How did it happen?

Thought it would be interesting to compile a list of how people injure their achilles heel.

Mine:

33yrs old, about 10 lbs overweight. Used to exercise 3-4 times a week, which turned into to about 1-2 times a week.

I was playing basketball, and I was backpedaling towards the defensive end of the court. One of the guys on the other team made a jumpshot, and I was slowing down and changing momentum to run back to play offense. Then it happened while I was shifting my weight to change direction. Not excruciating pain, more of a numb stinging pain.


Tom commented on http://achillesblog.com/dennis

I ruptured my AT playing volleyball. I started to lunge forward and then heard the snap. I knew immediately what happened, but I don’t remember being in too much pain. I believe it hurt for a minute or two, but I think the frustration masked most of the pain. I knew it meant that I’d likely be away from competitive sports for up to a year.


JohnSkier on http://achillesblog.com/johnskier

At age 47 I ruptured my achilles skiing on Feb 14…hit a depression and tumbled forward and the ski didn’t release. I did stretch that day…and had skied several runs (cat skiing on Vail Pass).

The injury REALLY hurt…now I believe I might (or maybe I have no clue)have a sense of the pain of child birth.

When I first stood up and tried to put weight on it I got dizzy and had to sit down. Skied down to the cat on one ski…didn’t want to hold up everyone by making the cat come back up with the sled.


Paula on http://www.injuryupdate.com.au

I severed mine on 28 Dec 2005 whilst just playing on the surf with my 8yr old son.

Jaycee on http://www.injuryupdate.com.au

I did something similar rupturing my achilles on 14 Dec 2005 playing football(soccer) after a break of 7 years(and about 18 pounds weight gain)

Unregistered on http://www.injuryupdate.com.au

i did the full rupture on new years eve 31/12/05 - and all i was doing was a scottish reel (where you do a “skipping” step) AND i was sober.

sentence on http://www.injuryupdate.com.au

On 18/7/06 I ruptured my achilles tendon in the parents race at my daughters school sports day. I was running barefoot and the ground appeared to feel uneven I carried on running until my feet fell from beneath me. I thought I had pulled a muscle and managed to scramble off the the running track. I managed to kneel up and clapped on the parents running ahead of me. I wasn’t in too much pain, but when I tried to stand I could only stand on one leg. I spoke to another parent who said I should sit down and that I had probably pulled a ligament. It was all very quiet the children were not alarmed in any way and fortunately all this happened at the end of their sports day.
When I was sitting on the ground I did notice an indentation or gap just above my heel so realised it was serious and an ambulance was called. I am a 42 year old woman living in the uk and although not involved in the gymn I thought I was relatively fit and well…

245 Responses to “How did it happen?”

  1. 33 about 15lbs overweight, exercise about 5 times a week and had surfed twice that day…playing basketball that night may have (or have not) gotten kicked while in a defensive position. Having surgery on Thursday 3/20/08.

  2. hey Mike…sorry to hear about your AT tear. I’m 31 and tore mine playing B-Ball too, I’m 2 weeks post op. Check out some of the earlier posts from Dennis, Johnskier, Ross, and myself…if you have any questions about your upcoming surgery..don’t hesitate to ask.

  3. Good luck Mike. Definitely recommend pain killers for a few days post surgery. Get a comfy place on a couch or bed, elevate and ice like crazy. Don’t try to do too much. I recommend one of those machines that pump ice cold water through a boot around your foot and ankle. I think I’m in the minority of our group who had one but I think they’re really great. I’ve seen similar machines on line but my doc prescribed one for me and it was delivered to my house.

    John

  4. Mike..
    very sorry to hear you have joined our club..frustrating, depressing and a long haul ahead of you. We have and are going thru it now so we are here for you if you have questions, make sure you read the blogs so you know whats ahead of you. This is a great forum, I had my surgery on the 6th of March.
    Let me know what you need.

    Doc Ross

  5. Hi

    Wish I’d found this site 5 months ago, it’s good to hear how other people get on. Did my tendon on 30th September 2007, dancing. (I’m 44 should know better). Am in England, no surgery and 11 weeks in plaster. Walking better every day now, sometimes even forget there’s anything wrong with it.

  6. Alice - thanks for your comment, and I am glad that you are doing well. Keep us posted on how your recovery is progressing, and what you are doing for exercises. I hope you can get back to dancing at some point.

  7. I partially tore mine in November ‘07 playing floor hockey and was in a boot until Jan. 08. I finished it off in February. I’m about a week post op and am bored crapless. There’s only so much daytime TV you can watch.

  8. Bill -
    Glad that you were able to find this site. I didn’t watch too much daytime tv during my first week, but I think I read all the of web pages on the entire internet.

    How’s the recovery going? I guess you didn’t have surgery right after you partially tore your AT?

  9. I’m 43 (will be 44 next month) and totally tore mine playing basketball on April 2, 2008. I’ve played all my life and was making a simple cut with the ball like I have made probably thousands of times before. Felt like I had gotten shot in my heel. I looked around to see who had fouled me and saw no one even close by. I was not able to have surgery until April 15, 2008. I used Perocet for about a week or two post op and had a catheter block in my leg for about 4 days post op for pain. I go back for my second visit to have my cast removed and get fitted for a boot this friday, 4/23/08. This site and all the information that fellow ATR’s have provided has given me a much better idea of where I am and what I should expect. As anxious as I am to be able to start rehabbing, I am very nervous and scared about putting weight on it and trying to walk on it once I get the boot.

    David

  10. Sorry my follow-up for the boot is 5/23/08…wishful thinking.

    David

  11. Hi David,

    Welcome, unfortunately.

    It sounds like you and I are on nearly the same schedule, with you a bit ahead. I had surgery on 4/16, and am scheduled for a boot on 5/29.

    I, too, am a bit apprehensive to start rehab, but at the same time am anxiously looking forward to getting back to my normal life. Good luck on Friday, and be sure to keep us up-to-date with your progress.

    Craig

  12. I had my cast removed this past friday and now am in the air cast/walking boot. Although its big and bulky, it does enable me to get around a lot better. i’m now using only one crutch and am able to put weight on that leg. I am not trying to overdo it too much and limit the length of time I am on my feet. I will say one thing it feels great again to be able to take a shower.

    David

  13. Hello all. I injured my achilles unlike anyone I have read about on this website or others. A piece of tempered glass fell behind me and shattered making a piece spin up in the air and slice into my rear right leg to sever the achilles tendon. In turn, I had a trauma that just missed the artery (Luckily) but severed the tendon clean. It has been a painful experience for me. My scar is ridiculous as you can imagine and the numbness in my heel is crazy.

  14. Hello everyone. Great to have so much support, but I reallly wish I didn’t EVER have to be in a position to find such a site. I was playing soccer in a rec league 2 weeks ago when I suffrered my injury. I had made a point of arriving early and warming up and stretching as I had suffered a cramp in my other (right) calf while running the day before. I was playing goalie and went out to challenge a player with the ball. When I left my line I heard a loud popping sound–like a champagne cork–and I thought I had snapped the laces on my new soccer shoes. I fell to the ground and looked at my feet and realized that the laces were still there, and thought I must have suffered a knee injury. But I had no pain in my knee (or my injured calf either), so I just tried to stand up. When I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot, I pretty much knew what the problem was. People across the field said they heard the popping sound. I get really mad at people who suggest that I suffered this injury because I am some sort of out of shape weekend warrior who overdid it. I work out–running, cycling, lifting–5+ times a week. That, so far, has been the most painful thing I’ve had to endure. I am 4 days post-op and I am debating going back to work this (short week) or working from home. I am leaning toward the latter.

  15. Chris - Yes, I think it’s best to rest up since it’s a short week anyway. I hope you get better, and I hope you find the site useful. :) There’s a LOT of support and great information to help you with your recovery here.

  16. Nov 2003, just before Thanksgiving. I am a police officer and jumped from my car to chase a 14 year old that had been shooting at a party. I heard the pop and thought these guys must still be shooting. I felt a tap on my foot but thought I had dropped my flashlight .
    I went to run and felt an electric jolt. A trooper who was in the chase stopped by and had me sit down. That is when the pain hit.
    I had been working out and actually was below my target weight.

    I actually think my opposite leg is gonna pop soon. It hurts almost as much as my other leg hurt while I was healing.

    P.S. We caught the kid.

  17. Popped mine doing a static jump up in a taekwondo class! I felt & heard it pop. I think others in the class heard it to because they were around me before I realized something really wrong had just occurred. Didn’t hit the floor and I was actually more peeved that I’d hurt myself than feeling the pain. That came later.

  18. Did mine playing football (soccer), No one near me, went to push off to runto meet the ball and POP it went. Thought I’d been kicked frim behind but when i turned round there was no one there.

    Only 7 days post op and 17 post ATR, my other achilles aches as well now and I’ve never had any troublw with either of them before.

    I’m just hoping that its aching because of all the work it is having to do………….!!!

  19. Hi All…I’m 32. I heard a soda can crunch sound out of no where after doing plyometrics at a gym. Decided to do them because I felt great after doing my training run while visiting my sister in Arizona over Labor Day Weekend. I should of known better. Why do plyometrics? Doesn’t apply with marathon and triathlon training. Decided to do the non-surgical route which was presented as an option due to being a high tear. I haven’t found any research on non-surgical procedures for active/athlete patients. All my research are in favor of surgery. If there is anyone who is highly active and decided towards the nonsurgical route, please by all means, share your story and experiences. I just got out of my cast and in a boot.

  20. Hey Sherryamour,
    Was very active (rugby, squash and gym) pre-ATR. My tear was also his up and not quite a complete tear (where I think the only option is surgical).
    Apart from having numpty UK NHS doctors, my recovery has gone well so far, I was in cast for 6 weeks, and have been out of cast for 6 weeks, no boot, just heel wedges for the first few weeks. My limp has nearly gone now and it decreases throughout the day.
    My main advice is get PT, the progress I have made after each session has been noticeable, although the health service hear refused to provide it so I’ve been paying for my own.
    This site is brilliant (thanks to Dennis) and if you have any question advice or support there always seems to be someone online to offer all they can.

    Happy healing,
    Jon

  21. Sherryamour: I have actually heard of a huge study on the conservative route that was done in Cananda. If you go to the Marfell Family Achilles Blog and look around for the conservative thread or somebody with the screen name Domjuan, you will get great info. Domjuan was in that study and he/she (I think it’s a he!) has some awesome information. I will see if I can find him and get him over to this site. Beware, I have had a hard time navigating the Marfell site. It is not set up as easy to use as this one.

    -Smish

  22. Oh, that’s Canada not Cananda. Sorry, it’s early here, I still have morning fingers.
    -Smish

  23. Feb 2004, at age 22 I suffered a complete rupture while playing in an intramural basketball game. I blocked shot against the backboard, felt a slight pain, but then dribbled down court for a jump shot. When I landed, I felt/heard an explosion.

  24. I’m 24yo and fully ruptured my left achilles playing basketball on Oct. 15, surgery Oct 20. For me it came out of nowhere, as I had been playing for nearly an hour with no pain. The only thing looking back that I could say was a little off was a few times when I jumped it seemed as though I just didn’t get the lift or explosion I usually get. I have to say I’m pretty frustrated, because I feel I’m pretty young to get this injury and echo the sentiments of Chris (soccer injury) that I wasn’t some weekend warrior. I was working as a personal trainer at the time and was in great shape. The injury occurred after a few pick up games and I was joking around with people to see how fast I could dribble past them to the rim. I went from a stand still and before I could finish my first step, felt the pop and shudder in my leg. An interesting side note, my dad tore the same achilles as I did at the same age, playing basketball, guess that’s an argument for nature over nurture lol. I and my doctor want to take an aggressive approach to healing, he had the stitches out and splint off at about 10 to 12 days after surgery and I’ve been in the walking boot since then, doing ankle flexing at will and was allowed to start doing some weight bearing in the boot during the 5th and 6th weeks. This week we start the next phase. Does anyone know about aggressive approaches, the ones professional athletes use?

  25. My injury happend playing basketball at a cookout. Playing 3 0n three in the drive way my friends nephew complained that all I could do was back him because of our weight difference. I explained the he is 25 years younger so why should run around the court chasing him. Well I decided to show him I had a nice cross over dribble. It worked I left him standing still the wives yelled yeah! and then yelled Oh no as I hit the ground going for the layup.

    I played two rounds of golf the day before and the day of the cookout that’s a lot of walking. The Doc said maybe it was just too much stress and I may have had micro tears and was unaware. Oh well so much for the ego. Funny Saturday I went to my friends house and the same guys were there. They wer happy to see me on my feet and most did not know I had to have surgery. The recovery feels long but times passes quickly.

  26. Age 41. I ruptured mine recently playing squash. I heard a pop sound which I mistook for colliding into my opponent’s foot. Went down immediately onto the floor. My first reaction was something was definitely wrong in my calf area. No immediate excruciating pain but plain numb. It was very scary. ATR didn’t even occur to anyone as it was guessed that I had severely pulled a calf muscle. I went to the ER the following morning where the doctor confirmed ATR. I had surgery the following day. Now going into week2 of recovery.

  27. Age 58. First injury ever! I was carrying holiday gifts downstairs and misstepped (three steps from the bottom of the staircase). Immediate pain (and total lack of grace). When the pain subsided (5-10 minutes ?) I got up, did laundry, limped around (went up and down the stairs a few more times) and finally sat down to put ice on the leg. Thought it was just a “bruise”. Saw the MD the following day, MRI the day after that, and one week later on 12/23/2008 (in time to ruin all our holiday plans) I underwent surgical repair.

  28. I ruptured my achillies on the 17th of feb running spints, I just feel to the ground like a heep of rocks. It felt like somone hit my leg with a sledge hammer, it hurt really bad. Im going in for surgeory on the 19th feb.see ya

  29. justin again I fogot my age and weight

    33 5′9 and a soild 205

  30. Sandy - 45 left ATR July 18, 2008 playing tennis. I was serving, match point (add-in) opponent returned my serve wide, I moved to take the backhand, stepped on the left and heard the snap when I pushed off. No pain, but I knew right away what happened. Had surgery the 23rd. Developed DVT and PE as a direct result of the surgery.
    Don’t want to ever go through this again.

  31. Keefe-

    Hello all! I ruptured my right achilies almost a year ago to the day playing basketball. While in the triple threat position ( holding the ball before dribbling) i made a hard sprint to my left ( pushing off right foot) and it completely snapped. I fell like a sack of potatoes immediately. I was actually able to walk AND DRIVE after, but i could not use my toes to push off. So it was a complete tare, but some flap was still in place for me to move my ankle around.
    My Doctor was the Best in the City ( boston) and my therapist was a sports therapist, so i hit the court again towards the end of the summer!
    I admitt it, it was early, but i got through the mental aspect of it quickly.

    Make Sure you go on a stationary bike or even lightly jog BEFORE stretching. DO NOT STRETCH JOINTS that are NOT Warm FIRST!

    oh, 6′1” 165lbs 30

  32. 31 yrs. 6′ 1″ 191 lbs. Have played sports all my life, but not much over the last couple of years as my business has grown (run a software company which equates to a lot of seat time). I had played about 10 games of 21 3 days previously which was the first real exercise I had in the previous 3 months. Did well, whipped up on some varsity high school kids - actually won 9 of the 10 games! Came back 3 days later to play some basketball, on the 4th and last game I was going to play I tried to cut to the basket using my right foot (usually push with me left) and the tendon just snapped. The sound echoed in the gym. It felt like someone had hit me with a baseball or a basketball at about 100mph. In fact I turned around to see where the ball went and who could have thrown that impossibly fast ball. Of course there was no ball, just me on the ground. I went to the hospital immediately (about 7pm on 4/11/09) and they examined me - complete tear. The ortho surgeon on duty knew the family - as did the ER doc - and had time at that moment coming out of surgery, so we were able to schedule the surgery for the next morning on 4/12/09 at 10am (Easter - a great time to have a surgery as the Recovery Room was totally empty except for me and two nurses). Post Op follow-up is on 4/24. ER Doc said the plan is to get me into a boot at that time. I’ve been able to move my toes and foot up and down without any pain at all for the last couple of days, but I am trying to keep that to a minimum. I’ve had almost no pain through any of this, although I am sure if I tried to put weight on this foot it would be extremely unpleasant. Stopped taking the pain medicine after two days. This cast has some sort of liquid cooling system that I can connect it up to which runs cold water through the cast for 30 minutes every hour. My summer plans are basically shot, but I’m glad that I’ll have more time to focus on the business anyway :)

    I have taken Ciprofloxacin 5-7 times in the past three years during travels to India for business. I was unaware of the warning on this drug until of course now. I am considering hanging up basketball for good. I played varsity in high school, but ran Varsity Cross Country as well … I think running is going to be more my thing after things get back to normal in a couple / few months.

  33. 39 y.o. male, weekend warrior. Popped my right achilles tendon playing tennis. I was hitting a hard forehand with heavy topspin and my rear foot was probably pointed too far forward instead of to the side. My calf muscle was stretched out and pulling hard, and then the twist of my body pushed back on my leg in the follow-through. It felt like something hit me in the achilles tendon, I felt a pop, and dropped to the ground. There was significant pain mainly in the lower part of my calf, ~5 inches above my heel, which it turns out was where the tendon snapped.

    I mistakenly thought that the tendon was only partly ruptured because I could still plantar-flex my ankle (point my toes). But there are other muscles that can do so (weakly) when the achilles tendon is gone. And mine was visibly not where it used to be.

    I was thoroughly warmed up after playing for an hour, had stretched before playing, and had played tennis the week before, as well as 3 days of snowboarding the week before that. Sometimes it just happens.

  34. Hey,
    i’m a female of 31. 1m59 and 50kg.
    I ruptured my tendon last week.
    I’m a ballet dancer and tennisplayer.
    I had 6 danceperformances in 2 weeks. 1st of may, i danced 2 performances, on 2nd of may i played 2 tennismatches and the 3rd of may i also had to play a match. My muscles felt very stiff and even with stretching it would’nt get better. (and we had to play on hard court)
    At 2-2, i served. The ball returned very short behind the net… i started a little sprint at that moment i heard a noice and i felt a snap.
    I couldn’t stand anymore… It hurt a lot. (and i’m used to a lot as a balletdancer…)
    It was a sunday… and i had surgery on sunday evening…
    I hope i still can do ballet when this gets better…

  35. hey Crew!

    I have just turned 30 and was 3 weeks back from our honeymoon. I play AFL (Australian Rules Football) here in Beijing (I am an expat) on a really hard surface (there are not many nice soft grass playing fields around despite the Olympics!). I am generally very fit, 6″1, 82 KG/180 pounds and exercise at least 3-4 times a week in addition to football on the weekends. I had been feeling sore in the knee and ankle joints the month before the injury, and basically put it down to the hard surface we were training on.

    Anyway, we were playing a scratch game after some hard sprints and ball skills sessions. The ball was kicked behind me and I turned 180 degrees to chase after it. I heard a huge “slapping” sound and, like a lot of people on this page, went straight to ground and was looking around for the cheeky sod that had kicked me in the back of the foot! Alas, nobody within 10m, just me sprawling on the turf looking confused. I knew straight away what I had done, despite never having seen anything like it before, as I could feel the gap in my Achilles where it had ruptured. Was in the ER in Beijing immediately and was scheduled to have surgery the same night except my insurance company wasn’t available on weekends to approve the cost - will be changing providers as soon as this year’s membership is finished!! Had surgery the next day once approved and am now 5 days in the half-cast. Have watched 3 seasons of The Wire - what an awesome show. Am rapidly running out of episodes though - so have scheduled an appointment for Wednesday (10 days after surgery) to see the surgeon, have the stitches removed and clean the wound etc. Have been told I will be in the cast for 4-6 weeks then boot.

    Am loving the attention my wife and friends give me but would trade it all in to be able to walk!!

  36. I am a 33 years old guy from Iran.
    I was exercising regulary and enjoying the improvement of my body.My program consisted of stationary bike every other day for one hour burning 1250 calorie per session and also weight training on the rest of the weekdays.
    one day I met one of my old university friends and he asked me to participate in their weekly football match for fun and burning some extera calories and I agreed happily.On the first session and after about 15 min of playing,one of team mates passed me a through ball behind the defence line and I
    attempted an explosive start and all of the sudden I heard the damned snap sound and infamous kick on the back of my foot and I ruptured my AT with all of my activities and life and job all together.
    Now I am in week 6 post open krackow style surgery and my doctor positioned my foot in 90 degrees and told me to bear the cast for another two weeks..
    I feel sorry for myself because I knew that my body was not ready for football and I skiped the stretching movements before playing.But it was a good lesson for me to care for the important basics of physical activity.
    while reading the posts of various victims of ATR ,I found a pattern that shows a large group of them are very active and often exercise regulary but the activities they take part in have no ball.like running,cycling,hicking and so on,and when suddenly they play a ball sport and often without prior stretching and proper warm up,the tendon suffers a unfortunate rupture.Are you agree with this theory?

  37. I’m 63, an ex-athlete and keep-fit type on my way from Mexico to the UK. I had a stopover at New York Newark airport, and going down the escalator to baggage re-claim at terminal B, I stepped forward as the escalator reached the bottom….but the descending tread grabbed my ankle and pulled it towards the sharp corner. This ruptured the achilles tendon. Amazingly there were no witnesses…so no compensation.

    Back in UK, the NHS surgeon put my foot in plaster for 10 weeks, then I started physio.
    The tendon ruptured again after 3 days.
    Next I paid meg-bucks for first class private treatment. An MRI scan is useful…it showed I had a 3.5cm gap.
    Expert surgery is best….my guy did a sew-up and re-inforcement .
    An Aircast walker boot is recommended…plaster casts are cheap alternatives.

    tips: watch out on escalators like those at Newark Airport
    avoid New York (lol)
    surgery is more reliable than hit or miss
    hire a good surgeon and physio
    follow advice rigorously

    stay cheerfull!

  38. Glad this site is around, feel better knowing this injury is pretty common. Unlike most of the stories I have heard I didn’t hear a pop or crack. Thought I stepped in a hole when a stepped back playing indoor soccer. Thought it was sprained and forced myself to walk on it for two weeks after it happened.

    Through God’s grace and a few good co-workers, saw a ortho surgeon and went through the surgery from there. I agree with you Shary though, if you are inactive for a long period of time and then go and try to act younger then your body is, these things happen. Take care a happy healing

  39. Have just injured my achilles tendon - like someone else above - doing the Mums’ race at school sports day. How embarrassing is that!
    Reasonably fit 42-year-old (gym a couple of times a week and active job/lifestyle generally) but I’m obviously getting older, have put on half-a-stone and must have just pushed it too much.
    I was running barefoot (usually egg-and-spoon race or something rather than straight sprint so have never needed to wear trainers for it before) but there were too many running at once.
    It felt like someone caught my heel, but maybe that’s what it feels like to overstretch the tendon? Spectacular fall (I’m told!) but the scarey thing was not being able to put any weight at all on my right foot afterwards.
    A&E doctor said it was a partial tear so I have a tubigrip on and crutches with instructions to try and walk on it already.
    Just wondering how much to try and how soon?
    Have been reading some of your site for guidance but as I don’t have a full rupture (unless he got it wrong!) guess I can go a bit faster with the exercises. Very impatient after only two days - can’t imagine having months in plaster.
    Best wishes to you all.

  40. Sam,

    Just read your post, do go back to doctors or hospital doesn’t sound right to me. I was misdiagnosed by NHS Walk in Centre, three weeks later after walking on it I had to have an operation having got a second opinion. If you cannot do a calf raise, or go up on your toes on the injured leg it doesn’t look good to me. Get it checked out in case you do any more damage.

    Annie

  41. Hi Sam,

    I agree with Annie, get yourself a second opinion.

    I’ve always wondered how they can tell an Achilles Tendon is partially ruptured without having an MRI scan.
    At the end of the day it’s your leg and you definitely want to get your AT proper attention.

    A Tubigrip for an AT rupture of any kind sounds laughable.

  42. Dear Annie & Cactus,

    Thanks for your replies.
    I’ve managed to get an appointment with a private foot & ankle specialist tomorrow, so fingers crossed the A&E guy was right.
    Either way you’re right about getting a second opinion, and hopefully proper advice about what I shoudl & shouldn’t be doing.

    Again, thanks so much for replying so quickly. Best of luck with your recoveries.

    Sam

  43. It is a full rupture - will now move to the ATRs in the UK page to keep in touch.

  44. I’m a 49 year old who was training for a 10K. On 5-29-09 I was cooking and knocked a pottery bowl with a 16 oz jar candle in it off the counter with my elbow. I guess the weight was enough to shoot a shard out. It severered my achilles tendon 95%. I tied a tourniquet with a dish towel and passed out. By the time hubby got me to the ER my BP was 57/30!

  45. 46yo male, very fit, very active in triathlon. While running up a few steps outdoors I stumbled and my right foot slipped off one step and caught on the step below as I fell forward. As my heel was unsupported it kept travelling down with my leg at full stretch - Snap!!

    Full ATR was the result. Surgery within 24 hours. Sutures out 9 days later plus foot moved to neural position. Cast change 2 weeks later (2 days ago) for slight adjustment.

    Everything going very well so far and in another 3 weeks they may remove the cast entirely. Will need to rein in my desire to get back to training and just take it easy for a while.

    Silly, stupid, one-in-a-million accident that could happen to anyone.

  46. 58 y/o active 2X/week tennis player:
    Leading my set 5:1 I was sliding to the right side for a medium paced forehand when I heard and felt the “pop” of my right heel and fell. It really hurt and I KNEW that something was very wrong. My suspicions were confirmed when I noted that my calf muscle was twitching uncontrollably. Then when I stood up to try to continue, I could not place any weight on right leg. I hobbled to my car, drove (yes dove with the injured foot) over my orthopedic BF and the rest is history. Now 8 days post-op and trying NOT to go crazy in the house!

  47. 32 y/o about 14lbs overweight, Football (Soccer) player. I played two to three times a week for 60 minutes. I have always carried out 15 minute worth of stretches on ham strings, calf, achilles ever since a minor calf strain in my late twenties. 10 seconds in to the game the ball was passed to me and put my left foot back to push forward to receive the ball. Heard a ‘ping’ sound like somebody shooting an air gun and it felt like somebody had thrown a brick on the back of my ankle. I crawled of the pitch and waited for the guys to finish the game. Got home and elevated/ice pack. Woke up the next day and there was little swelling so I bandaged it up and drove to work. Got home in the evening, took my shoe and bandage off and it swelled like a ballon and the ankle and foot was black and blue. 6 weeks post op and will be weight bearing without support next week.

  48. I am 40, I was playing basketball and thought someone had kicked me from behind. When I looked and no one was there, I knew what I had done. I had a lot of pain and didn’t want anyone to touch me. In previous years, I tore my ACL in a basketball game and the achilles rupture was much more painful. I try to stay in shape all year long with cardio, weights, yoga, and playing with my two sons. I have been playing basketball for many years and it is still a big part of my life. I live in a small town and there is One Big tournament once a year that everyone looks forward to. Even though I am 40, I still play just as strong as the young players, sometimes stronger. I am a leader on the floor and the other girls look up to me for strength and poise. I am not ready to retire, I want to follow the rehab rules just as I did with my ACL and get back on the floor by next season. I had surgery 5 days ago. I am getting more out of shape by the minute and it’s depressing not being able to help my kids. I am wondering if I am being unfair to my family for wanting to keep playing basketball, or any other sports.

  49. At 40 you are too young to stop being active.
    Good luck!

  50. I did not think this would be so life changing. How to drive with my left foot? anyone.

  51. How to drive with your left foot? Back-seat driver is all you should be doing I’m afraid.
    Sorry, but doing otherwise is risking your life and the lives of others.
    I started driving again at 7 weeks post-op, 4 weeks after going FWB in the boot and 1 week after being back in 2-shoes.

  52. 34 yo male, very active - triathlete, marathon runner, squash player. This season, tri training eased off early Aug to make way for marathon training (late Oct), kept squash ticking over once, sometimes twice a week since April. Decided to take a winter break from everything but squash to try to improve my game, so moved up to 3/4 games a week and let everything else tail off. ATR happened 8th December. Thought my opponent had stamped on the back of my leg, but upon turning round, he was nowhere close. Knew immediately what had happened as I’d heard the stories. No pain, just numb with next-to-no movement. First thing that went through my mind: There goes my skiing holiday :-) Sick/scared to the core. Kept expecting a massive amount of pain to hit, but nothing. Surgery the following day (which was easy peasy), foot in back plate cast for 9 days after which stitches where removed and ski-boot fitted at 30 degrees. I took a photo of the wound before removal of the stitches if anyone wants to see! Was adjusted to 20 degrees yesterday and will be reduced by 10 degrees each week for 2 weeks, then physio for weeks/months. Still hardly any pain. Am I lucky? Should I expect pain? The most frustrating thing isn’t not being able to train (although I expect that will come), it’s not being able to do the normal things - cook, drive, shower, carry a pint from the bar …

  53. You are really lucky with no pain!! It’s been 2.5 weeks since surgery and I still can’t seem to space my meds out any longer than every 4 hours. It feels like a vice-grip on my achilles. Sometimes my toes cramp up to and that doubles my pain. I’ve envious!

  54. 27 yr old female, not a pound over weight and in fantastic shape.

    I am 2 days post op from tearing my achilles tendon 4 days ago in a competative soccer game. From what I can see, I have no excuse for this happening. I play 4 times a week and have been playing most of my life. No tackle was made, no one was even near me. I was planting and changing directions with the ball when this loud “SNAP” came from my leg and I immediatly hit the ground.

    I am envious of those of you who say you felt no pain. I have never felt such a pain in my life and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The worst part was, it never disapated. I didn’t feel better until I arrived at the hospital and they could give me drugs!

    My tear was too frayed and split to reattach. A synthetic piece was put in to act as a tendon and the two ends where then attached to this.

    I would love to know if anyone else had this particular surgery, and if the recovery seemed longer, or harder. Also I would love to hear from anyone who play competative sports, how long until you were back at your top game? Did you get back?

    Greatly appreciated ;-)

  55. Nat,

    Sorry to hear about your injury but welcome to the club. Some of these injuries make sense, but I would say that most don’t. I was properly warmed up and stretched when mine went playing basketball as were many people on this site…it just happens I guess. Recovery times are all over the map. The one constant that you see is that people expect to be back to 100% in a year. I like to underpromise and overdeliver, so I am mentally prepared for it to take a year, but committed to making it much shorter than that. Get through the first 10 days or so and things will start to look up.

  56. Nat:

    Here’s hoping we will ever be 100% again! My doc said 85% - 90% recovery is likely in 12 months (I’m not even sure what that means). I am at 6 months post-op and am playing basketball again and plan to play lacrosse again this summer. I’m not 100% by a wide margin, but I’m 50 and playing pickup basketball, so 100% is not really the objective. Here’s my experience (your results may vary):

    * it’s a major pain in the butt
    * it’s not nearly as bad as I feared it would be (it’s a speedbump, not a dead end)
    * hit your rehab hard and diligently
    * find an athlete that also happens to have physical therapy as a vocation. Get a guy / gal that “gets” what it means to be an athlete and wants to get you back out doing what you love.
    * pray for some good luck - many here have infections, tears, etc. that drag the process way out

    You’re going to be fine! At your age, you’re likely to be back out before you know it.

  57. Nat, your “plant and pop” when changing direction is very common in ATRs. Often it’s on defense, switching from “reverse” to “forward” gear, which can easily place max force on the AT.

    My surgeon’s rule of thumb after my first ATR (yes, I’ve now done ‘em both, and both doing “that move” in volleyball!) makes sense to me:
    Don’t return to your aggressive high-risk activity until you can do 8 one-legged calf-raises on the “bad” leg without grunting or sweating.
    For me last time, that was 10 or 11 months after surgery. My level in volleyball recovered completely, as far as I can see (and I’m an older guy, too!).
    I would have been ready a month sooner, except I set myself back a month by doing what a physio told me to do (as many single-leg calf raises as I could) when I wasn’t ready for it yet — on the very first day when I could walk normally in bare feet. I couldn’t do that again for a MONTH, and I was in PAIN for most of that month. (My tear and recovery were unusually painless ’til then, mostly the discomfort of inflammation/swelling.)
    So there are clearly dangers from going too slowly (immobilizing too long), but there are also real dangers from doing too much too soon. Listen to your body — and pay attention! And as you progress, watch out for distractions and multi-tasking while walking and stuff. . .

  58. Nat,
    I read your post and just had to respond because I know exactly what you are going through. I am 28 years old and was in great shape when I tore mine as well. I thought it was the end of the world. However, my tendon was reattached on 9/11 (though nothing synthetic was used) and I can honestly say I am stunned at the speed of my recovery. I was in a huge cast for 6 weeks after the surgery. I then went right to wearing two shoes; I was never put in a boot of any kind, but I did have to wear a heel lift in my left shoe. This was the hardest time for me, as I could barely walk at all, even using a cane. My leg was weak and I had very little flexibility in my ankle. I really couldn’t see how I would ever recover. Then, almost overnight, I turned the corner. I stretched my leg every day, and it began to get stronger as a result of my being on it more and more. It has now been almost five months since my surgery and I have recently discovered that I can perform a heel raise standing on my bad leg only. I also coach a hockey team and am able to skate (albeit at low intensity, but skate nonetheless). My strength is returning rapidly, and I am at the gym every other day using an arc trainer. At the six-month mark (3/11), my doctor says I can return to running and enjoying the competitive sports I was involved in prior to my injury (racquetball, softball, and hockey). My point is this; I know it seems terrible and that it is scary right now. I’m sure you have read a lot of the stuff out there that suggests you will take a year or more to recover and that you may never be 100 percent of what you were again. But, I firmly believe that I will return to what I was before. I am certain I will run a marathon again, and that one day soon I will feel like my old self. Just have patience, do what your doctor tells you. You are relatively young like me, and I am certain that has been a significant factor in the speed of my recovery. It’s not magic or a fluke, and I am by no means a super athlete. It is just allowing the proper time and listening to your doc. Good luck to you!!!

  59. well, my experience with the ATR seems similar but a bit different than most. I’ve noticed a trend that most people who have ruptured the AT are at least around 30 years old, but I somehow managed to do it in January one week before my 16th birthday which is way younger than most. I play highly competitive volleyball and while doing a jump training session I collapsed. All I did was jump over a 1′ high hurdle and then I fell to the floor. It was a bit painful, but I was more confused than in pain. The frustration is overwhelming because I’m obviously now completely out for the season. I’m almost 4 weeks post op and I have a LOT of questions regarding recovery time.

  60. Hi Jenn, it is indeed more common that this injury happens to athletes at the age of 30+ due to fatigue of the tendon all these years of activities, but that doesn’t mean that a younger person can’t be injured. Sports that involve acceleration or jumps are most common for this injury (I got mine ruptured playing basketball, at the beginning of a dribble sprint). And I’ve done warm up and stretching twice during practice that day, as always..
    I got an op on November 27th, championship ends on June and both my doc and PT suggested that I’m playing a couple of games this season. I understand how you feel, just do what your doc advised and pay a lot of attention to all instructions given. PT is also very important.
    Wish your recovery goes smoothly.

  61. I ruptured my achilles tendon about 5 weeks ago on the Staten Island Ferry. One of the ferry doors swung straight into my tendon, cut it open and ruptured it. Only I didn’t know it at the time. I was misdiagnosed in the ER, sewn up and sent away. For nearly 4 weeks I kept trying to walk properly, and then finally it had a complete rupture nearly 4 weeks after the original accident. I am also 26 weeks pregnant.
    I have now seen an Orthopedic Surgeon, who has me in a boot for up to 12 weeks - just in time for baby.
    The pain has subsided so quickly now that I’m in the boot. I live in NYC, and it’s near 90 degrees every day, so I’m hoping for a speedy recovery. I just worry that I will now always feel nervous on that foot, and the thought of being on my tip-toes makes me feel very uncomfortable. The memory of that second rupture make me feel sick to the stomach!

  62. Emma, I think there’s good news and bad. First the good news: If you recover the way the overwhelming majority of ATR suffers do, you will eventually develop total confidence in your healed AT, believe it or not! It might happen in 6 months, or 12, or take 18 or even 24, but it should come eventually.

    When I returned to competitive volleyball (the “scene of the crime”) around 10 months after my first ATR (Yup, I eventually tore the other side, too, 8 yrs later!), people always asked me if I wasn’t nervous about the torn-and-healed AT. I told them it was THE part of my body that felt the MOST solid, and that I had the MOST confidence in — but that I was nervous about the OTHER AT, because I’ve obviously got a susceptibility to ATRs, and I was returning to even MORE aggressive volleyball than I’d been playing when I tore the first one! And sure enough, it eventually happened.

    Zero regrets, BTW, because (1) I totally loved the 7 years of fun and exercise in-between, and (2) my second ATR recovery has been WAY less unpleasant, largely because I’ve followed a NON-surgical rehab protocol that’s much QUICKER than the surgical one I followed 8 years ago. (And also because I GOT a protocol, rather than always wondering what my God-like surgeon was going to proclaim from on high as my next steps!)

    My main concerns about your “case” are as follows: You’re following a non-surgical protocol (sometimes mis-labeled “conservative”). That approach has been tested scientifically and found to work as surgery on a large number of randomized “normal” ATRs. BUT there are two things about your case that are NOT normal:

    (1) You didn’t rupture your AT by overstressing it in a vigorous sports move, yours was “sliced” by a ferry door. That means that the SHEATH that surrounds the tendon was presumably severed as well, at least part-way through. That sheath is +/- always intact after a “normal” ATR. Nobody totally understands exactly HOW an AT recovers its original length after a “normal” ATR (I call it “magic”!), but most of the theories give the (intact) sheath credit for creating the environment that makes that magic happen. But your sheath is torn and has to re-join and heal, too, so you’re not “normal”, and none of the randomized studies have included tendons like yours in their populations, AFAIK. (That doesn’t prove it WON’T work, either, of course!)
    2) The “magical” healing mechanism is triggered by the trauma of the rupture, which initiates a bunch of inflammation, extra fluid flow, etc., etc., which ends up doing, non-surgically, the work that surgeons do in the repair operation. First, the scientific studies only looked at INITIAL ATRs, and yours is now a RErupture. Maybe the mechanisms work exactly the same way, but we can’t prove it from the evidence, because there isn’t any. (In most of the best modern studies, when they encountered a rare re-rupture, they operated — maybe out of “surgeon” bias or force of habit, but maybe sensibly. We can’t prove it either way.)
    Secondly, you didn’t mention how much time passed between your re-rupture and your immobilization. If that time was short, then you may be set up to heal normally (except for the torn sheath). But if it was longer (anything like the initial 4 weeks), then you may have lost some of the “window of opportunity”. Again, there’s no solid evidence to prove anything here, just partial info and logic and uncertainty.

    Summary: I’m totally sold on the NON-surgical cure for “normal” ATR patients like me and most of us here, because it’s easier and less unpleasant and less risky (and much less $$$$, too!) than surgery, and because the best studies have ALL shown that it produces excellent results, at least as good as surgery. BUT you are far enough from a “normal” ATR patient, that I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that you might actually do better with the surgery.

    Sorry to add to your anxiety at a time of high stress from multiple sources, but I’m sold on truth and informed decision-making, and I hope this info ends up helping. Personally, I think I’d follow the protocol you’ve been given — though feel free to compare it to the somewhat quicker study-tested one that mikek753 and gunner and I have been following, on my site.

    But if it seems like it’s not healing properly by itself, do consider the possibility that you may be a “uniquely” good candidate for a surgical repair — and that from the guy who’s urging almost everybody else to avoid the operation! (Sorry I can’t help with the timing of the ATR and the pregnancy!)

  63. At 58 years I ruptured my Achilles while turning to retrieve a ball at a kids football match. I’ve had enough sports injuries in my time to know that I had snapped something. I was in a full leg cast within two hours and two days later went to a half leg cast. At my age surgery was not deemed appropriate and I am now 1 week on from the injury undergoing the ‘conservative’ treatment route.
    The percentage difference for recurrence with the two methods are 8% with surgery and 14% without. Hardly enough to convince me that surgery was the route to go as my serious sporting days are over. I am getting around on my sticks but only for short distances. I think my rehabillitation will be longer than the younger people on this site but I’ll certainly keep you aware of progress as it might help someone later.

  64. Billy, if that’s your name, welcome to the site. Get a blog and tell us about yourself.
    I was 59 in Feb., popped my AT playing tennis, called the doc (a good friend) and was told I had to have surgery since I play sports. Between that call and the next morning, I found this site, became convinced that the rerupture rate is, in fact, equal, according to genuine research, and convinced the ortho to not cut.
    I have followed the rehab protocol from the Canadian study linked on Normofthemnorths blog with great results, no different than younger guys. Y
    You need to educate yourself and take charge of the process and you will dramatically improve your chances of a full and swift recovery. I’m at 18 weeks and at about 80% and climbing.
    And thank your lucky stars you were “too old” for surgery, or rather that you wound up with a doc who didn’t know any better! You’ll see on this site lots of horror stories from surgical mishaps.
    You can read my blog and follow the steps I’ve taken, the boot I selected, the exercises in my progression, etc. Hope it helps.

  65. Congratulations on not having the surgery. You are in good company. As you will see ,from many on this site, those of us that have not had the surgery are progressing well.
    At almost 4 months post ATR, I am almost back to all my normal activities. Still have a limp and have not been back to the gym yet but enjoyed my bike ride today. Haven’t had much physiotherapy yet but will be in for my 3rd session tomorrow.
    Make sure you keep track of normofthenorth and gunner’s blog to guide you.

  66. Billy, assuming that is your name, where do you live? It sounds like not in the USA. I am really surprised that they made you out be an old man. I was a month shy of 65 when I ruptured mine running last year and the surgeon was really pushing surgery and with my wife being a doctor it seemed to be the thing to do. I wish I hadn’t because I’m sure I would have been back running long before this instead of just having have my fourth surgery on May 20. So consider yourself lucky that you weren’t subjected to surgery because it is a genuine minefield of potential problems. And be sure to get your own blog so you can easily keep up all up to date on your rehab, which is by the way, only part science and the rest is sort of like black magic or maybe even voodoo.

  67. Billy, I tore my first AT at 56 and my other one at 64. Same sport (volleyball), same move!! But different rehabs. Surgery the first time, then a very slow rehab, 3 casts then my surgeon’s first boot ever, under great pressure from me! This time, I assumed the evidence still “proved” better results with surgery, so I found a top surgeon who told me that he’d stopped doing ATR surgery 4 months earlier, based on the latest studies, that proved the surgery had no benefit!

    He was unusually well informed about ATR research for an orthopedic surgeon, lucky for me. So I skipped the surgery, straight into a boot, and went on to help convince mikek753 and gunner to do the same. We’ve all followed the protocol from the latest study.

    But beware of “conservative” treatment, because the long and slow protocols — your father’s ATR cure — don’t work well, and really DO seem to have higher re-rupture rates than surgery! If you go to my “A more complete review of the options — surgical vs. non-operative” page and search the comments for “protocol” you’ll find the link to the protocol the 3 of us have been following. Science may find a better one, but this one is reasonably fast and convenient , and has been been proven to produce good results (statistically), both with and without the surgery.

    Good luck, and good healing!

  68. I did mine on 22nd May 2010 - complete rupture dancing to the Proclaimers at a friends 40th! Had surgery on the 27th May and am still in a cast. I have 3 small children - I’m surviving but mentally it’s one of the trickiest things I’ve ever had to go through!

  69. Thanks for taking the time to read my notes and advise with such positive words. I live in the UK and my treatment was via our National Health Service and there were no private consultations. The Doctor was a young fellow so I assumed that his knowledge base would be current and relevant to best practice. I am glad now that he convinced me to forego surgery as the comments seem to suggest that non-intrusive treatment is best. I will take a look at some of the suggested studies and try and adapt to a regime that best suits my lifestyle. I have a high tolerance to pain and so far I have only felt small sharp pains in my ankle and calf which subside quite quickly. I am off on holiday next week, on a cruise, to the Caribbean so that should be a whole lot of fun(?), but I guess you just have to get on with it. On my return I will be fitted with a new cast that has my foot at a gentler angle but still not able to support any weight. Is this par for the course? I’ll keep you informed on my prgress if I ever figure out how to start a blog page up.

  70. Sorry, I think this is called thread jacking, but I can’t help myself. I don’t have my own blog set up yet and I hope this picks me up a bit.

    I just ruptured my AT on June 27th and I go to see the surgeon tomorrow. Thanks to all of you who have recorded your injuries and recovery, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable going to see the surgeon tomorrow. I will keep everyone up-to-date as I will have some time on my hands.

    RougeMac, Orangeville On.

  71. Almost missed the point. I am 32 years old, and I blew my AT reliving the glory days playing baseball, trying to stretch a single into a double and heard the “POP” about 4 steps past 1st base. I went down like a sac of potatoes, at first I was not really sure what happened. Like most I did not have too much pain, more a weird numbing sensation, when I put weight on my foot it felt like my foot pointing straight down even though it was almost flat. This was my first year returning to baseball after a 8 year break after Div 1 baseball and some semi-pro. I guess the years and a few beers have caught up to me.

  72. Rougemac, many of the sports-med ortho surgeons in Ontario have stopped doing surgical ATR repairs, because or four modern randomized studies that disproved what they were all taught in Med School. I hope your surgeon got the memo!

    The latest study was done at “Western” in London, ON, and they’ve all shown that the surgery adds no benefit! The studies are at bit.ly/achillesstudies , and Western’s protocol is at bit.ly/UWOProtocol .

    I’m doing fine 6 months after I “got the boot”, and mikek753 and gunner are going even quicker, without any surgery. Join the group!

  73. Norm, I like what I see with the non-surgical studies. The only question that I can’t seem to answer is how do the 2 ends of the AT grow back together when they are 4-6″ apart?

  74. Rougemac, I don’t think anybody really knows. I keep using the word “magic” when I talk about it, ’cause you’ve latched onto the biggest mystery. What the recent studies prove is that it happens, somehow, but that’s all.

    And most of the studies were done ONLY on COMPLETE ATRs, so you KNOW there was a gap in virtually every one. (How could you ever tear a rope or a ribbon WITHOUT leaving a gap??)

    The most likely theory I’ve heard relies on the fact that the tendon sheath that surrounds the AT (it’s called a paratenon, and is different from the synovial sheath that’s around most other tendons) is apparently pretty elastic, and is +/- always intact in a “normal” ATR.

    That suggests a mechanism for the healing to adjusting so the healed AT is the right length, which is pretty close to the average observed result, with or without surgery. (People whose ATs are accidentally sliced externally also slice their paratenon, and their prognosis may be different as a result. That sheath is sliced open the other way — longitudinally — in ATR surgery.)

    But it’s all theories, until somebody subjects a patient (or a bunch of them) to regular UltraSound, or something.

  75. I ruptured my achilles on June 28 while playing tennis and had surgery a week later. I have been in a cast for 5 wks and get it off one week from today. I hear different things with regard to how quickly I will be able to drive again. Some say it won’t be for another 4-6wks others say shorter. I guess I am trying to find out what experience others had; I have two small kids and really need to drive.

    Thanks

  76. Depends which leg you injured, if you drive automatic?
    I injured my right leg and was in boot for 4 weeks after the cast, but started driving a few days after getting out of the boot. If you go into 2 shoes after the cast, it will take a while to have strength in your leg, so if it is your right, do not count on driving any time soon.

  77. how long were you in a cast?

  78. yeah, i was an ass. The only time I didn’t drive was right after surgery and when we were out with the kids. AND my cast was on the right. Just try and visualize how I manage such a dumb-ass feat. ;)

  79. I was 51 Oct 2009 and had bilateral pain in my ankles getting out of bed. No sports injury, fall, etc. I am a sales rep and spend a lot of time driving. Also over weight and generally sedentary due to chronic lower back pain. I did PT, had a steroid injection, tried a cam boot. I finally went out of town to see one of the few foot & ankle ortho surgeons in my state. I am looking at surgery in early Oct and will be off work the rest of the year b/c surgery will be on right foot/driving foot. Don’t think I can get temporary transfer to Britain! Some pain relief and the ability to walk, maybe ride my bike is the motivator for seeking surgery. Glad to find this website!

  80. Surgery for what? And why such a long wait? What state do you live in?

  81. I am 32 years old and probably a little unfit, I totally ruptured my right achilles about 12 weeks ago playing netball and thought it just a sprain so with the help of some strapping played the following week totally rupturing my left as well. The pain wasn’t that bad and I was always lead to believe achilles injuries were extremely painful. I undergo surgery on my left next Tuesday and follow a repeat surgery on the right after this recovery.

  82. So glad to have found this site!! I am 58, female, and think I have this injury. I was playing tennis yesterday and while returning a serve, felt a snap in the back of my left leg and a popping sound. I fell down on the court. The pain was excruciating. Someone thankfully had an ice pack and my husband brought crutches. I did not go to the ER. I’ve been immobilized ever since-have an ice machine that our son used for meniscus surgery years ago, foot elevated and took Motrin. The pain is almost gone today and I have no swelling.

    I had no idea what injury I had, so my daughter googled “popping” leg injury, etc. Now that I’m reading through the info, I am getting really depressed. I am in between health insurance policies, so to hear surgery costs $15,000 is a troubling prospect. I am encouraged by the non-surgical protocols you are describing here. I’m afraid given my age that my tennis days–which I love–will be a thing of the past.
    I’m also trying to secure a new job & with the recovery time, I will be going to interviews in a cast.

    I’m now trying to find an orthopedic surgeon so I can be seen soon. Thank you all for sharing your stories–it’s given me some hope…

  83. Welcome to the club but sorry you had to find us. In the long run you may well be glad you don’t have insurance to pay for surgery. I had surgery and their were complications leading to three more surgeries. If I had know then what I know now, there is no way I would have agreed to surgery. You should be able to fully recover and play tennis again. I had my ATR one month short of my 65th birthday, training for a triathlon. I cycle, run, swim, backpack, and ski and have no plans to give up any of those activities and I’m now 66. My wife and I just went backpacking for a night in Yellowstone National Park yesterday. So don’t write off the things you like to do because it just isn’t necessary. You’re still a kid!

  84. Twice for me, both legs, both playing racquetball. 1st time left side in April 1999; I was 44 at the time. 2nd time, right side Aug 20, 2010, I’m 55 now. I’ve played racquetball for 27 years (3 times a week) HARD; and both times I had played a few games already. I plan to play again after recovery. I know that with age the achilles breaks down. Hopefully the surgery helps strengthen because both of my achilles are 2 to 3 times thicker after the surgeries. I’ll lighten up though, I hate the recovery. Im a fitness nut and I’ll never quit exercising in some form. - Rich

  85. Welcome to the “Both Sides Now” club, 2×11years! Me too, but at 8 yr intervals, volleyball, and RIGHT side first! At 56 and 64 y.o..

    The surgery doesn’t seem to add strength, but the healing after the tear (with or w/o surgery) does. I bet your LEFT leg felt fine at racquetball the last 11 years, without lightening up. With luck, your right will enjoy the same, maybe sometime early next year.

  86. Hello All -
    I am 5 days post-op and glad I found this site.
    I am 44 years old and for the last year focused on 2 things 1) getting healthy as I had many past medical problems and 2) being able to play basketball again, as I played my whole life. This past year, I have gotten back in shape where as of 2 days before my ATR I was running 35-40 miles a week. I went from a high of 287 lbs to my current 245. I am off blood pressure meds and my DR is thrilled with my progress. I wanted to setup a reunion basketball team of yester-year which happened on Dec 4th. In ttrying to make a move that my heart thought was right but my body thought was wrong, I ruptured my right AT while making a move to the left. Pain wasn’t bad, it just felt I was sinking into the floor when I walked on it. I actually drove 50mi to my local ER on it with the hopes it was only a calf pull. Deep down I knew what t was. The surgeon confirmed my suspicions and setup surgery for the next day Dec.5th. Now I am home annoying my wife (she and my daughters are the best) working from home and wallowing in my own misery. I have my first post-op Dr visit on Thursday Dec 16th. I am hoping for good news on the progress because this”keeping you leg elevated” kinda sucks. But we will all soldier on to get well fast.
    Best of luck to you all with your recoveries.

  87. Welcome to the club, Brutus, and congrats on your accomplishments before your ATR. Stuff happens, and this will heal, and you should be able to get back on track. If you can, try to get into a boot instead of casts, and on a fast-track modern rehab protocol instead of your Dad’s slow one.There are some good ones posted here.

    And start a blog of your own if you’ve got the time and inclination.

  88. Hi Everyone

    Mine went on a trekking trip in the Himalaya. We were just one day off summiting Island Peak when an anchor on a safety rope gave way causing me to transfer all my weight onto the toes of my left foot.

    Thought it was just a sprain but couldn’t walk on it so three of the Sherpas on the expedition carried me piggy back 5k back to the nearest village below 5000m so I could be helicoptered out.

    Flown back to Kathmandu where a visit to the medical centre diagnosed a sprain, treatment diclofenac and a tubigrip.

    I spent the next 9 days hobbling around Kathmandu waiting for a flight back to the UK.

    Back in the UK the day after the flight, concerned over the swelling in my calf, I went A&E where I was shocked to be told I had ruptured my achilles tendon.

    I was given a temporary cast and the doctor advised that I research my options on the internet. On my return to the clinic two days later the consultant advised that I should have surgery if I wanted to get the best results.

    I had surgery the following day and suffered considerable pain after getting out of bed to use the toilet some 6hrs after surgery, as I couldn’t use the pee bottle lying down (psychological I think). Codeine took care of it though and 36hrs later it was as though a switch had been thrown and no further pain.

    I’m now on day 14 post op and due to see the specialist tomorrow, so far very little discomfort apart from when I spend too much time on my crutches and the injured leg swells in the cast.

    If I can get my teenage son to show me how to create a blog on this site I’ll try and keep it up to date.

  89. I’m 35 yrs old and I ruptured my achilles playing flag football.. All I remember is the night I did it happened to be cold (25 deg F) and it also happened to be the first time we didnt stretch as a team. I dropped back to pass, planted my right foot and heard a nasty pop and pretty much knew that I just tore my achilles!!!

    Surprisingly I dont remember too much pain but I just knew that I had a long road ahead of me.

  90. Hi, just recovering from surgery two hours ago. Thin, fit 49 year old gal who was subbing in a competitive wallyball league. Was on the 6th seeded team in playoffs, made it to finals and we were winning last game with a lot of momentum. Hit a wet spot on the floor, slammed into the wall where my rt toe caught in the crack btwn the wall and floor. Couldn’t shake it loose and slammed full body wt on back to floor. We lost last game…..surgery 5 days later. Glad I found this blog.

    l

    l

  91. I am a 46 year old female who totally ruptured her Achilles Tendon while attempting to do Highland dancing at my daughters 21st Birthday Party. I think l would have been safer if l had to keep my high heels on instead of stepping out of them and with bare feet participated in the Highland Fling. I have gone with the Non surgical route and hoping for a complete recovery.

  92. Hi Donnums, you just gave me a spooky moment of deja vu. We are the same age, and our injuries happened in EXACTLY the same way. Highland dancing at a wedding with no shoes on!!!

    Which leg? Mine is my left.

    I am 17 weeks + now and you’ll see from my posts that I was on the NHS of the North ultra, ultra conservative (read old fashioned) treatment from the last century. What country are you in? If it’s not the UK, or you’re in the South of England, you should be looking forward to getting into a boot soon.

    Welcome to our family. Keep checking this site, it is the best thing ever for your sanity.

  93. Hi aileenscotland,

    You will never believe this mine is left as well, done mine on the evening of the 15th Jan 2011,

    I am not keen on my consultant, as he did not want to perform surgery as he said l was overweight and not an athlete, so he could not quite figure out why l wanted the surgery.

    I live in Scotland as well Aileen, and seem to be treated with various casts, terrified of re-rupture.

    Contacted SGH in Glasgow to offer to buy a boot for when l am due to come out of the cast, otherwise l will be treated with a heel lift.

    I am going to read your posts now, keep in touch

  94. Ruptured my left achilles August of 2008. Was in a hurry and leaped off a 3ft high step. I didn’t feel, but felt the pop. Was in Surgery the same day of injury.

    Reading these posts brings it all back. LOL

    I agree, this blog helped me keep my sanity. I pop in from time to time to post advice to recent achilles injuries.

    Good luck to all.

    Glen
    San Diego Ca.

  95. Hi all,

    Are there any smokers out there who had surgery for ATR. Im one week post full tear and deciding if I should have surgery (as a smoker) or just conservative treatement. Time is ticking so I do appreciate your quick responses. Thanks Shihan

  96. Hi everyone:

    First off….@shihan1…I’m a smoker and had the ATR surgery 6 weeks ago. Smoking shouldn’t be an issue/factor in deciding whether you should have surgery or not. I’m in the medical field, but not a doctor, but I would recommend the surgery, particularly if you’re somewhat active. I’m not sure as to your age or level of activity, but your only true concern is whether there would be an issue with going under general anesthesia…even then, that’s up to the doctor to decide. I’m very active and play sports year-round, so I wanted to get back to as close to 100% as possible. From what I remember, my doctor said that with conservative (non-surgical) treatment, you get to about 75% of your original strength, and with surgery that can increase to about 90-95%…..good luck with your decision!

    I completely tore my left Achille’s on Jan 17, 2011. I’m 5′8″ and an athletic 185 lbs.

    I was playing in a basketball league, had the ball, and pushed off my left leg (I’m a lefty) to begin to accelerate. As I did that, it felt (and sounded) as though someone stomped hard on the back of my leg right above my foot. It really was akin to someone hitting it with a sledgehammer.

    No real pain - I remember yelling when it happened, but it was more a fear/surprise thing than a pain thing. As someone had mentioned earlier, it was more of a deep throbbing pain, but the adrenaline and frustration that something major just happened really numbed any pain.

    Went to the ER that night (around 9:30pm), and they admitted me for surgery the next day (at about 5pm). I was placed under general anesthesia, and the entire procedure lasted about 60-90 minutes. I was placed in a splint, and left the hospital the same day (around 24 hours after the injury).

    Was crutches-bound for approximately 4 weeks - after 2 weeks, the leg was simply wrapped. 4 weeks post-op, I had a Bledsoe boot placed on my leg. The heel has 4 layers, one of which is removed every 2 weeks.

    After 1 week with the boot (7 weeks post-op), I was able to walk without crutches. I’m currently 2 layers away (3 weeks) from having my foot completely flat on the ground, and then PT begins.

  97. A quick question:

    Did anyone pre-injury have sore Achilles? For a few months prior to me tear, both of my Achilles would be very sore in the morning (where it would hurt to go down the stairs in the morning). It would go away after about an hour, and I figured that I was just sleeping wrong and aggravating it.

    I ask because now that I ruptured my one tendon, my right Achilles still has soreness (to the point where if I gently squeeze it, there’s pain).

    I would hate this to be a precursor for another tear in my other leg, so I’m curious as to whether this is something that I should be concerned about and get checked out.

    I told my surgeon about it, but he didn’t seem concerned…

  98. I personally have never had any sort of pain or problems w/my achilles (until the Right one ruptured…of course). :)

  99. sigma982,

    i remember having sore achilles numerous times but I do recall having soreness in the morning and after a few minutes would just go away (i just figured my body was just warming up) I strained my achilles pretty bad a few yrs ago and stupid me just took a a couple days off and went back to playing sports. I’m pretty sure you and I probably had numerous microtears in our achilles and finally the tendon ruptured. Knock on wood i havent felt soreness in my uninjured achilles but if I start feeling the soreness in the morning I may see the doc as soon as possible….

    I dont want to do this AGAIN!!!!

  100. It happened on the 28th of Feb. I was playing 5-a-side football (soccer) to try and get active again…

    It was the third time i had played and was about 30 mins in to the game when it happened. There was a loud bang and a blinding flash of pain. I thought someone had kicked me really hard in the back of the leg - I even rolled over to give them a piece of my mind, but there was no one there - at that point I knew I was in trouble!

  101. i am 13 and a female
    i was running in the marithon one day and i herd a big snap. scence i was a little girlll i fell and started to screem. no one knew what happend till someone grabed my leg and i screamed harder the rushed me to the hospital and begainsurgery imediatly i was not able to go to school untill i was able to walk again. i went to rehab everyday and i was back on my feet in 2 years. i dont remember the surgery but the surgens took me into grate care.

  102. 33, male back playing Basketball after a few years off. Third night back, got tripped, and that was that.

    Didn’t warm up enough I’m ashamed to say.

    6 weeks in, just had my first walk with crutches in my Air Cast boot.

    Blog here http://meandmyachilles.wordpress.com/

    Take care all.

    M

  103. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  104. 27 year old male, in Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Was playing rugby (union), our first game of 15’s of the year. I was accelerating to receive a pass, but felt as it someone kicked the back of my lower calf as I received the ball, and fell flat on my face. Was fortunate to have very little pain.

    Although I stretched and had a good warm up, pregame, it was a rainy and cold day (about 5 or 6 degrees Celcius). I was also pretty inactive during the off-season and put on a few extra pounds, then returned to the pitch without enough pre-season training to fully get back in shape.

    A little over 3 weeks post-op now, in a fiberglass walking cast, weight bearing, no crutches.

  105. I ruptured my left Achilles Tendon on May 31st, 2011 and had surgery on June 7th. I was a professional ballet dancer and now I teach ballet. Taught 20 -25 hours a week so I was in pretty solid shape when the tendon snapped.

    I was in the wings of a ballet performance — one of my students hurtled into the wrong exit at a run and I pivoted to avoid a collision … heard a pop and honestly thought the rubber heel on my split-soled jazz shoe had come off. I also felt as if the heel had come off — my left foot dropped weirdly as if a heel had come off — and that I may have suffered a sprain from the event. I sat down in the wings to remove the shoe but saw that the heel was in good repair. I knew then that I had torn the Achilles Tendon. What a ghastly feeling! Both very scary and kind of oddly humiliating.

    Currently I am in a cast for 7 and half more weeks — then the boot and rehab. I relate very much to the posts that speak of the fear of re-injuring the AT and building confidence in the rehab process. I never want to go through this ever again. I’ve had my share of injury rehab — what professional ballet dancer hasn’t? — but nothing as difficult and onerous as this. I am seriously thinking of retiring into a Margaret Rutherford (most famous for portraying Agatha Christie’s intrepid Miss Marple in the 1960s films) type!

    This is a wonderful site and I appreciate so much the opportunity to read all your posts and see that there is a light at the end of this orthopedic tunnel!

    All the very best to each of you in your recoveries!

    Daisy

  106. I’m 25 years old and I ruptured my left Achilles May 16th and had surgery May 24th.
    My injury occured while I was playing Futsal, which is Brazilian style indoor soccer. In futsal the ball is smaller and weighted and there are no walls to play off of. It is very fast pace.
    There are a couple of things that I think contributed to the rupture. The day before I went on a 12 mile hike. So going into the game my body was already tired ( I almost didn’t go to my futsal game). I got to the game late, to find that we had zero subs and down one player, so without stretching I jumped into the game.
    At one point in the game I went for the ball blocking a shot. I rolled my ankle, but I walked it off. I did feel a slight pain on the back on my heel, but we still had no subs and it wasnt really bothering me. Finally, after half time we had a late player show up and I was able to take a break.
    I went back in and that’s when I collided with another player and went down, I was on my knees about to get up when BAM! it felt like someone stomped on my heel. I got up tried to walk it off, but it just didn’t feel right. It almost felt like I was walking with one high heel on, and that’s when I knew I really messed up my ankle. After the game a teammate drove me home. When I got home I called a family member to take me to the ER. That is when I was told that I ruptured my Achilles. At least we won our game haha.
    Moral of the story, always listen to your body.

  107. Forgot to mention, I’m now about 6 weeks post-op and am in a walking boot, slowly adjusting the angle of my foot to a neutral position. I think I’m still 2 to 3 weeks away from walking, but I’m starting physical therapy this week. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  108. Wish I wasn’t posting this but I ruptured my Achilles on 22nd June 2011. Just after the longest day - likely to be a long year! Full rupture as a result of a gentle 5-a-side football game. I had warmed up and 5 minutes into the game I was jogging with the ball and Bang. It felt like I’d been hit with a baseball bat on the back of my heal.
    I consider I’m fit and healthy having enjoyed a field hockey career and a hobby of mountain biking despite being 50.
    After the rupture I got up and tried to walk but it was like treading with a 4 inch wedge under my right heal. I knew I had snapped my Achilles.
    Useless at the hospital being put in a light cast until 5 days later I saw a consultant who told me the non-surgical method was best based on the recent Canadian studies. So I was put in an air boot with 3 wedges in the heal and told ok to weight-bear through the crutches.
    Great to have the support of this site but turning back the clock I wish I hadn’t accepted the chance to play soccer, a sport I never normally play.

  109. I ruptured mine on June 13 2011. I am an EMT and 2 of us were carrying a stroke victim up 2 flights of stairs, in a Stryker stair chair.

    To make a long story short. the weight of the patient chair 02 tank etc was more than 300lbs, and there were just 2 of us in the ambulance. And with a stroke victim speed is of the essence. Anyway we got almost to the top when we stumbled or the patient moved, the whole weight came down on my right foot and I only caught the step with my toes. Leverage got the better of my 58 year old tendon. You know that sick snap and then the numbness/pain.

    Anyway we managed to get the rest of the way up the stairs, just pushing with my heal, I was at the bottom of the chair after a minute to catch my breath and figure out how to stumble on.

    Once up the stairs it was easy I used the chair as a walker and we transferred the patient onto the gurney and I drove the ambulance to the hospital.

    After the patient was moved into the ER I told the ER staff of my injury and we did the Thompson test and found that my Achilles tendon was gone. I had an MRI 2 days later and surgery the next day after the MRI. It was a complete rupture with about an inch of the tendon completely frayed. I have the MRI and Xrays they show this very clearly.

    The surgery went well and I am now 6 + weeks post op and I have been FWB for a couple weeks. I cant say enough good about Vaco Achilles boot. I am currently at 0 degrees (or 90 depending on how you measure).

    Apart from swelling and some cramps I really am very comfortable and work standing currently about half days. Fairly heavy work Cabinet making and casework installations, and videography/photography, but it will be a while until I am back on the ambulance.

    I am afraid I am missing most of this biking season, but I hope to make up with lots X-C skiing this winter.

    This blog is great and I wish you all a speedy recovery.

  110. What a story, Olof! Huge kudos to you for getting your patient to life-saving medical care despite having ruptured your Achilles Tendon! I’m totally impressed!

    Wishing you all the very best in your ATR recovery! This is a great blog and you’ll find wonderful people here!

  111. Age 35, non-athletic. I sit at a computer all day every day.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:30 PM. I’ll never forget. I was on the top floor of the parking ramp at work, walking to my car, and I heard a bunch of seagulls start squawking. I looked up and there were at least 3 of them flying circles above my head. (I did not know at the time I was parked next to a part of the building where they had a nest with young birds.) They had seen me coming and perceived me as a threat. One of them dive-bombed straight at me. I estimate he was doing at least 30 miles an hour. We made eye contact. Trying to dodge the bird, I did a quick duck & turn, pushing off with my right leg, and felt intense pain in my middle of my right calf. I likely will never forget exactly how that felt. It was like taking a baseball bat to the back of my leg, swung by a pro ball player. The birds wouldn’t let me get to my car, so I had to walk (limp) about a block back into work, then down 3 flights of stairs to get help. By that point I was purple and sweaty from pain. I may have been in shock. A co-worker found me and got me a chair and got somebody to take me to urgent care. There, I was misdiagnosed with a ruptured plantaris muscle. The doc put me on crutches, and told me that in 3 days I’d be fine and walking again. So, 3 days later I tried to walk. I couldn’t do it. I went to another doc, who sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. They ordered an MRI and it revealed that I ruptured my achilles, but not in the lower tendon part where they can operate, but higher up where it starts to turn into muscle. He said the injury was the pain and damage equivalent to being shot with a shotgun. He told me that surgery would be like trying to sew together ground beef. He put me in a boot and ordered physical therapy. I did that a few times a week for months and got around well in the boot.

    When I was discharged from PT I stayed in the boot until I could walk on my own. My orthopedist quit practice, and I bounced around to a couple for various reasons, until about 8 months after injury I found one I saw regularly. He diagnosed me with chronic achilles tendonitis, put me on a Medrol dose pack to attempt to heal the rupture (it was still not healed). That didn’t work. He told me to just take it easy and exercise as much as I can. Exercise, he said, will help me heal. The only thing I’ve found that I can do is the recumbent exercise bike. Anything else I cramp up about 10 minutes in and have to stop. I tried swimming for about 20 minutes and ended up in the boot for another 2 weeks.

    I still occasionally wake up in intense pain at night.

    One year, 2 months, 8 days later, I am wearing my boot again today because I woke up in a lot of pain. I must have done something last night to irritate it. That’s what prompted me to search for other people’s achilles injury stories. I want to know what others have experience.

  112. Mat – I read your post yesterday and have thought all night about your situation. There are quite a number of people here that have had a similar injury to you and are doing well. With the rupture so high up it is possible for it to be misdiagnosed at first but once it has been confirmed you should have been put on the road to recovery. Surgery is not as much an option so the initial treatment of placing you in a boot would have been appropriate. You haven’t mentioned if your foot was point down or if wedges were in the boot but would assume this is what happened. This is designed to take the tension off the tendon until it can join. Being nearer to the muscle it should have better blood flow but the initial healing phase is around 6 weeks. You have mentioned PT and I read that you started this straight away. Correct me if I am wrong. Initial PT should NOT be very intense and it does not generally become intense for some time. It takes around 12 weeks (sometimes longer) for the tendon to heal enough to begin intensive workouts. I have this strong feeling that you have been mismanaged by every health professional you have seen. I am not a doctor or an expert on this injury but can see so many RED FLAGS with what you have said. It may be a concise version of events and I may not have all the facts so don’t quote me. First flag – was PT straight away. If this was intensive involving stretching then you will have been continually tearing the tendon. Second flag – you should not have been discharged from PT still wearing the boot. It may have been a money issue for you but there would not have been a need for you to attend so many sessions particularly in the early stage. Third flag – being diagnosed with chronic tendonitis and being given Medrol which is a corticosteroid. One of the listed side affects of Medrol is Achilles tendon rupture. This medication could be causing more problems and tendonitis (inflammation) is most often tendonosis (degeneration) or in your case a rupture.

    This injury appears to be severely chronic and I feel you need immediate attention from an ortho surgeon who understands and a rehab program that will get you back to a normal life. It seems as though you have not been altogether successful finding one so far and I would not blame you for not trusting another but at this point you cannot treat it yourself. It has gone on for too long. There has been so much activity on this site of late someone like you could slip through a crack by posting on this generic page. Get a blog page of your own started. There could be someone here that can direct you to a good practitioner close to you but we need to know where you live.

  113. Matt, this is an unforgettable piece if writing BTW. When was your last scan, ultrasound or MRI. In the short term, has your gait/walking pattern been reviewed by a podiatrist/expert in biomechanics as you may need orthotics.

  114. Ali - I hope Matt is still visiting. It was a couple of days before he was picked up so to speak. As you said, it is unforgettable writing. I read it a couple of times before responding.

  115. Stuart - yes, a memorable background. Was hoping to do a bit of cycling today but I dont feel quite ready. Never mind, it will come. Inspiring to hear you are off camping!!!

    Daisy - hope you can get to see you dad asap.

  116. Ali - Cycling free can wait a little while. My intuition tells me you need to do something to get you out of a rut. Remember that auto gyro ride. Go and spoil yourself on something that will give you a lift. Something that is safe for the AT but a little risky, thrilling or just different to everything else you have had to put up with. Camping next week will do it for me. We also plan to do an easy canyon. Canyons near my home are narrow high sided sandstone watercourses with their own ecosytem. This one will be a dry canyon and no need for ropes. The weekend before my injury we did 5 canyons with ropes, swimming, climbing, jumping, scrambling. Maybe I pushed too far that weekend and this is why the AT snapped but I know it would have happened eventually. I would be devistated (certainly not as much as you) if you were pushed back to the start so waiting until you feel ready is a good thing. Keep well good friend.

  117. Stuart, amazing - on the other side of the world.. you are rmore right than you know. I have got plans and haven’t forgotten the auto gyro ride ;)

  118. Since my incident happened at work, it was covered under worker’s comp insurance. That was my first problem. Chubb Insurance is horrible! I’d have been better off if treated as a random accident and allowed to just pay my usual insurance co-pay. They pushed me through the system and attempted to close my case 3 times before they finally did. HR at work helped me keep it open. They denied several of the bills, and actually, last Thusrday I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy (debt repayment plan) to get out from under all the bills.

    I never had any 2nd MRI or scan or anything. Chubb Insurance refused to allow it, even though the only surgeon I saw more than once wanted one. They gave some bullsh*t reason.

  119. Also, I should mention, PT never was intense. At first it was just resistance bands. Then trying to balance. Eventually I got to walking without the boot and trying to stand on tip-toes. I don’t remember much else. I did walk out of there still in my boot, which I didn’t take off until I could get up and down stairs comfortably without. They told me just to keep it on and take it off when I “feel ready”

  120. Ali,

    No scans since diagnosis. I never even knew I should tihnk to have a podiatrist or anybody else evaluate me. I will ask my family practice physician for a referral at my physical next month

  121. Hi Matt, youve had a rough time :( . I mentioned orthotics as some of us have ended up with problems due to biomechanical problems. I had a problem all my life, although to look at me you would think there was nothing wrong (you might at the moment!!). Hopefully not for much longer. Some of us over pronate i.e. feet roll inwards/flat arches which can lead to overstretching of the achilles and therefore lead to problems. You might not have this problem but its worth bearing in mind. I hope for a more positive outcome for you..those feet have to last you a long time.

  122. Matt - a few years ago I had a problem with bilateral achilles pain. I was in a lot of pain for a few weeks. I got some orthotics and the pain resolved instantly. I wasn’t quite so fortunate this time round as the damage was done, but the biomechanics are fundamental. My podiatrist also had ultrasound equipment.. It may not be your problem at all, but its worth being aware. BTW, I think you have a bit of a gift for writing.

  123. Mat - I would make an appointment with a lawyer as well. You really have been done over. Glad you stuck around. Ali - I had orthdodics made as well for running. Similar problem. I use them in the shoes I walk around in now.

  124. Discount Short UGGs on Sale I really wish I hadn’t witnessed this as I really want just one now! Ugg Classic Tall Boots

  125. I injured my achilles on June 3rd playing squash. That’s what I get for being an active, overweight, 34yr old! Due to misdiagnosis I didn’t undergo surgery until July 5th.
    After surgery the surgeon noted that there was extensively more damage then was indicated on the MRI. He recommended a very conservative recovery process. Simply put, 10 weeks on crutches, non weight bearing.
    I’m happy to report that the 10weeks is finally over! I’m now in 2-shoes and hobbling around. I’ve been told not to do anything stupid and to work hard at physio. I’ll let you all know how I am in 6-months time.
    This blog was a wonderful part of my recovery, many of the stories are inspirational and it was great to learn that there are thousands who are experiencing the same things.

    Best wishes, Edmonton

  126. Yes, this was a really outstanding post.

  127. First time was March 2007.
    Stepped down from a ladder and felt a pop.

    Couldn’t bear any weight on it, DH carried me to the couch, iced it and went to bed.
    Next day it was fine.

    I trained for and completed 4 half marathons (walking) a 5k, a 10k in the next 2 years..
    All with a partially ruptured Achilles.

    As a result of having the part rupture I developed Haglunds Deformity a condition where you build bone on the back of your heel.
    It’s wicked painful and went undiagnosed until March of 2009.

    My podiatrist and I did not know the Achilles had been affected so my “Swan Song” was one more Half Marathon in June of 2009 and then surgery 10/2/2009.

    Only during surgery did he see I had ruptured the Achilles and he fixed it.

    I had a lot of PT, but none for the Achilles for a year.
    Then I sprained the ankle in July and had to go to PT.
    Was given an exercise, jumping, that resulted in the next rupture.

    Again partly.

    In a boot, babying it.

    Oh, I’m 50 and female.

  128. molly. MOLLY MOLLY MOLLY MOLLY! hahaha. i think she could pull her offf.
    her looks are IDENTICAL (in my eyes) but i rekon emma would be pretty good tooo….

  129. Tore mine at age 29. Started back playing basketball. Severly out of shape. I was back peddling and switched directions quickly. Left leg slid back too far. Just about everyone that i’ve met who has torn theirs or knows someone that torn theirs did it playing basketball.

  130. Ruptured the achilles tendon in my right leg one month ago today. I was playing in a football game and pivoted on my leg to turn the other direction. It felt like someone kicked me really hard in the back of my leg. I knew what it was immediately and had my buddy take me to the ER. The pain wasn’t that bad until later that night.

    Here’s kicker #1, it was 2 days before my wedding. The initial shock of being injured was masked by my fear of telling my fiance what had happened. I ended up getting a black cane and powered through the ceremony, i somehow pulled it off. The swelling in my foot that night was only to be outmatched by the swelling in my pants. :P

    Kicker #2, i was set to start a new job on October 3rd…..I had my surgery on October 3rd. Its been nearly 3 weeks now. i will finally start my new job on Monday, of course, i wont be driving and will be using crutches for another 2 weeks so it is going to be very interesting.

    Needless to say, my marriage and new career aren’t really starting off on the “right foot”, but if i can make it through these next couple of months everything after that should be a cake walk. All puns fully intended…

    Wishing a speedy to recovery to all fellow people with a new “ache” in their leg.

  131. I ruptured my left achilles tendon playing volleyball. I was turning to get a ball and felt a pop. I looked behind me to see what had hit my leg and when I realized there was not anything around, I knew exactly what it was. I actually ruptured my right achilles tendon 9 years prior playing volleyball in college. It was the exact same sensation. I had my surgery today…unfortunately, I’m very familiar with the recovery process.

  132. I am 35 years old, 6′0 & 195 lbs. I ruptured my achilles tendon this past Sunday, November 13, 2011. I was playing flag-football, and I injured mine while running a pass route.

    I was the Y receiver on the right side, and was running a “flag” route. I ran 10 yards and made a jab step w/my left foot to break my route up & out. At that point, the back of my left ankle “blew up”! I felt it pop, and the defender heard it pop. I fell to the ground and could not get up.

    Our quarterback attempted to help lift me up, and I coud not move my foot. It simply was just left there dangling, I had no control over it. I could not believe it did not hurt at all. It simply felt like my foot had gone to sleep. Then it became stiff.

    I had X-rays on Monday, MRI on Tuesday, met w/my orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday (foot & ankle specialist), and I have surgery on Friday. Ready to have surgery, recover, rehab, and get back playing again!

  133. i am same age as you and same experience, except mine was playing basketball. just keep those goals in mind to drive every decision you make in your rehab. not trying to be a downer, but this is a f’d up injury that will take quite awhile to heal and require a lot of patience. please let me/anyone know if you have any questions, etc.

  134. I’m 22 and I completely ruptured my Achilles Tendon cheerleading at a basketball game a few weeks ago. I’m too young for this :( lol it was the last media time out of the game and I went out to go do a tumble pass and did my round off and just pow it hit me…. I finished the cheer, not in my right spot because I couldnt walk. And When it was done I very discretely just grabbed two girls and they kinda carried me off. The trainer had no clue cause I was in too much pain to even know where I was hurt, just my leg. Sad day :(

  135. hang in there meganmichele. it does seem like you’re on the younger end of those w/ATR but i wonder if that will work for you in terms of your recovery… hang in there!

  136. i decided at 58 and fatter than i want to be to get back to playing squash after a few years out. i do a lot fo cyccling walking and go to the gym regulary so thought it might take me a bit to get match ready but would be good exercies
    In the third match back we’d been playing for 30 minutes when i was sure my opponent had hit me hard on the calf. i fell and noticed he was on the other side of the court. i managed to get home and after 2 days pain realised i had better seek medical advice, the doctor showed me the gap in the tendon
    i had surgery 6 weeks ago and last friday had the last cast fitted. my foot is now in a normal angle and i can get around the flat with ease. i bought a shower plaster cover but couldn t use it with the previous cast as my foot was angled down, today i had my second shower and it was just wonderful to wash again.
    looking forward to getting a boot hopefully next friday when i can start to get out and do simple exercises
    i find sites like these really useful to read how others did their injury and how the got the use of the legs back. i had just bought a nice bike before the accident and its pretty frustating seeing it sitting unused in the hall. i wonder how long before i can cycle again

  137. I was playing racquetball for 30 minutes after having warmed up properly. As I stepped forward pushing off one leg, my tendon ruptured. It felt exactly like the ball had hit me in the calf but the ball was in front of me. Hurt but not excruciatingly. Could not walk without help, the injured leg was completely useless. The surgeon later said when he opened it up, the tendon looked like two mops, it was so exploded. Unlike a bone fracture which typically takes six weeks in a cast to heal, this took twelve weeks. Yup, three months. Don’t expect much less. The upside is that with some physical therapy, I was completely healed and have had no noticeable detrimental effects. Jumping completely restored. BTW - I was 50 when this happened. Hang in there, you will get better, just not quite as fast as you’d prefer.

  138. slipped and fell over the edge of a new pipe and sliced through my workboot and cut into achilles upwards about 2 inchs.

  139. the only thing a parent could wish? for …… their baby laughing

  140. Interesting read. I wish I had the motivation to write such good posts onto my own blog. It is not easy.

  141. Meganmichele,

    I also ruptured my left Achilles tendon tumbling in a gymnastics class. I too was doing a roundoff, backhandspring, back tuck. I’m 31 years old and have been training for a fitness competition so I started tumbling 6 weeks ago. I go for surgery this Friday 3/2/12 and am wondering how your rehab is going?

    Sarah

  142. I like your writing style truly loving this internet site .

  143. Good Post. I have read a lot of posts on this topic and you done the best job. Keep it up!

  144. I’m 43 (44 in 3 weeks) ruptured mine during a knee-strike drill in martial arts sparring training (full speed, step back landing on left while throwing right). Felt, more than heard, snap, but had that “what did I just hit with my foot” reaction— then the pain hit when I stepped back onto it. Wasn’t doing anything new, am pretty fit, having done 2 Ironman races, 6 1/2s and many others over the past 6 years, and had been in this class over a year. Just my turn I guess. Rupture 2/18/12, surgery 2/21/12…

  145. I ruptured my achilles while playing basketball for just the 2nd time in about 7 years. I’m pretty active, and go to the gym 5-6 days a week and play beach volleyball 2-3 times a week. But, I was just at the top of the key about to drive to the rim, when I hear the infamous “pop”, and I thought that another ball must have hit me in the calf. I turned around and saw no one around, and I knew I was in trouble. Went to Urgent Care that night, and had a positive Thompson’s test. Made an appt with an ortho the next day, and it was confirmed. Sadly, I had my destination wedding trip in about 5 days. I ended up postponing the operation till after I returned from my wedding. Just had my surgery yesterday, and I’m already antsy.

  146. I raptures my AT playing soccer, I experienced a very bad pain, which made me think that someone kicked me on my AT, but from reading the blogs it sounds like it was just the pain from the AT rapture that made think someone kicked me .I am very unsure which one was it .I am on my 11th week and i just started doing steps with no crutches and always wearing the boot. No PT till the 12th week.
    No infection in my case so far, and regarding re-raptures i will go easy an slow i will hate to start all over….

  147. Yikes…looks like my story us somewhat unlike any other. I’m 24 years old, fit, and played soccer, and basketball competitively all through my life, and worked out 4 times a week. What makes be different is my rupture was actually from a direct blow to the ankle..during a soccer game I was challenging the ball, about to make a breakaway, and got kicked directly in the Achilles by my competitor(who was wearing cleats). The pain was unbearable but I tried to run it off like nothing was wrong, thinking it was just an initial pain that would lessen…boy was I wrong! I couldn’t bend my heel or stand on it, had to be carried off the field and went to the ER. There, I was diagnosed with a bone contision(they told me I didn’t need an MRI) was given crutches, and they told me I could walk on it as the pain subsided in the next few weeks. I began to walk after a while, but still couldn’t run or stand on my tip toes. Went back to the doctor after 2 months of still not being able to walk without a limp, even though I had no pain. He told me to continue to walk on it and it will work itself out. The following month I tripped and fell down the stairs..and the pain I felt was like the soccer game all over again. This time I went to a podiatrist, who felt my ankle and almost jumped out of his chair…then gave me the news that I had ripped my Achilles. Apparently the soccer game ripped it halfway off, then the fall down the stairs ripped it off altogether. Just had my surgery last week…in the states of recovery now, and it hasnt been easy. Word to the wise: always get a second opinion! :-)

  148. Jan 31st, 2012. 39 years old and was attempting to get back in shape by playing indoor soccer at a church. just a simple pick up game once a week. it was not extrememly competetive at all. i was running toward the wall to retrieve the ball with nobody around me. i distributed my weight from the wall back to the middle once I got the ball. it felt as though something hit the back of my ankle. thinking something had dropped on my leg, I looked back and there was nothing there. it wasn’t very bad pain. but once i tried to walk and couldn’t roll my foot, I knew it was the achilles. the Dr. said weight had nothing to do with it. over time the achilles degenerates especially in men. since I hadn’t been using it or been as active prior, the achilles had lost elasticity and was not prepared to be used in that way. stretching is going to be huge for me from now on. both before and after being active.
    Out of my boot and in physical therapy. Walking but with a slight limp because of all the fluid that builds up after the procedure to re-attach. All stiffness with zero pain. On my way back!

  149. What is interesting about my ATR are the circumstances in which it happened. My wife had some minor foot surgery 2 weeks prior to my injury. By that time, she could walk short distances but had trouble if the distance was too far. We went to her doctor’s office to get him to sign off on a form so she could get a handicap parking permit. By the time we got there, her doctor was only going to be in the office for another 10 more minutes and then on vacation for 2 weeks. So when we pulled up to his office, I told my wife to wait in the car since she was moving pretty slowly yet and I would take the form in. Just to make sure I got there in time, I decided to run to the building. I took about 3 steps, heard the “pop.” and knew exactly what happened. I limped back to the car and told her that she would need to take the form in. When she got back (turns out we had plenty of time), we took the wheelchair out of the car (which she had been using the week before), put me in it and took me up to my doctor’s office, who happens to be in the same building. Fortunately he was able to squeeze me in and gave me a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

    This all happened about 4 weeks ago. I decided to go the non-surgical route and yesterday after 4 weeks in 2 different casts, I got my boot.

    I was experiencing some soreness in my AT for a couple of weeks prior but thought nothing of it. From what I have been reading on this site, that might have contributed to my ATR. What I still find unusual is the total lack of pain. Not that I’m complaining.

  150. I had recently started back to playing netball at 45. The first week I played something happened in my calf and it was extremely painful - I limped for a week but thought I could walk it off. The following week it was o.k., the 3rd week again I felt a painful sensation in my calf, but didn’t associate the calf pain with the achilles. The 4th week I was 3/4 of the way through a game when I was running up court and as is common I felt like someone had kicked me in the back of my leg and my legs felt as if they were tangled up or something. Tried to put my foot down and it felt like it didn’t belong to me.

  151. If you want a good laugh about all the mundane stuff that foes along with dealing with this godforsaken injury, check out my blog at: http://hakim-rupturedachilles.blogspot.com/

    I’ve learned a lot from people on this site. Thank you all. I decided to take a different approach with the injury reporting. You will definitely laugh, and most of you would agree with the little things I’ve pointed out (or so I hope) Happy reading everyone.

  152. 43 yo Crossfitter in very good shape. We were running sprints on a particularly cold day. I pushed off for a sprint and felt the smack in the leg that most everyone else has described. Fortunately, my surgeon was WODding with me that day and assessed me on the spot, so I was able to have the repair just four days later. I’m 7 weeks post-op, FWB in the boot. Although my range of motion is excellent, I have adhesions that are impeding movement. My PT is working them out; hurts like a mother, but my mobility is markedly better after she’s done. I’m very anxious to be driving again, as my husband has been doing everything for the past nearly 8 weeks.

  153. active 42 yo playing a pick up soccer game on 50 degree weather on syntethic field April 30, 2012. I did a little warm up, but no stretching. 35 minute into the game, i had the ball and wanted to sprint, made a left-right move with my right foot, tried to plant it and push to spring forward when i felt like someone hit me above the ankle. it felt like a knife. Fell into ground with no one around me. i tried to walk it off, but no success. I did walk around with it for the next day, but no improvement. Next night hit the ER at WMC, only to quit after waiting 3 hours with my bracelet on. 2 days after, i managed to see an orthopedic who knew exactly what it was. MRI 2 hours later confirms complete ATR right foot. I was on a cast and crutches until my surgery May 8. i had a nerve block for surgery, which wore off this mornign 3 AM. Unbelievable pain. Im taking oxicodone every 4 hours. foot is on cast elevated. i can fell the toes, but i dont want to exercise them yet.

  154. Hello soccermad! Your story is very similar to mine as I am 43 and ruptured my right Achilles playing soccer on a synthetic surface (Mondo Turf). Maybe not so coincidentally, a younger guy (in his 30s) showed up at my Orthopedic surgeon a week later after the exact same injury on the exact same soccer field! I am now 6 weeks post-op and will probably play soccer again someday, but refuse to ever play competitive soccer again on a synthetic surface…too old, I guess! Good luck to you in your recovery, those first few days are especially miserable.

  155. Age 28, 35 pounds overweight.

    Went from exercising 5 days a week to none in the past 4 years (got a desk job that worked me 60+ hours a week) Started being active 2 months ago, went too hard i guess. Ran sprints, jogged a few miles, then played basketball (Didn’t stretch). I pivoted on my right foot to burst forward toward the basket and felt someone kick my ankles from behind but no one was there.

    Currently 20 pounds overweight and changing my lifestyle. Day 35 post op, in cam walker. Starting PT in 2 weeks.

  156. My son is an 18 year old, state champion runner in cross-country and track and ruptured his AT 90% while running a quarter mile during a race on Monday. To say he is physically fit is an understatement. He mentions no popping or snapping noise, but it was quite noisy that day on the track. He hopes to recover completely to be able to leave in Seoptember for basic training. Best of luck to all!!!

  157. State Champ

    My heart goes out to your son. This injury must be very hard on a highly athletic 18 year-old. I really hate to say this but the rule of thumb I have heard is that on the average it takes 6-12 months to recover 80-95% to the post injury condition. Unfortunately September is only 3-4 months away and from what I understand, basic training is fairly grueling. Of course there are exceptions.Everybody heals at a different rate, and your son sounds like a great candidate to be the exception. Still, it might not be a bad idea to have a plan B in mind just in case.

    Is an enlistment date a few months later a possibility? If you try to rush the recovery, there can be set backs. The recovery process is like the joke about wrestling with a gorilla. You’re not done when you want it to be done; you’re done when the gorilla wants it to be done.

  158. I was playing softball. 33 year-old female. I had hit the ball and was running to first base. Initially I thought I had been hit with a thrown ball and actually turned to see if someone had thrown. It took a minute for the pain to kick in , but then it hurt so bad that my ears were ringing. This all happened 6/18/12. I had surgery on 6/21/12 and now I’m home from work for two more weeks. I have my first post-op appt. on Tuesday and a new cast. I have to say this really sucks and was not at all how I had pictured my summer.

  159. Scary to see myself listed twice here (gw0508). I am 2 days shy of 60. I ruptured my left Achilles on 19 June 12 while I was playing badminton. As I stepped back I heard & felt it pop. Since I’d done this before, I knew exactly what had happened. Just had surgery 3 days ago. I’m with you, Devienne. This sucks! Doesn’t matter that it’s summer or whenever. We never envision this happening to us

  160. I do not know how mine was ruptured it was weak for my whole life by a bone in my foot at a 45 degree angle. This put a pull on my achilles all the time. I had many sprains could not step on my toes and raise myself. Doc says I was handicaped whole life. I looked at him and said how can that be I have hiked, fished, hunted and climbed many mountains in Washington, Oregon and Denali in Alaska. I had a very physical demanding job with State fish and wildlife. He just shook his head. I am now 68 years old and just had tendon surgery were they took out 6 inches on tendon and replaced with 6 inches from upper right leg tendon. I had no idea except was getting a lump on tendon and was weaker in that leg and would use left leg for steps and upward climbing first. Looking back it came on slowly. The pressure from foot bone out of place made tendon like rubber band. Anyone else had a condition like this? Surgeons I had two working on me two weeks ago say one of the worst tendons they have seen. I have skinny legs and weight is 165 pounds 5 foot 11. So not a lot of weight on foot. No problems with surgery 4 hours long. No pain had block and regular drug to put me to sleep during operation. I have 1st appointment with doc tomorrow. He has told me recovery time 1 year which is the pitts. The first 4 months no load bearing on foot. Then shim in shoe to correct level of foot and boot. I can’t drive since vehicles are standard transmission. May have to buy auto transmission new truck. But will wait and see results from treatment. So many questions and this site helps. I love to shoot archery and tried it on my home range. Sitting on a chair with no pressure on my right foot shoot ok. Seems to be no pressure on tendon. But will check with doc. Cancelled a few hunting trips one on horse back for elk in Colorado again the pitts. But could be worst.

  161. Just got back from surgeon and took out staples healing well. Put on hard fiberglass cast. Doc said you picked green the color of money no I said color of forest. He explained surgery in detail today. Seemed complicated he was like a carpenter looking at his finished product. Other doctors came in and would look and say what skinny legs.
    S O’Niell basketball player had a graft jacket put around his tendon repair. I had the same with two graft jackets at 30 K cost. Wow glad I got insurance. The jackets keeps scar tissue from forming and helps strengthen the tendon. He ordered me a knee scooter. Be in a cast for 4 months to insure healing and then to a boot and slowly raise the foot to stretch the tendon. Looking at 9 to 12 months recovery time. After today feel better about surgery off all meds no pain. But long months ahead.

  162. Ive been skateboarding for over 15 years. I never broke any bones, but have rolled my ankles,wrists,rolled over rolled down stairs cuts scrapes all that close calls with traffic, and police. all that. But on this beautiful march day It all changed. I was skating for bout an hour. nothing crazy, at a skate park ive never been to. 30 mins into skating there I atempted a trick on a knee-high ledge. I was in mid trick(frontside nose grind) when I felt something go up the back of my right leg. but inside it.weird feeling. came off the ledge my achillies ruptued(felt like a fruit roll up going up my leg) because of no support fell on to the ground. rolled my right ankle. the right ankle felt like a huge balloon. a pain i have never felt before. Wasnt to bad. I had WAY more pain after surgery. sucks cause i wasnt doing anything crazy just crusing around. Oh well. I’ll skate again. just no x games for me no more. i wanna walk right later in life.

  163. I was playing a Faculty student basketball game when I went up for a rebound and a student came down on my foot. My ankle rolled and I felt like I was walking in a ocean with strong waves> I thought, well, I sprained my ankle again. IT swelled up and was a little bruise, but little to my knowledge I had ruptured my AT.

  164. Racing Motocross hit a jump landed no big deal! Got to the second corner and could NOT shift the bike! I was thinking WTF! LOL! Well, after the adrenaline wore off realization started to set in. Got back to my truck had to have a friend peel my boot off. I knew then NO ACHILLES! UGH!

  165. Was playing football (soccer), my foot got stuck underneath the opposite player and I heard a loud snap noise and my leg went numb. Started to then feel numbness and shooting pains, nurses believe its an Achilles’ tendon rupture and I’m seeing a specialist this week. Devasted.

  166. Was playing 5-a-side footie. After already playing for 20 mins, I went for a header, then noticed a sinking/numbness sensation in my heel. Rapidly found out it wasn’t my shoe, calf muscle rapidly swelling, I hobbled off hoping it was a twisted ankle or something. But no, ATR!, absolutely GUTTED.

  167. Hi all,
    Open debridement 0 right achilles. Surgery was Friday (three days ago). Nice straight bone cut to get out the calcification and part of my heel. Severed and reattached the tendon. Post-op visit scheduled for Dec. 29th. Condition has worsened over some 9 years - tried everything, including PRP to avoid this surgery. So far so good. Get to do the left one once the right one is sufficiently along…

  168. Hi all,
    I had a 70% rupture of my left AT on Nov 10 playing soccer (I’m Brazilian, and I’ve played soccer ever since I started to walk). I’m 46 and about 10 lbs overweight. After a sliding tackle I was getting up when I felt as if a player from the opposing team had kicked the back of my calf. I actually turned around to retaliate before falling again with an intense pain, and had to hop on one foot to get off the field. At first I though it was just another sprained muscle injury, of which I’ve had a lot). I even went hiking for over 10 miles 6 days later, limping but relatively pain free. After 3 weeks I realized that I was unable to stand on the tip of my left foot, and decided to see a doctor. Had surgery on December 10 and will have my stitches removed tomorrow (hopefully).
    I’m in a cast, and only feel pain by late afternoon. I’m a chemistry professor at the university, and have been coming to my office since the 5th day after surgery. Fortunately I have quite strong arms, so it doesn’t hurt to use crutches, it’s just very tiring. Actually, the worst pain I’ve had since the surgery is today (12 days AS), and its back pain, probably due to using the crutches. I know I probably won’t be playing soccer again, I just want to recover my strength and walk again without a limp.
    It was great to come across this site and read about all the experiences you people hav had. It helps a lot.

  169. Sandman, the vast majority of us DO return to our sports, including the “high-risk” sports that caused the ATR. A few of us (including me) eventuallt rupture the OTHER AT — and then I returned again to the sport that ruptured them BOTH. I’m still playing competitive volleyball, 11 & 3 years post-ATR (@67!), and having a blast! More details (including the return to sport) on my blog, and many others.

  170. Welcome to Achillesblog Sandman. AS norm said there are plenty of people here who have gotten back into their sports of choice after there injury. And many of us (myself included, 9 weeks post-op) are in the process of getting there (see my blog). Although, the road to recovery is long and tedious, you will get there. Personally, I would like to get back to backpacking, golf, and maybe some pick up basketball. Keep us posted on your recovery and happy healing.

  171. Just signed up to the site today. Thrilled to have a group to help me get through this next year, as I just found out yesterday I need surgery and I’m already pretty down and out about it.

    I have a partial tear in my left tendon with extreme calcifcation and scar tissue (it’s swollen to a little smaller than a golf ball and has been for months).

    The problem started for me over 2 years ago from playing basketball. I am 30 now and have played my entire life including through college. I never had a problem, and it wasn’t 1 moment that I can pin point. It just got gradually worse, and I’d just accepted it. (”I have a game on Thursday so I will be limping around all day Friday but will be able to next week and be ready for my next game). I also had gotten more into running over the last couple years and did my first 10 mile run this past Spring. All while in a decent amount of pain from the achilles. Everyone told me to have it checked out, but, well, I’m just “that person”.

    This past September, my Fall bball league was starting up. I played in my first game, was in a lot of pain when I got home, and by the time I laid down for bed, it was throbbing. The worst it’s ever felt by a long shot. I barely slept and when I got out of bed that morning, I fell back onto my bed as soon as I tried to put weight on it. I gave it maybe another month or so (I know, I know) to see if it got any better (as was the trend), but it never did. The swelling remained, the pain was constant, I couldn’t even think about playing basketball anymore, and running was far more painful than it was enjoyable (yes, I was still running). I finally saw an orthopedic 3 weeks ago, he ordered an MRI, which I got done 2 weeks, and yesterday I met with him for my follow up appointment.

    I’ll be going under the knife on January 8th. I had said this whole time that that is what I was hoping would happen. I didn’t want him to tell me to “rest and rehab”, since I knew that wouldn’t work. However, when he gave me the time table (6 weeks in crutches/cast, 6 weeks in a boot, 4-6 months before I can start jogging/playing bball again), the reality of it set in. I left the hospital, got in my car, and had a total melt down. I have always struggled with my weight and being a runner is something I NEVER thought I’d be able to call myself. It took me a long time to get to this point and the thought of having to start all over is devastating.

    I’m hoping to be able to find some comfort, support, and even some exercises that I can do while in the cast and boot on this site. I’m so glad to have found a page like this! Looking forward to getting this taken care of and coming back ROBO-CAROLYN! :-)

  172. Carolyn, I think the news is pretty good - especially compared to your recent experience. Surgery sounds right — and you’re hearing this from the head of the non-op “Glee Club” for normal ATRs caught promptly — and it usually works well. Your timeline of 4-6 months for jogging may be right, or optimistic (sorry!). But I’d try to speed up the other timelines, closer to bit.ly/UWOProtocol .
    I’m guessing that your Doc just likes slower rehab protocols, though he may believe that your calcification etc. would especially benefit from a less aggressive approach. I’ve never seen any evidence to support that belief, though I can’t disprove it either. In general, going slower does no good, and in some circumstances produces worse results on average. (Most OSs still haven’t wrapped their heads around that “illogical” fact.) And it’s always a nuisance for us patients, so even a marginal benefit might not be worthwhile.

    Many of us did NOT gain weight through our ATR recovery, not sure why not — though we all lost muscle mass, tone, and CV fitness, natch. Calf tone, strength, shape, and size are all “doomed”, at least for a while, though there are opportunities to exercise the rest of your body.

    You sound like you’ve got the right attitude and you’re finally on the right track. Good Luck, and start a blog of your own for updates and Q & As!

  173. Happened about 30 years ago riding my horse.. something scared him and he bolted. my foot went through the stirrup and he dragged me at a gallup for about 200 feet - until my ankle gave way. hyperflexed it and tore 6 connecting tendons. 2 of those plus the achilles were torn off the bone by pulling a fragment of bone off with them. my mom is a medical professional and knew the orthopedist and talked them into trying to heal through casting before trying surgery. i wore a plaster cast and used crutches for 3 months and a walking cast another 3 months, but had complete healing. i do have some swelling almost all the time and weather causes aching.
    i found this website because 2 days ago, immediately after jogging, i had intense pain at the attachment site of the achilles to the heel bone. today, 2 days later, it is still painful to walk and tender to touch, although there is no more swelling than normal, and general pressure on the heel causes more aching than normal. so i did a websearch for achilles injuries and recoveries.
    anyway i decided to post here because i didn’t see any similar methods of injury on the list here. :)

  174. I was snowoarding at Panorama resort in British Columbia. Have been riding for 13 years and never had an injury since I learned. HOWEVER, one week ago today fate was determined to change that long running streak!. My 57th birthday was the day before (people already telling me I’m too old for this stuff). I caught the front edge of the board while making a turn at fairly slow speed, and ended up head first over the front of the board. From the noise I heard I thought I’d hit a rock but realize that was the tendon snapping - pain was simultaneous. The clinic in Canada X-rayed but did not do a MRI. Put me on crutches and in an air boot. Made it home on Sunday, went to My Orthopedist Monday AM. He rush scheduled a MRI for Monday night and when I met with him for follow-up on Wednesday he informed me that I had a complete separation. Surgery was scheduled for the next day (yesterday evening).
    The surgery was flawless (from what I was told). Made it home and slept superbly as the nerve block was still in effect. Too bad it doesn’t last forever - started wearing off about 3 hours ago and IT HURTS LIKE HELL! I’m laying flat with the foot elevated, icing it on and off every hour, and had to double up on the pain Rx to get through this initial pain level. I know it won’t last forever (had shoulder surgery several years back and that was horrific for about 3 days). My journey has just begun!

  175. Good luck. 57’s not old for snowboarding big mountains OR for an ATR. I did mine (both) at 53 and 61, IIRC. Playing competitive court volleyball with a bunch of young folks. Neither MRI nor surgery is required for best ATR recovery, though both are used and recommended a lot.

    Pain from an ATR is really variable from patient to patient, but pain from ATR surgery is pretty universal. Start a blog!

  176. 23 year old female, fit & play tennis and netball competitively (around 5 times a week). Been playing competitively for a long time, no achilles issues whatsoever so no idea what the cause may of been.

    Achilles ruptured just over a week ago, during a netball game. Landed and thought someone had kicked me with a concrete foot in the back of my ankle. Was taken to the emergency dept and was put in a cast probably within 1-2 hours of the actual injury.

    Going with the non-surgical route & hoping to be back into competitive sports ASAP (realistic tho, looking at probably 6 months to make sure i reduce the risks as much as possible before getting back into it).

  177. Serena, 15 year old girl, living in UK. Very keen tennis/sport player and runner. Used to jog everyday alongside tennis 5 times a week. Never had a problem with achilles until 18th April 2013.

    Completely ruptured my left achilles playing tennis. Playing doubles, one of my opponents hit a short ball, determined to get to it, try to push of my left foot, hear a “pop” sound and from then on, I couldn’t put any weight on it!

    Went to emerg. dept same day, went for the surgery option and operation was done 2 days later (20th April). 19th April, I went into the hospital for an MRI scan to determine if I really needed surgery due to my age etc..

    From the operation, every 3 weeks, my cast has been changed, altering the position of my foot, slowly stretching the tendon. All together, 9 weeks in a plaster cast, currently, I’m on my 6th week. My foot is currently at a 90 degrees position so that I can put some weight on it. (I have a “shoe” to go with it!)

    20th June is the set date my cast is going to be removed and then I move onto the walking boot along with the physiotherapy (physical therapy)

    Missing my sport loads and it’s driving my crazy, itching to get back to my running and tennis!!

  178. Like Alice in Wonderland, I fell down a rabbit hole. Literally!

    Watching my son’s All-Star baseball game finals at a school field on a twilit June evening. I ran up a little hill to get a better view, and felt my left shoe jam straight down into the hole. As I fell flat on the ground, I felt the pop, which I mistook for a stray foul ball hitting me in the calf.

    I’m an active 48yo woman and have a pretty high pain threshold (natural childbirth, very few painkillers after my minor surgeries in the pat). This was pretty bad, though. Complete tear, but my surgeon said it was a nice clean break and no borrowing was necessary to repair it. Now 2 days post-op and desperately missing the walks with my dog in the woods that I won’t be able to take for a long while. Taking Percocet every 3-4 hours and having bad dreams when I drift into sleep–I imagine I’m accidentally falling on the bad leg.

  179. Percocet gave me bizarre,very uncomfortable dreams and made my stomach queasy. Percocet made me feel like I was spinning. See if you can get Vicodin instead. It didn’t give me strange side effects.

  180. I am a 45 year old runner. I typically run 50+ miles a week including one track workout a week. I run races of all distances but seem to do best at the 1/2 marathon. On May 22, 2013 I was running in a 3000 meter race on the track. With about 70 meters to go I heard a snap and stopped dead in my tracks.

    The things that scares me the most is I had no warnings and did nothing too unusual and I want to make sure something like this NEVER happens again! Such a nasty injury with little explanation as to why it happened!

  181. @lodinpdx: Sorry to hear about your injury. Many of us had no warning that this was going to happen–just rotten luck, I suppose. You may or may not want to read about contralateral injuries–on the side bar :( Hope your recovery is going well.

  182. Thanks @kellygirl. I will do that - I certainly have time! Yes rotten luck indeed but there has to be a reason it happens when doing the same motion I have done literally thousands of times before!! Nothing crazy…

  183. @lodinpdx: LMK when you figure it out. I still can’t figure out why mine went kaput! Nothing crazy over here either.

  184. Hi all!

    I’m a 33 yo male from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ve been physically active but was out of action for almost a year due to surgery on my torn right ACL in April 2012. Resumed playing soccer Feb 2013 with no complications.

    Went to play futsal@indoor football on 11 June 2013 (biggest mistake ever, since my ortho specialist warned me NOT TO!) and as I was about to make a sudden right turn from a stationary position, I heard a “CRACK” sound and a sharp pain on my left heel…knelt down in pain and thought someone kicked me there!

    Went to see my ortho specialist and based on the MRI scan, was told that I partially tore my Achilles tendon (phewww!). Was told to wear the boot@cast for 6 weeks and am off it tomorrow - looking forward to the physio sessions.

    Am just asking myself now, when can I start kicking a ball in anger again? Any ideas?

  185. Hi guys and ladies I got the injury playing basketball a charity 3 on 3 tournament I jumped up and got the rebound over a guy went to the top of the key and the guy came at me I did a crossover and planted to shoot the jump shot and that’s when I felt a pop! I dropped and my foot felt like instant swelling was happening, My friends said my shoes were too loose ( not)! The dr told me over time you tendons stretch and recover and I have the Kobe I was crushed!!!! I’m 42 6′5 about 285 and workout 5 out of 7 days a week. I pre stretched and warmed up and had felt really good all morning. The dr said I should be back in 4 to 6 months running a jumping but full 100% it could take a full year I use my faith and a positive mind to get over this challenge I hope all you going through this injury as well remember somebody out there has it much worse than you it sucks, But we all will recover and be back kicking azz and taking names much success guys and ladies in your recovery.

  186. Hi all.

    I did mine at my school’s sport’s day. It was the staff-student relay race. I’d warmed up thoroughyl, stretched it out and was all set. About 4 steps after taking the baton something moved under my foot, there was a noise like popping bubble-wrap and I fell over. Oddly, it didn’t hurt although it was obvious something was badly wrong. The area just above my heel was very spongy and I couldn’t move my foot. The PE staff put an ice pack on it and I went to minor injuries. They confirmed that it was completely torn and gave me codeine when it started to hurt - about 2 hours after it happened. Plaster applied to hold my foot in the equinus position, crutches issued and sent home to wait for contact from the hospital. When I went back they told me it could be a year before I recover full function so no spring marathon for me next year! I’ve just turned 49, 180 lbs, 5′ 8″ tall. Was running between 20 and 30 miles a week prior to the injury.

  187. Another Alice in Wonderland job.

    Out walking my dog on some moorland (where we usually go) and stuck my foot down a rabbit hole.

    Couldn’t believe it when at hospital several staff asked “How big was the hole”

    My answer: “Exactly the size of a rabbit”

    Another dog walker broke their ankle on same spot a few years ago and although it’s close to main road and quite urban their is no vehicle access so he ended up being helicoptered off to hospital (a 5-minute drive away).

    I was determined to avoid such indignity and got my wife to meet me with a walking stick and limped half a mile home !

    Falsely reassured me and didn’t realise what I’d done for about 4hours

  188. Hi, just joined you. glad to find this space. Have unusual story of injury - shovel fell on my heel from where it was hanging in garage. full rupture. surgery two days ago. So glad to get that over with. Off pain meds at least for the day time today. Really would like to get a shower :) Maybe tomorrow. This cast is so heavy and hot. I’ll look forward to reading more of your stories. Know there are some bumps coming up in this recovery road. Hope to learn from others.

  189. 34yo female, pretty physically active- ran track in college - figuring all the events I did took a toll on my leg as my left was my jumping leg…. fast forward to now …. I finally got a job as a Physical Education Teacher, been looking for 4 years (teaching jobs are hard to come by in MI) It was the 4th day of school and I was showing the kids how they could change a regular skip to something more sport related (by skipping as high as possible) I landed and heard a loud pop and felt like my foot kept moving down. I thought for a sec that I had popped my Nike Air Max unit- then I saw my heel. Surgery scheduled for Wednesday

  190. I hear you! I am a teacher too. I went to a teaching workshop last summer and in one class we were skipping rope that other people were turning. I was more concerned about tripping and landing on my face. I jumped so high — and mid jump it felt like someone jumped on my ankle. Looked around and no one was there. Long story but I ended up taking the school year off to fully recover. Just going back to teaching this fall. Take good care of yourself!

  191. My kids went back to first day of school today. So here’s wishing a speedy recovery to the teachers including lizzie and mhamay.

    i always say teachers and nurses are two of the most important and under-recognized professionals. (I am having some 2nd thoughts about under-recognition of nurses with the achilles though but will maintain good ones are godsends).

    Anyway god (or insert your power) should refrain from rupturing the achilles of teachers or nurses. But if it’s a necessary as part of the master plan, I say may they heal the the best, get the funkiest drugs, and remain happy in full recovery. Thanks for all you do for kids teachers and get well soon.

  192. Two days ago I was playing tennis. I ran for a ball and heard the pop. I knew exactly what had transpired. The combination of the pain, the workout and anxiety about losing the next several months to recovery/rehab, I actually passed out twice. I was fortunate to get into surgery the same day. it happened. It is now day #2 and am going to see the doctor today to get a walking cast.

  193. Thanks Bionic, my story has taken an unexpected twist….. Today was my scheduled surgery…. until I took the urine test before prep…. Long story short I will be having surgery on Monday now, and with a spinal instead of general anesthesia and hopefully I will be able to drag my pregnant butt through rehab

  194. Congrats Mhamay! What a way to find out! When it rains it pours but hopefully that’s good news! Start a blog if you haven’t because I would love to follow your journey!

  195. Hi all

    43 year old, ex military “phys junkie”, train 5 -6 times per week, running (distance and track) weights, gym circuits and body strength. THEN, playing a quick game of 5 aside football after work, “pop goes the Achilles”. I have had tendonitis and periods of pain over the last couple of years, and had to have various time periods of lower leg and cardio training. So I suppose it was a case of when as opposed to if!

    I thought I had been kicked from behind, quite a loudish pop and I fell straight to the floor, knowing what had happened, but hoping I was wrong. RICE etc that evening then hospital the following day and surgery 5 days later (17/08/2013).

    Had cast on for 2 weeks after surgery, and now on another cast with toes pointed down for 4 weeks (does seem a long time compered to others but he ho, I will go along with what the doc says). But that’s the way it goes and I suppose and will continue doing what the doc says. Have a good one all.

  196. Hey There!

    41 year old athlete here. Embarrassingly, I completely tore my Achilles off my heel bone while avoiding a rattlesnake while on vacation. Flew home back to California to have the surgeon confirm what I had done. Damn! I was pissed. Anyway, the injury happened on 8/2/13. I had surgery on 8/14. Apparently, my big toe tendon was needed to further strengthen the Achilles. The surgery was not as bad as I thought, nor the pain. I was put into a hard cast on 8/16 and got to see the incision for the first time. WOW! Ugly incision! The cast was removed on 8/23 and replaced by the boot. The next appointment would be two weeks away. Well, that day is today. The last two weeks, I have been stretching out the tendon trying to prepare for weight bearing. I have also been going to the gym. My incision is all but healed up and most of the steri strips have come off. It is a pain to work out on crutches but also a great way to cheer you up. If any of you can do it, I highly recommend it. Take care!

  197. @tetleys: Just like the tea! Sorry to hear about your injury–lots of over 40s here who can sympathize. I hope your next appointment gets you into a boot so you can start some weight bearing. I was about 5 weeks NWB before I got into a boot so I feel like I’ve been playing catch up compared to many others. Best of luck with your recovery.
    @Steve82: That sounds like a pretty good reason to me. I’m always leery of rattlesnakes out here in the dry hills of California. I agree that staying busy is a great way to keep your mood up. Good luck!

  198. I had just finished 4 dosages of an antiobiotic named Cipro. Had no idea one of the side effects was tendon weakness, at least for a 36 years old, 175 lbs who worked as a personal trainer. I was shooting some 3’s on the local baseketball court, when I came down from one jump shot and thought a car ran over my ankle. After blaming the kid playing defense, thinking I was kicked, I realized it was much worse. 3 weeks post op now. I’m walking in a boot with a lift. Out of work a month. I only had real pain the 2nd day post op and it was manageable with pills. Didn’t keep taking them after that.

    I realize this will be a long road to recovery but I feel better after each session in physical therapy. The key is patience.Wish everyone a speedy recovery.

  199. Hi all, Im 17 years old and i severed my achilles after accidentally slipping off my sisters bed into a window. This happened on the 15th of september. I was then stiched up and sent home told i was fine, called back a week later told i had a ruptured achilles tendon and that i had to have surgery which i did on the 26th september 2013.
    Its now the 4th November. Im still non weight bearing, still constantly in a boot and on crutches.
    I was just curious when other people were allowed to return to activities such as swimming and going to the beach? i live in Australia and its torcher not being able to swim with everyone on a hot day. Ive just graduated, can no longer work, get my license anytime soon, enjoy leavers or “start my life” so to speak. Definately feeling down alot in the days of boredom and repetitve nothingness. Happy i found this blog to find that people do understand my frustration.

  200. Hi Larrissa04
    Sounds like you have been through an especially traumatizing Achilles injury…sounds like you have made great progress though

    I had an ATR 9/22 playing soccer and small incision surgery on the 27th of sep 2013 so we may be on a similar schedule i dont know what changes in the recovery from SAT. I just started PWB 11/6, but have been ROM since 10 days post op

    Do you have a date to become PWB….or an upcoming APPT…also how has your incision / laceration progessed.???

    Hang in there..we will get better

  201. I was playing Tennis, about 40 minutes into a training doubles match. Had made several substantial efforts before and was happy with my playing, fitness etc. despite the fact that it was indoors, in crappy German winter weather. The rally in which it happened was nothing special, I was on the back line when a fairly relaxed shot came my way. I made one or two fairly relaxed steps forward to get into position when I heard and felt the characteristic sound and sensation. Despite the fact I had no previous knowledge about this I knew in that same instant what had happened. There was no pain, instead an instant frustration that my active lifestyle had just come to a grinding halt for a while. One of my Tennis partners is the head of the local hospital. He confirmed my “diagnosis” (Thompson test and indention above the heel) right then and there on the court, called ahead to his hospital, drove me there and saw to it that I was operated on right away. 3 hours after it happened I was in bed, freshly operated with my Vaco boot on. All very pleasant actually, never any pains.

  202. Hi niewneon and new friends :)
    I had a similar experience to you in that I am a league tennis player and was in the middle of the match, hit a forehand, planted ball of my left foot to pivot around and POW…. I fell to the ground and screamed “not again, not again” because as you probably already have Guessed, I had an ATR in 1999 doing the exact same move…. Same leg too, my left. This time it turned out to be an Achilles Avulsion Fracture that had split my entire heel wide open when it happened…..

    Well, I am 2 1/2 weeks post op and don’t have a blog yet, but I am happy to have others who understand what I am going through and have knowledge to share!! I also have lots of questions and hope that some of you have answers or experiences that might help and I think having done this before, I may have some input to help others as well.

  203. Secondtimearound, I knew what happened before I even hit the ground. Even though it was my first time. My deepest empathy with you for that “not again” moment. That must seriously suck. I promise I’ll be good!!

    Not promising I won’t play Tennis any more, on the contrary…

    But: More warming up, more running, more flexing and stretching. It’s too easy to hit the court and forget about the other stuff. Will try to follow a 1 hour of flex/stretch/gymnastics for every hour of Tennis schedule.

    Tennis is too much fun to stop, but I guess it has to be earned.

    I noticed something: My work desk has a connecting beam between the table legs which is just the right and location to rest the legs on so I keep doing that out of habit. However, it is only about an inch wide and located such that when the legs are rested on it, it is actually the achilles which are physically on the beam. I noticed (now, of course only on the healthy leg as the boot is rigid) that the tendon actually gets bent rather sharply. Doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all, but maybe that’s an unnatural situation for it and damages/weakens it? When the rupture happened, I had been sitting at my desk all day actually for several days. I had a histology done on my broken tendon and they reported “pre existing unspecific damage”.

  204. I have a very different situation and I’m not sure how similar the recovery is to a rupture or tear injury. One day in March 2013 I woke up and got up to go to the bathroom. As I stood up I noticed my left foot felt very weird, on the way back to bed I realized I could not get my left heel to touch the floor. I showed hubby when he came home and we were both stumped.

    My first fall came within a week. It’s not easy to keep your balance when you can only stand on your tiptoes on one foot. I ordered a cane off of Amazon and within a few days of getting it I had a major fall. I had to crawl down the stairs and through the garage to get to the car. At the ER we found out it was a major strain in my ankle but, the ER Dr was concerned about how deformed my foot was and said I really had to go to a Dr.

    I have a chronic bad back so went to my pain management doc first. He did some injections in my foot and heel that helped for a few days but, not anymore during the 3 months we waited to see if it would help. After that we went to the foot surgeon who said that he bet cutting the AT would work but, he wanted me to see a back dr to make sure it wasn’t my back causing it. If it was my back it would wind up just happening again. Also, he wanted a nerve study done…OUCH!

    It took 4 months, we had to go to a Neuro and a different back dr cause the first one wasn’t sure. We finally got the final word that this wasn’t caused by my back. Got an appt with foot Dr again who said let’s do the AT lengthening.

    I finally had my surgery last week, almost a full year since it started! The Surgeon cut my AT in a long z shape then slide the pieces apart and sewed the two top pieces together. We were under the impression that I would be weight bearing immediately until we were getting ready to leave the surgery center and the nurse asked if I had crutches or something since I was NWB. She told us about the knee scooter and we went straight to the medical supply and rented one.

    The surgeon put me in a boot, not a cast, he said with a boot there’s more of a chance of he rubbing or cutting me and causing an infection. I took the boot off once and that was to try another boot but quickly put this one back on. My foot is very padded over the surgery area then wrapped with an ace bandage. I have no desire to try and sleep with the boot off or any of that. I am a bigger woman, non athletic and all I want is to be able to walk normally to my bathroom and back. I am not gonna risk injuring this thing, tearing it and having to start all over.

    My 2 week appt is this Friday 2/21/14 and I have no idea what my next step will be. I believe I have staples so they’ll take those out and I don’t know if I’ll get any weight bearing privileges. All I know is I REALLY want to be able to take a bath or shower. I can’t get any of this thing wet right now so it’s been sponge baths, wipes and shampoo shower caps so far.

    Sorry this is so long! I would have put this in a blog but, I sent an email last week to get one and I have not heard anything.

  205. I’m a 21 year old female who ruptured her achilles tendon on the 19th of December 2013.
    Back 2 and a half years ago, i had a bump on my heel (known as haglunds bump) I had an operation to have the bump shaved off. Ever since then my ankle was painful and i had cortizone injections in my ankle every few months to try and take the swelling down.
    October 2013 i had an injection, i was told i’d got achilles tendonitis and he didn’t want to inject too close to the tendon because of weakening it.

    Anyway…one afternoon at work, the phone rang…i turned around, ran into my office for the phone and snap…i heard it…i definitely felt it! i hopped to my desk and thought i was going to pass out! My manager pulled my shoe off and the back of my ankle looked like it had caved inwards!
    A lovely trip to a&e and a thompson test…they told me it was ruptured.
    I was sent back the next day to have a scan…only to be told my rupture was that low down they wasn’t sure if there was anything to re-attach it to. I’d got a 4cm gap.

    I spoke to a specialist in the hospital and he told me basically…i had no choice but to have surgery. He was going to have to reconstruct my achilles tendon, he couldn’t just sew it back together like normal.

    I spent the next 3 weeks waiting for an operation.
    England and hospitals don’t go well together over christmas. none of the surgeons were there!
    Anyway, the operation came and went well, my surgeon told me they had to drill through my heel and insert some artificial ligament (or something like that) to help pull my tendon all back together.

    I went back two weeks after and had my stitches taken out. My surgeon told me it was a very difficult surgery.

    I was put into a fibreglass cast, my foot was originally in the equinus position after surgery, but this time they moved my foot very slightly. when i say very, i’d say probably an inch. I wasn’t allowed to weightbear at all.

    Two weeks later i went back and all was doing well so i was put into an aircast with 5 wedges inside. I was told to start putting a little bit of weight on it. I hated it at first It was heavy, making my foot swell ridiculously, and rubbing on my foot that much it caused cuts.
    I soon got used to it. A wedge was taken out 2 weeks after, then another 2 weeks after that. Then i was told because i was doing so well (which they didnt expect) i could take a wedge out myself every week.
    This gave me a push that i was now 4 weeks ahead of the original schedule and i started fully weight bearing on my foot without my crutches.

    Today (31/03/14) i took my last wedge out my boot.
    I had a few happy tears leave that my foot was finally flat to the floor again!
    I can walk without my crutches now, I still have a limp but anything is better than using crutches!

    I’m 3 days off being 12 weeks post op…and 15 weeks from the actual accident.

    I’m surprised when i read stories about people doing physio so early…they told me to not even take my foot out of the boot…but the last 2 weeks i started taking it out every few days to wipe it down…then this last week i’ve taken it off to have a bath with it in the water! strange sensation on my little toes what hadn’t touched water for 12 weeks!

    A very long post…but it feels better to get it alllll off my chest to people who know exactly how i feel!

  206. Age 52.
    Male.
    Playing basketball on Feb 23, 2014. after a long 4-year hiatus from the game and in poor shape, not enough stretching, and poor eating habits.

    Today is 1 week 6 days post-op.

    I would like to increase the odds of not repeating this injury. So my intention is to give up team sports such as basketball and exercise solo.

    Additionally I have completely cleaned up my diet eating healthy choice foods only, staying mostly vegetarian excepting the delicious homemade chicken soup that my wonderful patient saint of a wife made for me. To avoid interfering with healing, I have completely dropped these four vices at least until I heal back to driving status:
    - refined sugar snacks
    - caffeine
    - alcohol
    - the occassional cigar.

    During recovery I am trying to augment my healthy diet with extra nutrients, such as vitamin C, daily multivitamin, and a delicious fresh or fresh-frozen multi-fruit smoothie.

    My goal is to permanently drop refined sugar snacks, and to limit the other vices to 25% of my previous usage level.

  207. Both caffeine and alcohol (in moderation) seem to improve health outcomes.

  208. Good luck, kimbarweee! When the AT separates from the heel, I think it does need surgery, and complicates it. May your rehab keep continuing and accelerating!

  209. I’m a 29 year old Canadian male. Ruptured both Achilles tendons on March 3rd 2014. Surgeons opted for non surgical treatment. I’ve been ordered to be non weight bearing for 4-6 weeks. As hard as I try to obey the nwb status it’s very difficult since its both of my legs. Rather than casts I’ve been put in two boots with wedges. Tomorrow, April 3, will be exactly 4 weeks since being in the boots and being immobile using only a wheelchair.

    My concern is that I have yet to have an Mri, I am aware that it isn’t always needed to diagnose a rupture. However, I am concerned that my tendons have not re- attached and I will be ordered to be nwb for another month. There is still a palpable gap between both tears and this is why I believe I should have an Mri to see the extent of the damage. Also, there is ( what I believe to be) new bleeding in my left leg as my toes and arch Area have bright blue blood pooling.

    Has anyone had experience with the non surgical treatment not working or having a very long nwb period, longer than the original 6 weeks ordered by the MD .

    I’m a very active individual (was), I need my legs for work. I’m beginning to be very discouraged.

  210. Sorry if my above post is in the wrong thread on this site. I cannot seem to start my “own story”. I click on the link that tells me to start my story “here” and then it says no need to register again…

  211. Hey everyone,

    I am a 27yr old male competitive runner who partially tore my right achilles running a half marathon on 03/30/14. It popped about 100 feet from the finish line (although I still hobbled across and finished with a personal best time). Three weeks in my ortho recommended a non-surgical approach and I am currently on Day 24 of NWB walking boot with crutches. At my 3 week appt yesterday my doctor told me within a week I am able to ditch the crutches and walk while in the boot, while I am hoping to get out of the boot my end of May to start PT (and being trying to rehab to prepare for the Fall marathon season, fingers crossed). Not to sure how to start my own story on here, but would love to hear from runners and non runners alike on their experiences. These past 3 weeks of inactivity have been some of the hardest I have faced.

  212. First step in starting a blog is sending the email to Dennis described near the top of the Main Page.

  213. Age 39.
    Male.
    Playing basketball April 5th. In good shape, work out 6 days a week. Have had slight Achilles Tendon pain before playing raquetball before. Found out i had tendonitis during the MRI after I tore it.

    Today I’m 3 weeks post-op. First 2 weeks in a split, now in a aircast boot. NWB for 2 more weeks for a total of 5 weeks NWB.

    Definitely no more basketball or raquetball after this. Back to weight training and simple jogging after the PT and rehab. I’m divorced and live alone but luckily have had friends that were willing to help with the big stuff like food shopping and taking me to and from work.

    The most difficult part is definitely the stuff I took for granted…stairs (I live on the 2nd floor apartment), showering (thank you whoever invented the shower chair), changing clothes, and just using the bathroom in general.

    Looking forward to being PWB for sure. The NWB has just been frustrating more than anything else.

  214. Hello, just joined here. 29 y/o, male. Ruptured my right achilles trying to do the warped wall from the tv show Ninja Warrior one too many times (practicing at a parkour facility, not on the actual show). Didn’t realize how much strain it puts on the achilles! Lesson learned - as soon as you feel any pain there (or anywhere) don’t try to power through it!

  215. Recently joined. I ruptured my Achilles on Friday the 13th of June while jumping rope barefoot. I was on vacation with my girlfriends and had already had my workout for the day (T25) followed by a 3 mile jog and bleacher runs. Came home and showered and ate breakfast and was chatting with my friends about double unders and proceeded to show them when I felt and heard a “pop” on my left ankle. It felt like I had hit my ankle against a coffee table (I was inside the living room). Immediately sat on the couch and my friends noticed that something was wrong with my leg and my friends (two of whom are nurses) thought it was my Achilles. Went to an Urgent Care clinic and they confirmed I ruptured my Achilles and gave me a boot and crutches. Since I was only going to be in SD for a short while, I opted to wait to go home to Boston before getting an xray / MRI (they couldn’t fit me in that day anyway). Had surgery 12 days after my injury (25th of June). This injury is the worst I’ve ever experienced in terms of the length of recovery. I’m so happy I found this site (a friend directed me to it).

  216. 48 year old male. Competitive slalom water skier who rarely falls. On 9-9-14 Was skiing tournament speed at 34mph with a fairly short rope 35 off when I nipped the backside of the slalom bouy I was skiing around. Back foot released from high wrap boot but front was a new boot and tight. Landed on front left foot in boot with a ton of forward momentum. Body launched forward and heel never even started to come out of boot. Completely severed achilles, not even a thread left. Hardest part was getting back on the ski platform and then getting boot off. had to completely disassemble boot. Did surgery a week later and in vaco boot. Good news is ski season is over for this year in Indiana . Will research different ski boot options for next year with safer release mechanisms.

  217. 48 year old Male. I ruptured my left AT whilst playing football. Just went to move forward on the foot and ‘Bang’ it went!
    It occurred on 15/10/2014 and within 60 hours I’d had surgery to repair.

  218. 37 years old, semi pro American Football player, took a step back to start a run and i heard “the” loud sound and that was that. the Doc put in a cast and said come back in a month

  219. Hi bravo, since you are a semipro, yoiu should consider also having surgery. ask your doc about it.

  220. BDR, the best non-op results are very good, but they come from fast protocols with a boot, not passive casting. Three new studies with great results at AchillesBlog.com/Cecilia/ protocols. There’s a bunch of vids on YouTube documenting one such recovery from a CFL (Canadian) pro player named Brady Browne, check them out! Most pros and Olympians still go for surgery, though there are more exceptions each year, since the scientific basis for believing in a surgical advantage has evaporated with the new fast non-op protocols.
    With the new evidence, the role of the Ortho Surgeon has become weird, like a buggy whip. Many patients are mostly treated by a PT, and a few direct their own rehab, usually following one of the study proven schedules.
    Good Luck!

  221. 54 year old playing Pickle ball (apparently a seniors game). Everyone laughs when I tell them how. Then they scrunch their face and give you this “that’s really bad” look. One guy I met at Costco while picking up a electric cart said he slipped on frozen dog piss. I laughed and gave him a fist pump. Mine was a Christmas Eve present while in Florida or Canada south. Re-ruptured it last week doing physio exercises. Had surgery 3 days ago. First day off crazy drugs that make you itch, keep you up, thirsty and, um, plugged up. Looking forward to the group.

  222. reruptureguy, sorry to hear about this. please keep us posted on your re-recovery!

    what the hell did the physio make you do to re-rupture? were you pushed beyond limits or was it only a very weak tendon?

    suerte

  223. reruptureguy, I guess you count as a “super” member of the Achilles Tribe, and I’m sorry you had to go through this. Question: was the rerupture at 3 months, or 15 months?
    We all try to avoid risky situations… but … pickle ball???
    LOL
    So, please do fill in the details in your brief story (I loved the “frozen piss” anecdote, but then again I have a middle school mindset). :-)
    Good luck with the re-rehab, and happy healing!…….. Manny

  224. @pozaicer. I think weak tendon. He kept me in the cast and boot for a long time. Just didn’t heal. Maybe I grew some extra tendon before the surgery? ;) Exercise was a double foot raise on the toe. I tried increasing the weight on the one side slightly. Snap! I was in the bedroom at the time of rerupture. My wife heard me grown and was wondering what the hell I was doing in there:)

  225. @manny “Super tribe”…gee thanks. I need a T-shirt! I’m trying to get a blog up and will write my 3 story to date there. Just not set up yet. Because I specialize in web accessibility, many of my friends are permanently disabled. So my injury is a mere flesh wound:) I’m not terminal. And I’m still working, so I’m not bored like many seem to be. I’ve taken the injury as an opportunity to learn about accessibility, mobility and people. It’s been a fascinating experiment. I seem to be bit odd and perfectly ok about that fact, (insanity is soo underrated) so I figure I have something to contribute to “the tribe”.lol Currently I have what the Doc called a soft cast, open at the front for swelling. 2 1/2 days of Percocet was all I could take. Constipation, no sleep, crazy itching. So far so good. Keeping the leg up. Seems to keep the pain away. Got a new slick knee scooter. Last time I made one out of a walker. And I’m really good with the forearm crutches. So much better and easier than the ones up to the arm pits. But my physio said people don’t like them because they are self conscious and don’t want people to think they are permanently disabled. Crazy. The disabled people I hang with, some who are blind, deaf, no arms, etc. etc are the most amazing people on the planet. And they don’t need to be anything on the planet but themselves, so they are very real. So comments like that are just strange in my world. But hey, I’m Canadian and allowed to be a bit different.

  226. I partially ruptured my left achilles at my friend’s church Halloween party in 2007. I went down one of those big blow up slides and landed funny on my foot. I felt a pop followed by pain that brought me to tears. No one seemed to notice so I limped the rest of the way out of that blow up relay race thing and doctors could not figure out what was wrong with my ankle for over a year. I finally got the referral I was needing and went to see a specialist in 2008. He confirmed that it was ruptured and by that time just barely holding on. I was 12 at the time. I was put in a boot and sent on my way. I was a stubborn volleyball player and track lover at the time and decided that after I got the boot off, I could go back to what I wanted to do. That was not the case and I ended up rerupturing it about 4 more times before I finally figured out that nothing would be the same. Because of my actions, I suffer now from tendinosis, bursitis, and my achilles hasn’t healed right since then.

  227. I will start my story with the disclaimer that I am a 47 year old female, and realize that I am old enough to know better. During the first weekend of April, was enjoying a few glasses of wine at home with my bf. We played a few card games and then it was my brilliant idea to try the Dance Party 2016 game on the Wii. Was doing great on my first song, kicking some ass following the dancing panda on a Black Eyed Peas song, then heard the horrible pop. Had no idea what the sound was as no one I know has ever had this type of injury. I asked my bf “What was that noise? Did I just kick the dog?” Then I realized my foot just wasn’t working correctly. However, I finished the song… yes you are reading correctly… finished the song despite a fully ruptured tendon. I won by the way, which I feel is important to mention ;). Long story short…had surgery four days later, and am still in the cast. Go back for my 2nd follow up this week and will beg for a boot - my foot is dying to move a bit and I’m dying to wash it. Am glad I found this site, great resource for information and I hope I have provided some smiles with my story… Sometimes all you can do is laugh and make the best of things.

  228. hi wallygirl, thanks for sharing your story. i like how you highlight the age and the fact you actually won the game…. since you also mentioned the ‘wash’ then i must say that you may want to stock up with medicated talcum powder and your products of choice to keep your injured foot dry and clean over the coming weeks. i thought that giving up sport after my ATR was enough, but now i’ll stay away from the Wii too ;-)

    suerte

  229. Hello All!
    I ruptured my achilles playing soccer 2 weeks ago. I had surgery 11 days ago, but my surgeon is not advocating early rehabilitation which the research seems to support. Does anyone know of an orthopedic doctor, or someone in PT in the Boston, MA area who advocates for early weight bearing and PT after surgery?
    Thanks so much!
    Wishing everyone well,
    Johanna

  230. Im 50 years old male , I consider myself semi active , i recently ruptured my Achilles’ tendon . It was an accident with a metal piece, I went to the emergency room and supposedly the Podiatrist on call did repaired, Not in the OR just right there in a regular room, He recommended to see a specialist the following week for check up, Well the following Friday I went to see an specialist (Podiatrist). He couldn’t believe what I told him about what the Dr did at the emergency room. I had a MRI Friday and waiting until Monday for the Dr answer ,most likely I’m gonna need a surgery.

  231. That is so wild, what the heck did the doctor do, stitch it up while you were in the ER or something? I hope you get some good answers and get on the road to good healing. Sorry you have to go through this.

  232. Playing badminton - Just read this in a medical paper:

    The Achilles tendon is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the human body[1]. The incidence of rupture is on the rise and has been so since the 1980s. The yearly incidence of Achilles tendon rupture is rising and reported as 4.7/100000 in 1981 to 6/100000 in 1994 from a Scottish cohort, and 22.1/100000 in 1991 to 32.6/100000 in 2002 from a Danish cohort. The most rapid increase was noted in the male 30 to 39 age group[1,2]. The most hazardous sport appears to be badminton with 83% occurring in males. The mean age of presentation is 35 years with a male:female ratio of 20:1[3,4]. The classical patient is the novice sportsmen in his fourth decade engaging in unaccustomed sport.

    That’s me in the last sentence - except I’m in my seventh decade

  233. Hi I’m 16 years old on the 31th of july I was walking at night and a sharp piece of metal had cut my achillis for 3/4 I had surgery 12 hours after the accident.. The first three weeks i have been in a plaster and now i ve been in a cast for almost 1 week . The doctor told me that i cant bear any weight for 40 days after surgery and then to slowely start to walk. Im now on crutches and school is starting soon. does someone have tips :(

    ( ive been doing some exercise moving my foot up and downwards, circles and toe curls. It doenst hurt and actually feels pretty good. Is it wrong to not listen to the doctor :$ )

  234. I ruptured my Achilles on December 14, 2015 while playing basketball with some of my former college teammates. I had just finished a two-week course of Levaquin which I now understand increases the risk of ATR. Mine was a full rupture but unfortunately it did not rupture at the base near the insertion point but much higher near the belly of the calf muscle. The repair required a 5 inch incision and what was originally scheduled for a 2 hour surgery turned into 3 1/2. My recovery seems to be much slower than most on this website. I am currently 8.5 months post-op and still have significant pain every time I take a step. In addition I have numbness throughout my foot and toes and do not have full mobility in my toes yet. I am excited to have found this website and hope that I can find others who have had a similar ATR as mine so as to gleen what I should be doing at this point to push the recovery along.

  235. shypanda - Why don’t you have a discussion with your doctor about early weight bearing protocols and range of motion (ROM) exercises. I have seen people after surgery doing weight bearing pretty early on. There are studies out there showing benefits of early weight bearing. Now, every case is different, but I would suggest it’s best to speak to your doctor about your case and have educated discussion on the benefits of early weight bearing. I was also given ROM exercises after 2 weeks, but they were all done in plantar flexion position (foot pointing down and below neutral). Speak to your doctor about it and your case.

    Also, check out iWalk 2.0. This is something that might help ya moving around school and having your hands free to carry books. Back pack will be your best bet with crutches and even with iWalk.

    Good luck with your recovery! :)

  236. thank you for your reply

    My accident happened in China while i was on vacation.
    Im now back home in the netherlands. from the day of the operation till now I havent had any swelling or pain. I have 10 days left till I can start learning to walk again. Ive read your journey and its motivating me :D.

    Compared to a lot of post ive read on this website isnt it a bit early tomay walk in shoes in 40 days after surgery? mabey because of my age? or because it was being cut and not ruptured ? xD Im sad that i couldnt asked that to the doctor while I was there.

  237. shypanda - Are you able to see another doctor now that you are back home? It should be either doctor or a PT that would check your progress and examine the tendon before clearing to get out of the boot. I have seen people walking in shoes not too long after surgery and then there are others that are in a boot for a while. From what I have seen it partially depends on a doctor and protocol you follow, but largely on the status of the healing of the tendon. Hope you get a local specialist to look at you progress. Glad to hear that so far you have no pain and no swelling. That makes the recovery that much easier. Good luck to ya! :)

  238. Tomorrow ill be going to the doctor:D
    :O a boot? from day1 till now I haven’t been in a boot
    Only in a plaster cast for 20days

  239. Hey, not sure if this is where this goes, but here’s how mine happened:

    signed up for an adult kick-ball league…I was in decent to good shape, surfed 2-3 days a week and ran/worked out the same…did xfit a while ago, but got over the cost, etc.

    anyway, i kicked the ball and went to run to 1st and it felt like someone chained a cinder block to my left foot…my foot was just dangling….STILL BEAT THE THROW TO 1ST THO!!!

    injury was 7/20, exactly 6 weeks ago. saw orthopedist last week, another 2 weeks on crutches, he put me in a walking boot instead of plaster splint I was in from emergency room; I do not have any insurance, and I am forced to try w/out surgery for now. Doc says it’s a viable option, but leaves me open to re-tearing.

    **I would really like to talk to some people who have gone the non-surgical route, especially if they’re ATR was a full tear, not just partial**

    Anyway, I’m new to the site; registered a few weeks ago, it’s been rough….my friends helped the first few weeks, but they’ve stopped coming by/calling, and I’ve had to whore myself out to people to get things done like grocery shopping, errands, etc.

    I sincerely hope I can get someone with experience in non-surgical solutions and please point me in the right direction if you could, please…

    Thanks :)

  240. Sandypheet

    I am at 8.5 months after a full ATR; I went the non-op route and am still rehabbing.

    There are a number of other members on this site who have also gone this route. You can do a search of this site; off the top of my head are: ejbvmi, normofthenorth, agnesatr. You can also google Brady Browne, a former CFL player who did the same.

    There is also a lot of good discussions on the ‘Treatment Protocol’ page about non-operative recovery. The general consensus here is that the best outcomes are achieved with early weight bearing. In my case, I was hobbling around in a walking boot (with 30° heel wedge) after the third week (my blog has a more detailed timeline).

    It sounds like you’re still on crutches after 6 weeks, so your doctor may be using a different (more conservative) approach

    My advice is to get as informed as possible, and then talk to your doctor.

    Good luck.

    Simon

  241. I’m 40 years old and do cardio 5 times a week running, soccer, racquetball, etc. My achilles had been hurting on and off for a few months. I feel like I stretched well and rested it when it hurt. I did not do any strength exercises. I decided to play soccer after resting the achilles about a week. It was a little sore, but i assumed it would “work out” after a warm up. 10 minutes into the game i stole the ball from an attacker and moved the ball quickly into space….then it felt like that guy kicked me as hard as he could in the back of my right calf. I was mad and I turned to look at him….he was not there…i was standing alone. I knew what happened then.

  242. Finally walking I started walking at 4.5 weeks
    I’m now 6weeks no crutches only shoes. Would I be able to carry me schoolbag that’s pretty heavy

  243. I’ve had Achilles issues for years (tendinopathy I guess?), which stemmed from playing soccer. Went to minimal PT when it first happened, which helped a bit, but figured lifelong Achilles pain was something I was just going to have to deal with.

    Well, last night I was at the gym doing toe-touches on to a step and when stepping down felt a sharp pop and lots of pain. After a couple minutes I could move my foot and managed to get myself home. After researching on the net I got worried that it might be a rupture.

    Went to the dr today. My exam was done while sitting by a PA student. I did seem to have some Thomson reflex (although, once again from a sitting position- don’t know if that matters). They diagnosed with tendon strain and referred me to sports medicine, who I see in two days, and gave me a walking boot but otherwise no instructions at all (should I ice? Elevate? Keep the boot on at all times or just when moving?) My pain is very sharp and localized and unlike any sprain I have ever experienced. That with the popping feeling and my history of Achilles issues really has me worried that it is a partial tear. Also, when I go from laying down to sitting (so no weight on my tendon at all) it is INCREDIBLY painful with throbbing pain for a couple of minutes. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Sorry for such a long comment. I’m a bit frustrated by my experience at the dr today, and this pain really isn’t helping :(

  244. Sorry this is happening to you! I always saw Thompson test being performed while lying on your stomach with feet hanging off the edge of the table… I saw 3 doctors plus ER doctor and they all performed it the same way… I would make sure to definitely get it looked as soon as possible and verify if this is partial or full rupture (if it is rupture). I was always told that in the initial days of rupture it is really important for your foot to be placed in plantar flexion position (toes pointing down). If your boot is adjustable you could jut adjust it yourself until you see your specialist. If not, you could put a heel insert in your boot to elevate the heel. You should not walk on it either until you are confirmed with a definitive diagnosis.

    Elevate above your heart and ice as much as possible. If you were placed in neutral position, see if placing your toes down brings relief. I know that when I ruptured that was the only position that guaranteed no pain….

  245. 36yr old male. very active. gym 3 days a week, doing mostly plyos and light weights.
    playing football in a tournament against a team that playing kinda dirty all day.
    I was so open on my slant route that I was just jogging.
    Just jogging. No hard turn. No change of direction.
    Felt someone kicked me in the heel. I got up looked at my defender who was 10 feet behind and wondered how the heck he kicked me from that far away.
    Turns out, it was my right achilles.

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