Calf raises at Week 14 post-op

Hi everyone! Recovery is progressing albeit at a very slow pace. The pain is starting to go away and range of motion is increasing. However, calf raises are only possible with my good leg doing 99% of the work. Nothing happens when I try single leg calf raises with my bad leg. Is this normal at 14 weeks post-op, or could something have gone wrong during my recovery? Thoughts and experiences always appreciated! Happy healing :-)

8 Responses to “Calf raises at Week 14 post-op”

  1. Are you in physiotherapy? Have you asked your PT or your doctor about this? I know even after almost a year after my ankle arthroscopy I really struggled to do single leg calf raises on my bad leg. Can you plantarflex your repaired foot? Could you start doing plantarflexion with a theraband for some light resistance, and gradually build up your strength to be able to do calf raises on both feet equally, until you can build up to single leg raises. Building strength back up is gradual, and can take awhile.
    I didn’t have an ATR, but a Haglund’s Deformity removal and Achilles repair, but from what I’ve read, I think 14 weeks is still pretty early in the ATR recovery process.

  2. I’m just at the 12 week mark (same surgery as shell37) and the only calf exercises I get to do until June are sitting on a chair, put weight in my knee, push up to tiptoes. No standing and going to tiptoes until next month which will be around week 14. What does your PT tell you to expect? I don’t expect to be able to do them right off the bat just as I started out with no weight on my sitting calf raises and am now up to 11 pounds. I can only go to 20 pounds until I see my PT guy in June. Right now I’m doing all the flexions with a theraband. Best thing is to talk to your doc or pt on what to expect and when. My doc gave me a 3 month plan with what additional things I work on each month and my PT guy keeps me in line so I don’t overdue it. :)

  3. I’m going to PT tomorrow and will ask. I don’t see my surgeon again until mid-June (5-month mark). It’s comforting that this may be par for the course, so thanks for your responses.

  4. And if PT doesn’t answer your questions sufficiently call your doctor. If he hasn’t given you a recovery timeline from now until you see him again tell him you want one. You need to know what to expect, what you should be working on and when! I don’t see my doc again until about the 5.5 month mark but I can email him anytime I have questions and, if I needed to, I would get in earlier to see him. Nowadays YOU have to be your own healthcare advocate.

  5. Let us know how your PT session goes today, hopeful.

  6. hopeful - If I remember my first ATR correctly (5 years ago), I don’t think I was able to a single foot heel raise at 14 weeks, either. Everyone progresses at different rates. Actually, I don’t think I ever got really great at it. But, I’m not judging my progress or success at whether I can lift myself off the ground with one foot. That didn’t stop me from doing anything I wanted, including competitive volleyball (hard court and sand).

    Just keep up the good work. You will get back to doing everything you want to.

    BTW - I’d be interested in hearing what your PT said. Let us know.

    Happy Healing!!!

  7. Hi Hopeful! Well I get to do single leg calf raises now as part of my latest PT exercises and I’m at week 15. However I had very good range of motion and basically no pain at week 14 (and earlier) so I suspect I’m healed up more than you. I also didn’t have ATR so my recovery will be a bit different. What I found is I can do one single calf raise but it hurts so my PT guy said start by leaning on a table and let my arms hold enough weight so when I do the standing on tiptoe it doesn’t hurt. Right now that means I put a LOT of weight into my arms. But that’s OK - eventually things will get stronger. The goal is to be able to do at least 10 of the single leg calf raises, standing, in 3 weeks. We’ll see if I get there in 3 weeks. :) If not then it just takes longer. Of course my left (good) leg just laughs at my right leg since it can do them with no problem - LOL! Once I can do them again on my right leg I’ll be better than I was before surgery. The pain had gotten so bad from the bone spur before surgery that I couldn’t hop or do 1 leg tiptoes on my bad leg anymore.

  8. lol Serpent. Good attitude :-) My PT said my calf is only at 40% right now so no single calf raises for a while longer. She did increase the weight on my leg extension exercises. It feels great to feel my quad/hamstring again!

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