About AchillesBlog.com

Achilles Icon NWBAchilles Icon PWB

I ruptured (fully tore) my achilles tendon on my left heel while playing basketball on Feb. 8th 2008. This happened about 3 games into the night, and I thought I had warmed up enough and had stretched a bit as well. The problem is that I have been battling achilles tendinosis for several years, and it looks like it caught up to me finally.

After the surgery, (bed-ridden with a laptop) I googled to find other people who are recovering from their achilles injury as well, and I discovered numerous blogs and forums.

It’s really been helpful reading about other people’s experiences with achilles tendon rupture (ATR), especially those further along on the road to recovery. They’ve all been supportive and willing to share their experiences.

It’s strangely comforting to know that there are others just like me who are also making sure to keep their leg elevated, using a shower chair, and limping around on crutches.

I decided that AchillesBlog would be useful for people who are temporarily side-lined by this injury. It helps you stay positive when you can see that full recovery is possible. With dedication to your recovery, you will get back to playing your favorite sports or other activities you loved doing before the injury.

You can share your ATR stories here. You can create your own blog and keep track of your recovery progress.

My AchillesBlog is: http://achillesblog.com/dennis

You can create your own here.

I’ve also been gathering and posting a list of external blogs and forums related to achilles injury, as well as other useful resources. If you find valuable information that you would like to share, please write a comment on AchillesBlog or email (achillesblog[#A0TT&gmail .com) them, and I’ll add to the list.

Dennis


Please be sure to read our disclaimer.

181 Responses to “About AchillesBlog.com”

  1. Hihi,

    My name is Guðbjörg Gunnarsdóttir (Gugga). I am 22 year old soccer player from Iceland and I ruptured my achilles tendon 1.april in a football match and had the surgery 2.april. Not good.. :(

    I am glad I found this website because I was told this is a very rare injury and I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask people that have been through this…

    If someone would be so kind to e-mail me: gleyma@gmail.com

    I would like to become a member of this site..
    Regards,
    Gugga

  2. Hi Gugga - Glad that you were able to find the site, and I hope your recovery goes well. Please feel free to post questions on the site, and you can sign up by going to: http://achillesblog.com/wp-signup.php

    Also try browsing through all the pages, as I think it’ll help you learn more about the injury as well as giving you some ideas of what you can expect in terms of recovery in coming weeks.

    How did your injury happen exactly? And thanks for your comments.

  3. What is up everyone? Glad to finally find something like this. I am 35yrs old, live in Russellville Tn and I work at UPS as a driver. I have been active in sports all of my life–basketball, baseball, volleyball, golf-you name it . Anyway hadn’t played in awhile until Feb 19, rec league game–caught the ball at the top of the key, started to make a move to the right..but no..It just felt like someone had kicked me in the right calf—I hobbled off the court and a friend drove me straight to the walk in clinic… the doc put me in a short splint and I went to the ortho the following day–surgery on Feb 21st— my surgeon said that the tendon looked like a worn out rope(anyone else ever heard that)??

  4. Kev..

    My surgeon said the same thing….A tendon is like a rope with thousands of strands connected…when you cut a rope it frays,,,,my surgeon called it spaghetting..
    they trim the frays and sew it together…check out the main page for more information…
    Good luck…
    Doc Ross

  5. Doc Ross and Kev

    My doc told me that it was like sewing horse tails together end to end. That just sounds so difficult.

  6. Hi guys, just been to the hospital to get my cast changed into the final one and become FWB.

    Unfortunately, they were unable to manipulate the foot to the correct angle and i am now stuck in plaster for one week more.

    It is difficult to express my disappointment at the news this morning, but, in the long term i suppose a 1 week delay is better than that of a re-rupture.

  7. johnk - sorry to hear about your appt…but you’ve got the right attitude coming out of it. I was extremely bummed after my last appt…my doc is taking a little more conservative approach than I was hoping for, but realistically 1 week is not going cause any long term issues….and is definitely better than a re-rup. I hope everyone on this blog/board can get through their recovery without a re-rup…that would be an awesome accomplishment and a testament to the power of networking with others. Hope you have a good day!

  8. All - I’ve added a few more people by hand to: http://achillesblog.com/atrpt.php

    If you’d like to be added on this list, please let me know.

    It helps if you have created at least a login to the site.

  9. I have been battling achilles pain for about 10 months.
    I have a spur, Haglund’s deformity, inflamed bursa, partial tears…I tried the boot for four weeks, have tried almost total rest, ice, elevation, stretching, heat, indomethacin….whenever I wear the boot, the tendon hurts much more, that is why I have trouble keeping it on. I have pads, a wedge, but still, it just aches when I have the boot on. I am supposed to wear it again for four to six weeks, but I just can’t put it on again knowing that it will just hurt more. If this doesn’t work, they are talking about doing a surgery involving a tendon transfer using my big toe tendon for a new
    achilles….UGH!!! HELP!!!

    Please can anyone offer tips to make the boot more comfortable….or stories that wearing the boot might make me better? I want to wear it, it just seems counter intuitive because it makes it hurt so much more.
    THANKS!

  10. Hi all, I ruptured my Achilles on the weekend and had surgery on Tuesday. The doctor says that I will be in a cast for 6 weeks - changed to a different angle every 2 weeks (due to see him again in 2 weeks). Reading some of the posts on this site 6 weeks in a cast seems very conservitive - is this a normal timeframe? Take care and all the best.

  11. As you’ll see, there are any number of ways to treat this injury. Some are in a cast for up to 8 weeks and some are in a walking boot right after surgery. I was in a cast for 2 weeks and then a walking boot for 7 weeks. I was aloud to bear weight partially on my leg at I beleive 4 weeks and was aloud to bear weight fully while in the boot at 6. I will be 10 weeks from surgery tomorrow. I started walking in 2 shoes this past Monday. It sounds like your doc is taking a more conservative route, but I’m sure that he or she has a reason or this is their typical method of treating this injury. You’ll find some links on this site to studies touting the benefits of early weight bearing. You may be able to discuss this with your doc at your 2 week visit. Best of luck!

    Drew

  12. BigBopper,

    Sorry to hear about your injury. How did you do it?

    I, too, am in a cast for 6 weeks post-op (though the first 1.5 weeks were in a splint). I’m just over 4 weeks, and am anxiously counting down to the time I get to move into a boot.

    I’ve also felt that my doctor’s approach was more conservative, but he is a well respected doctor who works with a lot of pro and college athletes, so I trust that his program is a good one. Also, I am scheduled to start PT at 6 weeks which appears to be on the aggressive side compared to others here.

    I like the quote, “days last long, but time goes by quickly”. You’ll make it to 6 weeks before you know it.

    Craig

  13. Bopper - IMO, 6 weeks in a cast isn’t necessarily “conservative”. If your surgeon has you weight bearing in the cast (typically around the 4 week mark) then it really isn’t much different from the boot. The only difference is that you aren’t able to take the cast off to do some simple range of motion exercises. However, based on several of the posts on this site, ROM seems to come back fairly quickly. I actually didn’t mind being in the cast for 6 weeks as it kept me away from the urge to test how everything was healing. You may want to have a discussion with your surgeon and see when he/she plans to have you back to partial and full weight bearing. Good luck with the healing!

  14. Thanks for the replys guys, much appreciated. I done the injury playing cricket (not normally the most intense of sporting activities i know!) - i hadn’t played for about ten years and went straight into a compeditive match, no warm up so I was asking for trouble really! I went to take off quickly and It felt like someone had run up behind me and booted me in the back of the leg, turned around to confront them but there was no one there - and then the pain came, oh how the pain came! Well, 5 weeks 5 days until cast off and counting! Happy healing.

  15. Btw, I’m getting married at the end of July (around the 10 week mark after surgery) the one good thing that has come out of this injury so far is that I am now going to be able to avoid having to learn to do a dance for the wedding which I was not really looking forward too!

  16. Ha! Avoiding the dance lessons. Gotta find that silver lining somewhere, right?

  17. Hi - my A has been bad, really bad, for over a year. At the worst, I have crawl around my house.

    In past months I’ve seen doctors — podiatrist and and ortho. I have the orthotics (no help) and have been walking in the boot cast, but no healing for the A that I can tell so far (2 weeks).

    What can I do? My spirit is fading…

    Joe88

  18. Hello all, my story is a little different. I use to walk on my toes and the only way to fix the problem was to lengthen the Achilles tendon. I was in a fiberglass cast for 2 weeks NWB then in a Aircast boot for another 4 weeks NWB. AT the 7 week mark I was allowed phisio therapy daily and PWB. I am now at 9 weeks and was told by my surgeon today that I have to be weaned off the boot over the next 6 weeks. yuck. Physio is great because while I am there I get to wear 2 shoes and a little mini workout on the bike and leg press. The reason for the extended period of wearing the boot is just incase I catch my toe on a stair or trip and fall which would result in tearing the tendon. OUCH!! So for now I will the boot. Tomorrow I get to practice using a cane so that is a plus. And the really good part is that up to date I have had no pain, went back to work at 2 1/2 weeks and have been driving and getting on with life ever since. Just keep looking forward and we will all get through it…Good luck all!!

  19. hi, great to know there are a whole lot of people like me. i did mine two week ago playing badmington, i know, i know not the worlds toughest sport. i have a open question, my doc pretty much advised against surgery, but just about everyone on here has had surgery, is there anyone out there who has let it heal by itself

  20. Paul,
    I too am non-surgery and on about the same timeline (did mine on 24th, in a temp cast on 25th and in a solid cast since 28th). I think it was because it wasn’t a complete tear and I’m fairly fit and healthy that the ortho didn’t want to operate.
    I think most people in the US/Canada have surgery as it’s pay-per-play, but in the UK we have the NHS where they tend to operate only when necessary.

    Jon

  21. Jon
    thanks for reply, i m off to docs in morning after 4 weeks in a cast to hopefully have one i can have partal weight on. the thing is my leg feels fine and have full movement in my toes and i swear when i move my foot i feel my calf move, or is that just wishful thinking
    paul

  22. I found the site similar to others after I had ruptured my achilles. I have so far found the site very helpful and i have just started a blog of my own to document my recovery.

    http://achillesblog.com/dazfones

    Hope to contribute to other blogs as well.

  23. I had ATR in June 22 of this year, really bad, my first surgery was 5 days later. Then, I fell and reruptured it again in the same place 3 weeks later. The Second surgery was a little painful than the first, given the facts that it were scars tissues, and the same place ripped open after being stappled. Then after 8 weeks the stiches got removed but doctor had left some stiches back and it got all infected. It was horrible to get some help thru the labor day’s weekends. So from just small infection to MRSA, so freaking painful for the 3rd surgery to take everything out. Also they have to take blood work everyday from me for progress and IV medications into my body. I went to an allergic reaction with the meds and so after I changed 4 meds for 2weeks of being poke 3 times a day. It was over. Now in the walking boot for the first day with NWB until I get to 90 degree angle. Please let if my doc is doing the right thing for me with NWB in the boot!!! Cuz my PT said I can’t get to 90 with NWB…Helpppp

  24. Hi Allyson,
    Hopefully you’ll find this site helps with the recovery process as there’s always support and sympathy. It sounds like you’ve really been through the mill with your ATR, but hopefully you’re now coming out of the worst of it.
    Hope the future healing goes well.

    Jon

  25. Hi all
    My story began 6 years ago with my son running with a grocery cart and hitting my achilles. i did not go to the doctor for 18 months and walked around with a partial tear for that time. Had 6 surgeries including a tendon transfer from my big toe, reactions to stitches, debridement of tendon, etc…My tendon is looped through a hole in my ankle bone. I am in constant pain, MRI shows tendonoisis on both sides of my tendon, cannot wear the back of a shoe, pain to walk,doctor has given up on me and GP just wants to give me Laryca for pain. Phsio cannot do ultrasound as I have a problem with scar tissue buildup and am in Chiro. I am desparate for some pain relief and with winter fast approaching, need to get into a boot. Any suggestions?

  26. Hey,
    I had a question that i thought someone may be able to shed some light on in here. I had surgery about 4 weeks ago and was feeling GREAT until I decided I wanted to carry some stuff on crutches. I fell badly on the foot (in cast) and hve had some pain following my fall. It happened yesterday and it feels much better today and pretty much back I think. However it does feel a little different and maybe a bit weaker. If i re-ruptured would it be extremely painful or could I not know? I want to see the doctor tommorow but he may make me wait until my scheduled appointment next week. HELP! Please respond to my e-mail at combsy02@aol.com…. Thanks! Any feedback welcome and encouraged.

    Sean

  27. I ruptured my right achilles Dec 2007 playing basketball. almost 2 years to the day after rupturing the left. After the first surgery i was in a cast for 6 weeks and recovery was quite slow. This time I started testing weight bearing after 10 days or so post- op, and convinced the doctor to go with the boot. My surgery was Jan 20 and I have been walking without boot or cane for over a week now. The leg feels much better than last time. I think the 6 weeks in a cast is very detrimental to healing and intensifies atrophy. I feel great and am much further along at 4 weeks than I was last time. Anyone else hear about rapid weight6 bearing like this?????

  28. My injury was more like judyoneshoe (haglund’s deformity, tendon pulled away from heel), but my surgeon was very agressive. I am older (57) and “plump” would be kind in regards to my weight. However, I was put in a walking cast at surgery and never had crutches or a cane. The first 3 days I was in bed with my foot iced and elevated and only got up to go to the bathroom–limping with my husband’s help. By the 4th day, I was in for my first follow-up visit and I was able to walk in the cast with little pain (I only took percocet for 24 hours after the surgery). I was in the same cast for 5 1/2 weeks, then it was removed along with the stitches (which hurt more than anything when they were removed after almost 6 weeks–YIKES). I was then fitted with a CAM boot for 2 weeks and then in 2 shoes! I am now about 10 weeks post surgery and walking without pain or any limp. Yesterday I actually felt normal! I can go up and down stairs pretty normally (at least I don’t have to hold onto anything and it only starts to hurt a bit after 10 or so stairs in a row). I honestly expected a much slower recovery considering my age and weight–but I fully believe the early weight bearing aided my rapid recovery. My foot hasn’t felt this good in years.

  29. Hello Denning, Would like to hear more about your 4 weeks to walking on your 2nd ATR recovery. How in the world did you convince your Dr. to go this route? I’m currently in a cast 3 weeks post op and my next Dr. visit is at 4 weeks. Your recovery seems much faster than most everyone else on this site. Just curious to learn more… Bode.

  30. Great website you guys, very helpful!!

    I had surgery to repair my ruptured achilles tendon and the surgeon said the tear occured close to the calf, making surgery a little trickier - He said the surgery was very successful, but what type of limitations or setbacks can I expect from such a tear??? Am I a greater risk for rerupture?

  31. Dennis,
    I am attempting to sign up for a blog, see delaneybill. But no email ever received. Been over 10 hours since submtted. Are you not accepting requests for new accounts on the site?
    Bill

  32. Bill - The e-mail probably is probably sitting in your spam folder. Can you check there first? If not, I can look into it further, just let me know.

  33. Hi Dennis,
    checked and checked again. not there.
    cannot try to set up another account since my email is already in your signup system.
    thanks for the reply,
    I’m sure I will be an interesting case for other people to relate to.
    Bill

  34. Bill - I just sent you a blog creation confirmation e-mail. You should have received it.. If you didn’t, please check your spam box. Hopefully you got it. Let me know. :)

  35. All set.
    Thanks Dennis, I know it’s a labor of love.
    Many people appreciate it.

  36. Hello All -

    IIt’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 at age 30.

    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.

  37. One week since surgery for an 80% tear. Did the other leg 15 years ago. What a terrible feeling as I lay on the tennis court well aware of what I had done and dreading the next few months. No blogs during the last injury. Cannot tell you how helpful hearing others experiences and the advances that have been made in the rehab process. Last time three months NWB and a calf that has never recovered.

  38. I walked on my cast all day Fri.No crtuches! I was doing flowers for a wedding and stayed till 1am. It feels great. I get my cast off on next thurs! YEAH! It’s been 9 weeks of 2 splints and 3 hard casts. Wondering what to expect when I get the boot. I feel like I could just walk normaly. Will I have weakness and have to use crutches? I’d like to heard some others experiences.

  39. atlantakd~ you hang in there! If some one my age can get through this you can
    I just want to run again. It is so hard to just let things happen instead of making them happen.
    Since I cut my tendon on pottery 95% I don’t know if it is better or worse than a rupture or tear. Seems to be few with my injury here.
    I can totally relate as an athlete. This is what I choose to believe…….I WILL RUN AGAIN! (or die trying)

  40. Hi everyone I am a no sporty 45 year old, and I ruptured my AT on the 2nd July, I was moving my motorcycle in the car park at work. Then herd a loud crack, game over. On the 7th July I saw a Consultant at my NHS hospital, and agreed to Surgery, which I had on the 11th July. But to my amazement, they sent me home in the afternoon after the operation. Incidentally I had two injections for the operation, a general anaesthetic, and a nerve blocker, in the back of my knee, ouch, which they pass an electrical current through, to make sure they get the correct one. I did not like this at all. The general anaesthetic wore off by late afternoon that day, the nerve blocker about three am the next day. OMG the pain was so bad, I was carted off to hospital in an ambulance, and given two morphine injections to recover in a day ward. I now have a cast, below the knee, and I am still on pain killers. I am waiting for my next appointment with the consultant on the 19th August. At which time I will probably get another cast, for at least four weeks. Long term, I am expecting six to eight months to get back to normal. Possibly even a year. I have researched it a lot, and there are no quick fixes. If you over do it, you could end up back to square one, with an AT and many months to more rest. And that just does not bear thinking about.

  41. Hi Dennis,
    I think it is time I thank you for setting up this blog and keeping the hope in me during these very long months…. THANK YOU!

    I do not understand why these weird pages are popping up the past days (like marcpena1980) though??

  42. 2ndtimer - glad that you found the site helpful in your recovery. :) As for the spammers, it’s always a constant struggle to keep them at bay. I’ve taken several measures to block all spam, but it’s always a constant battle. I’ll clean up a bit, and see what else I can do to block them.

  43. Dennis & Co. thanks for this site, I tore my right Achilles playing soccer on Thursday, October 1. The site has been instrumental in educating me as to what all is involved, especially since the day before the injury my wife and I confirmed we were 11.5 weeks pregnant.

    I had surgery yesterday to repair the rupture and will have the stitches out next Friday 10/16.

    Again thank you for an invaluable resource!

    PhilH

  44. Phil - Congratulations! Plenty of time for you to be fit before junior arrives. And now you can’t drive because of your foot and your wife can’t drink because of the pregnancy, so you are the perfect pair! Hope the surgery was a success. Good luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Smoley

  45. philh - glad that you found the site. sorry to welcome you, but welcome! :) best of luck on your recovery and congrats on the pregnancy.

  46. Hi Dennis,
    I just made a donation to your site from my business account (Rascals). I wanted to thank you so much for starting this blog- it’s kept me sane these past few weeks :)
    Emily

  47. Emily - thank you for the donation. I am glad that you found the site helpful. This site has helped me keep sane as well during the recovery, and it still does to this day. :)

  48. I’m 28 years old and pretty active. I worked out 2-3 times a week and was starting to play basketball once a week to get better. I wanted to get good enough to join a league.
    Well, one Wednesday morn, Dec 9th, we were on our 4th game and I turned to cut across the lane to try and get the ball when I heard a pop and fell. It felt like someone had kicked or stepped on my right heel but I looked around after falling and saw no one close enough to do that. “Oh No.” That’s when the tears came. I really didn’t have pain, but I couldn’t walk very well at all, had no push off at all.
    I went to Urgent Care (bogus) later that morning and they said it was strained, then saw an ortho doc and he said I needed surgery, but needed to meet with surgeon. It was the following Tuesday till I had surgery.
    My sister is on winter break from Defiance College so she’s been staying with me and been amazing. I feel so blessed to have her here.
    Not looking forward to the LONG road back. I cried for the first time today when I heard that at someone’s 6-month checkup they were just beginning to jog. Ugh.
    God is my strength, I know that now more than ever!

  49. Dear Benababy,
    Yes, it is a stunner when they tell you it will be 6 to 12 months until you are back to “normal”, but I try really hard to keep it in perspective. People find out every day that they have 6 to 12 months to LIVE. I try to tell myself that this is not tragic, it’s just hideously inconvenient. And it really does get a little easier everyday. Keep your chin up and your leg elevated :)

  50. beanababy,

    Hey, I feel for ya and know exactly what you’re going through. I ruptured my achilles approx 6 months ago..full rupture completely off the heel bone. Like you, I did it playing basketball..I have been playing for years and play twice a week. I am 46 years old.

    Unfortunately, two days after rupturing my achilles, I was bored and waiting to get operated on so I went to the gym to get an upper body workout. I was on crutches and in an aircast boot. I proceeded to rupture my left distal bicep tendon doing preacher curls..also tore it completely off of the elbow bone.

    Anyway, after suffering these two injuries..I was devastated to say the least. I had both of them operated on the same day and was pretty much an invalid for approx two months with the use of only one arm and one leg.

    With above being said, I know exactly what you mean and are feeling when you see other folks talking about 6-12 months before you can expect to get back to somewhat normal. I was in a state of depression for the first few weeks over the matter.

    However, I will say, time goes by quickly! You need to just take it a day at a time. This blog and others will help you mentally and physically as far as getting through this.

    I just hit six months and went for my first run over the Xmas holidays. It was slow and I felt uneasy throughout the run, but very excited to actually be able to go for a run.

    My doc is more agressive than a lot of the other folks on this blog and he had me out of the boot and in shoes walking by the 12th week. I started PT immediately and I think that is huge concerning this injury. However, you DO NOT want to rush it with this injury, which is hard not to do..at least for me. So take it one day at a time and do exactly what your doc says..whether he is conservative or more on the fast track. You will get there and it will go by quicker than you thought. It’s that first month that is hard to cope with, but hang in there!!

    I plan to walk back in the gym in July (that is when I ruptured my achilles) and play a game of hoop! ;-)

  51. Hi. This is my first post. I ruptured my Achilles tendon 2 weeks ago while dancing. My first cast done at A&E covered only the front part of my lower leg and my Achilles tendon and calf was exposed. The edge near my toes was rough and it was giving much pressure on my nerve in the big toe. I suffered massive pain for 2 days and called the hospital to request re-plastering. I then saw another doctor and was put a proper cast this time. The plaster told me that their A&E didn’t have a professional plaster and that’s why I had got the poor cast. This is an unacceptable excuse, but a good thing is that since then I’ve been free from those pains.

    My concern at the moment is the fact that I was told to come and see the doctor in 4 weeks’ time after the rupture. According to what I’ve learnt from my reserach, for the majority of patients like me, who was immobilized in a plaster cast, the usual protocol is to recast the foot/leg every two weeks, gradually changing an ankle angle from pointed toe (about 120°) to neutral (90°). I think I should call the hospital tomorrow (on Monday) to let him know my concern and to bring forward my doctor’s appointment.

    Could anyone give me any references, preferably by orthopedists, in which the above-mentioned issue is discussed?
    Thanks.

  52. Protocols vary. i had my first cast for 4 weeks, 2nd cast for 3 weeks, boot after.

  53. Hi. I forgot to write one thing in my post above.

    I would appreciate it if anyone who had their first cast longer than 2 weeks without surgery could tell me their experience, such as:
    (a) how long they had the second and third casts in what ankle angle for each;
    (b) when their cast was removed for good;
    (c) if they were given a walking boot after the cast;
    (d) if they had a boot, how it was useful; and
    (e) if they don’t, what kind of supporting materials they were given after the last cast.

    English is not my mother tongue and it’s tough for me to talk to the doctor without preparing myself with good amount of information necessary to discuss possible options for my future treatment. I live
    in the UK and comments from those who have had (have been having) ATR treatment would be really helpful.
    Thanks a lot.

  54. I had casts for 7 weeks, I had my first cast for 4 weeks, 2nd cast for 3 weeks (angles are not exact)
    I had no 3rd cast, I was put in the boot for 4 more weeks at 0 degrees (right angle) and full weight bearing, no crutches

    I could remove the boot for sleeping and bathing which is a great plus, also I removed it while sitting and circled my ankles, this helped flexibility and circulation tremendously

    There are different boots, some use it instead of cast with wedges.
    Some are hinged boots and they can be set at different angles. These are very bulky though, not good to sleep in.

  55. Hinged boots can be set at different angles, but they can also be set to hinge, with user-selected limits on how far. Typically, after you’re FWB (for me it was 7 weeks into a non-surgical protocol), you can set the boot to prevent dorsiflexion past neutral, but to allow a lot of plantarflexion. That makes walking increasing more natural — with almost normal ROM — as your calf-and-AT strength increase.

    This time (my second ATR, on the other side), I’ve used a rigid AirCast boot AND the hinged boot (MC Walker) I had left over from the first time. Unlike what 2ndtimer said, my hinged boot is much LESS bulky than the AirCast fixed walking boot. (My normal pants would fit over the hinged boot, but not the AirCast.)

    I also found the hinged boot much MORE comfortable in bed than the fixed AirCast boot. The Aircast is hard plastic, with a few hoses (to inflate the air bladders) sticking out, that dig into your other leg. The Donjoy MC Walker is mostly soft fabric, except for the big hard sole and the two steel bars that control the angle of the shank.

    Obviously different boots are different, and 2ndtimer’s obviously seen different boots than mine.

    The short comparison is that boots are better than casts in every single way but one: If you’re really daring and adventuresome, you can get out of a boot and hurt yourself. I think casts are “old school” and boots are “new school”.

    I also think that hinged boots are better than fixed ones.

    And moving toward Weight-Bearing sooner, not later, is helpful in a number of ways.

    Check out my first blog for details on my non-surgical protocol and all its “milestones”. E.g., boot all the way, NWB for 2 wks, then PWB (with crutches) for 2 more wks, than FWB “as tolerated” from 4 wks on. “Wean off boot” from 8 wks (unless you’ve got a hinged boot, I say!).

  56. Hi chocolata,

    I’m undergoing conservative (non-surgery) treatment for the AT I ruptured back in October 2009. I’m almost 19 weeks post-injury now.

    My treatment protocol (after initial A&E plaster cast for two days) was three weeks in one cast (equinus-type position), then three weeks in another at a slighter angle.

    Six and a half weeks in total in a cast, then, aided by crutches. Followed by three and a half weeks in an Aircast boot (initially with crutches still for a couple of days).

    Out of the boot and into shoes just two days shy of 10 weeks. Since then, weekly (and just lately, fortnightly) physio sessions and now gym rehab sessions to build up strength, flexibility, etc.

    Good luck - things seem awful just now but you’ll get there.

  57. Hi to everyone,

    This is my first post, although I have been following the posts for a few weeks now. I ruptured my AT 5 weeks ago today playing netball. I was put straight into a cast at full equinus (no surgery), which I wore for 4 weeks. I went back to the clinic last week and now have a cast with my foot set at semi-equinus. I will wear this for 2 more weeks, (NWB) then I will be given an air cast boot. (Total time in casts will be 7 weeks). I have been told, right from the beginning to wriggle my toes to keep circulation moving. I have noticed, over the past 4 or 5 days that I am actually feeling more sensations in my calf than I have done at all over the previous weeks. I wouldn’t say they are painful,(I have had very little pain at all, even when I first ruptured), but they feel strange, like flutterings and twitches. Has anyone else experienced this? I am presuming that they are a good sign and that things are joining up again. Any ideas? Thanks and happy healing to you all.

  58. Dear 2ndtimer, normofthenorth, and Kevin,

    Thank you so much for your quick responses and useful comments!

    I’m visiting the UK until the end of March and have got this injury. I’m now staying with my family here, but I’m not a native English speaker and getting information about UK ATR treatment is not easy for me. Although I’ve done some research online and have read a medical book titled ‘ATR Treatment Guidelines for Orthopedists’ and blogs (in Japanese) and have got some knowledge about ATR treatment, I lacked of English terms to talk about my ATR experience.

    I was also frustrated with little information given by the NHS hospital and wanted to know how other ATRs (with conservative treatment) in the UK have been treated at NHS hospitals. According to your comments, all of you got a walking boot and I’m hoping I can get one. It seems very helpful and, if the hospital doesn’t automatically offer one to ATR patients, I think I should request one!

    2ndtimer - Your swift reply was really helpful, as I was desperate for information!

    Kevin - You are senior ATRer (?!) to me. Do you have a blog? Please keep me informed of your progress! And thank you so much for encouraging me!

    normofthenorth - Thanks for the detailed comparison among different types of boots. Let me visit your blog later today!

  59. Just got back from the PT, was a very nice session today! After some electrostimulation and warm up with the band, he took me to the gym. I did some exercises with the bosu ball, ran 1km on the stationary bike, stretching against the wall then pushing with my bad foot on toes, walked on heels and finally heel raises on both feet. Between these, I had to relax by walking. At the end, we iced the tendon. It feels just great! I am now allowed to go to the fitness center and work out that leg.
    I think, that tomorrow morning I won’t be able to move because my quadriceps and calf are aching..got to take a hot bath!

  60. Anne, I had a few minor twitches and one “small spasm” fairly early on — maybe mostly when I was still lying in bed (booted) in the morning. And frankly, they all scared me. Early on, when the healing AT can still be re-torn, I think there are basically only two things that can do that — your body weight, and your calf muscle.

    Body weight for sure, especially if you have a trip or fall and instinctively try to catch yourself with that foot (and calf muscle and tendon). Calf muscle, maybe. But if it’s going to re-rupture the AT, having a really strong spasm or cramp would be a “good” way to do it. So little twitches and spasms made me wonder if a big one was coming.

  61. Chocolata,

    Yes, I have a blog. You can read all of my posts here:

    http://achillesblog.com/kevinh/

    Hope it helps! Take care.

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

  63. Hey! I think your blog is good. I llke it :).

  64. Hi,

    I’m two weeks post surgery and now in an aircast boot. Recovery going well but the surgical socks they gave me to wear under the boot are starting to smell. Where can I get more?

  65. Mark, I looked around for knee high socks and most are for colder months - there were some athletic knee high socks on Hanes website - I ended up going to a site called Better Braces (sells Aircast boots) and ordering a few, as well as additional heel wedges. Sounds like we’re at about the same recovery point. Hang in there.

  66. Mark: My ortho had a huge “roll” of the sheer legging material used to put under a cast. I asked them for 4 or 5 cuts (they just cut it off the roll) so I could change it during the day and have enough for travel. They wash up fine. Fortunately I was out of the boot by mid April and can only imagine how the socks would react to this heat!

  67. AchillesBloggers - I don’t normally ask on the site, but since the cost of running the site has become quite a bit more after the upgrade to a much better hosting service..:
    If you find the Google Ads interesting and relevant to you, please click on the ads and check out their products, as part of the server hosting fees are paid from Google Ads.
    Also, you can buy AchillesBlog T-shirts, buy needed stuff through the Amazon search bar, and you can donate a few dollars through the “Donate” paypal link.

    thanks.

  68. AchillesBloggers - Just a periodic reminder:
    You can support the site by visiting the Google Ads that interests you, every time you are on AchillesBlog.

    thanks everyone, and happy healing!

  69. Hello - just fully ruptured my achilles 8 days ago, waiting for surgery, was told it could be yesterday but now pushed to at least 3 days from now. My question is with regard to wait time to surgery - is there a particular window? I’m assuming earlier is better, but what is too late?
    Thanks, and very useful site.

    (I’ve tried signing up but am still waiting for password.)

  70. Miles,
    My question to you is why do you want to have surgery in the first place? I had surgery and would never do it again. Check out normofthenorth’s blog for a non-surgical approach. There are others here that also used the non-surgical approach and they are all recovering very nicely and much faster than I did thanks to all the complications. Are you outside the US? When I saw the surgeon for the first time, an MRI was scheduled and when it confirmed I had almost a complete rupture surgery was scheduled and it was done that day. There was none of this “well maybe we’ll do it today if we don’t have something better to do.” That seems quite odd, but maybe that’s how it goes in some other countries. The fact that they are stalling around is another good reason to use the non-surgical approach, right now you are just wasting time and there is no healing taking place.

  71. Thanks for your reply. I am aware of the more recent findings regarding non-surgical v. surgical approaches, I had time my first night in emergency following the rupture to do some reading. My situation was complicated a bit as the injury happened out of my home province, I live in Quebec but hurt myself while in a very small town in Ontario, so the first emergency room trip basically just stabilized my leg so I could get back to Quebec to have it properly looked at. The surgeon I saw once back is also up to speed on the non-surgical findings; prior to getting the ultrasound and test results he had asked me my preference to which I replied no surgery, and he whole-heartedly agreed, however after viewing my ultrasound and conferring with a couple of other doctors, they felt that the gap was too significant and the damage too great to not have the surgery. They obviously still gave me the last word and I have chosen to take their advice and move forward with the operation. I haven’t seen anything referring to degrees of severity other than partial v. full rupture when considering surgery / non-surgery options, have I missed something in the findings? In the meantime I am in a partial cast with my foot pointed down, and I guess I’m just getting antsy to get the operation over with; the surgeon tried to squeeze me in for end of last week but as I indicated previously they could not get me in, but he said that because it is casted and I’m immobile I basically have a 10-15 day window, so I was just curious if anyone had any more input on that as a time line.
    Thanks again, your comments and replies are very much appreciated. It’s very easy with all this time spent sitting and doing not much else to second, third and fourth guess oneself as regards what could have been done / should be done, etc.

  72. Hi Miles! There’s a discussion about this very issue around here somewhere, should be on my blog, probably on the “studies” page at bit.ly/achillesstudies .

    Basically, the best studies (esp. the 4 post-2007 randomized trials comparing surgery to non-surgery with identical modern rehab protocols) give us a bunch of answers to HOW WELL the two approaches work, but no real answers to HOW they work, or WHY. We’re apparently left with some facts and some “logic” or “common sense” — and unfortunately the facts often conflict with the “logic” or “common sense”!

    The 4 studies (refs 4-7 in the Wikipedia ATR article) all dealt with randomized COMPLETE (not partial) ATRs, with various gap sizes and “severity” or “significance of damage”. AFAICS, none of them had any exclusion criteria along these lines: Got a complete ATR, and capable of withstanding surgery? You’re in, now we’ll roll the dice to see if you get surgery or not.

    It sounds logical that big gaps would benefit from being drawn together surgically and would heal badly without surgery. Similarly, it sounds logical that small gaps would do better non-surgically than big gaps. It also seems logical that healed ROM (an indicator of healed AT length) would be worse for non-surgical rehab than for surgery, since the gap is “left” to heal “by itself”, rather than “repaired”.

    The evidence seems to support NONE of these logical-sounding conclusions, and undermines maybe all of them.

  73. (Cont’d:) First, if the first few logical-sounding correlations were true, then unless surgery actually did significant harm in terms of strength, ROM, and re-rupture rate, its “logical” benefits in repairing the larger gaps should produce a significant benefit in the total population — but none was observed in any of the studies.

    Second, some of the authors of the UWO study published an article analyzing a subset of their data — the 25 non-surgical patients (random, remember) who had their ATRs thoroughly examined with UltraSound on their way into treatment. They analyzed whether there was a correlation between the measured gap (or the location of the tear) and the results of the non-surgical treatment, and found NONE! The patients with the largest measured gaps did just as well as those with the smallest gaps! (The discussion of this study, with quotes, is in comments on RougeMac’s blog here. The study is at proceedings.jbjs.org.uk/cgi/content/abstract/91-B/SUPP_II/244 .)

    Illogical? Sure! But then, so are techtonic plates that move, General Relativity, String Theory, . . . and don’t even start talking about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle! When our logic conflicts with the facts, it’s time to tweak our logic, not the other way around. Science — even knowledge in general, and DEFINITELY MEDICINE! — is replete with cases where we have determined WHAT seems to happen under circumstances X and Y, but not HOW or WHY.

    For now, it seems (at least to me, and to GerryR!) to make sense to proceed on the basis of knowing what we know: In 4 studies of a randomized population of complete ATR patients with ALL size gaps, getting a good modern rehab protocol, the non-surgical patients had (statistically) the SAME strength, ROM, and re-rupture rate, usually with significantly lower rates of serious complications. When the data from the biggest study was hyper-analyzed to test for a correlation between measured gap size and the clinical results from the non-surgical protocol, no correlation was found.

    With only 25 cases in that last analysis, it’s probably fair to say only that there probably can’t be a very strong correlation, if there turns out to be any; I don’t think I’ve seen the raw data behind the conclusion, which is as follows:

    “Gap size was not significantly related to functional outcomes. Non-operative treatment produced very good results at one year follow-up with low complication rates. These results suggest that ultrasound estimation of gap size and location may be of limited clinical value in the management of achilles tendon ruptures.” (They’re talking about you, Miles!!)

    Mind you, NONE of this was taught in Med School when your Doc and his colleagues were there, nor were their Attending Surgeons aware of the evidence from these post-2007 studies when your Docs were Surgical Interns. ATR repair is always a sideline (and not a life-or-death matter, either), so they probably don’t even jump to read each new study, either. And they’re probably more logical (and more pro-surgery) than the average person, too — not to mention revered and overworked!

    Obviously, you’ve got to be comfortable with your choice, and you’ve got to deal with your decision and your medical professionals. And there are unfortunately no guarantees of smooth sailing in any of this, no matter what you choose, so “comfortable” is an important word.

    But where the rubber meets the. . . gym floor, I think the best evidence to date indicates that your expectation of a happy outcome is higher if you skip the surgery than if you have it. As a bonus, you can expect quite a bit less pain and discomfort — AND you’re already well into your “cure”, rather than waiting for the clock to start ticking!

    You also definitely want to follow a modern protocol like the one I followed, at bit.ly/UWOProtocol , whichever approach you choose.

    BTW, recently, Mikek753 studied the options and changes his mind SEVERAL times, then opted for the non-surgical cure, and is recovering function and strength much faster than most of us. Gunner made a similar decision. Rougemac listened to all the arguments and went with surgery, just a couple of weeks ago. So far, they’re all doing fine AFAIK.

    Good luck!

  74. Miles, it’s possible that having your Doc phone mine would help you and your team make the decision you’ve got to make. He’s Rick Zarnett at Sports Medicine Specialists in Toronto, on Eglinton Ave. E. They’re in the book. Contact me if you can’t find a phone number.

    He wasn’t directly involved in the UWO study, he just attended a conference (maybe AAOS 2009) where Willits and others presented the study results, and he met with them and asked them more questions, which they answered. He stopped doing ATR surgery “cold turkey” for all patients, soon afterwards, and got a copy of the UWO protocol and put me on it. He’s a very prominent sports-medicine Ortho Surgeon — among other things, the Chief Surgeon of the Toronto Argonauts.

    BTW, there are a few groups I DON’T try to persuade to skip ATR surgery:
    (1) Those who got their ATR’s ripped externally, by doors or sheets of glass or chainsaws or whatever. There’s no evidence that non-surgery works well with them, and there are good reasons to doubt it — esp. the lack of a surrounding “paratenon” around the tear, which is probably responsible for a lot of the “magic” of an AT with a gap that heals up the right length.
    (2) Re-ruptures. The non-surgical cure may work fine the second time around (and we’ve got a blogger here trying it out), but there’s no good evidence either way. And most docs — including those who did the studies that proved that surgery has no benefit on initial tears — operated on their own re-ruptures!
    (3) “Stale” ATRs, that have gone untreated for ~3 weeks or more without immobilization in equinus. Ironically, many surgeons refuse to operate on them, too, so they often end up “stuck”, which is very sad. The tendon ends apparently start healing and hardening up, and can get so hard that they basically can’t get stitched. Some surgeons do complicated grafts, and some patients never regain full AT strength. There’s a time window when the inflammatory healing response is naturally active, and it’s essential to harness it for the non-surgical cure, and “misguided” healing can complicate the surgical cure.

    For those three kinds of ATR patients, surgery is either a reasonable choice or the obviously smart choice. But you don’t fit into any of those three “surgery indicated” groups, the way I see the choices and the evidence (and even the logic that hasn’t been re-written by the evidence).

    Some surgeons think that the non-surgical cure only works well on partial ATRs, and others think that it only works well on smaller-gap ATRs. The evidence indicates that both opinions are not just wrong, but seriously ill-informed.

  75. AchillesBloggers - Just a periodic reminder:
    You can support the site by visiting the Google Ads that interests you. Please make it a part of the routine when you are on the site. thanks for your support.

    thanks everyone, and happy healing!

  76. I am really glad I found this site as such a wide range of subjects about AT is covered. I ruptured mine on a Saturday evening playing badminton at the end of June. I agreed to surgery and was operated on the following morning (sunday). All plastered up I was released on Wednesday with an appointment 2-1/2 weeks later to have the sutures removed. This was done without incidence and my leg was placed in a boot with 4 wedges to be removed one at a time at weekly intervals. After the first week, thursday removed the first wedge. Unfortunately on the wednesday we had to take my wife to A&E as she had a mini stroke. I went to visit her on the friday and my son drove me to the hospital. Finding nowhere to park in the drop off zone, I told him I would get out and wait to get a wheel chair. Not realising that my son had parked astride a traffic hump I got out of the car and the heel of the boot went over the sloping side, I overbalanced and the AT ruptured again after 4 weeks into recovery. I am now waiting for a scan and see the surgeon in 12-1/2 weeks time and hoping that they can rectify the damage done. I was told I may not have had the boot on properly, but as I had just washed that morning and retightened the boot and pumped up the ankle parts it did feel firmly gripped and |I don’t think anything could have prevented the heel from tilting as it did. Rather a stupid place for the hospital to place a traffic hump right outside the entrance eh?

  77. Whoops! my previous blog next appointment is 2-1/2 weeks not 12-1/2 weeks

  78. Not being able to edit a previous post in this particular thread is reason enough to get your very own blog. Just follow the directions on the homepage.

  79. Bummer, fatbaz! Were you FWB in the boot at the time? If it was secure enough for you to be able to walk over the toe of the boot, I am (like your Doc) surprised that it was insecure enough to let you re-rupture. I guess it’s not much consolation to be a rare bird. . . It’s also possible that most of the power for the re-rupture came from your own muscles (including your calf muscles), frantically and instinctively firing to keep you from falling.

    I’ve injured my neck a few times while tumbling down a steep ski slope, and I’m pretty sure most of my injuries have come from my frantic and instinctive reaction — trying to save my skull — rather from actual impact hurting my neck.

    It would take the Inner Calm of a Zen Master to fall without trying to catch yourself, in either case, though it might be the better way. . .

    +1 to Gerry’s — start a blog!

  80. AchillesBloggers - Please check out and click through the VACOcast Ad on the upper right hand side of the page. They are sponsoring AchillesBlog for a few months. :)

  81. dennis - on the tracking recovery tool, someone has entered 52000 weeks to
    pwb which is obviously a typo and has rendered the mean inaccurate. fyi,

  82. rsn - thanks for pointing it out. I’ll correct it tonight.

  83. rsn - I’ve fixed a couple of obvious wrong data that were affecting the averages. Please let me know if you see others. thanks

  84. question for everyone. i ruptured my achilles early august playing tennis. surgery 36 hours later. just had my cast removed after 5 weeks and graduated into the boot. knowing everyone’s situation is different, how long did it for folks to walk in the boot without the aid of crutches?

  85. Hi all. I tore my right achilles tendon playing ball on Aug 22nd, 2010. I opted not to have the surgery as I was worried about the complications. Now it is 4 weeks in since I did the tear. I had my first cast (toes pointed down) put on on aug 22nd and then taken off on Sept 10th. The doctor was very surprised at how well it was healing. He then put me in another cast (foot at a 90 degree angle) on the 10th of Sept. I have to wear that one for 3 weeks. I then go back on Oct 1st. What should I expect then if it is healing properly: walking boot, another cast or my own shoes and rehab?

  86. rsn, you’ve already discovered the tracking recovery tool, which should give you most of your answer. Walking without crutches equals FWB. Another guide is a published protocol I’ve posted one modern one (that produced good results with and without surgery) at bit.ly/UWOProtocol . It calls for “WBAT” (=FWB “as tolerated”) at 4 weeks, so FWB typically a few days after 4 weeks.

    If you’re cleared to wean off the crutches at 5 weeks, it shouldn’t take long. Your biggest challenge will likely be foot discomfort, esp. at the bottom of the heel. Squishy footbeds help, and gently rolling the heel over a ball can also help (seated, out of the boot). Time helps, too. It seems to be a mistake to “man” through the pain, since it can lead to a persistent problem (aka PF).

    Hawk12, Docs and rehab protocols are all over the map. The differences seem to have more to do with the biases and knowledge and history of the Doc than the peculiarities of the patient and the leg and the surgery (if any). The protocol I linked above seems to work well, including without surgery, and is unusual because it’s been tested on many patients in a careful experiment.

    Based on my observation, many Docs who stretch the ankle/AT to the neutral position as early as yours did, are NOT in a hurry to introduce FWB or PT or exercise. I don’t know why that is, and YMMV. I lean toward that UWO protocol because of the documented good results. If your Doc wants to stray far from it, you could ask him if he’s familiar with the UWO study (Ref. 7 in the Wikipedia ATR article at bit.ly/Wiki-ATR), and share it, and the Protocol, with him if he isn’t.

    Two shoes at just under 6 weeks would be quite aggressive, esp. without surgery. UWO does that at 8, after 6 weeks of exercise and PT, and ~3.5 of FWB. The UWO schedule isn’t magic or God-given, but it has demonstrated good results in pretty big numbers, unlike almost all the others.

  87. Hi hawk12, It depends pretty much on your doctor’s protocol. After six weeks in casts (same angles as you) my doctor put me in a boot and said I should wear the boot for six weeks whenever I’m outside but to wear shoes in the house. Others here have gone to shoes only at six weeks and others have done only the boot until 12 weeks. I suggest you discuss it with your doctor and come up with a solution that works for you.

  88. JLA, the more aggressive schedules you mention — like “Others here have gone to shoes only at six weeks” — may be more appropriate to somebody who’s got sutures holding their AT together (like you), than somebody who’s just got natural collagen, like hawk12.

    I’m a firm believer in the evidence that non-op treatment can work as well as surgery EVENTUALLY, like at 6 months and 12 months, when most of the studies did their measurement. But in the first couple of months, I think there’s got to be some extra strength and support from the sutures, that can help the healing AT survive a somewhat faster protocol. If there’s evidence of successful non-op rehab that’s faster than the UWO protocol, I haven’t noticed it.

  89. Actually good article, it was a plaisure to read it. I despatched it to all my friends. Really thanks, every part is admittedly true.

  90. Great post. Measuring the success of your changes is very important.

  91. I enjoyed examining it through. Looking forward to further posts similar to this one.

  92. Extremely valuable post. Thank you.

  93. Completely tore my AT on 9-16-10. I saw a few docs and picked a surgeon who does these surgeries all the time versus one surgeon who repairs once every couple months. I had surgery 8 days later on 9-24-10. I took care of everything at work and enjoyed my last few days of putting pressure on my castless foot. Surgery was on a Friday morning and then I spent Sat, Sun, Mon in bed. Tuesday morning I back to the doc and they took my initial (huge) cast off, showed me the incision, and put a new smaller cast on. I asked for them to not cover my toes and the nurse told me the doc never allows that. He did it for me and it made a big difference. Be sure to ask! I went back the next day because the cast felt too tight. They sliced both sides of the cast to relive pressure. That also made a big difference. That night I completely cut the sides to the top and bottom so i could remove the top of the cast. I used an ace bandage to hold everything together during the day and was able to take the top front off at night. My calf hurts when I don’t have my foot elevated so I pretty much have it up all the time. However, when I have to go out and about I use the roller foot http://www.rollerfoot.com. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere and it’s the most incredible thing ever. I was back at work in 4 days not missing a beat and using my hands for everything. I sat at my desk with my foot up top and have no problem being there 8-5. Just wanted to share. It’s not been 8 days since surgery and I feel 100% except I have to elevate. I get around, help my wife, walk/roll around with my kids outside….and go back to the doc at 11 days to get the boot. Also, check out the iwalk. I bought it…pretty cool, but takes a little time to get used to. Doesn’t compare to the roller foot.

  94. What does anyone know about ultrasound and the recovery process? I’m seven weeks in and get my second cast off next Wednesday! I’ll be into a boot and can progress as I feel comfortable. Before surgery, I was in PT because unlike most, I had a heel spur that frayed and split my AT. The ultrasound helped with the inflamation. I have read about home ultrasound machines. The cost is several hundred dollars, and at this point, I’m willing to invest in recovery. Does anyone have any input on the subject? Thanks, this blog has been so very helpful.

  95. Bett, I asked my PT about consumer-level US gizmos. My wife bought one from the Shopping Channel here for around $100 a while ago, and we’ve used it for various aches. No magical cures to report from our experience but who knows? His response was very negative, suggesting that one couldn’t get the right level of output, reliably controlled, without spending a bundle — as the Sports Med Clinic had done, of course! (Among his stated concerns, he said he was afraid that mine could overheat my internal tissues.)

    It’s hard enough to separate the evidence from the stories and myths, about different rehab schedules and treatments (though I think I’ve finally succeeded!). On the question of rehab GIZMOs,I have no idea where the truth lies. (My PT seemed excellent at his main job, but that doesn’t necessarily make him an expert on UltraSound technology.)

    This same PT also used electrical stimulation on me, and may have laughed out loud, when I asked him about using the cheap little battery-operated “shocker” I have at home.

    The other high-tech gizmo he used on me was laser-based, shining onto a series of spots along my injury for maybe 30 seconds each. I didn’t bother asking him if he thought that using my Dollar Store laser would do me any good! :-)

  96. I agree totally with what you are saying. My solely drawback is that once I do attempt to make a change, it works, but I always revert back to my identical ways. Sticking to them is what I find difficult.

  97. Hi,
    I am posting this for titip who commented on my blog. I went the non-surgical route and did not experience the same yet want to make sure he/she will get the support this blog is so well known for ;)

    Hi. I severed my tendon on 8/28 and am just so lost as to what to expect moving forward. A friend told me to go online and look for a site where folks blog and ask others questions. I’m so not an internet person, and so it took me forever, but here I am. Am I even posting this correctly…. ? I’m soooo lost. I had surgery on 9/15. Was in a cast for 2 weeks, then for 4 weeks, and just got this huge brace yesterday. I hurt so very much, and even an ounce of weight is painful. It’s always swollen and I can’t really do anything. Is this normal, or am I a big wuss?

  98. So beauthiful the essay, i like them very much!

  99. I partially ruptured my left achilles tendon last October. I took the non-surgery route and all was going fine, until in January it re-ruptured. I subsequently had surgery and am now starting out with the boot (again).

    I have a blog at

    http://apainintheleg.blogspot.com/

    and I’d like to hear from anyone who’s gone through a similar experience, especially from people who have had the dubious honour of re-rupture

  100. I am a foot and ankle specialist who has been treating Achille’s injuries for years…boy was I was surprised when I tore my own last year marathon training.

    10 months later, and I’m still recovering. Light running up to 45 minutes seems okay, but I’m biting at the bit as race season comes back around.

    On the up side, my patients have really benefited from my new insight….

  101. This is a bit off topic, but I can’t seem to get my account to work and have never used wordpress.

    Anyway, I know most people on here like myself were/are going crazy not being able to workout and although the stationary bike provides some degree of exercise, I was always one for a more anaerobic and intense cardio workout.

    once you are FWB, I would wear the boot and look into something called rope undulation exercises. It’s basically a fat rope that you use and is an unbelievable workout. A lot of MMA fighters use it and it’s gaining popularity given there’s hardly any impact to your lower body. The ropes are expensive, but given I won’t be able to kickbox, play football, or even jog until month 6 or so, it’s a great way to stay in shape.

  102. Cellblock4 - 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.

  103. drsedicum,
    Did you have surgery or not? And whichever you did, what was the rationale behind the decision?

  104. Hi Dennis,

    I am wondering if I can start a blog of my own. I have emailed you from the respective email address used to create my account.

  105. vmack - Hi, I created your blog, and I emailed you about the blog setup. Please let me know if you have any other questions. thanks. happy healing!

  106. Your shoes looked very modern with no exception of our Air Jordan Shoes Enjoin us!

  107. Hey Dennis,

    I signed up and have been filling out my info on the WordPress site, do you need to create my blog or am I missing something.

    Thanks!

  108. leder - 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.)

  109. Thanks for creating this site - it has been extremely helpful as I recover from my achilles rupture that happened while playing basketball (3 weeks ago). Sadly this incident has to happen the last three months of my stay in Germany where I have been working abroad. I’m in my third week and it has been an emotional roller coaster. But it is helpful to know what to expect from other people’s experience. Especially as a foreigner living in a strange land, I am not getting as much information as I would like. Most of the time I’m running on blind faith and hoping for a good recovery. Now I’m using this site to get rehabilitation ideas. - Thanks!

  110. Jenny- The hardest recovery is the first few weeks. It’s hobbling around on crutches with no weight bearing on your foot. I tore by first achilles tendon about twenty years ago and just tore the right foot about 3 weeks ago.

  111. I signed up, sent you an email…..just wondering exactly how I start writing my own blog about my experience, where do I find the blog page I write on, etc………….any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thx

  112. 17 days since my surgery and I have an appointment in a week to take off my cast (color black) and Im assuming going into boot.

    My question is I am an ex basketball player and I have pretty big calves…. I have noticed since being in this cast for 17 days and off my right leg 3 weeks that my muscle is starting to deteriorate. It looks flimsily compared to the other one. I got this cast put on at day 10… it was completely snug around my calf…. now i can put almost my entire hand into my cast…. is that normal?

  113. Hello Everyone, I’m from South Africa & new to this site and so happy to have found it!!!! I’m just not entirely sure how to use it yet…. so i’ll start off by putting my story here. I tore my left achilles tendon on 23/07/2011, but was misdiagnosed by my gp. I was told that i had torn a calf muscle and was sent for PT immediately. I was booked off for a week and had to keep off my leg for a week. Used 2 crutches, Ice, elevation, painkillers & anti-inflammatories got me through that week and for 3 weeks thereafter. I slowly went to 1 crutch and was given an excercise routine (stretching the muscle etc) and was told that i should be all good within 6 weeks. I only had 6 PT sessions but after 6 weeks of still quite a bit of pain and uncomfort and of course realising that i had a huge gap in my leg (between the ankle and calf) and also a big bump like protrusion right above my heel, still limping and no ‘lift off’ on my foot, that something was not right! I went back to my GP showing him the problem i was experiencing still after 6 weeks, when he then sent me for a scan & also sent me to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. A week later i was able to get an appointment to see a Orthopod, and on the very same day my GP phoned to tell me that after seeing the scan results, i would need to get a foam boot ASAP! So getting the boot and going to see the Orthopod, he advised me that i had indeed torn the achilles and that it wasn’t my calf. However due to the fact that the injury had occurred such a long time ago, he was not going to operate, because of the fact that some healing might have started. He advised me to keep the boot on for another month to see if any further healing would occur. My appointment was on 18 Oct and there was a drastic improvement. With this, i was advised to keep the boot on for another month and should the improvement progress more, then my boot will be coming off on 15 Nov ‘11. I am very excited but also very nervous. When taking my boot off at home i try and walk without it when i’m on level ground in the house, but there is no change in my walking progress. After reading some of the blogs i’ve realised that this is going to be a very long recovery process!! Even with the tendon growing stronger, i still have the protrusion above the heel. My heel is in constant agony, very painful, hard and it would seem i now have a callous on the side of my heel. My calf muscle is non existent. it looks terrible!! The leg is also very tired and feels like it’s in stress (if that makes any sense). I’m trying to find out what type of excercise i can do, whilst wearing the boot, to try and start building the calf muscle again and get it looking a tad bit normal?? The Orthopod advised that should i do any form of excercise i cannot take the boot off. I have to keep it on at all times. I’m hoping that i’ll be able to start driving again once the boot comes off, since i’m relying on everybody to cart me around, and it’s now becoming quite tedious. I’m also scared that once the boot comes off, the slightest mis-step is going to put me straight back to square one or maybe worse (operating), which i really don’t want. I have very weak ankles as it is… and even with the excitement of being without my boot soon, it’s also a very scary thought! I would love to see / hear anybodies opinions / thoughts /advices. :-)

  114. I don’t know how the healthcare works over there, but I’d be screaming for a second opinion!!
    I can understand YOU thinking it might be a calf strain, as that’s exactly what I google diagnosed my own ATR as being. My doc put me straight in seconds, then two further nurses said the same at hospital and an ultrasound 100% confirmed it!
    The constant agony is worrying, mine hurt when I did it but other than that I have only experienced minor aches really. The inconvenience hurts more than the injury for me ….. Get an expert on your case and go from there.
    Good luck :)

  115. I think, at this point, I’d be looking for a 2nd opinion too. There are viable non-surgical routes- but none of them (that I’m aware of) involve PT type exercises for the 1st 6 weeks. My worry would be that you may have inhibited important early healing. I’d but sure that a non-surgical approach is still OK for you. ideally, I’d want to hear that opinion from a surgeon ;-).

  116. Hi, I ruptured 8 weeks ago playing rugby when I jumped up to catch the ball. I came back down and the pain was horrible. It is the worst injury that I have ever had to face not only with the physical but the mental aspect as you struggle from day to day. Next week the last cast is off and I must admit I am nervous. I dont want it to rupture again meaning going back to square one. I am already telling myself to take it easy and one step at a time. Unless you have this injury I dont think people know how bad it is to deal with. Nevermind fingers crossed it goes well

  117. Hello all it has been a while since I last checked this site. My first post was the intial tear in July.I had surgery for my rupture July 27 and been through the struggle to get back. I am now running 2-3 miles during my military training. I still have soreness and constantly ice up. It seems like the rehab takes the longest. Does anybody know good shoes to run in to relieve some soreness. Does anybody have soreness still after a year? My year point will be July so I am not there yet. Any help would be great.

  118. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

  119. Never blogged before, but I am interested in this forum as I am curious to know what to expect from others who have blown their achilles. I am a 50 year weekend athlete who has been playing touch rugby for over 2 years on a very consistant basis. Played when I was much younger, but have been staying active to be fit and have fun. Blew my achilles simply changing directions. (typical someone hit me with a rock just above the heal and a “pop”.) Went in to doctor next day and went for the non-surgical option, and was casted for two weeks, and on non-weight bearing boot for an additional two weeks. (4 weeks on crutches). Now week 5 under my belt. (1 week walking with boot.)

  120. What to watch for… Week one in the boot walking around. My heel lift that was inside by boot slipped forward, and I didn’t realize. The constant pounding on my heel while my heel was hanging over the edge of the heel lift gave me a blister pretty much the same size of the heel itself. Just adds insult to injury… Now as my calf is starting to whither away, the boot wraps a little tighter, and getting some rubbing sores on my shin at the top of the boot, and the top of my foot.

  121. Hi oldboyrugby
    I am slightly ahead of you at week 11, non-op.
    Very fit and active at 59yrs.
    I started walking in my boot FWB at about 8 weeks. I dont hang around and still try to keep as active as possible (walking, cutting hedge, mowing lawn etc) while still wearing the Aircast Boot.
    Started physio but told to take it very steady to avoid re-rupture.
    I feel good though my foot and achilles are still very tight and swollen.
    Physio is very slow (and tedious). We must look towards 16 weeks onwards before serious physical activity begins. There is no point whatsoever in rushing just because we feel good.
    I am despeate to get this boot off but I am staying cautious as the consequences of a re-rupture dont really bear thinking about!
    From my rupture in late December I was told 5 - 6 months to full recovery, so there is no use trying to be superman in thinking I can heal quicker than anyone else.
    Hope this helps.

  122. Thanks Harry H. Just getting tired of it, 5 weeks, and 2 days, but who is counting :)
    My wife is a Physio and I she tells me I am doing everything right, just time. Is your plan to stay in the boot for 16 weeks? I go back at week 7 to doc for an update, but fully expect to be wearing this aircast for another 3 weeks after that. What did you do to rupture your achilles? Did you have an option for the surgery, and if so why did you choose the non surgical option? I wanted to avoid any more missed days of work, and surgery seemed more trouble than it was worth, given the outcomes were similar based on the research my doc shared with me. (suggested 5% rerupture rate with surgery, and 15% without surgery -limited sample) My wife/PT thought the rerupture may have more to do with being heavier or over weight. I am a big guy, but not super sized (185 at 6′1).
    Any way best of luck with your recovery as well, I am curious to know how others do on a non surgical recovery…

  123. Hi oldboyrugby
    I am 80Kg, 6′ tall, in the UK and trusting the NHS.
    I ruptured my left achilles playing badminton. I foolishly didnt warm up, though I had been on the court for over half an hour playing singles against my 24yr old son before it ruptured.
    A few hiccups during recovery but mainly just my worrying about things.
    I had the boot fitted with no real option. I was more or less talked into non-op, though to be honest it seemed pointless taking risks with an operation when it should repair on its own.
    I started with 4 wedges and boot after spending the first 3 days in a cast.
    My biggest issue is that the NHS doctors did not tell me what to expect during recovery. It would surley be very helpful and re-assuring if a document had been provided at the start along with a list of do’s and dont’s. I have always made a list of questions to ask leading up to my appointments. I searched and found this blog site and it has proved to be really useful
    You are perhaps fortunate having a partner who is a physio who will be familiar with this type of injury. I have decided to keep the boot on until at least week 12, mainly because I dont trust myself and am likely to overdo things.
    I do remove the boot in bed now (after week 10) and sit with my foot raised and no boot as much as possible on an evening.
    You are near to the half-way mark now for recovery, it was just after that stage when I started to feel happier and able to see an end in sight.
    Take care, I will inform you how my physio is going and what I am able to achieve.

  124. I’m a 53yo male with chronic Achilles tendonitis for 13 months. I injured my AT while doing sprints 13 months ago and it has hurt since. The injury and subsequent pain is right where the AT connects to the heal. I’ve tried ultrasound & electricity therapy, used compound anti-inflammatory potions, PT stretching exercises…with no relief at all. MRI shows no tear or rupture, just inflammation of AT and edema of kager fat pad. Are there blogs here or others dealing with this type of injury that did not have an AT tear or rupture but still have chronic AT pain? Any suggestions or thoughts on what I could try to get better? I’m considering PRP next but any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks! -paul

  125. Hi All,

    I am a 19 year old female. I foolishly didn’t warm up for a netball game. About halfway through the game i felt a huge snap in my left ankle. I immediately knew what it was and i’m sure you all do too. I did a scan and found out it was a complete rupture.Me being 19 years old i am finding it so difficult to cope mentally. I love netball, badminton, handball, basketball, soccer and was going to start cricket. Therefore, i decided to do the surgery.

    I am a 28 days post-op and the cut hasn’t healed yet. I was in a backslab for 1 week immediately after surgery before i was due for a check up. Unfortunately they had an unexpected workshop for 2 days so my appointment was postponed another week. When they took the backslab off the stitches just weren’t there. The skin was a pale white and blood everywhere. None of the stitches had held, the wound itself was open: picture cutting the skin and just leaving it open (that’s what it looked like - no exagerrations). I felt a little uncomfortable with the backslap as soon as 3 days after surgery (had gone home then) but was unaware that it might be getting worse. When we finally saw him he game me antibiotics and said to come back a week later to try and put the skin back together. Thank goodness for my mother! she didn’t think that was a good idea and said using steristrips then and there might help hold the skin together. He disagreed so we visited a private doctor who actually said if we had taken his advice the skin would have dried up and not grown back together. Thank Goodness! Unfortunately, that has set-back my recovery another 2 weeks. After seeing the private Dr. my ankle is slowly but surely healing. However, the scar is going to be huge! I haven’t put any weight on my foot since surgery. I haven’t even moved to the boot yet. My first physio visit is this evening.

    Firstly, i would love to hear your advice on whether i should be putting weight on it at this stage. I am so keen to get walking and would just love to push it as much as possible but i understand the worst thing right now would be to re-rupture it.

    Help me!

  126. Michelle,
    Best advise I can offer is listen to your therapist. You have an added complication with your wound and that needs to be the primary focus. Healing from this injury is a series of steps that need to be taken one at a time.

    This injury is especially cruel to the young and athletic, still you will need all the patience you can muster to come out of it as best as you can. If your recovery goes as well as it should, you’ll have plenty of years ahead of you to play all your sports.

  127. Hi Michelle,
    Take your doctors advise. I had a wound issue,( months and just healed. I have not been real good about posting to my blog, if you search open wound you will see my commments. This ATR is a long process for recovery and just like Starshep says, if you look at the blog you will see the many steps you will need to endure. I will follow your bl;og to see how your wound care goes. Happy Healing my best to you.

  128. JL, I rupture my AT on 6/15/2012 had surgery on 6/29/2012 started walking with boot on 8/4/2012 will be getting boot off on 8/15/2012 i believe you need to do what the Dr. says but I do believe you could put weight on it soon but that just me, my recovery is going great, all I can say is to be careful the recovery is a process and you do not want to reinjury it. I hope that everyone heals quickly and that you get all your strenght back as soon as possible.

  129. Hi jlmoulde, We are almost on the exact same schedule: AT rupture 6/16/12, surgery 6/27/12, Boot 7/5/12, and walking in boot 7/26/12 and, hopefully, out of boot by 8/15/12. My AT rupture was really low and close to the ankle. Do you have a blog on here?

  130. No I guess I need to give more information about my ATR my Dr. was great and my lovely wife was the best
    the only advise I would give is to go to a Dr. that has a good track record

  131. Hello all! I ruptured my achilles on 9/28 and had surgery 10/5. I’m now working on week 5 post op. I tried to create a blog through here and was not successful! Please come check out my blog at http://rupturednurse.blogspot.com and follow my journey! I’ll be posting frequently!

    Thanks!

  132. Hello, I just had surgery on 11/20/12 for my ATR. So far everythings been going okay. Been keeping my leg elevated for almost the last 2 days straight. While I was lying down today, half asleep, I may have flexed my foot forward a bit while i was resting, and think I may have heard or felt a slight very miniscule pop…since this..I have actually felt no pain whatsoever and the pain that I had been feeling since the surgery has almost completely gone away and feel that I am able to do things with my leg that I hadn’t been able to do since my surgery without pain (obviously still not placing weight but I am able to fully stretch my leg now, which I could not quite do before, move my toes a bit more, etc.)…my question is…I fear this feeling I had was my suture possibly breaking/tearing? Is there any indication that this is what might’ve happened to me or did anyone else have any similar experiences during their recovery? The sound/feel was slight but obviously scared me, but the leg has almost felt better since this…is this an indication that the suture ripped? Thanks a lot for all the help.

  133. Hi there
    At 8 days post surgery I slipped and put my foot to the ground, placing a lot of weight on to the NWB foot, thought I heard something, definitely felt a release like something giving away, and was certain I’d ripped a stitch open or re-ruptured. It hurt and continued too for a few hours. I rang the surgeon, who didn’t think I’d done anything and felt that the cast (front slab only) would have protected it. I saw him for my first post up 5 days later and everything was right with the world. Well except I have lot issues with my boot but that’s a different sorry. If you are worried though, ring your Dr.

    Best of luck for a quick recovery - Mandy

  134. Hi There,

    My ATR happened on 29/11/2012.

    After playing 5-a-side football during my lunch time for 20 minutes, I went to go for a header and nothing happened.. Didn’t think anything of it and went to play on. Rapidly found out that my left foot wasn’t working properly! I had a numbness/sinking sensation in my heel. I didn’t hear any tear or snapping noise. I managed to hobble back to the office. Then I went home to see my GP (walking/Train and bus!!!). She got me to do the Simmonds test (positive on my left foot).
    I went to hospital the next day. Here in England, apparently non op treatment is preffered. I’m now in a cast with my feet pointing downwards with crutches, in lots of pain and I have to inject myself with blood thinners every day. Absolutely GUTTED :-( I wish a SPEEDY recovery to all!

  135. Many people have had great results with the Non-Op approach. Refer to the UWO study on NormoftheNorth’s blog it could be very beneficial to you and seems to be a successful protocol. Personally I had to have an operation because of a long wait between injury and surgery when other treatments weren’t effective. There is lot of good information and peopme on this site. Happy healing.

  136. I was playing indoor soccer during the third game, I took off running after the ball when I felt some one kick me from behind. I am now 2nd week post op and going crazy due to a complete ATR. I feel better everyday and push myself to a faster recovery by trying to do what I normally do. I have read a few storys and I am going take it easy now a re-rupture would be devastating to me. I don’t sleep with boot on I feel very claustrophobic , Can anyone advise me on that?

  137. Emmanuel, I made the mistake of sleeping w/o the boot on and getting up in the middle of the night WITHOUT the boot on - lost balance - stepped back on injured foot, and surgery again 3 weeks later. I just got out of the splint 2 days ago and I opted for a cast this time. Fortunately I don’t have any claustrophobic feelings with it on - it’s much lighter than the boot and much easier to sleep with.Tremendously comfortable.
    As far as not sleeping with the boot on - I can’t say do or don’t. I will say MAKE SURE IT’S ON BEFORE YOU GET UP FROM THE BED!

  138. Sleeping without the boot wasn’t the mistake was it? It was not putting the boot on that did it for you. It is a shame that because of this bad experience that you’ve now gone for a cast. I wore my boot for 2 weeks in bed, then carried on without it, leaving it right by the bed so that I wouldn’t forget it. After 2 or 3 weeks more if needed to get out of the bed during the night, I did so without the boot and just used crutches. Just make sure no obstacles between the bed and the bathroom. What sort of a boot do you have if it is heavier than your cast?

  139. Hey People! Just wanted to share as this injury can wreak havoc on you both mentally and physically!

    I am just over 7 months and real close to 100% in strength and ROM from a complete ATR. My ATR happened while racing my Moto-X bike. I was back on my bike at just over 6 months. I am feeling pretty good and still doing my exercises 3x daily.

    Don’t want to bore you folks! Looking back at the tougher days while exercising pays dividends for a later day! Put your eyes on a ‘target’ … ie … something you enjoy doing and don’t look back! Keep on keeping on! Good Luck all!

  140. Hows it going ATR fam, new to the site but not new to the recovery. I tore my achilles back on Jan 26th this year and its been a very long road. I chose to go non-surgery and I am pretty much regretting it now. I feel like I feel my achilles getting weaker and weaker as the days go and I am dreading hearing that “pop” again. I have been in PT now for 2 mths but don’t feel like I am making much progress and its real frustrating. I feel like I can do more than she is letting me but obviously she knows best and keeps me in line. Who else on here decided non-op and what has your expierence been like? I just want to run again.

  141. ianf126, many of us went non-op, including lots of happy folks, and some Not So Much, not obviously unlike the post-op crowd except for the nature of the problems.

    But “I feel my achilles getting weaker and weaker as the days go” is definitely NOT the way it’s supposed to go 4+ months into your treatment. Did you go super-slow “conservative”, much slower than (say) bit.ly/UWOProtocol ? (That’s a link, to the schedule from the very successful “UWO” study, pub. 2010.) Going slowly non-op is associated with high rerupture rates and some other inferior outcomes — not to mention the bloody nuisance of going slowly!! — yet some “eminent experts” are so tuned out of the evidence that they persist in holding patients back “just to be safe — after all, we don’t want to do this twice, do we?” GRRRR!!

    I wouldn’t assume that any professional “obviously” “knows best”, unless you really don’t know much. Most professionals who deal with ATRs can’t be bothered to keep up with the literature — partly because old-fashioned approaches don’t kill anybody, and partly because ATR treatment (sometimes called “the tensillectomy of the leg” for surgeons) are relatively boring medicine — though not for US, of course!!

    You can check my experience on my blog, retelling my first (surgical, right) ATR from memory, and my second (non-op, left) ATR in “real time”. Neither one is perfect, but I’ve now returned twice to all the explosive and competitive activities that I did pre-ATR (and pre-heart-valve-replacement, too!), so I can’t complain.

    I just had my first PT session to try to fix my right-side “trick” knee, which my Physiotherapist thinks may be largely attributable to my right ATR (surgically repaired short) from ~11 years ago. I think the way I walk is pretty boring and ordinary, but my podiatrist and this Physiotherapist both think I’m a fascinating case!! She’s got me doing exercises to lengthen my super-tight quads, which are likely shifting my right knee out of alignment — though my left quad is actually tighter than my right, but my right calf-and-AT are much tighter than the left. . .

    I’d hang in and stay with the program. If you’re going way slower than that UWO schedule, you should try to catch up, though gradually and incrementally. If you really have surgery envy, you might as well push it a bit, since the cure for a rerupture is nearly always surgical. . .

  142. Hi ianf126
    I’m non op feb 16th 2013

    Got frustrations but upto now happy I went non op,
    My frustrations ? think I ruptured nerves also, but wouldn’t be different if I took surgery, I’ve got a limp, and a bit slow, but recently , I’m doing weights incremental , each time I go to gym lncrease the weight, so started seated leg calf, standing leg calf and seated leg bench press, I find this really helps for an hour or so, I just do the weights every other day and been doing this for just a few days but feel its helping, I started at 22 then 35 , 45, then52 kilo I will increase each time, been doing pt 2 months but last week saw the top physio to explain my frustration he claims he will have me running in 4 to 6 weeks, I feel he’s being ambitious but will be delighted if he proves me wrong, he said he wants me to get to calf lifting my own weight before he starts stretching the tendon properly, the stretch I def need to get me walking properly, Ian, I think I’ve been missing the strength I.e the limp, have you been doing weights? Have you got a limp? Would like to know why you feel your going weaker, I don’t know how my journey will work out but feels the weights have got my achilles looking pretty normal and helping with stride off, I am pleased for same time colleagues progress but frustrated I’m behind them, but there is an overwhelming constant , people hit milestones then frustrated at slow progress until the next milestone, what helps me is reading my diary it reminds me of my progress, if I can get the nerve sorted ill be fine , not sure if this helps in anyway
    RRR

  143. Ripraproar, there are several interesting things about your recovery, but one of the most interesting is your pretty rare sural-nerve damage from the ATR, not from surgery. If you’d had surgical repair and your current symptoms of sural-nerve damage, we’d all be blaming your surgeon. But while the evidence shows much lower incidence of sural-nerve damage non-op than post-op, the non-op rate is not zero. Obviously.

  144. Hi Norm
    Absolutely, if I’d had surgery I’d be kicking myself, with my good leg obviously , that the surgery had caused it, it’s not confirmed its sural damage, it’s just my diagnosis , consultant not sure if it is or not , but both him and physio think it will go with PT, however consultant says if it doesn’t go in 6 weeks he will begin to investigate. Norm have you had t
    Your knee checked yet or did you say July?
    RRR

  145. Yes, I got it checked by the sports-med guru, and (mostly) by a young GP who’s studying with him to become a sports-med guru. No real breakthroughs, other than to see one of their PTs to see if some of that could cure me.

    This past Monday I saw the PT. She seemed very sharp, and prescribed and demonstrated (with my body) and printed out instructions for 4 or 5 exercises. Mostly to lengthen and relax (and maybe also strengthen) my quads, which I’m supposed to do 2 or 3x / day, though so far I’m a bum. She said 2 of them are the most important: rolling my quads over a foam “back” roller (on the front and the outside of my quad[s]), and a straight quad stretch, lying on my stomach and pulling my foot up toward my head with a long strap. (I’m so quad-tight that it’s a challenge for me to reach down and grab my foot for a stretch!)

    The most interesting part of the diagnosis was when she discovered that my LEFT quad — on the side of my GOOD knee and my more recent, non-op, healed-a-bit-long ATR — was actually the TIGHTER of my two quads, yet it’s the RIGHT side where my knee is going out of alignment (on the side of my earlier, surgical, repaired-a-bit-short ATR). I asked her if the short AT could be what’s making the difference, and she said “Sure it could!”

    See my blog page “Maybe healing SHORT is scary after all”. . .

    One of the other exercises is a straight AT-&-calf stretch, leaning against a wall, one leg back. One is a weird thing with my back to a wall, lying on my side with a Thereaband loop around my knees, stretch the loop, clench my butt and slide my upper heel up the wall ~5″. And I think there’s one more. She wants to see me in a month. I gotta start doing the moves religiously before then!

  146. Hi norm, you gota do what you gota do, good luck mate
    RRR

  147. Hi all. I’ve posted in the how did it happen thread but I have a query. I can’t see how to start writing a blog on here. When I go to what should be my page, I get the message that the resource can’t be found, I follow the instructions for installing the widget but can’t see the users tabs or anything of that nature. I have logged in and out several times - am I doing something stupid? Do I need to install wordpress on my laptop? I could really do with somewhere to vent my frustrations/get some sort of affirmation that what I’m feeling is pretty normal really! I’ve started reading through other people’s issues and can really sympathise/empathise. Hope someone can help - please :)

  148. @Grimfoot: You have to email Dennis with the details of your injury. He will set you up with a blog and then you can go from there. (I don’t see a “Hello World” post from you yet so I’m assuming he hasn’t set up your blog yet. )

  149. I’m new to the blog and I’m not sure how to go about setting up my own blog here, or whether I even should. Right now I’m wearing a walking boot 24/7 to *prevent* my Achilles from rupturing, while my doc and I make a decision about surgery. My ankle was injured a few years ago, when I was uninsured, and now I’m looking at surgery for both my ankle and my Achilles. I currently have a bone spur, tendonosis, and softening of the bone where the Achilles attaches to the heel, as well as torn/stretched ligaments on my ankle along with a whole lot of scar tissue.

    I’m mostly just looking for advice from people who have been through surgery, so I can put my mind at ease, as it’s look like my only option at this point if I want to continue being active. It’s a scary proposition!

    Anyway, nice to meet you all! I’ll be browsing around and reading your stories while I try to figure out the blog side of things. :)

  150. @tyeryann, I had surgery to repair haglund’s deformity (bone spur) and partial tears to tendon. It has been 7 weeks. I thought I would be good by now but I’m not at all. So, it’s a big decision. I was pretty bad before the surgery though. I couldn’t do a lot of activities and walking for long periods was painful, but absolutely nothing like now! My foot is much, much worse. I am still in a boot all the time, except when I drive or 2.5 hours at my job. I have to take breaks frequently to keep my foot elevated. My incision still has not healed. I have a new, scary lump at the top of my incision. And for the few brief moments when I put any weight on my repaired foot, there is excruciating pain. For the brief time when i’m not in boot, I don’t walk, I hobble. i don’t even feel like I remember what normal walking is like anymore. Sorry to be negative, but that’s where I’m at right now.

  151. @pugnut68 thanks for your feedback. I really do appreciate it, and you’ve pretty much summed up my fears at this point. I’m where you were. I can’t walk around, can’t do my normal activities like skating and MMA without quite a bit of pain. The doc is trying everything he can right now to avoid doing the surgery, but everything keeps pointing to surgery being the only real fix. I don’t want to end up worse off than I am now, though, and I’m not sure how I’ll do with a long, drawn out healing time. :|

  152. tyeryann, pugnut has has a rough time of it and while you need to be aware that not all outcomes are positive I thought I’d give the opposite side of the story. I had tendonosis for almost 20 years, couldn’t wear anything but backless shoes for the last six months, and walked backwards down stairs because it hurt too much to walk facing forward. I had a Haglund’s deformity removed along with so much scar tissue and other “junk” taken out of my achilles that the doctor did a FHL tendon transfer; he used the flexor tendon from my big toe to supplement the achilles as well less than half of the achilles was functioning. I’m 10 weeks postop today and have had less pain since the surgery (even immediately afterward) that I was regularly having before. I’m out of the boot (which, like pugnut, I wore off and on for ages) and walking with only a slight limp (if I pay attention to what I’m doing and am not tired). I’m not 100% by any means and still have to be carefuly which shoes I wear, but the only thing I regret about the surgery decision was that I didn’t make it sooner.

    Good luck whatever you decide!

  153. Thank you so much for putting together a great place to learn about this injury and hear similar stories from others that have persevered through this. So far the worst part is the recovery time. Many injuries before but nothing near the recovery time of a ATR. This site helped already, hearing about people returning to sports. Gave me hope. I’m a 37 y/o male, a firefighter and very active: 6 marathons (so far, goal =2/year), cycling, basketball, hockey and chase 2 kids on my days off. I’ve had achilles strains in the past but fine for over a year from rest/physio. Training for the Seattle Marathon so I had been pushing myself pretty good, still no signs of achilles stress though. My ATR happened Tuesday night (Oct22) playing basketball. Caught the ball and pushed off my left foot to change direction and felt as if someone stepped on my heel. Instead of driving to the hoop, I hit the ground. There was no pain or sound, but my heel was numb and I couldn’t lift my toes. I knew it was bad, iced for a few mins then straight to ER. Next day an ultrasound confirmed ATR with a 5″ gap. They booked me for Surgery today (oct24). I was pleased to have surgery within 36 of injury. Right now 6 hours post surgery and I feel good, woke up to the aircast boot on my bad foot and not much pain. Similar to pre-surgery. I’m very thankful to this site and all the contribution people have made, big help to me already. Thanks Dave

  154. Hey Guys,

    My name is Steve and I have been playing in the same touch football game for 20 years…until this past Thanksgiving morning. I play QB and was moving laterally to my left, like I have done a thousand times before.

    All of a sudden I felt a hot cannonball hit me in the back of my left leg. When I looked around and saw no signs of a cannonball (and remembered I wasn’t in the 19th Century), I knew something wrong. The dreaded Thompson Test confirmed it…total ATR.

    I’ve always prided myself on never getting hurt. I’m 46 and have watched all the guys my age fall away from the game, but I loved it so much and was so healthy year after year, I felt I could play forever. That notion crashed and burned when I collapsed to the turf on Turkey Day. I feel my athletic career is now over, which is very, very depressing. The first morning after surgery was the most painful few hours of my life (the Anesthesia had not worn off and I didn’t fill the pain pill script - don’t make this mistake)

    After popping a few Ultracets, I found this site. I’ve looked at a bunch of comments and posts and I see all the timeframes and weeks and months discussed, and I have become even more dismayed…it’s like a new, inactive chapter of my life has irrevocably begun. I watch football on TV and wonder how these guys kiil each other and throw each other around and wonder how they walk away without ATRing themselves. I see people walking all over the city (I live in NYC) and wonder if they know how lucky they are to be able to walk.

    I had recently gotten in better shape the past 6 months and even had seen an abdominal muscle or two peek through where fat had been. I fear that months of inactivity will wipe out these small gains and there is not one silver lining about this whole thing. I don’t want to bring down the good vibes of this site, but I need to hear some stories that will uplift. I had surgery last week and will go to the doctor a week from today. I’m hoping some milestone will be achieved at this office visit - like the removal of this gigantic, white, insidious thing that lives from my big toe to my knee. Get this this thing off of me already!

    Somebody say something that will prevent me from jumping out the window.

  155. szaitz: you mean something like, “Don’t jump out the window! You’ll probably rupture the other Achilles; then think how sorry you’ll be.” While I jest, I did know a guy who ruptured one side, then, during recovery, ruptured the other while not being careful enough getting out of the shower. One of my personal goals is to do nothing stupid during recovery.

  156. Steve, one of the frustrating things about the long ATR rehab is that your athletic days are likely NOT over, they’re just on hold for maybe 9-12 months. Most of us returned to our fave sports — some of us (like me) long enough and aggressively enough to pop the other AT!! (That way you can compare the non-op treatment to your surgery! :-) )

    You can still do crunches and upper-body exercises while your leg is recovering, healing, and strengthening, though some OSs suggest waiting a few weeks. Early post-op, CV work may cause pain (and MAYBE harm??) with increased circulation, I guess…

    Having a reason to appreciate what most people take for granted is NOT net (much less all) negative, though it may feel that way while you’re down. And learning to win the mental game when life doesn’t seem fair is also worth doing — and here you are, ready to make lemonade!

  157. thx guys…does anyone have anything to say about these preventative heel wraps ? do they help?

  158. Hi All…

    I fully ruptured my right AT and am 8 weeks post op as of today (tennis injury). I’ve been fully weight bearing in an Aircast boot for 2 weeks. My question is regarding PT. I’ve been to 2 sessions, but it’s very costly ($150/session) and, at least initially, doesn’t seem worth the expense. I have access to an wide array of gym equipment, indoor pool (from Chicago area), and Alter-G. I’ve have been following exercise protocols found on this site on a daily basis. So…has anyone out there skipped formal PT and have gotten through this injury successfully on their own? My goal is to return to tournament level tennis. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  159. Hi Gimpyjeff,
    I’m sure Norm and others can give you plenty to do, especially since you are 2 months post op. I am doing my PT at UIC Hospital and my DPT is also a personal trainer and has a doctorate.

    I have documented my workout routine and will post it this weekend (trying to shoot a video on what my DPT had\has me doing). I also have a a dozen or so exercises on my Protocol as well, with video links. At 8 weeks, you can do full ROM work (PF and DF), Hip flexors and other things as well.

    Check out my blog under Ron or PGAT2013. I ruptured my Achilles at Hamlin Park playing basketball before teaching my tennis classes in September, and am now 18 weeks (just pushing off and started jogging last week), but I will not be able to play tennis at my normal 5+ level again until June.(fyi).

    With the above said, there is not doubt that this blog will give you what you need for PT without a PT. LOL.

    If you can get the ultrasound and electric therapy (if you womb is not closed\scabbed), is worth it.

    Good luck
    Ron

  160. +1 to everything Ron said, GJ.
    For sure some PTs are more helpful than others. GerryG posted a page here on How to Choose a PT, which might help you get your $150-worth.
    There are a number of high-tech gizmos that many PTs use in ATR Rehab. I got Ultra-sound, TENS and related electro-stim, and lasers. Most of them would be hard to duplicate without a PT. (After my 2nd ATR, I actually owned a “prosumer” UtraSound unit and a cheap electro-stim gizmo [weight-loss belt]. My PT laughed and looked down his nose at both of them, even warned me that they could do harm!)
    OTOH, I don’t believe that any of those therapies has been well proven to give significant benefits in ATR rehab — e.g., with a Randomized Control Trial. But on the THIRD Hand, virtually all the most successful ATR-rehab studies (post-op and non-op both) DID use PT, and usually started it early and continued for a good while. Hard to prove cause and effect.
    In addition to those gizmos, getting massage and manipulation usually doesn’t hurt and may help, and having a second (and more frequent) opinion from somebody who may have a lot of experience with ATRs is a benefit. Many good PTs have also noticed that their ATR patients had developed abnormalities in their gait, and worked with them to fix that.
    I paid less than half what you’re paying, but as soon as my PT sessions went from mostly gizmos & manipulation-massage to mostly gym routines, I stopped going (and paying).
    In addition to Ron’s pages, you can keep one eye on bit.ly/UWOProtocol for a rough guide to exercises, and I think kkirk and ryanb have also posted some useful exercise guides (which you may already have found).
    And to answer your quesiton: I’m pretty sure that we’ve had happy campers here who got little or no PT, though no names pop to mind offhand.

  161. 7 weeks. no boot. 2 crutches. now what????

    where was your progress at week 7??

    I was in a cast for 6 weeks, with increasing dorsi-flex and almost neutral when it came off this week. The relief that my AT was still in tact was only surpassed by the joy of being able to wash my leg. but now what?
    Doc says I am to move ankle and increase range of motion. PT starts in a few days. I can put some weight onto the inured foot/leg but need crutches.
    What should I expect in terms of progress in the next 2-3 weeks (week 10), and then week 14, 18?

  162. Hey GimpyJeff….

    I had my hopes fixated on using the AlterG ever since I saw Kobe use it and the only place in my city that has it is a PT studio that doesn’t take insurance. They also don’t use estim or ultrasound therapy, just his hands for scar tissue manipulation and of course he assigns me exercises.

    I go to PT once every 2 weeks, and I use the AlterG 4x a week. Early on, I started with walking backwards at an incline and that helped my balance, eliminated my limp, and improved my dorsiflexion (working at usually 50-75% of my bodyweight). Once I hit 4 months I started running at 30% of my body weight. I’m at 5.5 months now and I am up to 55% running up to 7.2 mph.

    I’m not as fortunate as Ron with being able to run outside. I’d like to think because I re-ruptured and my leg was in “protective” custody for roughly 16 weeks this summer.

    My OS said PT was my choice that he didn’t think I needed it. But the scar tissue manipulation really helps substantially, so that and the AlterG are why I still go.

    Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

  163. Hey, Ron….
    Wonderful to hear your recovery is progressing so well. Once again, thanks for all your helpful posts and links!

    I was certainly interested to hear that you had started jogging at week 16 (or 15?). Were you walking quite a bit (miles?) before you started jogging?

    I’l have my 12 week check with the surgeon this coming Monday and I know he’s going to clear me for running. Don’t think I’d try that now unless I get some time on the Alter G. Just wondered what you were doing weeks 12 - 16?

    Congratulations on your new milestone!

  164. To All,

    I registred a user and started boring you all with my comments quite some while ago. However, I never really had the time or motivation to start my own blog at that time.

    Well, I know actually feel like starting my own blog, but I can’t figure out how to do it? Any ideas? I log in, but there is nothing there indicating a blog on my dashboard.

    I probably got instructions when I signed up my user, but I can’t remember, and I can’t find them back :(

    Best
    tord

  165. Tord,

    Did Dennis set you up with an account? That’s how I got started. Once you are set up, you can get started on Wordpress. Good luck.

  166. I was wondering about that, but I can’t remember the details.

    when I log in, I do have a dashboard and all that, but there is no button or similar in the menu that allow me to write posts, and there are nothing at the link http://achillesblog.com/tord which I assume would be the link to the blog, if it existed.

  167. On the top left of the main page there is a “login” button that brings me to the Wordpress page. Can you log in there? If not, I suspect your blog has not been created by Dennis yet.

  168. Re-reading your post, if you have a dashboard, you should be able to choose “Add post” from the list on the left hand of the dashboard. It brings up a box that allows you to enter your text.

  169. On the right handside, I have the following buttons:
    - Profile
    - Tools
    - Settings
    - Log Out
    under them are the following:
    - Howdy, tord
    - Turbo
    - Log Out

    On the left handside, Ihave the following:
    - Dasboard
    Under this one is:
    - Achilles Tendon Injury Recovery Blog <- visit site

    On my ‘profile’ part, left side, I have the following:
    - Dashboard (clicking here refresjes the page)
    - Profile, with the underpoints Your profile and Your Achilles Profile
    - Tools, with the underpoint Tools
    - Settings, with the underpoint Admin Bar

    None of which let mt write posts, or view my blog. Just my profile, and various windows where I can see other peoples posts and such.

  170. This is where I log in to Wordpress:
    http://achillesblog.com/achilles-login.php

    Perhaps your blog has not been created. Dennis puts up the first blog post. It shows up reading” Hello World” by Tord or ATR victim user name.

  171. Yea, I remember something like that. I see there are now a few ‘Hello World’ posts on the roll, and I’ve seen that before.

    But again, the link you provided me leads to my dashboard, but there’s no option for writing posts there…

    Probably have to ask Dennis for assistance.

  172. @tord - I’ve created your blog and you should have received an email on how to login, etc. Usually, you have to send me an email providing me with a username and a request that you want to setup a blog (as described in the front page), but I just created it for you. Happy healing and please let me know if you have any other questions.

  173. Hello everyone,

    First, let me just add to the chorus of folks who have commented about what a tremendous find this site has been for all of us. Personally, 9 January is the day of infamy (100% rupture of right leg AT) followed by a 15 January surgery. Now that I’ve got my ATR “street cred” established, I’m interested in blogging and becoming a member of the gang. I too have not been able to locate where to set up my own blog and would love to do so ASAP.

    I’m due to see Dr. on 29th for first post op check up and REALLY want to have him prescribe a Vacocast. Can anyone suggest a gambit, or better yet, a checkmate, that might help persuade the Dr.? Having poked around the site, it seems that the boot is really above and beyond other options. True?

  174. Hi everyone,

    I tore my achilles snowboarding 3 weeks ago. I had surgery two weeks ago and just had my two week post op appointment. After two weeks in a surgical splint they transferred me to aircast walking boot and the doctor told me that i can start physio any time. This all surprised me because I am only two weeks post op and thought I would be put in a cast. Is this normal?

    The surgeon didn’t give me much instruction about the boot so i don’t know if i have to keep it on all the time or if i can take it off when i’m on the couch or sleeping. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  175. It’s normal in several new and highly successful rehab protocols (op and non-op), including bit.ly/UWOProtocol and one from Exeter UK and one from Belfast. UWO and Exeter also started gentle exercise and PT at 2 weeks. Sounds like your Doc has been keeping up with the literature (though maybe not enough to “sell” you a fast non-op cure?)
    Most of us slept in the boot until at least 4 weeks in, I think. Longer if we go to the washroom during the night.

  176. Hello my friends!
    I’m Rj from South Carolina, 30 years old and I ruptured my Achilles playing basketball on 3/9/15. I got my MRI 3days later and Doctor confirmed it a rupture. Because I’m young and living in an active life, my doctor recommended surgery. I was hesitant at first because I never had this kind of injury and surgery before. So I waited. I also wanted to see what other people’s opinion and offcourse, Majority of the people said to get the surgery.When my ankle stop swelling I could see the gap between my ankle. It scared me. So on 4/2/15 When I got the surgery. It wasn’t that bad. My doctor said I was the youngest he ever done with this injury. I didn’t feel pain at all and I stop taking pain killers after 4-5days. The only thing that concern me was I didn’t have feelings on my toes after 3days but my doctor said that was normal. I think they did a great job. 4/16 was my 2 weeks check up. They took the stitch out which was just one long string and took the cast off and put me on the walking boot with PWB. And I started PT the next day and will be going 2-3 days a week. My PT had me doing some stretches on my ankle, pick a towel with my toes and had me walking with my crutches(with PWB). That is why I decided to write here and ask y’all if my doctor is being aggressive? I don’t know because I’ve been reading a lot of great and inspiring recovery in here and I feel like mine is going too fast. Or I guess just follow what the doctor says. And just a reminder guys, iWalk free is awesome!!Good luck with everybody.

  177. In my opinion only….take what’s helpful, leave the rest.

    At 17 days post op gentle ROM exercises while sitting are not unheard of. PWB as tolerated that early is not unheard of either. Yes, this is one of the aggressive protocols. Done correctly with good supervision there is nothing wrong with them.

    However, I have heard of many overzealous PT”s causing damage if they don’t know what they are doing, at the least they will set you back in your rehab and at the most cause a re-rupture.

    No matter the protocols the tendon has been traumatized and needs to go through healing phases. In addition surgery cut into your body and that needs to heal. The calf is atrophied and needs to be rebuilt but not until the tendon/rest of body is ready.

    Directions for starting a blog are on the main page if you want more support I’d advise starting one.

  178. BTW my post was for:

    rjapozaga84

  179. Thank you for you respond Donna. I’ll take your word for it. When I see my PT tomorrow I’ll tell her to ease up a bit. I don’t see my DR for another 3 weeks and I’ll be 5weeks by then so I’ll let y’all know what he says. God bless…

  180. Advice… I am 12 weeks in and just got out of my boot…non surgical. Dr. said I could start wearing athletic shoes, but my shoes hit my achilles about right on point with the rupture. It is so umcomfortable…on top of having a horrible, exhausting limp to deal with. Any recommendations on a brace to wear after ortho boot comes off? Im also hugely afraid to be without anything on my ankle. I asked Dr if I needed a brace, but he said no….I feel so vulnerable without something around my ankle right out of the boot. A sock isnt cutting it. Many thanks!

  181. Teacherchick,

    I am in week 15 non operative. I came out of the boot in week 9 & was told to start walking, okayed to drive, no uneven surfaces, do stairs good foot first up only & bad foot first going down with railing only. Then first physio was started at that point.

    First steps were very strange feeling. Used one crutch only for first week just as a safety net. Used the air boot first thing in the am as my ankle was very stiff. Wore my boot to Physio first time & that was the end of the boot was told that if going out in crowded public areas it was okay to wear boot for protection. I was able to avoid crowded situations.

    My thought was if I was in situations where I could get shoved or the possibility of something hitting my foot I was going to wear the boot. I had a week of vacation time my first week with no boot & I spent it at home walking around my house alot & elevating.

    Bevm

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recently updated Posts