Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery

Aiming for full recovery!

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Site is back up!

January 27th, 2011 · 35 Comments

My apologies for such a long delay in getting the site back up, but there have been some technical issues with the upgrade. At this point, I think I am happy that we now have a new server that is more powerful up and running. I have postponed part of the software upgrade that was causing some problems.

One good thing is that I learned a lot about best practices on how to maintain and administer the website, so that I won’t have to take AchillesBlog offline for so long. I now have a second server that I can test the upgrades on.. and figure out some of the things that I have yet to resolve. In any case, please let me know if you see anything on the site that is not working. I’ll do my best to fix them as soon as I can. I also promise that AchillesBlog won’t be down for long periods anymore.

Hope everyone is doing well, and Happy Healing!


Tags: Announcements · achilles injury

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 gerryr // Jan 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Dennis. You are to be commended for your dedication to this site.

  • 2 jla2010 // Jan 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Absolutely gerryr! Thank you Dennis.

  • 3 iski7b // Jan 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you Dennis! Appreciate all of your hard work and dedication!

  • 4 garyf // Jan 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for getting the site back up & running - you’re a legend!!

  • 5 normofthenorth // Jan 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Yeah, thanks, D. I can’t believe I survived a whole MONTH without my “fix”! At least I had to keep me busy. . .

  • 6 dennis // Jan 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks everyone. I’ll keep you posted on the software upgrade . (There won’t be a long down time!)

  • 7 andrea // Feb 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Hello I hope someone will be able to help me smile. two weeks ago I suffered my second achielles ruputure. This one much worse then the first. Im so depressed. 9 months ago I found the perfect weight loss plan for me. I found a personal trainer who does bootcamp training. I LOVE IT!!! I have trained hard for the last 9 months, running marathons and doing things I never ever thought I could do. I think I’m more depressed that I can’t work out then I am the tragic injury to my leg. I was told I would never run again, and that I’m in trouble because it is my second surgery. Please can anyone give me any advice about staying in shape during the recovery? please any thing would help, even a new friend who is going through recovery as well. I understand!!!

  • 8 iski7b // Feb 7, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Hi Andrea, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I had very similar concerns. I found personally that the VACOcast was a really great way to help get through the healing process. It can get wet, so you can swim with it on (I swam w/it using a pull buoy between my legs). Also, my PT gave me an elastic strap w/velcro on the ends and I could go to the gym and wrap and secure w/velcro my boot onto the pedal of a stationary bike, and safely get some good cardio training. At home I used hand weights of varying weights to keep my upper body in shape, and found there were still LOTS of ab excersizes, upper body exersizes and even a few great leg and hip exersises that not only kept me in shape, but the leg and hip exersizes got my body prepared for when I could finally get onto full weight bearing and start walking.
    Talking to a PT, researching exercises on the internet, and keeping posting on this site should keep you busy these first few weeks while you’re in early recovery, and give you LOTS of ideas, and hopefully inspiration to figure out a work-out regimine that is safe and effective and will keep your body and mind off of the injury and on healing! This site is a great support network!

  • 9 normofthenorth // Feb 7, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Andrea, it would be great if you can start a blog of your own here, to give us all the details of this rupture. Is this one on the opposite side as your first, or did you re-rupture the same AT?

    In what way is this one “much worse then the first”? Who told you that you would never run again, and that you’re in trouble because it is your second surgery?? Finally, have you already had the surgery?

    I have had two ATRs — both sides, 8 years apart. I got surgery on the first one, and skipped the surgery on the second, following what I think is the best and best-documented rehab protocol to follow either way, with or without surgery. There’s lots of details on my blog, and sprinkled throughout this site. (Fast protocols are generally better than slow ones, and boots are better than casts. I think following a good fast protocol without surgery is probably the best route of all, but opinions are still strongly divided on that, and the evidence is still arguable either way.)

    Several people here have been unnecessarily scared by people (who should know better) telling them they’ll never run, or play sports, etc., again — or that they’ll be in bad shape if they don’t have surgery, or other scary statements that are generally NOT consistent with the scientific evidence. The vast majority of ATR patients recover the vast majority of their pre-injury speed, mobility, and strength, with or without surgery, though it does unfortunately take a while.

    My first recovery was essentially 100% before a year was up, and I returned to the same explosive sport that ruptured it — competitive court volleyball with a bunch of guys 30-odd years younger than I am. (I’m now officially a Senior!)

    I’m now just over a year after my second one, and it’s healed well enough that I can largely forget about it, and I’ve skied 2 separate weeks and bicycled aggressively for many miles. I would have returned to volleyball again by now, but now I’ve got a cardiologist and a heart surgeon who are both convinced that I should wait a while. (I had a heart valve replaced on Dec. 1!)

    Congrats on getting the trainer and the program AND loving it all. Those are very significant accomplishments, and they will stand you in good stead during your ATR rehab and afterwards. Like everybody here (maybe especially us hyper-active types), you’ve encountered an unplanned and unwanted “bump in the road”. If you’ve been through it once already, you may have an advantage in “winning the head game”, which is half of the battle. You’ve also just met a bunch of “new friends” who share your unwanted detour, and understand it. Welcome! Glad you’re here, sorry you’re here, if you know what I mean.

  • 10 gerryr // Feb 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

    To add to what Norm said, in 1964 I collided with a tree while skiing and did what I assume was some pretty serious damage to my right knee. The emergency room doc told to forget about skiing ever again because my right knee would never be able to tolerate it. I didn’t ski again until 1971 and then not very well. I’m now 66 years old, a certified ski instructor and I ski better and more aggressively than I have at any time in the past. Don’t accept someone else’s word for what you will or will not be able to do. Chart your own course and see what happens and make your own decision about what you can and cannot do.

  • 11 lobolen // Feb 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm


    I too have encountered alot of “pressure” from some people to give up on sports from now on and it drives me crazy when people ask me if I plan to play anymore. My answer is “First I want to be able to walk again” and then I’ll go from there. I must admit its very scary to think that it could happen again but I just cant think of living the rest of my life in fear!

    Sometimes i think of - What if my ATR would have occured if I just took a wrong step just walking? I probably would have been mad that it didnt happen doing something I love (sports)

    What also drives me crazy is this guilt i have for missing work but i dont really know what else to do… I am not totally comfortable with having to use crutches still and i already know that once i return to work people think you are %100 healthy and pretty soon they will expect me to do things that I was doing before even though they may see me hobbling around.

    You can never fully understand what someone has been through until you experience the same pain or stress that they have been through….

  • 12 bronny // Feb 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Andrea - don’t worry. There is some stuff you can do to maintain some muscle tone (leg lifts etc) though you will inevitably lose alot. You can do upper body work of course, and core.

    If you are careful about what you eat (you will lose your appetite anyway with less exercise) you probably won’t gain weight, in fact you’ll lose it (muscle). I lost 4kg of muscle in the first month.

    BUT here’s the good news. I’m just at 6mths and while i’m not quite back to normal exercising, I can now walk 10km on trails (90min), road cycle 40km including hills, and have been for my first mt bike. I’m planning on going surfing the first day there is decent surf. I have worked REALLY hard since Christmas (4.5mtns) when I could only walk 10mins without pain/muscle fatigue. If you are willing to put in the work (PT as well as working on rebuilding fitness) you’ll get there pretty quickly. Good luck!

  • 13 icky // Feb 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Yay! Glad it’s back up. Thanks for your hard work.

  • 14 dennis // Mar 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    AchillesBloggers - OPED, the makers of VACOcast has agreed to extend advertising on AchillesBlog. Please thank OPED by visiting their site:
    Their advertisement helps with the cost of running the site.

  • 15 normofthenorth // Jun 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Dennis, I don’t know if it’s just me and my computer setup, but I found the site mostly inaccessible for the past ~3-4 days. I also see a 2-day gap in the “Site-wide Recent Comments” column on the Main Page, so I’m guessing it isn’t just me.

    In my case, I’m using OpenDNS, and they pop up a “Sorry” page, saying that isn’t responding now. I’ve occasionally tried a different browser (usually Chrome vs. Opera, sometimes Firefox on Ubuntu Linux from another computer here), but the results are usually about the same.

    Are you aware of any continuing site problems?

  • 16 dennis // Jun 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    norm - yes, I noticed the down time as well. I think the capacity issue is creeping up again. I’ve been away for the past 2-3 days and I haven’t had great internet connection. I’ll look into it this weekend.

  • 17 erik // Jul 15, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I’m trying to find where to make a post on this site, not just a comment, like this seems to be. Can someone direct me there?

  • 18 dennis // Jul 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Erik - in order to post your own page, you need to create your own blog. Please see the main page for instructions on how to create your own blog. Thx

  • 19 charles // Jul 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Hello eveyone so today was my day. Today after physical fitness training I partiall ruptured my achilles playing basketball. I pump faked and took two steps and felt a pop. My foot immediately felt num and weightless. Now I am in a splint and on crutches. I have to see orthopedics Mondays. Any thoughts on the recovery process, and time period. I was pretty worried but see you guys comments in a little reassuring. Thanks.

  • 20 gvantis // Oct 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Hello everyone. I ruptured my achilles playing basketball as well. It happened on August 24, 2011. I was very depressed when it occurred as it ruined my daughters summer vacation and surprise trip to Disney. However my Doctor told me it was possible to get back on my feet within 8 weeks due to the healthy tendon and calf. With a great surgeon, lots of inspiration from the blogging community, and physical therapy, I am hoping to make Disney by October 24th, 2011. Less than 8 weeks post op.

  • 21 bcurr // Oct 18, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Within 8 weeks you’ll definitely be in at least a boot, possibly after 2 or even 4 weeks. Once you get fully weight bearing in that and moving about Disney will be easily do-able though do make sure you abuse the airport/disney for a wheelchair and preferential queue treatment :D

    Good luck!

  • 22 Camperkate // Oct 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I have been toodling around pretty good in the boot and I am at week 6 (full rupture- non surgical treatment- rupture on Sept 1) . I can be up and about all day and walk normal speed in the boot. Take a cane just to keep the crowds away from the boot. My physio even joked it was a good time to hit Disney and go to the front of the line. Have a good trip.

  • 23 iwalkfree // Sep 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Dennis,

    I was wondering how to get some information about advertising on your blog. You can email me at - I greatly appreciate any information you can give me!

  • 24 helenmarie // Sep 7, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I’m enjoying reading the blogs, I am looking for information specifically on swelling. I am ten weeks out, my first week out of the boot. I really did not expect so much swelling all around the ankle and the entire foot. I cannot get any shoes on at all. My husband said it will all work out the more I walk and gain strength. I also thought I would never be without crutches but I made it. Anyone have advice on all the swelling please? Thank you!

  • 25 donna // Sep 8, 2015 at 8:39 am

    helenmarie you can put any search word such as swelling in the box top right of the main page and it will bring up any blogs on that topic.

    RE swelling…it can last for months. Mine stopped around 6 - 7 months. It’s different for everyone. RICE is best to address it.

  • 26 mrsnooch // Sep 8, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    @hellenmarie - I am 12 weeks post op. I had FHL transfer. Swelling has been a huge problem for me since Day 1. RICE works best. Elevation above heart is a must. Once I give it a 12 hour lift to the ceiling on pillows overnight, the swelling is down in the a.m. but comes back up within a couple of hours once I dangle the foot to the ground. I was just given permission from doc to get out of boot last week. I am weaning. First day, was on Friday. I wore a shoe all day with no support on my foot or ankle and I was swollen bigger than I had ever been. So, I went to Dick’s Sporting goods and bought an ankle brace as I realized that my foot needs the support right now (something I could use with my shoe). Going from boot (which is really supportive) to no support was not a good idea for me. That seems to calm the swelling down a little. I was told to expect swelling for a long time. So, now I just accept it. Make myself comfortable (ice/elevation/support) and keep the foot moving.

    My job calls for a lot of sitting. PT told me to get up every hour for at least 5 minutes and move. Especially with my back. PT also gave me a lumbar back pillow which makes me sit up straight. This was a big help also. He gave me back exercises because that is all out of whack too!

    I hope this helps you.

  • 27 helenmarie // Sep 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you Donna and Mrsnooch, I really appreciate your advice. I think I magically thought once out of the boot and walking that things would keep getting better… and they will… but just not how I think. I cannot fit into any closed shoes at this point.. I also sit at a desk all day at work, I do get up every so often… what is everyone else finding works as far as shoes? I am very thankful in that I have had little pain since my surgery it has been a big improvement. Im amazed at how I can feel my heel on the floor now. I would appreciate any advice on shoes. And thanks again… I really am very happy I found this blog. My ankle still is not bending quite right and my knee feels restricted, but Im sure the swelling has a lot to do with all of that as well. I will work on the RICE!

  • 28 Sharona // Jul 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Hi, I wanted to see if I can get some feedback about my Achilles injury. It’s been 6 months since I injured it playing Pickleball. I didn’t know what I did, not a sharp pain, just started hurting. So didn’t have an MRI for4 months. Found out it was partially torn. Been doing exercises PT and it feels pretty good while walking, but any fast movement scares me and it’s tight.
    How long does it take to completely heal, and as it gets better, will I always have a little pain? Please help!

  • 29 cserpent // Jul 15, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Sharona! If you didn’t have pain before the injury then you’ll know it’s healed when you have no pain again. And I would assume part of the PT is doing stretches. I won’t even hazard a guess as to how long it will take to heal. I had achilles surgery on my right foot and I was playing soccer with no pain at 5.5 months after surgery. I had achilles surgery on my left foot and I’m at 11 months after surgery and the bone is inflamed so I’m supposed to limit my walking and do no high impact exercises. My PT and doc both keep reminding me that if I’m feeling pain then something isn’t healed up and I need to back off on whatever exercise I was doing. That’s a hard thing for me to remember since I spent over a decade doing all kinds of workouts with pain in both feet. So - check with your PT and doc for feedback if you’re feeling pain. My PT instructions always said if the pain lasts more than a few hours then stop doing that exercise.

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