these things too all helps. It makes you appreciate everything you could do beforehand, and this will be a test of resolve mentally and physically to get back to banging the ball into the back of the net.. Bend it like Beckham… not Snap it like Beckham !

    Its also a time to be thankful of family and loving support, health insurance, modern medicine, TV and sport shows, working from home, sunshine and a garden and a ground floor apartment … and the amazing job the body does of healing ….eventually.

    Signing off for now.
    SJ

  401. i ruptured my at whilst playing indoor soccer. i had just passed the ball , then suddenly could not pick up my right foot. iniatially though someone had caught my foot but no one was around me. on my way to er was praying it was not my at. At er was informed by the doc that i had snapped my archilles tendon and that i needed to have surgery. i had surgery the following day. after surgery was discharged from hospital. no pain killers as yet. slight discomfort. from doing everything at home to sitting all day is not good. BIG THUMBS UP TO MY CARING WIFE AND TWO GIRLS FOR ALL THE HELP. MAY GOD BLESS THEM .

  402. Hi all. I’m just past 3 weeks since full ATR. At my last appointment with OS he mentioned that it was a good thing we decided on non-operative approach since the rupture was very high (I was told by radiologist it was where the calf muscles and AT join). Can someone tell me WHY surgery is not ideal for upper ATR’s? I totally forgot to ask OS at the time. I have seen upper ATR’s and no surgery mentioned on this site, but haven’t seen a reason why. I cannot find anything on the web either.

    Also is there any difference with recovery time/approach for upper rupture compared with lower? My OS remains insistent that I will have complete mobilization for at least 3 months. We did discuss the UWO approach and while he agrees with it, he believes it is not ideal for my case.

  403. Surgery on ruptures near the muscle are not really possible because the fibres are not of a size that can be stitched together. The tendon spreads out to meet all the muscle tissue from the respective muscle groups. The good thing about high tears is an increased blood supply. Your recovery though will take about the same time as everyone else. Personally, I am not sure the 3 months is appropriate but this stage is only short compared with the long term healing process. My father had a high rupture and was in a boot for 7 weeks then shoes. He is not as active as most here but has had a good result. The risk of re-rupture is high until 12 weeks so it is important to manage your rehab carefully if you get out of a cast or boot before then, That is probably why your doc is insisting on such a long time but it flys in the face of many other recent reports. You can still have a good outcome going your docs way but early motion and getting out of a cast or boot earlier does give a better result and your quality of life is improved earlier as well. The last thing you want is to start all over again. It is devistating enough the first time. My rupture was classical and I had surgery so I don’t feel able to comment further but there are others here that will help.

  404. Darren99 - my previous was meant for you.

  405. Darren99, I’d certainly be curious to hear why your Doc thinks the UWO approach — a fast modern protocol that produced excellent non-op results with a random array of ~75 complete ATRs in all locations — “is not ideal for [your] case”.

    The authors of that study published (in 2009?) a sub-study analysis of the ~25 patients on the non-op side of the study that had good pre-treatment UltraSound exams that measured the size and location of their ATRs. The question the sub-study addressed was whether the SIZE or the LOCATION of the rupture bore any influence on the clinical outcome of the non-op rehab protocol. Their conclusion was that neither factor had any (statistically) significant effect on the outcomes.

    Admittedly, it’s a fairly small sample, and I don’t think I’ve seen the full text or the raw data. But I think this is also the only scientific study in the literature that attempted to answer that question, and their answer seems to be different from your Doc’s. I think I posted a link to this sub-study on the “studies” page of my blog, but if not, either I or you could probably find it pretty quickly with Google. I’d discuss it with him, since slower non-op rehab generally seems to be associated with WORSE outcomes, so the normal “logical” knee-jerk to “go slow to be safe” apparently does harm, according to the evidence. I’d engage him to see if he’s got any evidence of his own, or if he’s aware of the 2009 UWO sub-study.

    Many OS’s hate to operate on high ATRs, presumably for the reason Stuart gives above.

  406. Hey I just wanna say thanks for making this page it helped me a lot with my injury I had a full ruptured achilles on July 8 2012 I’m now 11 weeks out of surgery and I’m walking with my regular shoes with a slight limp. For all you guy and girls who are in early stages just relax and heal you will walk again trust me. Oh and please be careful with the blood clots keep yor leg raised I suffered a blood clot and was in the hospital for 6 days and in pain for a month the clot went to my lung and it was very difficult to breathe I’m lucky to be alive. Anyways I’m doing physical therapy twice a week and everything is going great with me now.

  407. My pain has been fairly significant since my nerve block wore off. I am icing and elevating all day. 3rd day post-op I fell backwards while trying to get on my knee scooter. I did not place pressure on my ATR leg however the pain all around my ankle an at the surgery site is significant and throbbing. Has anyone also had a similar experience? I am concerned I tore open my sutures or worse tore my achilles again?

  408. Evelyn if you didn’t land on your injured leg I’m sure your fine. I had fell during my 8th day outta surgery my doc told me that if you didn’t break the cast than your basically ok. Now the throbbing is probably from the blood circulating just keep your leg high above the heart. I suffered a blood clot because I did t elevate my leg correctly.

  409. I tore my achilles on 9/4/2012. I did not get my surgery until 10/22/12. The first try at surgery on 9/14/12 ended up in me having an asthma attack while under and trying to cough the tube out. I for the surgery, so I am 6 days post op. I have been sitting with it elevated, and only get up to go to the restroom. When I do, I feel a lot of pain, from what feels like the stitches pulling. Is this normal? My first post op visit is scheduled for 11/6, so I am looking forward to that, and maybe getting a lighter cast. This one is SO heavy!

  410. Rrrrre-rupture. Tears in your eyes yet?

    On the 4th of June, I went for a run in the park for the first time after a month of resting from a bone bruise that I got from a grave when I jumped out of a tree. Don’t ask. On this day of the 4th, I jumped off something, landed crookedly and my right tendon snapped like a rubber band. I’m a fit and active 33 year old man - the prime demographic. Conservative treatment, as is the default in New Zealand.

    Five months later, I was walking to work and back again, up and down hills. Limping slightly, and unable to launch up onto the ball of my right foot, but walking with considerable stride already. The Thursday before last I slipped on a wet floor in the kitchen at work. I thought I’d pulled the tendon and took a day off adjacent to a long weekend, assuming that sufficient to get largely back on track. On Saturday I walked into town, cleaned the house, carted back groceries…

    On the Tuesday, my concerned physio sent me to get scanned and when they told me that my achilles had been severed for five days with two inches now between the ends, I cried like a schoolchild. They sent me to the hospital and suddenly I’m being prepped for surgery. Fortunately it’s all free here in NZ and none of cost me a cent.

    The doctor warned that the tendon might be beyond repair, “but don’t worry. We’ll just reroute a tendon from your toe to carry some of the load.”

    “Oh well that’s okay then.”

    All was successful and I’m back in a cast. Thank God I’m a ninja on the crutches; acrobatic training comes in handy. But the advantage of agility is traded off by the fact that I am solitary and still have to do everything for myself - cooking, washing, chores… At least the second time around, it almost seems like old hat.

  411. Hi I re ruptured at 14 weeks and had an FHL graft….it is easier in a way second time around but still a rip roring pain in the arse! I’m in the UK and went non op first time then the graft second time around…Hope it all goes well this time.

  412. Andrew, that’s a terrible story!! Rerupturing 5 months post-non-op is both very rare and a real @#$%^!! My earlier acquaintances with non-op ATR treatment in NZ — mostly blogger “bronny” — were impressive, as befits the home of the first (2007) of the modern randomized trials comparing op to non-op using a modern aggressive rehab protocol (by Twaddle, et al).

    Did you follow a fast modern protocol, comparable to bit.ly/UWOProtocol , or did you have an “old school” doc who immobilized you for a long time?

    I wonder what caused, or contributed to your late rerupture, other than slipping on a wet floor. I assume your Doc confirmed that the rerupture was in the same location on the AT as the original ATR?

    Whatever the facts, going back to square one after so long sounds like a huge “pain”. Good luck from here out, I think you’re due!

  413. Andrew, this is an tough story. Im having to take some time off 16 months post op but I haven’t re ruptured but the old knowledge is sure helpful. It must be so disheartening after all this time. Hang in there and heal strong.

  414. Hello! I am so grateful to find this blog. It’s reassuring knowing you’re not alone on this long road to recovery. On 10/13 I was playing indoor v-ball. I took a step forward to set a ball and felt like someone had slammed into the back of my left leg. My foot instantly felt like a lead brick… almost like it wasn’t moving forward with the rest of my leg. I turned around to see who had slammed into me and realized no one was there. I took a step and it felt like the floor was caving in. At first I thought I had stepped on a bad spot on the court until I realized the feeling continued with each step. I instantly knew I had injured my AT but refused to admit to myself how serious the injury was. I stayed at the v-ball tournament the remainder of the day and then went home. A few hours after going home I decided I was not going to be able to get any sleep over the weekend with the sharp shooting pain in my leg so I caved and drove to the ER.

    It was determined that I had fully ruptured my AT. I went to an orthopedic surgeon on 10/16 and had surgery on 10/18. I had two blocks put in my leg for surgery and was very grateful that they lasted for almost four days rather than the 8-12 hours I was originally told. Two days after surgery I slipped on some water and came down pretty hard on my injured leg to steady myself. After spending some time in tears fearful that I had re-injured my leg I managed to call the on call ortho doctor and was told it is highly unlikely to re-injure the leg after surgery because it is wrapped tightly.

    I have opted to spend the last two weeks sleeping on my couch rather than my bed because I tend to kick my leg around a lot in my sleep. Luckily my couch is pretty comfy. I have my legs elevated above heart level most of the time, but I am still experiencing a lot of the “pins and needles” feeling in my leg. Whenever I am walking with the crutches my toes start turning purple until I elevate them again. From reading others’ accounts this seems pretty normal for the first couple weeks.

    About nine days post-op I started having sharp shooting pain in my heel. This has gotten worse over the past couple of days. Last night was my first sleepless night since surgery. I took a hydro condone before bed and was able to sleep for about an hour. Around 4:30 am I caved and took a Percocet which helped a little with the pain. I have my first post-op doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get my staples removed and get my leg re-wrapped. The doctor has me in a splint with an ace wrap rather than a boot or hard cast. I will be in the splint using crutches for another four weeks and then I get to upgrade to a walking boot. It’s hard living alone and trying to get around in crutches so thank you to everyone that has posted ways they are dealing with that. It’s tough being stuck at home all the time when I am a very active individual, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… so for those of you who are early on in your ATR recovery just hang in there - and remember it’s okay to ask others for help.

  415. Andrew sorry to hear your story. Keep the faith. And I hope your healing/recovery will be much stronger this time. So if the re-ruptured happened in the last week, which your post sounds like it. We are only about two off from each other.

    Again I hope your recovery goes well this time.

  416. This site is great, I am 57 and tore my achilles 3 weeks ago and 16 days post op. I had my cast ( really a splint) removed today and the staples were removed. The first 10 days I really followed the Dr. advice and kept my leg elevated above my heart as much as possible. I had only one bad day of pain ( it was real bad) the next day however I was fine.

    Anyway, my Dr. took my splint off and gave me a boot (aircast) and told me to stay on the scooter one more week. they I can start walking as much as I can with the boot for probably 3 more weeks. I have pushed him for the more mobile approach after reading the different studies.

    He said the risk of re-rupture is low, more likely is over extending the tendon, I did this with my right more about 8 years ago. It was a partial tear and no surgery was performed and I had a different Dr. and truthfully he was not good as my present one.

    Anyway I am having with my Dr. approach, I can sleep and shower without the boot and really only use it when at work and moving.

  417. Hi all, I’m 43 and ruptured my achilles on 10/26 and had surgery on 11/1 (6 days after injury). I’m day 2 post op and the nerve block has gone so I’m feeling the pain. I have my leg elevated. My calf and toes are numb…has anyone experienced this? Thanks in advance

  418. Hi there…I am almost 9 weeks post surgery and what you are feeling is exactly what I felt. Dont be afraid to use the pain pills now that the blocker is wearing off. Do not let the pain get to bad or it will seem like forever until it takes effect.

  419. Charlie:

    I had the numbness in my toes for the first week and swelling was awful. The numbness is normal for the first week. I also had to have my meds just to manage during the day and sleep at night during the first week. And to be honest I still need them at towards the end of the day for the pain, but it does get better. (I’m at 3 weeks post-op) Happy healing

  420. Thank you kkirk and scootergirl ;) thanks for the quick response

  421. Hi All, I’m a 45 yr old active father of two who has finally succumbed to a major volleyball injury after being on the court for 25+ years.

    Last Monday I totally ruptured my left Achilles with a very simple take off and am booked in to go under the knife tomorrow.

    For the past six days since the accident I have been in very little pain compared to all the stories I have heard on how bad and painful these can be. So I’m now very paranoid that this is just the calm before the storm and once I wake up from the surgery that is when it is all going to start to go down hill.

    I also have what my wife jokingly has referred to as “claustrophobic ankle”. I’m not looking forward to being constrained to a cast for few weeks and not being able to scratch or wiggle my foot.

    I’m so glad I stumbled across the site, it will make the whole process that little bit easier.

  422. Hi Paul,

    Glad that you found us. I’ve created your blog so you should be able to start posting. Good luck on your surgery tomorrow. Yes, I didn’t have much pain when I fully ruptured either, so I don’t think it’s that abnormal… good luck, and let us know if you have any specific questions.

  423. Paul,
    Sounds very familiar. I did the same deal in June. Key points. Plan on taking some time off after surgery. It hurts for the first couple days…mine didn’t hurt before surgery either. Keep the leg up. When you get a real cast make sure your leg is swollen before your appointment. When the swelling goes down you will feel better. More importanly, if you experience swelling on a tight cast, leg will hurt alot. Stay off foot and let it heal. I had to wear a cast for six weeks. Got a boot and wore it for three days…if you need a size 13 left boot, it’s yours.

    Long rambling email but you’ll get over it and you will see a tremendous increase in the size of your shoulders - crutches are hard work. After three months was back to full workouts - no running doc said no on that. Bike riding, swimming, and rowing all were good and fine. Good luck and keep the good attitude.

  424. I sliced my achilles tendon on a glass 7 weeks ago now. At first I got severe pins and needles in my foot which they initially thought was nerve damage. However, fortunately that was not the case and I found that just by being calmer the sensation went away a little bit. I found that the cast was a safer option to the removable boot as I found it comforting that I could do no real harm to it. I got my cast off a couple days ago, but just today noticed that I had a stick coming about 1 mm out of my foot, I have called the surgeon but they don’t know whether it is internal or external, any suggestions?

  425. I am 69 yo and ruptured my left AT skiing 5 days ago. I’m in pretty good shape, biking, hiking skiing etc. Surgery is tomorrow. Any suggestions? I will have a nerve block PO that is supposed to last 6-24 hrs. I hate taking narcotics and hope I’ll be able to manage with Tylenol and ibuprofen.

  426. I’m 24 years old and ruptured my left AT January 23rd and had my surgery this past Tuesday (January 29th). The reason for my comment is because I am experiencing a significant amount of pain in my heel that has been coming and going the past couple days. I can best describe it as a burning sensation that is nowhere near my incision. I am worried I may have done some kind of damage to it again somehow

  427. If your really concerned just contact your doctor, but after my AT repair I had some pain(s) from all the swelling and immobilization for the first month (Burning, electric shocks on heel, throbbing, pins and needles, etc.. More than likely your are ok and it’s just the body healing and the swelling going down.

    I also still experience some of the pains, while rehabbing, walking, hiking, and other exercise, which is also part of the healing process. Anyway, good luck and happy healing.

  428. Hi. I have a question and I really hope someone can help. I have a partial tear on my right Achilles. I’m from California and I’m 28. My surgery is on Thursday the 14th, and I have a job interview on the 21st in Arizona. I was wondering if anyone thought this would be do-able? Or maybe do you guys feel that there is no way possible that I will be able to handle traveling (by plane) and doing interviews. I really would appreciate any input. Thanks!!!

  429. Casey: That might be something you will want to talk to your doctor about, but my doctor would of said no. Although, if someone was driving for me, I would of been fine. Much of this would be dependent on how well you can get around with crutches or a scooter. Good luck!

  430. Kirk: Thanks for the speedy response! I think I am going to go for it. I will definitely talk to the doctor about it as well. My main concern was pain / being on pain meds at that point. Were you on any pain meds at the 1 week mark post-op or in pain at all? at this point I have no pain as long as I don’t try and use my right ankle at all. And I’m very comfortable on my crutches so that’s mainly why I think I can handle this.

  431. CASEY: I used my pain meds for 4 weeks, but the first 5-7 days was the worse and the first 3 days I slept alot. The issue was the swelling after the surgery was bad enough that I needed to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. The swelling and rest you will need my be the biggest issue.

  432. Casey, I don’t know what factors led you to rule out the new well-proven non-surgical treatments, like bit.ly/UWOProtocol , but (a) they’ve been producing results comparable to post-op results but without the surgery, and (b) you’d have no trouble flying a week from now, post-non-op.
    I just noticed that your op is scheduled for today, so all this is Bygones, Never Mind! I’ve got to think back 11 years to my only ATR surgery (ATR #1), but I THINK I was finished moaning and groaning by 7 days post-op. Not sure I would have enjoyed a plane flight, though. Another consideration is that ATR surgery and airplane travel BOTH increase the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Some ATR surgery patients get daily Heparin injections to minimize their risk of “throwing” a blood clot, and somebody who’s flying soon after the op is probably a good candidate for those shots (expensive ones, in the belly — otherwise not too bad).

  433. I’m on the 6th day post-op and am really amazed at the lack of pain and discomfort. I hat a complete separation on Feb 7th in Canada while on vacation, and returned to Virginia on Sunday the 10th. Saw the Ortho Dr. Monday,had the MRI that night, and was informed of the total separation on Wednesday the 13th. Surgery the next day Feb. 14th (Happy Valentines day sweetie - thanks for taking me to and bringing me hope from the hospital).
    I elected for the nerve block - had shoulder surgery several years back and it worked exceeding well for me. We got home around 11 PM Thursday night and I slept very well - other than waking up every hour or so to urinate. Use the portable urinal bottles so you don’t have to get up on crutches and wobble back and forth to the bathroom.
    I woke up around 7 AM Friday and felt really good - the nerve block was still active. Ate breakfast and settled in with my friend the T.V. Around 10 AM I could feel my toes tingling, and within 1/2 hour the numbness was gone from the whole foot. That’s when the pain came a-visiting! I got the best comfort by raising my leg up and resting the foot on the top back of the sofa, but it still hurt like hell. The pain meds really weren’t doing anything at all. I started sweating early in the evening and when checking my temperature found I was running a fever of 101.5F. Discharge instructions said I needed to call the Dr. if the temp was over 100.5, so I called the office. Fortunately, my surgeon was on call for the weekend and he called me back within 5 minutes. When I explained the temperature and the pain concerns to him, he suggested that I take additional Ibuprofin. Took 400 mG and settled down. I was able to sleep for a few hours and when I awoke, the fever was GONE and the pain was GONE! Unbelievable!!! I started taking 200 mG every 4 hours along with the pain meds and antibiotics and continued through the weekend.

    So far my daily activities consist of keeping as inactive as possible, keeping the foot elevated, taking the meds every 4 - 6 hours, and watching TV / surfing the net. I’ve spent a lot of time reading information on this site too.

    Relax - get comfortable - get books, laptop, and T.V. remote control ready and in reach. I am so fortunate yo have a caring partner who is taking care of the meals and normal household activities.

  434. Hi Jack,
    I am about 10 days post op myself. I agree…very little pain after that 2nd day (That was a doozy and THANK YOU VICODIN!). The challenge is getting around and feeling so helpless. Also, if you were active before the injury, it challenges you in every way to be so immobile.
    HOWEVER, there are so many amazing blessings in being still! Being fortunate to have loved ones to have help from is so wonderful! Plus, lots of quality time with them, eh?

    The outlook of being healthy and mobile in the upcoming weeks is all up to us and being WILLING to take good care of our bodies these first two weeks post-op. We can make or break that, don’t you think? ALso, same with PT when that time comes.
    Good luck, GODSPEED and stay healthy. ENJOY THIS TIME…it’s rare! :-)

  435. JackVa glad you got the fever under control, but I know there has been some discussion around here about the negative effects of NSAIDs after Surgery. I’ve read a some studies that day NSAIDs like Ibuprophen can delay the healing process. Of course Im not a pharmacist or a doctor,
    But I would try to keep their usage to a minimum.

  436. Feb 11 ATR, playing basketball. Feb 15 surgery.
    No real pain just not able to use the right foot. Taking antibiotics, tylenol 3 , strong NSAID and aspirin.
    Using crutches is frustrating and asking for help the most. Will be off work for 6 weeks, but i was going to be done work on March 28 anyways. NWB and waiting to see surgeon on Tuesday.
    Read most of this page today and found it helpful with the mental aspects and trying not to be so irritiable with my wife! I have a splint and gave myself a bath twice since surgery. I’m stubborn I guess.
    I went out for the first time to sing and had a smoke which the dr told me not to do but it has been a week with no smoking.
    Been trying to post on my blog that i thought i created but can’t figure that one out!
    Well the crutches have caused a rash below my one armpit on my abdomen.

  437. Stonechild: To make a blog you, have to send an email to Dennis and he will (and has) to created it for you. Also, I’ve always heard to try to stay away from NSAIDs after ATR surgery because they “may” stunt the healing process, but then again I’m not a doctor. Good luck and Happy Healing.

  438. I’m 6 days post op for an ATR. The surgeon said it was really bad, 3 inch gap, and used the tendon from my toe to help graft it together. I have so many questions and this site has helped with many. The biggest right now is, the first few days post op after dozing off I would sometimes awaken to an involuntary tightening of my calf. As soon as I woke up it let go so maybe it was just a brief twitch. This happened 3 times, it hurt for a minute or so after each time. Is this normal? Is there any risk that this is causing serious damage? The waiting is so much harder feeling like maybe I’m not even healing right now and there is no way to tell. I have felt virtually no pain for the last 3+ days, only discomfort from the splint and immobility.

  439. mcdirt, your experienes sound pretty normal, and they’re PROBABLY harmless. If any of us owned an MRI or Ultrasound, we’d check our healing ATs all the time. (Ever hear the old joke about the farmer who kept uprooting his carrots to make sure they were growing OK? :-) ) People who skipped the surgery and went non-op tend to go even crazier than the post-op crowd in this regard, for natural and understandable reasons. Just hang in, be patient, follow the program, stay the course, stay sane.

    The feeling of twitches and spasms is also common, but a little trickier. OT1H, it’s understandable that a big active muscle like “that” calf, being asked to stay perfectly still for WEEKS on end, is also going to go nuts and rebel. So it’s normal and common. OTOH, it’s also understandable that a big strong calf spasm (contraction) could probably rerupture a recently ruptured AT, with or without surgery.

    I’m guessing that the fact that your leg only “hurt for a minute or so after each time” means that no damage was done. But my guess is only that, from some guy on the ‘net. If you’re prone to big spasms, your Doc could prescribe some drugs (similar to backache pills) to control them. No harm in phoning the Doc’s office, or at least adding it to a list of Qs for your next visit.

    Good luck and good healing!

  440. Hi y’all……… I’m 10 days post op (surgery w/ spinal on 2/15/13) and I’ve joined “the ATR Club”. I’ve been pretty depressed and finding this site has helped my mood(s). I plan to write / blog more tomorrow. I am going in to get unwrapped, and see if stitches can be removed. Fingers crossed for that to happen, and that the fitting for a boot will take place.

    Have any of you had any groin strain / pain on your bum leg? OMG, I am having such pain. Maybe my Ortho doc will know how to help eliviate some of the pain, or exray to appease me. ??

    Two words:
    Crutches
    Suck!

    Guess my husband knows that a knee walker will be very helpful for me (us). I had the chance to practice on one of our neighbors knee walkers yesterday (she has her ankle in a cast). Insurance doesn’t cover, my sweet husband found one with a basket on e-bay and should be here in a couple days!! Yippee

    Off for a nap now, and I’m warning you….I’ll be typing LOTS tomorrow. So if you see my log in : sandizona, go try to get a cup of coffee to get through my post. You must know I’m not a Twitter, due to the 142 character limit!!

    …..til tomorrow : )

  441. Sandizona, crutches don’t suck as much when they’re well adjusted and well padded. Make sure they don’t hit your amrpits! And you NEED crutches to make a good PWB transition between NWB and FWB. (As you crutch-walk, you start gently resting the bum foot on the ground and crutch-walking over it, AS IF it’s doing some walking. Then you gradually put a smidge of weight on it as you go, then more and more. . . until you start forgetting where you’ve left the crutches! :-) None of that can be done with a knee walker, a scooter, or any other gizmo that has your weight on your bum-side knee and your bum foot up in the air.

    With a good modern protocol (like bit.ly/UWOProtocol ) , that PWB transition starts TWO WEEKS post-op (or post-non-op), which is 4 days from now, and about when your knee walker will arrive(!). That’s why I didn’t order the one I found on Craigslist during my last (2nd of 2) ATR rehabs.

  442. Hey all.
    Thank you all for being wonderful inspirations and resources. I am about 6 days post-op. I stopped taking pain medication on my third day due to pain subsiding and the terrible constipation. Everything was fine until the last couple of nights of having muscle spasms and running dreams that become all too real and painful. The pain would go away after a bit, so I assume rerupture or serious damage to sutures are probably not likely.

    The problem I am having now, hopefully unrelated to above occurrences, is that I feel excruciating pain in my heel/lower achilles whenever I stretch out my leg completely. I’m assuming it’s because that will add tension on to the tendon when I do stretch my leg straight completely. However, I just wanted to see if any of you have had this similar problems and if I should worry about it. Thank you everyone! Hope you are back on your feet in no time! God bless!

    David

  443. Just thought I would give a little follow-up to my post from a few weeks ago. Thank you Norm for the response and you were right. At my 2-week appointment the surgeon said my experiences, specifically the calf spasms, were normal. I also had x-rays (standard procedure it seems) before getting covered up again by a cast, and there was some weight (maybe 10% body weight, but obviously very hard to gauge) put on the ball of my foot in order to get the 90-degree position for the cast. I feel pretty reassured now that things are on track.

  444. Thanks for the thanks, mcdirt, and keep on improving!

    chowd90, there are spasms and there are SPASMs. Tricky to tell the difference even in person or for you. The former are normal and harmless; the latter could stretch or rerupture your AT, and should be controlled with drugs (like the active ingredient in backache pills). Most people ask their Doc for an opinion, and ALMOST nobody reruptures from spasms. You’re asking your calf muscle to stay perfectly still for WEEKS, for the first time in your LIFE!

  445. Thanks norm! I think I am at ease for now. When I go in for my first post-op appointment, I’ll ask the doc for his opinion.

  446. Hi all, my injury occurred playing soccer. Playing in goals, took two quick steps forward to brace for a shot and BANG! Down I went. Unfortunately I listened to a couple of “experts” and didn’t seek medical attention immediately. I could still move my foot and put a little bit of weight on it so “it shouldn’t be too serious” . I saw my physio the next day and he diagnosed a rupture almost straight away. Off to my GP and he had the same opinion as my soccer mates, even told me to stretch it out a bit when the swelling went down. He did recommend an ultrasound but seemed to think all was good. So I went home, did a bit of research and realised my doctor hadn’t done any of the basic tests so the next day I saw a different doctor. After doing the Thompson test and feeling and comparing my tendons he organised an urgent u/s and was on the phone to a specialist. Anyway, I had a complete rupture and am now 3 days out of surgery. Am in a front slab. The pain has been manageable and I’m lucky to have a sympathetic partner (so far!). I work as a grip and the job is entirely physical with long hours the norm. Don’t really know when I’ll be back. At the moment I’m moving very little, keeping my foot elevated and doing what I can to prevent DVT. I see the doctor in 5 days and and look forward to hearing what my next step is. Must admit I did shed a tear when I found out how long the rehab is, I freelance so no work, no money! At this stage I’m doing alright. From what I understand it seems important to give the tendon every chance to mend so I’m staying pretty much immobile.

  447. 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

  448. Hi tim, first sorry about your ATR.
    This will be a great site for you, some really knowledgable folks , I know what it’s like seeking answers the docs don’t give you, also YouTube is good to visually see rehab,
    Good luck, you will get there
    Oh by the way, you will see most have had the odd bump and scare and this ATR does make you paranoid , but this site will show you your unfortunately not unique but fortunately have lots of people to benchmark

  449. Hello all, had surgery two Mondays ago and am now in a Bledso boot after spending 10 days in a 3/4 cast. The first 36 hours was terrible. Especially around 8pm -1am. Not sure why but I don’t wish that on anyone.

    I ruptured mine doing double under jump ropes at a crossfit class. Just practicing jump ropes and nothing really that strenuous.

    First doc wanted to go conservative even after I mentioned I am highly active in weight training, triathlons and mountain biking.

    Second doc happened to be the Chief of Sports Med and was a team doc for one of the local pro teams my way.

    I went with the second and haven’t looked back.

    I have a check up in 3 days and they are hoping to get me in a walking boot.

    My wife and daughter have been so helpful and this has been a humbling experience at the same time.

  450. Complete rupture Sunday just over a week aglow and surgery this past Friday. Off pain mess as soon as possible, but still taking Tylenol for the swelling. I have a soft cast and while at first the doc said I could remove it and shower after two days, when I double checked they ixnayed that instruction, so now I’m in this cast until the 30th. Looks like I’m on the same schedule as Kobe…

    So far, it is going well, although as so many have said it’s a huge pain to be so helpless. When I spend a few minutes up my leg really feels the pressure until I lie down again. And then the back gets sore. And around it goes. Will start to do some general strengthening excercises for the rest of my body tomorrow to create some distracting pain…;-) My wife is a godsend and my daughter always cheerfully lends a hand. They have birthdays coming up…so ipad better find something good!

    I found a really good crutch that is a lifesaver - the OnlyOne crutch. It allows me to hobble around using only one crutch (duh!) and also allows me to use both my arms. Really handy. There are some good YouTube videos showing how it works.

    This site is really helpful, so I feel obliged to contribute as well. Good luck recovering, everyone!

  451. Stevo, I went to the chief surgeon of Toronto’s pro football team, and he talked me OUT of surgery, based on the newest randomized trial comparing op to fast non-op! I haven’t looked back either. Different strokes…

    ekiaer, (1) AFAIK, Tylenol controls pain but NOT swelling. The drugs that do fight inflammation — NSAIDs — are said to be bad for healing tendons, though I haven’t seen the evidence. (2) The OnlyOne crutch looks nice, but you’ll need 2 crutches to make the “PWB” transition from NWB to FWB. I think it’s an important part of a rehab — at least all the most successful trials I’ve seen include it. And modern fast protocols usu only have 2 weeks of NWB anyway (like bit.ly/UWOProtocol), which gives you very little time to get value from the OnlyOne — or annoyance from the regular crutches.

  452. Normofthenorth - agreed on the transition, but for now, the crutch is a lifesaver. Living on two floors, the knee walker just isn’t practical. And when I’m in transition to PWB, I can find someone else who will need the crutch - pass it forward!

    That said, on my first day out and about, people thought I had amputated my leg! Luckily, not the case.

  453. Love the blog and posts. Tried to create my own but couldn’t figure out my wife’s iPad and Wordpress and lost 2 days of blogging

    Nevertheless, had my injury 1 week ago and surgery 2 days ago. Full tear with prior damage. Had to have the big toe tendon used to augment the achilles. I hear this is common these days.

    Yesterday afternoon I thought I was feeling good so I went from 2 hydrocodone every 6 hours to 1 and that was a HUGE mistake. So uncomfortable for the next 10 hours until I went back to the larger dose and it took hold.

    Today was better and looking forward to a shower tomorrow.

    Like I said. I love this blog and thanks to everyone for their experiences.

  454. Hi Michaelz
    2 things we have in common, ATR and iPod blog frustration, but the latter isn’t the blog or iPod fault it’s me think I have IT phobia , if it doesn’t work I have a tendency to move on, anyhow at least compared to 10 weeks ago I’m more IT savvy now that’s something positive from my ATR , take care

  455. Well the one thong that’s overlooked but can cause MAJOR problems. Constipation!

    I’m a regular guy and it took me 72 hrs post op to go and I realized that much of my discomfort and moodiness was due to constipation.

    I started to wean off my hydrocodone today and also took colace. the combo did the trick. Ahhhhh

    Just thought this little complication could help others.
    Drink lots of water and eat fiber, fruit, salad, fig newtons :) etc

  456. Thongs and constipation? That’s not a combination I want to think too much about…

  457. And we can add that constipation to the bedside pee bottle, on the list of post-op “joys” I was exposed to from ATR #1 but skipped with ATR #2 (non-op)! ;-)

  458. Yuk for the bottle.

    Couple more thoughts. Get a shower chair with a back AND a stool (insert your constipation jokes here)to go with it. Very helpful!

    Go outside after day 3 and make it a point to get outside daily. It works wonders on your mental health to get fresh air and sunlight. I went outside each of the past 3 days and just sat on my patio with my leg up on another chair and sat there for 30 min each day. Amazing how much this helped.

    Lastly you can truly only watch so many episodes of ESPN sportscenter read a book. :)

  459. Wow ….. Never thought I’d be joining this blog, but am loving the opportunity to be part of the ATR community!

    I’m 8 days past Op and I’m finding I’m having nerve sensations today and my tendon is sore. I had a foot twitch in bed last night whilst in plaster and I’m wondering if I have damaged my achilles?

    Has anyone else experienced twitching or similar pain

  460. What a crazy injury. Totally zero indication I was going to do this. No pre-injury pain, soreness, or even tightness. Just a loud pop.

    I’m 3 days post op and feeling pretty good. Still hanging on to the pain meds…

    I wish you all speedy and re-rupture free recoveries!

  461. Scott, the clear majority of ATRs seem to come “out of the blue”. Pretty crazy, alright. I had TWO come out of the blue, though the second one didn’t puzzle and amaze me quite as much as the first. . .

  462. Ouch. Same AT or both? Is there anything for detection/prevention? Where are you at now? Walking, running?

  463. Hi I’m 2 weeks post op from rupturing my AT and starting to experience discomfort with my calf and AT. Was wondering if that is common or (crosses fingers) should I be worried that I re-rupture myself. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  464. Hi Jamone,
    I think its quite common to have discomfort at this early stage. I was non op but still had discomfort as healing got on the way. I was always a bit worried about getting a DVT but kept having a sneeky feel of my calf, which was possible as the calf shrunk with disuse, and it always felt soft. If you are in a cast then I think you would have to do something pretty major to re rupture, and surely it would really hurt badly.

  465. Jamone, you should stay worried for around 15 weeks, because reruptures do happen, they’re a bloody nuisance, and most are (probably) avoidable. But most patients — >95% post-op or with modern non-op treatment — do NOT rerupture, so you’re probably OK.

  466. “New” news is good news.

    ‘Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Analysis of a new physiotherapy rehab programme at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital’.

    At long last, a more recent study (2013) than the deservedly highly praised UWO research, and from the UK too (once quoted by a contributor here as something of a backwater in this field). 246 patients; op (2 methods) and non-op. Today I could find only an abstract but will secure the rehab programme details asap. http://tiny.cc/wx3tyw.

    This abstract quotes re-rupture rates (1.2%, or 3 patients, all conservative); 2% of operative cases (2 people) suffered wound complications, and so on… So, new ATR people, have confidence.

  467. BTW, on that website check out the other ATR-related links too.

  468. Hi hillie
    I’m going back in to read again, have you any clue what does the pe mean in 2 suffered pe
    RRR

  469. That’ll be pulmonary embolism or blood clot.

  470. Sounds exciting Hillie thanks, be interesting to see what the rehab involves.

  471. Merci hillie

  472. Hi all - first of all this website has been a great resource so thanks to all of you.

    I fully ruptured my achilles on Monday 6/24 while playing basketball. No warning, no nothing. Just a sudden, dull pop and me turning around to see what/who had hit the back of my ankle. Had surgery on Thursday, so I’m now day 3 post op. The throbbing still occurs when my leg isn’t raised but seems to be becoming less severe. Also the pain when I woke up this morning was significantly less severe.

    I’ve been keeping my leg raised above my heart as much as possible, and my question is: how long is this maximum amount of elevation needed?

  473. Hi lelmusa - I had surgery on May 8 and my recollection is that the elevation was necessary for a couple weeks afterward. The need for elevation definitely decreases gradually, but I still elevate it whenever possible now. I recall even crutching to bathroom was tough because of the throbbing when the leg was hanging. It will get better, it will just take time. Also, icing every hour or two for 20 minutes at a time will help. Hang in there - here’s to a good recovery!

  474. Hi lelmusa,

    I am so sorry! This is a hard injury but you are lucky you found this website so soon. There are lots of great ideas suggestions on here. I pretty much kept my foot up at all times in the beginning. I laid down on the couch with my foot up on a stack of pillows and even up on the back of the couch. I think early on you can not keep it up too much!

  475. Thanks for your replies!

  476. This blog has been amazing in helping me with the long road to recovery that comes with a ATR. I am 9 days past my surgery to repair my rupture, which occurred in my right leg while playing basketball on June 29. Other than a fall a day after surgery, everything has gone smoothly for me. Pain throughout the process has been minimal. I spend most of my time laying down with my leg up on pillows or in a recliner with my leg elevated. The only concern I have is that when I am not elevated my toes quickly become red from what seems to be lack of circulation. When I elevate they return to a fairly normal color. I am just curious as to whether this is normal or something I should bring up to my doctor?

  477. Hello all…i am 31 and recently ruptured my achilles playing hoops..i am 10 days post op and go in for my first checkup on Thursday. i am in a hard cast. Haven’t had any pain throughout the whole process but a little discomfort the last 3-4 days. ..

    Hard to name the discomfort…it feels almost like peeling around the back of the ankle/achilles…like there is some adhesive/tape that is slightly peeling off - all while i am lying completely still. It’s not so much pain but when you are lying around doing nothing all day it can be kind of torturous. Was just wondering if any of you have experienced the same thing.

    Other than that its been a pretty painless process. Haven’t taken 1 painkiller. I see the doctor thurs and he is going to want to go conservative - NWB in a boot for a month - but i may go a little more aggressive than that.

    I’d say the worst part about the actual injury is that if you know anything about the nature of an achilles tear you really know exactly what it is before you even fall to the ground. There is no hoping for an MRI or a doctor’s 2nd opinion that is really gonna change anything. If you feel that kick to the back of your leg you know exactly what it is.

  478. Interesting reading the various stories involved here. So many different reasons and then outcomes after the surgery…is this what a support group feels like? ;)

    Ok my turn then:

    I’m a tournament tennis player…travel around the state of TX to play (this is all amateur–USTA stuff). If I’m not playing then in my free time I’m probably practicing, working out, or watching recordings of pro matches….and so on. Needless to say these days post-surgery are DRIVING ME NUTS.

    Fortunately I was playing a local tournament (as opposed to being out of town when it happened). Playing in the final, in a very tight 2nd set…backpedaling when my opponent hits a drop shot. I stop mid-stride and immediately start forward. POP. Felt like a kick to the back of the leg…but I’m on the court alone, how can that be? For a split second I turn around bewildered…looking for the moron who ran on the court behind me (shades of Monica Seles…ok not quite). Couldn’t take another step…I leave that day with a runner-up trophy and a ruptured achilles.

    See the doc the next Friday (7/12), surgery on 7/16 (last Tuesday). First thing I can contribute-when they say to start taking your meds when you get home…TAKE THEM. When the nerve block wears off….whoaaaa Nelly. The pain following the day of surgery was 100x worse than the actual injury itself. My entire right leg was numb the next morning after surgery, and the pain…woof. Took a couple of hours for the hyrdocodone to catch up.

    Not used to taking meds. The hydrocodone dulls the pain just enough and has the added bonus of making you light headed and queasy. These are fun times.

    It’s Sunday now, done with the meds EXCEPT for the “one aspirin per day” as recommended to thin the blood (to avoid clotting). Some discomfort of course, but manageable. It’s more of a pain the a** than anything.

    Follow-up scheduled for Friday. In a cast for 3 weeks following the surgery then on to the walking boot (which I already have after picking one up from a med supply store the same day of the injury…that and crutches helped me get around until I had the surgery).

    The most difficult part for me is the constant lying around and elevating of the leg. Cabin fever kicking in big time.

    Ready for rehab…I will be hitting that hard. Hoping to be back to 100% playing shape in 6 months.

    Btw…this blog is great. Thanks to whoever posted about the shower chair. Picked one up today…that thing is a life saver.

  479. On August 4th I ruptured my achilles playing football with some friends. Was my 3rd week playing, felt like I may be finally getting into shape, like I was 19 not 29. Then god said - NOT SO FAST! Dropped back to pass, turned slightly left to scramble pivoting on my back right foot and bam…felt like someone hit back of my heel with a hammer. Couldn’t put any weight on it and subsequently confirmed via Thompson test and later in the week MRI that it had ruptured. After two surgeons evaluations decided to go with the second and just had surgery yesterday Aug 15. Surgery experience itself wasn’t bad at all. General anesthesia, got home safe thanks to my wonderful wife, whole leg had been nerve blocked until about noon today. Then WOW it starts to burn, tug, feel generally uncomfortable. Do your meds, elevate, and ice (doc sent me home w this b-mini cold therapy unit - runs cold water in tube under splint- fantastic!) but beware when you get up to use bathroom, it will sting for a bit when you set back down. One day at a time I guess !
    -John in Columbus, OH

  480. Hi, all. This is my first post.

    I suffered a complete rupture of my right Achilles tendon on Aug. 15th playing in a meaningless office softball game. This, after a summer full of running, sprinting, weight work and generally doubling my physical activity. In my mid-50s, I actually thought that I was in the best shape of my adult life. Maybe I was, but my Achilles had not gotten the memo!

    In any event, I had surgery on Aug. 22d and am in a splint. On Sept. 4th, I will be seeing my ortho for what I hope will be: 1) removal of the stitches; and 2) fitting for a cast (which I was told will be mine for about 4 weeks).

    Here are the questions I’ve accumulated for my ortho when I see him: 1) do I have an option as to the type of cast I will get? For example, is a fiberglass cast “better” than an ordinary old-fashioned plaster cast?; 2) what kind of exercises can I/should I do with the cast? Is there any danger involved in exercising my good leg? my upper body? What about my bad leg?? Can I do leg lifts (with or without a weight attached to my foot), stretches and/or ride a stationary bike? [Some have told me to do absolutely nothing with my bad leg, in order to give it a "chance to heal", while others have said, "Do whatever you think you can get away with, just don't be stupid about it!"] 3) when can I expect to be able to drive?

    Can anyone advise of other questions I should ask at this stage of my recovery?

    In summary, the lack of exercise, the overall inactivity and the sleeplessness at night (reported by others on this blog, I see) are generally driving me nuts. But, I know that every day I am one day closer to the end of this ordeal.

  481. hello - this is my first time participating in a forum and it is so great that it is one where so many of the bloggers are athletic - I had just started branching out from in-house exercise and walking to riding a bike. In fact, i had spent a day in Minnesota and, while walking down the street, found the bicycle of my dreams parked as a rental outside a bike/coffee shop! The owner was willing to deal and I left with the bike. I had it home several days, and had ridden it - it’s ride is so smooth, a cross between flying and biking- but I was in a rush to see my daughter - home from college for two and a half minutes or so - and I went up our steep drive way, jumped off the bike, and had the bike fall back. As I tried to brace it my leg slipped and i stepped funny and … pop. Fast forward to today, my second post-surgery day. I’m taking pain meds and I NEVER take pain meds. I don’t know if I should try to go outside or if I should stay inside and not move at all, just leave my leg elevated. It’s difficult attaining the mind set that non-doing is actually doing!

  482. I am in my 2nd week of doing nothing and it is difficult. Just to let you know that others are going thru the same thing. I hope that helps. It also is just the start of a long journey so think of it that way,

  483. I am in my 2nd week of doing nothing and it is difficult. I hope you read or use your computer alot

  484. Hey everyone! I am new to this very informative site and I am so happy I found you all. It has been comforting to read so many posts I can relate to and have so many questions answered all in one place. It is greatly appreciated.
    A little background on me. I ruptured my AT on 9/12. I wish I had a good story to share on how it happened but it was really kind of a freak thing. Just moving the wrong way at the wrong time and got the distinctive pop and feeling of being shot in the back of the foot.
    I had the surgery done yesterday, 9/20 and according to the surgeon it went very well but there was a good amount of damage. The analogy used was it looked like the end of a straw broom in there. 1 day post op and that is pretty much what it feels like. I am in a splint with lots of cast padding and ace bandage. I am on percosets that dull the pain and discomfort for about 4 hours at a time. As most have said here, elevation is key to gain some level of comfort. The short time the leg has to hang to use the rest room or whatever will remind you of this quickly. Icing is difficult with the thickness of the wrap but something I am still trying to reduce swelling.
    I have a follow up appt Tuesday 9/24. I am guessing to check the wound and put a fresh wrap on before my next appt to get the stitches out and get put into the fiberglass cast.
    I am some what surprised by how many different styles or protocols doctors are using here. I do realize that every injury is not the same but still seems like there are many different ways this injury is handled from length of time in casts, types of casts, non weight bearing, weight bearing sooner than others, rehab, pain killers, no pain killers, etc. I am very interested to see what type of schedule my doc will have for me and how it may vary from others here.
    I don’t really have any questions as of yet because I think most answers can be found on this site. I guess I just needed a place to vent my own story and thank everyone for posting theirs. I will continue to read the many posts here and update my progress as well. And should I have any questions, I know this is where I will be.
    Thanks again
    Jon

  485. Jon/kngfshr, start a blog if you have the energy, so you can share your progress and questions with us and future patients.
    “I do realize that every injury is not the same”. . . Yes, but it really looks as if 90+% of the variations in care and rehab schedules have nothing to do with variations in the injuries, the patients, or the surgical repair, and everything to do with the personal style or habits or the treating physician(s). And those variations — even those that seem responsive to the individual injury — usually have no support from the best evidence!!

    E.g., many surgeons — I’d say the vast majority — go much slower in their ATR rehab than the evidence says is optimal. And when they justify their slow rehabs, they don’t just get the evidence wrong, they get the mathematical SIGN of the FORMULA wrong!! I.e., they utter sensible-sounding falsehoods like “Let’s take another few weeks just to make sure” and “We’ll go a bit slower because neither of us wants to go through this again” — as if slower rehabs had been proven to have lower re-rupture risks and better clinical results!! Only problem is that what the randomized trials has proven is exactly the OPPOSITE!!

    Similarly, many OS’s push ATR patients into surgery rather than non-op treatment because they seem to have unusually large gaps in their ATRs — despite the fact that the only studies that tried to correlate ATR gap size and non-op results found NO correlation, i.e., modern fast non-op protocols seem to work just as well on large-gap ATRs as on smaller-gap ATRs, according to the evidence!

    And still other OSs push surgery over non-op after a COMPLETE ATR is confirmed, as if the evidence showing excellent non-op results was done on PARTIAL ATRs — it wasn’t. ALL the randomized controlled trials comparing surgery to non-op treatment have been done on COMPLETE ATRs only.

    Most of these myths have persisted, even among prominent and “otherwise competent” professionals, because they sound logical, and the evidence is surprising or counter-intuitive. But facts are facts, folks! DEAL with it!!

    The good news for you is that (1) we’ve now got a good collection of proven near-optimal ATR rehabs, for post-op and non-op, and (2) if you follow your OS into a non-optimal/inferior rehab, the fact that you’re post-op suggests (according to the evidence) that it will do less harm than if you followed an inferior rehab non-op. But the best protocols — the ones with the best published results — are also faster and more convenient than the inferior ones, so there’s no trade-off: Here for once, it’s MORE short-term pain for LESS long-term gain, so Don’t Go There!

  486. 34 years old, joined a flag football league. 2nd game of season, I was playing QB, took one big explosive step with my left foot and heard a huge. “Pop” & ripping sound. I grabbed my cleat thinking it was my ankle, and could not move my foot. Hopped off the field an drove myself home after game. Went to sleep in a lot of pain, and ER next day. Confirmed “Complete Rupture” of Achilles, surgery done 4 days later. I was in for about 3-1/2 hours, it went well but a nasty rupture per Surgeon. About 5-6 days later on crutches at home I fell down our stairs (about 9 steps), I was very worried as I thought I did damage to repaired tendon, but Dr visit next few days confirmed it was still in tact. About 5 days after I accidentally put my foot down as I slipped with crutches again!!! I felt the tendon stretch and grabbed my leg in horror. It started swelling up right away. 2days back at Dr and THANK GOD all was still in tact!!
    Home now about 3-1/2 weeks post-op. My Dr said 3rd times the charm Don’t TRY IT!! Good luck to all with this injury, it’s a big blow and takes a lot out of you, but time will heal this wound!!

  487. 55 yrs old and was playing squash on Oct 31 in Ottawa when I heard the tell tale pop in my right leg. No extreme pain initially, more a sensation like I had walked out of my shoe. The pain followed shortly after. A trip to emergency confirmed an Achilles rupture. After considering pros and cons for treatment as explained to me by the doctor I opted for surgery as I am fairly active with sports and wanted the highest likelihood of being able to return to pre-operative sports routines. Surgery was held nov 5 and now I wait with elevated leg and an IPad and computer to distract me. I stopped meds after 3 days as the pain had subsided. Still get the leg throbbing if I am up too much. I go back to see the surgeon on Nov 21, where I expect another cast for 3 weeks, followed by a new cast for another 3 weeks. Interesting chat with the surgeon 5 min before surgery. He basically tried to talk me out of surgery saying that outcomes were the same op vs non-op and that the risk of infection did not warrant the decreased likelihood of re-rupture. I had my mind made up at that point so continued on with surgery, but the timing of the chat was certainly interesting to say the least.

    Great site with lots of information. I am optimistic that somewhere in the next 6 weeks I will get into early weight bearing protocols.

  488. Welcome Andrew. If your OS is interested in the evidence — and it sounds like he is — you may be able to convince him to speed up your rehab, with several studies on this site’s Studies & Protocols page. One good new one is Canadian, from Western aka UWO. Its purpose was to compare op with non-op, but both groups got a good modern fast aggressive rehab protocol, and they both did quite well. The full text is available free (only) on this site.

    We can discuss another time (if you R your other AT) whether or not the age of ATR ops for jocks has passed, but the age of multiple ATR casting for jocks ended a long time ago, and none of the newest or most successful trials used casts. Any boot is better than any cast, IMO, though hinged boots have an edge, and lots of folks here love the deluxe Vaco boot — and they help keep this great site going, too! (UWO got very good results with the non-hinged AirCast boot — and they sponsored that great study-trial!

  489. Thanks for the feedback. I have already been in touch with a PT about starting some physio when I get my air cast boot following my visit with the OS on the 21st. Now I only need to convince the good doctor to put me in a boot vs cast and allow me to follow a protocol like the UWO.

  490. Hey everyone,

    My story: full rupture, left Achilles, playing flag football on Sunday 11/03. I was running an “out-and-up” route that I’ve probably run 500 times in the past 20 years, heard the characteristic POP and felt the “someone hit me with a bat!” feeling, and went down. Pretty much knew what it was right away. Immediately iced and elevated, then drove my Vespa to the ER with my left foot dangling off the side, haha.

    I’m 33, very active (ran a Tough Mudder two weeks before the injury, biked several miles every day, run, ski, softball, football, etc.). I was in nearly top condition when it happened, and had warmed up well that day (and, I might add, was playing a really good game, too!).

    Had surgery this Monday 11/11. I’m in a hard cast. My doc says I’ll be casted for 6 weeks, but a lot of what I’m reading here and elsewhere suggests that moving to a boot and starting exercises earlier can be better for those of us who want to return to sports and physical activity. My first follow up is tomorrow, and I’ll ask about that and post what I find out.

    Thanks to all of you for being a great resource for those of us just starting this journey. I look forward to speaking with many of you over the next few months.

    Best regards,

    coast2coast

  491. C2C, you can check out a bunch of good studies about post-op rehab speed right on this site (click on Studies and Protocols). My recollection is that they were consistent in showing no harm from early WB and mobilization, but that the evidence of benefits was weaker than some of us wish it was. That’s getting toward long-term memory, which is getting dicey at 68, so do check. For post-non-op ATR patients, the harm from going slowly jumps right out of the evidence, but for post-op patients, the relationship is weaker.

    Of course, going slowly in rehab is a PITA, so just discovering that it has no benefit is enough to convince most sane people (patients and Docs) to go faster. But if you’re hoping to escape from calf atrophy and the other ills of immobilization, my impression is that you’ll still have to pay most of your dues, even if you get your rehab sped up to bit.ly/UWOProtocol speed, or even the ~1 week faster Exeter protocol speed. (Sometimes we want to say “Damned evidence!!”)

  492. Hey everyone! Spent the last two days reading over all of the postings on this thread (yes, every single one) and have decided to try and make my own blog about my (not so) wonderful experiences with ATR’s. After being asked to a dance (for the first time, I might add) and taking off my high heeled death shoes when I arrived (a vain attempt at keeping my ankles in one piece), I skipped back onto the dance floor in search of my best friend only to feel a sharp pain at the back of my left ankle. Thinking someone had accidentally kicked me, I turned around to find that no one was there (which is quite common apparently). After standing there for a moment I noticed that my foot had gone numb and felt floppy and unattached, and when I reached down to feel what happened I couldn’t find my tendon. Hopping over to a table and fighting down some pretty intense nausea (from shock I’m guessing), I managed to wave down a girl who brought me a trash can to lean over, my belongings, and my very confused date. Googling the problem to make sure it wasn’t all in my head, I asked said date to bring me home and was carried away by him, apologizing profusely after only having spent a half an hour at the dance, which was the day before my 18th birthday (absolutely wonderful timing, I know. And to think, I almost made it through 18 years of no hospital visits, just a few hours short…). I felt no pain besides the initial tear until the surgery.

    So the rupture occurred on 11/16, which was when I got my big clunky boot and crutches (which were fun for a total of one day and made me love my new knee scooter even more), and on 11/26 I had surgery to reconstruct the tendon. Afterwards, the surgeon informed me that I had unusually short and thin tendons attached to unusually large muscles (a completely fantastic combination, I assure you) and that if I re-injured my leg in any way within the next 10 weeks the damage could be permanent. It’s been 2 days since surgery and I’ve been taking one Norco (pain) and one Hydroxyz Pam (nausea, I believe) every four hours (with an extra Norco whenever the pain is worse than usual, mostly at night which has given me problems sleeping) since waking up to what felt like an elephant sitting on my leg when the nerve block wore off at 6 a.m. on 11/27 (the pain lasted for hours). Of course, I have started weaning myself off of them since I don’t like the feeling of the drugs or want to be dependent and the pain hasn’t been as bad since. From what I’ve read, the first night after is the worst, so I haven’t had much fear that there will be a relapse of the elephant episode. Calling my doctor’s office, they told me that I could loosen the boot and bandages (which helped immensely since they had been too tight), and reminded me to keep the foot elevated to prevent swelling.

    I’ve been sleeping on my side on the couch with three large, long pillows between my legs for support since being on my back put pressure on the incision. Showering has been a pain but my family already had a shower chair and that made everything easier. Mobility is also not a problem since I have both crutches and a knee scooter, so I only have a few questions that weren’t answered by the previous posts (I think, since I can’t remember them all).

    1. Would I be walking, even if it was only PWB, in 7-8 weeks’ time? I can’t quite remember and am too tired to look back. My mother and I were planning to visit family in Colombia at the end of January and I would like to know if it’s at all possible.

    2. How long until I can take my boot off for short periods of time? Such as when I’m taking a shower or want to air it out for a few minutes while propped up on pillows.

    3. Has anyone had similar tendon issues? i.e. Short tendons coupled with larger muscles or anything similar. The doctor thought that I had been taking a lot of antibiotics (which he said could cause tendon problems), and when my mom informed him that I never did he said he’d never seen a case like mine in real life. And how might it affect my healing time?

    Thanks and I can’t wait to start blogging :)

  493. And that last post was a lot longer than I originally thought it would be…oops!

  494. Hi reba, welcome to your recovery, this is such a valuable site. I had the same experience as you, rupture heading to the dance floor and also had surgery to correct it. My surgeon didn’t remark on my tendon quality so I assume that it was ok apart from being ruptured. I’m also 21 years older than you, ouch that hurt to write that!! I think that my rupture was just the classic rupture due to weak point in tendon as a result of a decreased bloos supply and possibly a low grade injury. You are young for an achilles rupture, Ron has posted stats on his page.
    With regard to PWB the latest protocols all encourage PWB as soon as is tolerated after 2 weeks whether surgical or non surgical. A lot depends on what your surgeons approach is, some are more conservative than others. My surgeon said no weight bearing till 6 weeks but having read most of the info on this site and followed links to published articles etc. I bought a Vacoped boot and am following a combination of the Exeter protocol and a protocol from Lausanne that my orthitist gave me. I was PWB at 2 weeks and FWB at 4 weeks but as is stressed so often on this blog everybody is different in how their body heals and how they approach their healing process. Certainly your situation is different to any of the other ATRs that I’ve read about.
    The casts or boots certainly aren’t fun but I had my first back slab cast on for 10 days at an angle of 30 degrees and was not allowed to interfere with bandage at all. The first 2 weeks in all the protocols that I’ve read stress elevation, non weight bearing and foot fixed in plantar flexion, usually 30 degrees.
    This is a slow recovery process and the first few weeks are hard. Remember that lots if us have been through or are going through this recovery so you are not alone, there’s a lot of help out here.
    Gentle healing to you.
    Regards Jen.

  495. Nice writing, Reba! Start a blog page of your own and keep us posted. Bit.ly/UWOProtocol has patients PWB (still w/ crutches) at 2 wks post-whatever (op or non-op), and FWB at 4 wks. And “wean off boot” at 8.

    So you should be in shoes by late Jan — though you might well want to take the boot to Columbia.

    Removing the boot temp’y while you’re safe and supported is usually OK, though many Docs and protocols forbid it for a while, often 2 wks.

    Showering bootless is trickier because you could slip and because the incision may not like getting wet for a while. Maybe soon after FWB starts, maybe sooner if you’re careful enough.

    Short tight calf muscles are not uncommon — half of us have shorter ones than average!! — and sometimes get repaired, often in childhood. My FIL had both ATs lengthened as a kid, worked fine (~80 yrs ago, too!).

    We’ve already had some discussions here about female ATR patients with cute legs regaining symmetry — e.g. on kellygirl’s page. Calf muscles are notoriously quick to atrophy and slow/hard to rebuild, so it can be a challenge — and maybe an argument for fast rehab (though few escape even with fast rehab).

    Good luck and good healing!

  496. Thanks for the quick answers guys! I was hoping to start a blog but was too tired to figure out the navigation of the site last night. I’m planning on reading up some more about the aggressive, early PT so that I can talk to my doctor about it without sounding like I googled it right before the appointment. And do you all think that me wiggling my toes boredly two days after surgery is alright? It doesn’t hurt or anything, but I don’t want to cause any problems by messing with stuff before it’s properly healed. My biggest worry is that I’ll rerupture somehow in the next few weeks and cause permanent damage. I just don’t want to be limpy for the rest of forever, it’d be a real pain in the butt.

    thelifechangingpop: Why yes, I have noticed that I’m rather young for this! I remember asking the doctor if the injury and surgery were common and being told yes, bus usually in athletic, middle-aged men. Had a little early-life crisis about finding out who I really was and whether or not I was secretly a cross-dressing time-traveler. Also, in reading through the entire page, I saw only one other 18 year-old (glad to know I’m an endangered species on here). We must be truly special to join the ATR Club so early, it’s like a miracle that works in reverse. But on the bright side, I found this amazing site and got to meet all of you nice people! Also, I’m not very sporty (not at aallll…), libraries and bookstores are more of my thing, so the boot and no walking haven’t caused me and problems, which I’m very grateful for. I’d like to take a page out of your book and take things into my own hands (carefully of course, I’m not quite confident enough to do anything drastic), after many many hours of reading and research of course. My parents also thought about ordering me a vacoped, but I worried that by the time it arrived I wouldn’t have use for it anymore and waste their money. Any thoughts on that?

    normofthenorth: As far as the Colombia thing goes, I’m fine with bringing a boot. My major worry was that I would be still stuck on crutches and unable to move around like I wanted, which would make the whole trip more work than fun and very, very not worth it. Thanks for the writing compliment by the way, gave the warm and fuzzies and made my day! About the short, tight calf thing: mine are actually the opposite, being too long and over-stressing my short AT.

  497. Oh! Almost forgot! How do I make my blog? I’m signed up for the website but have no idea what to do from now. Any help would be welcome, I’m reallyterrible at stuff like this (which is shameful because I’m a teenager and all).

  498. Hi reba, send Dennis, the brilliant being who created this site an email at achillesblog@gmail.com with some details on your injury and he’ll create a blog page for you. Then just start posting.
    I was told that it’s fine to wiggle my toes, helps with the swelling and I found it comforting to see them wriggling, it’s the little things that count ha ha.
    Not sure where you are in the world but most people have been able to get a Vacoped/Vacocast sent to them in a couple of days. If you click on the Vacoped advert on the main achillesblog.com page you will be able to find a list of their suppliers. I had a generic moonboot/aircast boot to start but found it very heavy and uncomfortable, my Vacoped was the best buy ever, a long cry from the beautiful heels I was wearing the night of my ATR but when needs must :)

  499. I’m in Idaho, and that’s great to know about the vacocast (vacoped is the european version I think, they only sold to Germany, England and the like). I’ll email as soon as possible, thank you for your help and happy healing!

  500. Most answers to FAQs about this site (including how to set up a blog) are either on the Main Page or linked from there. And your writing still makes me giggle, Reba! Maybe your ATR-rehab exercises will get you to jock it up when your leg recovers. Lots of us bookish types also get a big kick out of pushing our bods in sports, and recent research shows that a good workout is good for the brain, too. (Non-jocks aren’t as endangered hereabouts as 18-year-olds, though still a minority.)

  501. Hi Norm,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful posts. Also wanted to comment on your “going down the stairs” trick. After reading your description, I realized that’s how I’ve been going down the stairs for the past 2 years! (severe achilles tendinosis). I’m thinking the I’ll have to reteach myself, at some point in the future, how to go down the stairs normally. For now, the stairs trick will be one thing I won’t have to practice to do without thinking!

    Kim

  502. normofthenorth: I’d joined a gym not a week before it happened too! I was all pumped up and ready to be athletic and stuff when whammo, no more tendon! It was a sign from above, I tell you, a sign! Thanks for the info about the FAQ, I’ll check it out and hopefully be up and blogging in no time!

  503. AARGH, “Awaiting Moderation”!!

    So Reba, who were you channeling when you wrote “It was a sign from above, I tell you, a sign!” I’m hearing Henny Youngman, I tell you, Henny Youngman!

    Your story — just starting to gym it up when SNAP! — is nowhere near as rare as doing it at 18, though I don’t think it’s the most common story. I think there are more of us who were close to our top shape when we were laid low, but your story and a variation of it are both fairly common. The variation is the one-off athletic “reunion” from a former jock. Student-faculty games, school reunion, family picnic… Of course, our ATs don’t know or care how long you were planning to go to the gym!

    Reba, I don’t think that foot-rolling way of walking downstairs is a habit that has to be un-learned. Now that I’ve got a full-blown “trick knee” (maybe from a too-short ATR repair on that side), I find it helpful again. Either way, you have to join the team that explains it to newbies who are struggling with the down stairs — with or without reference to my “copyright”!

  504. Oops! That second Reba was really KimC! (What’s the smiley for red-faced Oops!?)

  505. The morning after the surgery I woke up in my hospital bed with my Vaco boot on. No issues at all. I got breakfast then a swift program. First up “lymph drainage” (nothing involving blood, in fact just a very tender massage to move fluid through the lymph system in order to reduce swelling of which I had only a barely noticeable amount). They might have done it simply because the procedure calls for it (and it probably ends up on the bill…).
    Next instructions (again) on the boot, the next weeks of recovery etc. . After that they showed me how to give myself thrombosis shots (again, sounds bad, but in fact not a big deal at all) which I have to do daily for the entire period of six weeks in the boot.
    Next up, actually more involved, walking practice with the boot (partial weight bearing 20kg/40lbs) and crutches especially on stairs of which there are lots in Germany (which is where it happened).
    Another test with the thrombosis shots, then first evening of second round of football (also mistakenly referred to as soccer) Bundesliga - in the hospital bed of course but with beer - hey, we are in Bavaria! (I opted for non-alcoholic though) Of course Munich won :-)

    Next morning they checked the surgery, removed a little drainage tube from the wound (that part was actually a little uncomfortable), gave me my papers and prescriptions and I was on my way, crutching out of the hospital.

    Had been on Diclofenac (Voltaren) pain and anti-inflammatory medication since the surgery but stopped that after about a week. Little pains sneaked in after that, but nothing to write home about.

  506. Interesting stuff. Sounds like a long clear explanation of the modern case for skipping ATR surgery isn’t standard in Germany. And LMW Heparin shots maybe are, to avoid DVT. Thrombosis does happen, maybe ~2% of cases, maybe mostly on the post-op side. I assume the expensive daily shots drop the 2% to ~0. Not sure why nobody does a few days of the expensive daily LMWH shots followed by a few weeks of cheap Warfarin pills. That’s what I got after heart surgery, where thrombosis is more common and probably more serious.

    One more aspect where local or individual ATR practice varies hugely, and it isn’t clear if any of it is evidence-based, much less based on Informed Consent. It’d be fun to get some OS-types logging on here (or SOMEwhere) to compare practices and rationales. The Web can do that well…

  507. The local head doctor had not been the only doctor present at the scene when it happened. It’s a suburb of Munich with a number of doctors living there and playing Tennis recreationally. Another guy on the neighboring court immediately confirmed “get him to the hospital for immediate surgery” - they both agreed on their common experience or knowledge that the quicker the tendon would be put back together the better. To me (engineer) it makes perfect sense. I know from painful experience what calve muscles constantly do: Pull. So of course they pull back the torn part and it will be much more difficult for the body to heal the loose ends if they are not being reattached manually first. It seems like the procedure used on me is not the “suture” based. Mine is actually sewn and glued. The threads dissolve over time and the glue used they called “fibrin”, according to the web equivalent to blood clot. They explained that they use roughly 1 centimeter of overlap between the torn ends for sewing. With the suture procedure I think there is practically no overlap. (Which might be better as I can imagine the bump from the overlap getting in the way later, on the other hand it might be stronger as there is more area for growth and attachment)

    I am amazed to read that many people seem to be waiting for their surgery for multiple days. The guys here were adamant about doing this quickly, literally as quickly as possible within hours. They explained that this way the rupture is cleanest and undisturbed by the body making all kinds of attempts at growing stuff.

    Obviously, this does leave the possibility of “pulling a quick one” - as it leaves the patient with hardly any time to think and/or ask for other opinions. It’s possible that each hospital tries to grab their “victims” and simply quickly do their thing in order to make a buck.
    Somehow my personal believe is that this is not the case, though. I discussed with my dad afterwards who had had ATR maybe 40 years ago. He did not have surgery right away instead they tried to “cure” it. After several weeks they had a big mess which they could only fix with new tendons removed from other parts of his leg and his healing process took forever. I remember as a kid my dad being in a cast to the hip for weeks and weeks. Of course that might have been an extreme case with substantial mistakes along the way. My dad said he believes they actually diagnosed him incorrectly in the beginning. (Hard to imagine, seems very obvious)

    I agree “The web can do that well..” - this is what it’s all about. Share and access all information possible for everybody to be able to make informed decisions.

  508. niewneon, I think we have similar approaches and training (tho mine more science than eng). But I’ve been shocked by how often logic and mechanical thinking ends up being disproved by evidence in this field. My OS for.my second ATR (YUP, DONE.BOTH sides!) is a fancy skilled guy - the Chief Surgeon of Toronto’s pro football team. He stopped.doing ATR repairs soon before I went to him (I was expecting the op) based on the then-unpublished UWO Study, and he talked me out of surgery. You can check my blog for a summary of the new evidence if you like
    But before hr quit ATR repairs, he’d done a.bunch, and he’d convinced himself that he could do better repairs on 2-week-old ATRs than on fresher ones! That’s a minority view, but from an impressive source. He said that the 2 weeks of untreated healing turned two messy “horses’ tails” (you’ve seen failed ropes, right?) into two neat knobs, ready to be trimmed and sewn together. Logical, but never tested with evidence, AFAIK.
    I’m trying to get the authors of the UWO Study to.analyze their data (174 cases, half op half non-op) to see if the non-op patients who were treated sooner healed better, as seems logical. Maybe I should include the op patients in my request, and we’ll find out if the logic is TRUE!

    An earlier sub-analysis of that evidence showed that larger gaps healed just as well non-op as smaller ones — illogically!

  509. And all the evidence.from your Dad’s time (and until 2007!) showed that slow “conservative casting) produced inferior results. It’s only recently that several studies (& finally one good meta-study) have established that FAST, AGGRESSIVE non-op treatment can give results that compete.well with post-op results — again, illogically! ;-)

  510. normofthenorth, quite interesting, indeed.
    There are plenty of examples (at least in my life) that show that we are definitely not logical machines or at least complex enough that we don’t understand how the machines really work. We get glimpses but not the whole story. Thinking about how some molecules somehow “know” in which direction to grow and where to attach to is breathtaking.
    As an engineer it’s hard to just sit back and let it happen.
    Therefore for me it’s “logical” to help that process by re-attaching the tendons so the smart molecules don’t have such a long way to go :-)

  511. I agree again! Many non-op folks here have been troubled by the feeling that they’re “not doing anything”, and would have had daily MRIs if they could.

    Years ago I had a clever book about how to grow an avocado from a pit. After the shoot gets about 10″ tall, it tells you to cut off the apicle (tip), which stops all visible growth for a while. Then the book says “This is an unusually difficult time for the gardener…” Non-op ATR care is like that!

  512. Fellow Achilles Patients:

    This blog was very helpful to me as I prepared for my own Achilles surgery. I have read great stories of success as well as some who have regretted opting for surgery. I figured I would add my own story to the blog. I am almost a week post-op, my procedure was performed on 2/4/14. I had my left Achilles debrided, had a toe tendon transfer to strengthen things up and had a bone spur removed before the doctor anchored everything back up with one anchor and one screw. I have lost about 120lbs over the last two years, attributable to better eating habits, moderation and running. I started by walking a ¼ mile a day two years ago, to training for the Philly marathon this past November, baby steps, but over a long period of time, an amazing life transformation. I am 42 years old, and during the subsequent training run after an 18 miler, this past October, I began feeling a sharp pain in my left ankle, very different than the constant dull pain I have felt in the ankle the last two years, which I incorrectly attributed to tendonitis. Upon a visit to the doctor, and an MRI, my Achilles had small tears, the bursa sac and bone were inflamed, and the Achilles was separating from the heel. To reduce further damage, I stopped running and went into the boot. I regretfully decided not to run the Philly marathon and became a supporter for my wife (this would have been our first marathons and finishing together was a great motivation for us). The boot didn’t do much to reduce the swelling which looked like half a baseball was stuck in my ankle. So in December, we scheduled the surgery for February, which worked for my family’s schedule (we have 4 kids under 8).

    All I have to report at this point is that the surgery was a breeze. I received a knee block (18-24 hours of numbness below the knee) the morning of the procedure (around 7am), was completely under general anesthesia, and when I woke up after the 90 minute procedure, I felt pretty good. I was home by 11am and felt no pain or discomfort. The Doctor said he removed a lot of dead and calcified tissue from my Achilles and cut away a rather large bone spur. He felt I would be very happy with the results in the near future. My doctor recommended taking pain meds to stay ahead of the pain since he worked over my bone quite a bit, so that evening at midnight, still completely numb from the block, I took two Percocet pills, and set my alarm for 4am. Upon awakening at 4am, I could start to feel some tingling in my toes and assumed that the knee block was wearing off, so I took another two Percocet pills. At 8am on Wednesday morning, the knee block gone and the Percocet in swing, I felt no pain whatsoever, so I cut the Percocets for Wednesday to one pill every 6 hours. On Thursday morning, still having no pain, I just went to Tylenol. As of Friday, I was taking no medication for pain. My pain threshold through this whole week from a scale of 1-10 has been a 2 at worst, just a general soreness, no worse than you may feel after a long run or a night of basketball.

    I have rented the knee scooter, which is an amazing upgrade over crutches. I was able to coach my son’s basketball game on Saturday from the knee scooter, and probably received a louder ovation than my players during introductions – LOL. I would recommend the knee scooter to anyone having Achilles surgery. I have religiously elevated and iced the ankle all week. If I had to guess, I kept the ankle elevated above the heart 20 hours a day the first 3 days post-op and maybe 12 hours a day since. I ice behind the knee and above the knee 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, again religiously the first three days post-op and every opportunity since. As for showering, we bought a water proof rubber sock looking device that goes over your knee. Then you deflate it with a suction ball and it seals around your splint and leg. I have been showering and my splint has stayed completely dry.

    I see my doctor on 2/17 and I believe I am going into a boot. Non weight baring for the first 4-6 weeks (sounds long), than PWB until full weight baring tolerable and safe. Doctor told me in 12 weeks I would be in sneakers walking. My doctor seems to be more conservative than other diagnosis I have read on this blog – so that is a bummer – but the end game is to be able to run and play basketball again – so I will follow the protocol and work hard in physical therapy. Based on what I have read here on the blog and with people who have had Achilles ruptures, it seems like it’s a year before you feel 100% - which for me, since I had run the last two years in pain, is something I look forward to. I will provide another update after my doctor’s appointment on 2/17. I wish everyone luck in their recoveries and future procedures and thank everyone for posting – it really helps with setting expectations for this procedure.

    Frank

  513. Frank, your pre-injury story is terrific! I’m glad that hasn’t made this “little setback” unusually frustrating. Hang in!

    I’m curious, was your wife running marathons while you were huge, or did you transform together? Terrific either way…

  514. One thing that has started occurring (2 1/2 weeks post op) is that the injured leg is tired of being rested. So, I woke up a few times at night from the leg “trying to go for a run”. That’s of course in the boot and there is nowhere to go without daddy, but I was a little worried that the calve pulls on the new tendon too much. Well, I am over 1/3 into my boot period so I am hoping that my “Achilles 2.0″ is ready to take a little load …
    It anyways looks like while that is growing the calve is disappearing at an alarming rate. Wondering if it’ll support my weight after six weeks

  515. Pretty common concerns hereabouts! Rarely, calf cramps can get extreme and threaten damage and get treated with antispasmodics. Usually they’re just a nuisance. Calf atrophy comes shockingly fast and lasts shockingly long, sorry! Doing gentle wiggles in and out of the boot — and starting PWB at 2 wks like UWO (or earlier like Devon-Exeter) — probably help. Logically.

  516. Went to the orthopedic dr yesterday to get my splint off and to get my cast. I was supposed to be in a cast for two weeks and then begin dorsiflexion and plantarflexion and be placed in a CAM walker boot at 7.5 degrees plantarflexion. Everything was fine for the first four hours then out of nowhere I started to cramp in my right foot. Called the dr and was told politely to suck it up. Literally had a cramp from 2 pm to 5 am and no sleep.

    Apparently someone had a change of heart today because they called me this morning and had me come in. It turns out that I have a high arch and the cast compression on top of my foot was causing the cramps. They decided to put me in the CAM walker instead with instructions not to take it off and also to push ahead the therapy by starting it next week instead of the original plan. The NP-C put the walker to a 7 plantarflexion, put me in it and sent me on my way.

    Since the removal of the cast I have been in extreme pain. Nothing is working! I feel as though God is punishing me. I don’t want to be a pain in the butt with the dr but I’ve to have help or I will totally lose it.

    Questions I have: am I doing damage to me by not being in a cast? The surgery I had was Haglund’s deformity with inflamed retocalcaneal bursa, right achilles insertional tendinitis/tendinosis, right scandal traction spur. The medicine given to me to take is Tylenol with codeine, which isn’t putting a dent in the pain. I can’t take Vicodine, it makes me sicker than a dog.

    Until I can call the NP-C tomorrow, I hope someone sees this post and can give guidance.

  517. I forgot to mention I’m nwb for 6 weeks too.

  518. Normofthenorth - Thanks - we transformed together, albeit, my wife didn’t have that much weight to lose. We were both in great shape when we met, but then jobs, four kids, and a busy work life, helped to pack on the pounds. We realized that we were setting a bad example for our kids and that, without your health, nothing else, particularly careers, really matter. We have gone from working 60 hour weeks, to more manageable works schedules, concentrating on our health and family as a priority. Achilles is just a speed bump on my journey. Have a great day!!

  519. Fellow Achilles Patients:

    Just an update to my post a few weeks back. I had a scheduled doctor’s appointment on 2/17/14, at which time we took the splint off, removed the stitches and I was casted at 90%. Everything looked good, swelling was minimal. I have some numbness in my big toe – which I am told may be the remnants of the knee block I received or some pressure on the toe in the splint - and that feeling will return eventually. No pain whatsoever since the surgery; and actually, after living with a throbbing pain the last two years, it feels strange not feeling any pain. It did take a little bit to get the ankle casted at 90 degrees. Doctor wanted to get it stretched and casted beyond 90 degrees but 90 degrees was the best I could do. Again, no pain, more a personal mental block feeling the Achilles was completely stretched and being afraid it would tear. I can begin putting some weight on the casted foot beginning 2/27/14 and I am scheduled to get into a boot at 6 weeks – 3/17/14. I still elevate and ice it at night – even though doctor said it wasn’t necessary any more, just to elevate it when I feel discomfort. I did realize from the casting process – the hard work is ahead – getting range of motion and confidence back in the ankle. I am excited to start that process on 2/17/14 by beginning to apply some weight. I will post again after 2/27/14 to let you know how the partial weight baring in a cast works out. That’s why that they wanted to cast it beyond 90 degrees, so that stepping on the casted foot seemed more natural. At 90 degrees in a cast, I will be walking like a clubbed foot pirate I think. Again, I hope everyone’s recovery is going well !!!

    Frank

  520. Thanks for the clarification, Frank. Definitely a terrific story — don’t stop!

    I’m a bit shocked by the attempt to go past 90°. It shouldn’t be necessary for cast walking. If your cast is stiff enough and supportive enough, you should be able to walk on it like an orthotic boot. They sell “cast shoes” that would add a rubber sole with a little curve to it — and you could use another one on the other foot to get your hips level. Hospital shops and surgical supply shops might be faster than online.

  521. Looking for some advice as to when I should be able to stop taking the pain meds without being in for a world of hurt. I had surgery April 22 2014 for a complete achilles rupture. So I am 4 days out of surgery, and I’d like to stop taking the Oxycodone/Acetaminophen 5-325 tonight…but I am also nervous about waking up int the middle of the night in agony. Can someone who has been through this before please lend some advice?

    Thanks!

  522. brawlin99, it’s impossible to generalize. Some of us had remarkably little post-op pain (and many of us had virtually no post-ATR pain), while others suffered a lot for close to a week. Those who suffered report that it’s best to “stay ahead of the pain”, but many of us just stopped taking the pills ahead of schedule and didn’t hurt much.
    After my somewhat recent heart-valve replacement (open-heart, full sternotomy), I was supposed to be on Codeine and Tylenol for several days. But the Codeine made my head spin, and my pain was remarkably modest, so I declined the Codeine after about a day, which made my nurses very nervous. When one of the surgeons made the rounds, he asked about pain, and the nurses chimed in immediately that I’d declined the Codeine pills! The surgeon said “That’s fine, and he doesn’t have to take the Tylenol unless he needs it, either.” So I only took one at bedtime to help me sleep. I’m sure the range of pain after open-heart surgery is huge, too, but mine actually hurt quite a bit less than my ATR surgery!

  523. Thanks Norm…I actually did stop taking the percocet last night, and amazingly had a pain free night just 4 days after surgery. Good luck everyone…

  524. :-)

  525. I am on day 8 Post Op. I feel pretty good for the most part. I am elevating the majority of the time and also had Medequip deliver my leg roller. Best invention ever. I don’t use the crutches now and just scooting along on the roller which is covered under Blue Cross. I have gone to the gym twice this week for upper body lifting for only about 20 minutes at a time. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something and keeps my upper body in shape. In addition, I try to move my toes up and down a lot just as a little excercise. No pain at all by doing that.
    I am so glad this site recommended the shower bag. I bought one at CVS for $14.99. for the first time in a week I took a shower instead of an awkward bath. I felt so free and in control by that. I guess its the little things that make us happy :) . I go in next week to get my splint off and place an aircast on. I don’t think he will have me in a full contact cast because he said to bring the aircast and he will put another pad in it.

  526. Hello fellow ATR’s,

    I’m also a recent addition to this infamous club. I’m very happy I found this site as I was sent home a couple hours after surgery with no instruction on how to take care of this injury. This site has been so helpful in letting me know about everything ATR related!

    Well, my story is similar to a lot of people here it seems. I was physically in the best shape I’d been in for a long time. I’m an active 29 year old male, & love to go gym (predominantly weight training around 3-4 times a week), play sports & travel.

    I filled in for some friend’s indoor football team on 4/13, pushed off my left foot to accelerate for the ball & then felt the dreaded “snap” & down I went. For a split second I thought my heel went through some hole in the floor, but I quickly came to the realisation of what I’d done. I felt both of my Achilles were pretty tight during the game (but in particular the left one). I tried stretching them & the calf out during the game, but obviously this was not enough. I tried to cling onto the hope that it was not my Achilles or a just slight tear, but the next day I visited a sports doctor who delivered the news I feared….ATR!

    I went for surgery on 4/24 morning @ about 8am & was back home at about midday. Before finding this site (which I did at about 3 days post op), I was just elevating my leg on the couch on a single pillow (I did not know I had to keep it above my heart level). So hopefully nothing significant arises as a consequence of that. I now pretty much spend 24/7 on the couch, now with more than 1 pillow under my leg! I’m due to go in for my first post op appointment 5/5, & after reading through the posts on this site, I’m going to try to get my surgeon to allow me to do a more aggressive rehab approach. Not sure he will allow me too as I was initially told he said that I should be in a cast for 6 weeks!

    What’s inconvenient is that I actually live & work in London. I was back in Australia for my best friend’s wedding & also to renew my UK visa. I had a lot of unexpected delays in getting my visa, meaning I had to delay my flight (& I eventually snapped my achilles on the day my initial flight was meant to depart!). It was quite frustrating at the beginning as you can’t help but think: why, what if, how come, if only & so on. But I am now thankful for the fact I did this over here in Australia where I have family & friends to take care of me in this initial period! You really do realise how fantastic & loving your close ones are in a period like this! Could not imagine doing this initial period entirely on my own, & I’ve read a few people on this forum have done due to living o/seas so full credit to you!). So I think, in a way, the visa delays actually benefitted me in snapping my Achilles in Australia, if it was due to snap anyway!

    I’m very lucky that my work in London has understood & that I can work off my laptop for a while, but obviously this is not the most convenient. But I need to get back to London to work, & I’m hoping to go back at about 3-4 weeks post op. I’ve read through many posts on this site but just have a few queries that would be great to gain an opinion on:
    1. I’ve read a few people go back to the gym fairly soon (which I’m also desperate to do as can feel all my prior gains disappearing!) But I just wanted to know how they deal with the blood rush to the leg when standing? The blood rush/pressure still happens for me 8 days post op (when I’m crutching to go bathroom), & also I feel pressure on the wound when I’m crutching around.
    2. In terms of walking, I’ve read here that some people who take the aggressive approach can be FWB @ about 4 weeks. But how long does it usually take to walk decent distances fairly ably? As an Australian living in Europe I love to take trips around the continent when I can, & visiting cities tends to involve walking decent distances through the city.
    3. Stairs – one of my big concerns with going back to London is the stairs! My London apartment has 3 flights of stairs (& no family members to coddle me up!). Also, taking PT tends to involve climbing stairs (e.g. tube stations). How long before you think you can talk up stairs fairly ably independently?
    4. Leg elevation technique – how many actual pillows do most people tend to put under their leg? Also, when not sleeping, do people tend to put their leg straight ward on the pillow, or on the sideward (to avoid pressure on the wound)?
    Apologies for my long post & questions, but been on my mind for a while :D

    Cheers,
    Raj

  527. Hi everyone

    I am also a recent addition to the club following a full ATR of my right tendon - 9 days post op. At the age of 32, following two seasons of no football I had decided to get back into sport to improve fitness. Sadly this lasted all of 4 weeks before I got ’shot by the sniper’ in the middle of the second half - funnily enough I had been thinking of getting subbed off moments before as both Achilles were ‘aching’!!

    Anyway I am a “POHM” living in NZ and have found the whole experience to date very interesting. Over here the chosen method for repair of any partial tear or complete rupture is the conservative one. Stick you in an equinous cast for six weeks, end of story.

    Purely from my own perspective I consider myself lucky that I had to wait 5 days post the injury to see the Specialist which gave me time to research the injury via this website and medical websites and talking to people who had been through it previously. Based on what I found around re-rupture rates and given I had completely ruptured the tendon I decided my preference would be surgery if I was given the opportunity.

    As expected the Specialist detailed his form of treatment as the conservative one. I then asked if we could discuss surgical. Following a good 10 minute discussion, focussed mainly on the risks, he said he would support surgery for me given I am active (I have a 5 and 2yr old, coach football, am renovating a house, play squash and was obviously getting back into playing footy). He also agreed that at my age he would have wanted the same thing. So he referred me to the local public hospital.

    The hospital is where things got interesting. I got admitted, saw the nurse and was led to believe, based on my specialists referral that surgery was a given. Until I met the registrar. She informed me that no, surgery was not an option, that only an equinous cast was available. When I challenged this she said the risk of infection was too high and that in a worst case scenario I could lose my foot. It was only when I pushed, mentioning that I was active and concerned about re-rupture rates, that she said the only person who could make the call was the Head of Orthopaedics who was just finishing up an 8hr long surgery on a motorbike victim - I was not very positive at this point!

    When I finally met the Head guy it was a less than ‘fun’ discussion. Accompanied by 4 other registrars (maybe students?) he proceeded to reinforce (at least 4 times) that the risks of infection were high and that I could lose my foot (infection occurs in 4 in 100 from memory). He then said he would agree to the operation on the basis that I had come into the hospital with pre-conceived ideas based on my research on the internet that I was unlikely to change, but that he strongly disagreed - at this point I signed the disclaimer and figured the other bods in the room were witnesses!

    Following day I was operated on. Didn’t meet anyone other than the anaesthetist beforehand. Post op, I had to stay overnight in order to meet my surgeon/consultant almost 24hrs later. The only info I got out of him was related to questions I actively asked. Otherwise I would have gone home clueless as to what I should do or how the op had gone.

    Overall I have tried to remain positive throughout the whole thing. As everyone knows these kinds of injuries place a huge strain not only on you but also your family, the household. My wife was less than happy that I chose surgery and I have at times felt like I made a very selfish choice. I guess I did, but I wanted to take the path to recovery that I believe presents the lowest risk of re-rupture in the future.

    So anyway, to anyone in NZ reading this, do make a case for yourself. You are entitled to challenge the norm if you want. And, touch wood, to date I am happy that I did.

  528. Stubacca, fascinating post and hope you create your own blog (very easy to do) on this site and continue to chronicle your recovery experiences. Here in the U.S. the story is a bit opposite to yours, in the sense that more people seem to go for surgery and sometimes have to “fight” for the more conservative non-op route. Meanwhile recent research shows that for the majority of people surgery is not needed. For example see Wallace et. al large 945 patient study and 2011 paper: boneandjoint.org.uk/highwire/filestream/17691/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/1362.full-text.pdf. Best of luck on your recovery.

  529. Hey Stu, a good first post, long too, looking forward to you creating a blog here as suggested by goldman. Don’t forget the timeline as well.

    It is important for casualties to state their case as you did, and interesting to see you got your way. Mind you, after an 8 hour surgical session, this was probably the last thing the OS wanted!

    Years now since my AT popped but so many here now promoting non-surgery as being as effective and secure as going under the knife. I hadn’t heard the foot loss threat though before this - wow, scary!

    Out of interest, which research did you find most useful? Seems so much of it about these days, although the search engines still have lots of links to the real old stuff.

    Don’t know why I’m still interested, addictive I guess, high turnover of bloggers.

  530. Thanks guys. Apologies for the war and peace! I will make the effort to start a blog this week given I am still on ‘bed rest’.

    Goldman - isn’t it interesting how two medical fraternities on different sides of the world can adopt such extremely different approaches - 10yrs ago NZ was the same as the US. I can fully understand how frustrating it must therefore be for someone in the US trying to go the conservative route. Not that I am a medical professional myself but I wonder if the concern in NZ is around the high risk of infection in our hospitals - a problem that I would assume is had the world over.

    Dave - you should have seen my wife’s face when they talked about the risk of losing my foot. Priceless! Even I gulped! But the fact was the OS couldn’t give me something tangible to think about on that point. My guess is that it isn’t 4 in 100. Regards research I googled the hell out of it trying to keep to ‘legit’ websites. In NZ I kept to ACC (our govt accident compensation) and medical insurance sites seemed to hold a lot of info. Also found a few US (AAOS) and UK (patient.co.uk) websites. To be honest I found talking to friends with ATR experiences to be equally helpful.

    Cheer, Stu

  531. Stu, no apologies necessary — unless you were joking, in which case they are welcome ;-) One thing to keep in mind on the whole op vs. non-op for fixing ATR controversy: while it may be true that the majority of ATR fixes do not require surgery, going the non-op route can be a mistake. I.e. the OS one works with better know how to implement, e.g. Wallace’s protocol, otherwise it’s the wrong path to take. Also one comment on the infection issue– I had the impression that infection could (always?) be treated, and I have not yet read about somebody losing their foot after getting an infection neither on this site nor other sites that speak to ATR injuries. This site may not be the end-all-to-end-all source of information but I must have read fifty or hundred blogs by now on achilles.com and the only posting that comes close was somebody complaining about a botched surgery (and I think there were other complications besides ATR) and they “threatened” to have their foot removed but who knows if they followed through with it. Though I suppose it’s possible all the “foot loosers” are too devastated to write about the end game.

  532. Stu - from another Stu across the pond, it is possible the reluctance for surgery in NZ is due to the soaring cost funded by the government and not soaring infection rates. Also a study published by a NZ ortho regarding non op treatment (Twaddle) could have some influence. I also chose surgery based on doctors recommendations from text book data collected decades ago but would probably go non op if the other goes based on more recent findings. I am now recovering from surgery to repair a distal bicep rupture and from my experience with this surgeon I would be happy never to see an OS again. Unfortunately there is no way to reconnect a tendon to the bone without surgery or I would have gone that way. I am still working hard and need the supination strength the bicep tendon offers. Hope it goes well for you and a sorry you had to struggle so hard to receive the treatment you desired. I understand entirely what you have been through as my current OS asked me if I had any questions then got very indignant and rude when I actually asked one.

  533. I thought that the 2007 Twaddle study had helped NZ become pretty ferociously non-op for ATRs, but 5 weeks in a cast doesn’t sound like Twaddle’s successful aggressive non-op protocol. A NZ woman here named Bronny posted (and followed) that protocol on her blog a year or 2 back. As Goldman said, BAD non-op treatment (e.g. too slow) is inferior to most surgical treatment. But good non-op has delivered results just as good as surgery with less cost and fewer side effects, so I send most of my friends in that direction.
    And while foot loss is unheard of here, post-op infections sure are not, and probably run at a few%. And the rare patients have suffered a lot with them, with skin grafts to close non healing wounds and such. For most of us, touching wood works pretty well with either approach!

  534. I not only partially tore my achilles but it also separated from the calcaneus bone. Today is exactly 14 days since my ATR surgery. I have been staying in bed with foot elevated and am improving every day. I occasionally take one 5 mg oxycodone tablet at night to avoid painful twinges that could wake me. The result is a full nights sleep which definitely aids in healing. I am also taking 2 holistic remedies; Ruta Graveolens and Symphytum officinale to aid in healing. Also taking vitamin C which aids in healing. I am a retired 63 year who cycles and golfs a great deal so, it is important for me to heal well.

  535. Hi,

    I had Chronic Achilles Rupture due to 2 doctors missed diagnosed me (They thought it was just a sprain) so I was walking around for about 1.5 months thinking it was just a sprain until I re-injured myself and went to the emergency room, that’s when they did a calf squeeze and said it was a complete rupture.

    I’m 13 days post-op still in a splint (not hard cast or boot). I have been doing good in the pain management department. However, yesterday I slipped while trying to put on shoes :( It was really painful for about 15 minutes then it stopped. However when I woke up this morning the bottom of my heel is painful. Like someone is poking at it with a needle. The pain comes and goes has been coming and going all day I can wiggle my toes fine, no pain there. I have been experience close to no pain for a few days now, so this got me really paranoid. I’m scared that I re-ruptured my AT or ripped my incisions out.

    My 1st post-op appointment isn’t until 4 days from now. Should I wait it until then to see the doctor?

  536. No, do not wait. If you’re in pain and concerned about your condition, by all means contact your doctor now.

  537. @davidk thank you so much for your reply. I did go to an emergency room and got fitted with a new splint. Doctor (not an Orthopaedic surgeon/speciality or anything) took an x-ray and said that everything looks normal. the incision looks great and the Achilles tendon feels intact. He has forwarded everything to my Orthopaedic surgeon that I’m seeing in 4 days so hopefully everything works out perfectly! He said the pain can be caused by scar tissue. :)

  538. That’s good news twinklebell!

    If it gives you further comfort, I had a similar fall in my splint at 2 weeks - and was also in great pain caused by scar tissue breaking. I am now 5 weeks on from that and making good progress - I wish the same for you. :-)

  539. twinklebell, I wasn’t suggesting you go to the ER but, rather, that you merely call your OS, describe your situation, and ask for their advice. If for no other reason than to give you peace of mind. Many of us fall while NWB (in a splint or cast), but few re-rupture. Nonetheless, I hope that your recovery is still on track.

  540. I am one day post op - trying to stay ahead of pain. Not working so well tho. My leg is throbbing. Any others feel this. I am elevating above heart, switching sides laying, icing above split…throbbing/twitching pain is worse than I expected.

  541. Hello. I’m 3 days post op. Nerve block wore off about 24 hours after surgery and that’s when I felt the pain. Pretty bad the 2nd night but much improved by 3rd day. I also have been elevating above the heart trying different positions to keep weight off incision site pretty much since I’ve been home. Not throbbing really but I do get some twitching. Follow up visit in 5 days. Anything I should be doing or looking out for between now and then?

  542. Three weeks post op. Out of cast and in a boot. I think I pushed it too fast trying to put weight on my foot. Now my foot is purple and pain in my upper calf is intense. Anyone experienced this or any advice. Thanks:)

  543. Yes, @markk — back off, take it easy for a while! RICE, too. And keep two basic principles in mind throughout this rehab: (1) Watch Your Step, and (2) Keep everything INCREMENTAL! Any time you try something new, start with a wimpy number of reps and wimpy resistance, and consider waiting a DAY to add more. Any time you do something you’ve already done before, just add a bit of resistance and reps to it. Don’t jump to 2x or 3x what you’ve done before, or you may do harm.

    If you think you can avoid reinjury or setbacks by just “listening to your body”, and that you’ll get clear warnings before anything bad happens, you’re wrong. I suffered a painful MONTH-long setback from overdoing with 1-leg heel raises, which were strenuous (and not incremental at all), but did NOT hurt until several hours later. And then my leg hurt for a month, worse than anything except the first day or two post-op. Others have reruptured their AT doing too much too soon — some of them under a PT’s instruction, even!

    It’s important to be active and to retrain your leg to be active again. But you have to do it wisely, preferably staying close to one of the best modern well-proven protocols, like the 3 listed on this site at /cecilia/protocols.

  544. This blog is amazing! and I realise I’m not doing too badily to be honest. I am 8 days post op and I am in a boot. I ruptured it 21 days ago (seems like months).

    First off I’m not an athlete - I exercise but don’t go running. I’m 42 and am my 87 year old mothers carer (alzheimers).

    I was put in two temporary back slabs and then a cast - turns out I have a tency wency issue with casts - took a hammer to the last one! note to you all - if you hit a fiber glass cast with a hammer it doesn’t break it just sends shockwaves around your leg and causes no pain but massive bruising - I couldn’t tell the doctors what I had done I was mortified!!

    After two A&E visits I got an outpatients appointment. The first surgeon said because I had had steroid injections he wouldn’t operate because the tendon would be dead and I’d need follow up surgery and put me in a cast for 3 and then 8 weeks - proper doom and gloom - this was the cast I tried to hammer off - I had read about the boot but it was the public system and he basically said - tough!

    I rang my old ortho surgeon and he recommended two ankle men. I spoken with one of their secretaries who was horrified I hadn’t been scanned and just put in a cast and was nearly over dosing on xanex because of my panic attacks - she told me to present myself at another hospitals A&E and have them cut it off - they made a cut down the side and bandged me up and voila I was fine - yes I know it’s all psychological but I couldn’t help feeling so trapped.

    They made me an appointment for a scan and sent me home.

    In the meantime I went to the other ankle man who said I absolutely needed surgery but he wouldn’t consider operating and not using a cast - it’s the standard protocol in ireland. He put me in a boot and said if I got over my phobia I should come back to him. So it appeared I was going the non-surgical route.

    9 days ago i went for the scan and I was rushed back down to A&E and told it was a total rupture - bloody hell I thought I had a partial!

    Some of the ortho team came and said I needed surgery asap and after realising I wasn’t a hysterical nut job and I understood the risks they agreed to do the surgery and use the boot - ta da!

    So 8 days ago I had the tendon repaired and was home in the same day.

    I was so pi”"ed off because I had been 13 days already non-weight bearing I wanted to cry - turns out it was a good thing - I was already used to the crutches and had hired a knee-walker - this is the most essential piece of kit EVER - look them up they are a god send. And if I had had surgery when it happened I would have been a screaming mess with a cast on so everything happens bla bla bla.

    Despite having another girl who comes in to make tea and getting a cleaner I’m still up and down alot but the knee walker makes it totally fine - I’ve even gone to the shops with it.

    I’m taking plenty of vitamins - K for blood circulation, B and Omega 3 and a general multivitamin. I’m also having acupuncture for overall immune system and it’s proven to increase blood flow to the tendon to aid healing.

    The boot is alot heavier than the cast but I can’t put my toes to the ground so not tempted to, and I can lie still on the couch and undo the straps so I have had no swelling but still keeping it in neutral position. It’s not fun at night but I remind myself I asked for it!!

    Sorry it’s gone on so long and I hope it’s offered some hope to people just put in a cast and sent home - if you’re not happy with your treatment you have to be pro active and get a second or third opinion - it’s your ankle not theirs!!!

    Now back to my knitting (I’m trying not to go stir crazy!!)

    Rosemary

  545. Well, I’ve joined this club this week. Was travelling in Spain, and playing a game of pick-up basketball, running backwards, and tried to set foot back and change direction. Pop, felt like I’d stepped in a hole, with an immediate numb feeling around the ankle. Not much pain, but having a long history of competitive sports and a number of ankle twists and turns, I knew right away that it was something real. Off to the hospital, immediate diagnosis of ATR and wrapped up in a splint to await travel home.

    Flew home two days later, had discussed on the phone with a recommended surgeon and booked a time for a confirmation of diagnosis, followed by immediate surgery subject to no swelling. Met with the surgeon yesterday morning, took him about a minute to confirm a rupture in the “typical” spot about 5cm up from the heel, and 5 minutes later I was off to surgery prep.

    Opted for a spinal block instead of general anaesthesia, mainly due to curiosity of wanting to be awake, and the lack of grogginess post op. Spinal block was extremely smooth, didn’t end up with any additional drugs during the op, so had a completely clear head throughout. Turns out I also had ruptured my plantaris tendon (apparently fairly rare), and the surgeon used this as an additional enforcement for the Achilles and to create a “smoother and slicker surface”, or something to that effect. On my op report it is called the Lynn technique. Got the nurses to also take a few pictures that I’ve now been happily sending to all my friends for a bit of shock value (actually difficult to associate the pics with your own foot). All-in-all a very smooth surgery, the automatic tourniquet was active for 41min.

    I now have a plaster cast on the foot, which according to the doctor is better for the healing of the surgery wound than a synthetic cast, as it absorbs moisture better. The foot is set at nearly 90 degrees, which the surgeon was also happy with, achieving close to 90 after the op. 24h later, I’m getting used to laying down with my foot up and moving around with the crutches, sticking myself with klexane, and furiously wiggling my toes for blood flow. No real pain so far at all, with pretty limited pain medication.

    According to the plan, I’m supposed to put partial (limited) weight on the cast a week after the op, and move to a walker boot at 90 degrees and full weight bearing two weeks after the op when they remove the cast and the stitches. Here’s hoping that happens as planned….

  546. Gravity, even boot-loving Docs usually go with a plaster cast or a wrapped splint for a couple of weeks post-op, because it can be messy, and absorption is nice. Your schedule seems nice and quick. One of the rare post-op patients to go faster than the modern non-op protocols!

  547. Norm, my doc said that it might as well be the boot right away, but he’s experience is that the plaster cast gives better results on the healing of the wound, partially also as it removes the temptation of taking the boot off just to see what it looks like…

  548. My 2-week plaster cast post-op (ATR #1) was a mess after 2 weeks. My AirCast (ATR #2) needed to be washed out non-op (!), because 1or 2 of my PRP injections “leaked”.

  549. This thread is so very informative for those new to this game as I am! I have referred my (so far excellent) NHS hospital in the UK to this blog as a source of useful notes to include in their patient discharge meetings.
    I had surgery on 2nd Dec for a full rupture of my right Achilles. I’m now in a back slap cast (not sure if this name is correct) and am elevating as much as possible.
    I have a couple of questions that would be really helpful to hear opinions on:
    - how to minimise back pain. This is getting really bad already
    - good positions for elevating the leg which don’t put pressure on the wound
    - how long it will be before the blood rush tot the foot thing subsides. I am finding it hard to be upright for more than a minute at a time. Is that normal?

    I am having a private physio visit me next week to give me some exercises for my back and good leg - will post anything useful.

  550. Hello,

    I just ruptured my achilles last Monday playing basketball. I am a 30 y/o female, and have been playing sports throughout my life (Division 1 college basketball player). Anyway, I opted not to have surgery, and have been in a cast for a week. Can someone clarify what NWB means? I try to never put my toes on the ground when I am standing up. However, I live alone and need to do laundry and clean. When I was taking my laundry to the machine, I stubbed the toes on my bad foot (the leg in the cast). What are the chances that I just did something detrimental to my healing? I felt no pain.

    Also, what do you think about kneeling (again, I try not to put weight on the toes of my casted leg) to clean things like the bathtub, etc?

    Thanks guys!

    Lauren

  551. To clarify the post above, I use crutches and have a knee scooter because I am a doctoral student and need to finish my lab work before Christmas! What a mess ;)

  552. It seems to me that since you’ve only been in a cast a week & all protocols as well as my own experience tell me you need three weeks at the very least of complete REST.

    My personal opinion is that your body needs all of it’s energy to heal & REST is the most important thing you can do for yourself. I can understand if you have educational deadlines to meet & you live alone without help, however, does the bathtub really need to be cleaned?

    Ask for help, don’t do anything not absolutely necessary…REST until it’s time to start moving…please consider sitting still for the next few weeks.

    LOVE!

  553. @Lauren: NWB is non weight bearing. I’d avoid putting weight on your injured toes whenever possible. I used a chair to rest my knee on when standing–prepping meals, loading laundry, etc. I’d let some of the cleaning slide until you get into a boot and are a little more mobile.

  554. @Lauren: In that first stage, NWB is pretty literal so that you avoid giving yourself a set back. I had a long NWB phase and recorded some of my thoughts on my page (http://achillesblog.com/ctcbusted/). You might want to consider a crutch alternative such as an IWalk, FlexLeg, Scooter, or FreedomLeg so that you can have your hands free and carry on with simple activities.

  555. Had my surgery 1 week and one day ago. I use a walker, wheelchair and a kneeler walker in the house. I too am depressed but trying my best

  556. Cheer up drphil2…here is a Doc Phil quote; “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change”.

  557. One day and milestone at a time, try to resist thinking about beginning to end.

    I had a partial re-tear set back but am going back to PWB next week, about 10 days post re-tear. So while I was initially upset about setting myself back a week or two it seems like that is all it is at this point.

    It’s ok to be upset once and awhile, no one goes through this with a positive attitude 100% of the time..I’m sure. The key, for me, is to react positively once that happens.

    So like with my re-tear, yeah I was devasted (especially bc it was on a Friday night! and I had to wait until Monday to know what I did haha) but then I settled down, got my options, and made the best decision for me at the time.

    Now I’m just taking it easy while I resume PT and get back to weight bearing in short order. Time will tell, for all of us, but for now just go from A to B and try not to think about how long it “might” take to get to Z

  558. 1 day post OP and I must say its a True relief to have completed the surgery to my L Achilles Tendon (near complete tear). I have already stopped taking the prescribed meds ( Percocet) as it made me feel horrible. I still find it difficult to get comfortable and I haven’t slept well yet. I’m looking forward to tomorrow which will be another day post OP which is one day further in the healing and recovery process.

  559. Best wishes to you kappa101!

  560. Hi Donna how do I email you my story

  561. Kappa101…you don’t. I assume you are talking about wanting a blog of your own so you can share your story here.

    From the main page from the blog creator Dennis:

    To create a new blog, please create a user account first. And then, please send me an e-mail (achillesblog@gmail.com) from the e-mail address that you registered with, and I’ll create a blog for you. Please tell me what your username is, and mention briefly how your injury was caused. (The amount of spam blogs that gets created on the site is becoming unmanageable, so I’ve decided to restrict creation of blogs to just me.) I check the site frequently and check AchillesBlog e-mails from my phone, so it’ll won’t take long for you to get your blog up and running. :)

    Best of luck Kappa!

  562. Well I have mixed emotions about being a part of this group LOL, sad that I am but happy to have you!! Ruptured my achilles on 4/19 playing softball. running to 2nd heard a loud pop - so did my base coach and the 1st baseman!! Was confused because the ball was in front of me and I thought I got hit by it, or someone kicked me…helped off the field and sat on the bench for a bit. Wasn’t in much pain, it was numb from my calf to my toes…went to the ER on the XRays the dr. couldn’t see anything but suspected a partial tear…casted me, gave me a scipt and recommended seeing an ortho. I couldn’t get an appt until 4/22. Most of my pain was just below my calf…Ortho takes Xrays and can very plainly see the almost complete tear. I was still hoping for a misdiagnosis or a miraculous recovery but no. Didn’t need an MRI. The next 24 hours was a whirlwind of dr’s appts, pre-op appts, blood work, info, driving here and there, to finally sitting down coming to terms with the fact that I was having surgery and months of no softball, and weeks of non-activity, with a young child and grandchild and a trip to NY for a trade show…sooooo surgery is scheduled 4/29. 5 hour flight to NY is scheduled for 5/2…not good. I ordered a knee bike, not excited about this plane ride. Still feeling the pain below my calf but the swelling in my ‘elephankle’ has finally subsided…Lots of good info in these posts…only saw a few who flew subsequently…

  563. Lynnie you may not want to hear this, but if I am correct and you are saying that you are flying 3 days after ATR surgery to go to a trade show I’d strongly suggest that you reconsider that decision. Is that what you are saying? Is this trade show that important to you?

    If so I’d be happy to express why I’d suggest you reconsider it.

    Best wishes to you in any event!

  564. FWIW re plane travel three days post-op, I had enormous pressure/pain in my foot during that time frame any time that the foot wasn’t elevated. The pressure/pain subsided almost immediately upon re-elevating.

    After about a week post-op, the pressure/sensation started to get more manageable, and it tailed off gradually until it was nearly completely gone 30 days post-op.

  565. Lynnie have a look at http://achillesblog.com/normofthenorth/2010/10/23/the-case-for-skipping-atr-surgery/ if you haven’t already

  566. ugggghh…I know this is not optimal. To explain a little further about choosing to fly…I do not look forward to it however, the trade show/flight was already scheduled. My family lives back there as well so it was also a family visit, then I find out that my grandmother just went into hospice care and may not survive…I don’t see how I cannot go. Trade show will now be limited to me sitting with my foot elevated for 1 out of the 3 days IF that even happens. on a side note, I am 4′11 with a window seat so I can usually elevate my foot, hopefully the cast won’t prohibit that…There is no good time for such an injury, but this is just really bad timing. I appreciate all comments even the one’s that I don’t want to hear :)

  567. I truly am sorry for your situation and I appreciate that you shared your personal story. Not having had this surgery I don’t believe you realize how challenging that is going to be. If the question is can you do it? Sure, humans are amazing in their ability to overcome challenges. The question is should you? Only you can answer that and our aim is to be a loving space to support you no matter what you decide. Big HUG! If you have specific questions about flying or about anything regarding this injury and the following rehab or if you finding writing out your experience therapeutic then please consider starting a blog, the directions are on the main page. Again…my very best to you.

  568. Thank you Donna. I have scoured this site and others trying to get as much information as I possibly can. I appreciate your support and will continue to share my info here or possibly on my own blog

  569. Hi Lynnie. If you were put in a cast with your foot pointing downwards reasonably soon after i would recommend reading the research on conservative management. The recent research has suggested that your recovery is just as good without surgery using one of the new protocols as with surgery. The benefit being that you avoid all the risks and surgical complications. Also you would now already be 8 days into your recovery. If not you will be starting from day 0 on the 29th. The travel and trade show would be much easier 13 days post conservative treatment compared to 3 days post surgical treatment. The rehab protocols, re-rupture rates, strength, return to sports, time for recovery are identical for surgical and non-surgical patients.

  570. The ‘old-fashioned’ conservative managements used to mobilise people for longer, have greater re-rupture rates and I think long term decreased strength. This is certainly not the case any more. Feel free to ask us anything and discuss your options with your OS.

  571. Make that ‘immobilise’- I love autocorrect.

  572. Hi Lynnie- I have to say that I really agree with Kristian that considering a non surgical recovery would be worthwhile. I have been through both recovery options and found the difference in the first couple of weeks on extreme ends of the “manageable” spectrum. Surgery hit me like a brick wall and I needed way to much pain relief to be able to function normally, without surgery I took 1 anti- inflammatory which realistically wasn’t needed. Same out come with less stress and risk! All the best

  573. thanks for all of the great information. I’m one day PRE-OP. Surgery scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. 65, male active guy popped the AT playing pickleball(tennis for old people). Made a move for the net and POP. Anyway saw doc, saw ortho doc, had MRI and was told it was frayed and ruptured, guess they’ll get a better look when they open me up. Not looking forward to the post of pain, but have 2 scripts of meds on hand…Oxy and some kind of morhine compound. Glad I found the site yesterday..I’ll report in in a few days I guess.

  574. andnow at a week post 0p. Pain meds did the trick for me the first few days in the hospital but other factors made it miserable. After late afternoon surgery they decided to keep me ovenight. Of course with all the IV fluid put in they asked me to flush my bladder, which I could not due to the anesthesia, so they brought in my “new nurse” to try a catheter(which she couldn’t do). They then brought in a foley expert from the trauma unit who had no problems. Anyhow, my biggest problem is clostrophobia(from an MRI several years ago). Finally had the nurse contact the surgeon to get me some meds. Needless to say, 2 days in the hospital, doing fine at home 5 days with pain meds and Klonipin…lotta sleep and great help from the wife and neighbors pitched in with walker(over 55 community). Have follow with doc next week, hopefully will get cast cut down(any info here) an I’ll be on my way toward recovery. BTW, no more PICKLEBALL for me EVER…Mark. Looking froward to rehab as ex college jock who’se had a few other surgery’s in the past and hey, what a great site this has been.

  575. Had the operation 2 weeks ago the repair the ATR and have just had the cast removed and been given the removable boot.

    Foot is very stiff at the moment and cannot get it in the neutral position (as suggested by the consultant) so require some wedges in the boot to keep it slightly angled.

    Now doing a few daily exercise to get the foot moving again so hope to start losng the wedges soon!

    Think the recovery is going well - would be interested to know how other people cope when movng into the boot for the first time.

    http://www.njachilles.blogspot.co.uk/

  576. Hello, I ruptured my Achilles on the 4th of July laying, and its embarrassing, badminton. Anyway, I just had surgery this morning and I’ve had my leg elevated since surgery basically. My leg is almost completely numb from my knee to the tops of my toes. I know I sound stupid but I’ve never had surgery, I’ve never had an injury like this before. Is it normal to have almost no feeling?? I can feel the inside of my knee, but not the outside. Also, I keep my foot and cast facing outward to relieve stress off of my stitches. Is this OK? Am I just being a worry wart??

  577. @Samus - Perfectly normal post surgery. It seems like they gave you a nerve block as they did to me to control the pain of the surgery for 48 hours in my case. Once it wears off then you will start getting your sensations back, however, they also gave me strong painkillers for when that happened. Also your cast is keeping your tendon secure, so anyway you can get relief it will be ok, justmake sure you are not bearing any weight on it. Hope this helps and good luck in your recovery.

  578. Thanks I am 3 days post op and have been icing and taking the pain meds. I was going to begin weaning myself off the meds today. When the pain killers wear off I actually feel the incision more than anything else.

  579. Thanks. So far this has just been miserable. I just want to walk!!

  580. Hello. I am 6 days post op and recovery has been pain free! Tender where the incision is touching the soft cast. .I had the the arthrex suture bridge procedure, which my doctor seemed very excited about using. Today I slipped as I was sitting down and put full weight on my foot. I felt a stretching in my heel but no pain . I immediately put my foot up and added an ice pack. Does anyone know if this requires a call to the doctor? I feel no different than I did before the slip but I am worried.

  581. Am in my third week post op. No pain at all after op (block stayed forever). Around the second week I started getting some pain in area. Mostly while resting. Pain comes in three forms. 1 ache where Achilles was reattached. 2) like a flash quick wave of pain 2-3 sec. Strange. Almost feels nerve related. 3. A feeling like a start of a cramp in the calf. (Above where Achilles was reattached). In hard cast. NWB. Except for the occasional flex of the foot due to wiggling toes or moving foot around bed I’ve been following protocol. (Doesn’t flex much due to cast but I can feel it working). Anybody get these pains / aches after not getting anything. Also at times in morning cast feels tighter when I wake up. I assuming that’s rom not moving my leg all night and it still swells up.

    Any insight is appreciated.

  582. 9 days post-op now after a complete AT separation from a skiing accident at Mt. Bachelor, OR. Since I’d had ACL surgery, I had a vague idea of what to expect and so far, no surprises I.e., moderate pain, side effects of pain killers, sleeping discomfort, and tiredness. Patience, diligence and compliance are still my priorities for a positive recovery, esp. since I’m 70! Today I’ve got some new twinges of pain on the side of my foot–non surgical site–the pains are intermittent, but rather piercing, but momentary. Elevation helps immensely. I’ve got fiberglass cast and am using both crutches and knee scooter. So far, symptoms and indicators seem within boundaries that Dr. and others describe. This blog is so therapeutic and informative!

  583. It sounds strange, but welcome to our tribe, Barrier. It sounds like you have everything under control, including your knee crutch! :-)

    I used a wheelchair at home because of internal staircases that are dangerous on any type of crutch - at least for me. I’m a young 62 compared to your spry 70, but am not very athletic.

    We are all rooting for you, so keep us posted on new developments!
    Manny

  584. Hi all,
    I’m 3 days post-op for an ATR. I’m not sure if I’m posting in the correct place but I’m in so much pain, I don’t care.
    An immense pain woke me up just now from sleeping. It felt like someone grabbed my foot and flexed it as far up as they could….hurt like a mofo, far worse then anything I’ve felt since I ruptured my achilles. I’m guessing my leg twitched in the middle of the night? Has anyone had this happen before? How can I prevent it from happening again? Thanks!

  585. Hello Everyone-
    This is a great site. 54 year old Minnesotan male, 3 days post-op from a left leg AT rupture playing racquetball, and in a “splint-cast” until day 10 followup apt at least. Leading into surgery this site was very helpful in setting expectations. I seem to be doing ok and pain is manageable. Off the narcotics - UHOO! - after 2 full days post-op. Just using Tylenol. I will share useful info as i go, and I am going to start researching rehab routines as I want to keep my upper body, back, and healthy peg/hip in good shape during this period of inactivity and hobbling around. I’m sure there is a ton of relevant info here. Everyone here is sharing such valuable information. THANK YOU, accept help graciously, and stay positive!!

  586. I am about a week post-op. My pain has died down significantly since I accepted the in need to be in bed 99.9% of the time with my leg elevated. I don’t take any pain pills, just something for the swelling. I wanted to share an article with everyone on a diet that will help strengthen your tendon faster. As many of you know, what you feed your body has a direct impact on your healing. I found it here:
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/365739-foods-that-heal-ligaments-tendons/

  587. Joining the community. 37yo male, practiced basket for 25 years, then stopped sports due to two kids taking all the time, soccer game with friends, and complete rupture.
    General sedation under suggestion from the anesthesiologist. The best 1.30h of sleep I had in the past year :) Open sky surgery, I was told that there’s a 5 inches cut. Foot placed right away in a boot. Will have my follow up visit in 10 days. The protocol seems a bit different from what other forum members reported. I assume that it’s on a case by case basis.
    Things that work: foot VERY elevated and ice all around. Water.
    Things I don’t like: oxycodone for dizziness. But it’s the only thing that’s working against the pain so far.
    Good luck everybody. We need it.

  588. Hi everyone,
    We have added a very informative injury resource page on the iWalkFree site . It covers everything from treatment and diagnosis, to recovery times and tips for staying positive. If you are interested, you can check it out here.
    We wish everyone a speedy recovery!!!

  589. I’m just at 2 weeks after surgery. I was lucky - very little pain after 5 days. Once in a while I take tylenol. Of course NWB right now and I’ve had fiber glass splints with lots of padding (but never enough after 2 days) over the incision and now have a plaster cast/splint. I cut it open today (where there is no plaster) since it felt like my foot was getting raw on top. Saw a little irritation. For some reason tonight the bottom of the heel, right where it curves to the foot bottom is giving me some pain. Weird I was just laying in bed and it sent a sharp pain. Ah well - I’ll live with it for now. Tomorrow is suture removal - yay - and getting off this dang plaster cast! Was in last Wed to change the splint (again) since the padding was mashed down and the fiber glass was paining the incision. Not sure what kind of splint I’ll be in tomorrow.

  590. And - was excited to see my ankles last Wed - all the surgical swelling is gone now. FYI - my docs told me from the get go that I would need 3-4 weeks of 90% elevation and then another 3-4 weeks of 50% elevation. I’ve obeyed the 90% elevation rule rigorously which is probably accounts for how little pain and swelling I’ve had. I listened to my foot - when I was laying flat in bed trying to sleep and didn’t elevate the foot initially it would give a little throb - so I elevated it. Now I’m to the point where I don’t have to elevate it to sleep but the dang splint/cast/wrap is so annoying that keeps me from sleeping very many hours in a row.

  591. Will start up a blog once the initial blog post appears. Not sure how long that will take - but I have pictures from the last 2 weeks - LOL!

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