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Reruptured by the Doc

On Tuesday I went for my 6 week follow up. I had been making great progress. I was FWB after 3 weeks and had ROM that equaled my healthy tendon after 6 weeks. I had been walking great in the boot for the last four weeks. There was no swelling and no pain. My Dr. was so impressed that he wanted me to try standing on my toes with both feet. And there I was after just 6 weeks standing on my toes with no problem. Now he suggests I try standing on my toes with just the repaired achilles. I asked, “are you sure”, in a suspicious tone and he replied, “it’ll be fine”. I then followed with “are you positive it’s okay” and he then insisted I could do it. So I go up on one foot, stand on my toes, and POP. The look in the Dr’s face when we heard the pop sent chills down my spine. I immediately knew that he knew he has just caused me to RERUPTURE! Another surgery this morning and now I get to start all over. My hopes of playing golf and sand volleyball before the summer is over, gone. What little vacation time I had left, gone. My chance of passing the CPA exam this weekend, gone. I could go on but I’ll just get more upset.

Am I the only one that has been pushed too far by their Dr. and had a rerupture? Isn’t 6 weeks too soon to be standing on my toes with just the repaired foot? Or is this just a freak accident with nobody to blame?




25 Responses to “Reruptured by the Doc”

  1. John Bristowe Says:

    Wow. That sucks, Jacob. I’m really sorry to read this.

    Try to keep your spirits up!

  2. AnnieH Says:

    No consolation to you but it wouldn’t have happend to me, as my doctor insists that a minimum of 9/10 weeks in plaster, no matter what …. for everyone. Then PWB for a further month. No way would he have let me do that, it sounds very bad advice to me. Really sounds as if you were pushed too far too soon.

    So sorry for you, I hope your doctor is more cautious this time, or are you changing doctors?


  3. jacobp Says:

    Hi Annie,

    9-10 weeks in plastar?! Wow, well that is a little consolation.

    I decided to not change doctors. I actually like him and he admitted to pushing too far. So we’re going to take it slower this time. The surgery was done this morning and there is a lot less pain this time than last.

  4. matts Says:

    That sucks, I hope that the surgery is free this time. Good Luck..

  5. daveleft Says:

    Hi Jacob,

    Truly sorry to hear this. I know how you feel…I re-ruptured mine just short of six weeks (had surgery four weeks ago).

    I was on a very aggressive rehab plan (PWB and PT at Day 16, FWB at Day 29) and was two days short of getting out of the boot when I had a slight mis-step in the boot and heard the pop again. I have often wondered if this was pushing it too fast. Btw, I was in a low ankle boot and my new full length one is so, so, so much more protective. My doctor says it was simply bad luck.

    Where did you re-tear it? Mine was in a different spot, just above the suture in the tendon from the first injury.

    I was given the chance to use a different doctor at the practice but he wanted to make it right so I allowed him to do the surgery. I have no regrets in that.

    Glad to hear it has been less painful…hope that holds. Mine was worse as the tear was higher up so my incision went from two inches to a good five inches. Had more swelling but that seems to have gone away after nearly four weeks of elevation.

    I am also going to take a much slower rehab this time as well. I go in on Monday for my four week appointment…this will be my fourth post-op one as I had a spot on the wound where the incision was very slow to heal (this was where he re-cut the first incision).

    I’ll be curious to your recovery/rehab timeline. I’ll let you know once I know mine. Please feel free to drop me a direct line.

    Remember to elevate and…wait…you know the drill. Needelss to say, best wishes.


  6. tennisjunkie Says:

    Jacob - wow. Now that is quite a rerupture story. I am so sorry to hear this news, and I wish you well in your next several weeks.

    At six weeks, my doctor took me out of the cast and told me 5 weeks in a boot, and no PT. He told me no strength exercises, just stretching.

    At 10 weeks he told me I could start doing toe lifts, both feet together. Still no PT.

    Maybe you should ask your doc to read the blog to learn about the reruptures! The way I see it - he owes you.

  7. Derek Says:

    Hi Jacob…

    I’m so sorry to hear this story. Best of luck with the set back…

    I must agree with everyone else though…WAY too early to be doing what you were doing…i’m only a little over a week post op…i’m going to get my staples out next week and will be put in a cast for 6 more weeks (i’m currently in a splint). After that (8 weeks post op) I will be going into a boot and they may let me start PT… just sounds like you were being rushed.

    Good luck.

  8. screwdriver Says:

    No S#%&T .
    I am thinking right now how i would have handled the situation you were in and i cant think of a good way to do it .
    Sorry you are in that kind of a situation .
    The 2nd surgery should be a freebee and he should give you 10% of his salary LOL!
    Kidding aside - take your time this time around and i know youll have an easier time as you know how this goes already

  9. paigefifi1 Says:

    oh man im so sorry to hear about your rerupture. yes-it was much too soon for you to be standing. I am 4 weeks post OP and am still in a wheelchair/crutches depending on the situation.
    you are experienced now and will know what to do this time around. hang in there.

  10. kkdub Says:

    wow, wow, wow. Sorry to hear, especially the circumstances. Keep the faith. All of these reruptures recently really remind us how delicate our situation is. I’m only 2 weeks post op, so we’ll be on the same path….keep telling us the roll

  11. NERYS Says:

    thats not bad luck , thats sheer incompadence on your doctors part . my god im going for my second visit on tuesday (almost 6 wks post op) and there is NO WAY ill be doing that after reading your story ….. im so sorry , i dont know what to write im angry at the thought of your situation , good luck with your 2nd time of recovery and keep us posted xxx

  12. hobblit Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this happened on the advice of your doctor “to boot” I’d blame the doctor.

    I’m 2 weeks PostOp and just moved from splint to cast and was told every 2 weeks the cast would be redone to position my foot angle. 6wks PostOp before PWB and 8wks before FWB. I’m a bit wary of the aggressive approach as much as I want to be moving again.

    Only another ATR patient can understand the devastation when they hear the POP sound. Use your time to ace that CPA exam.

  13. Brian Arthur Says:


    Get well soon!

  14. Sheila Says:

    Wow. So sorry to hear. How frustrating. My doctor is on the other extreme - being very conservative. I appreciate it from a safety standpoint, although I disagree with some of his methods (using the cast when I can be PWB in a boot). I guess doctors have the same problem some patients do - trying to do too much too soon. At least when it is our fault, we don’t have anyone else to blame. Hard when it is done “to” us, particularly when you had serious concerns and raised them! Keep your chin up. Hope you can at least enjoy the summer games on TV. :0

  15. matt68 Says:

    Man, That 2nd pop is a chilling sound. Good luck man. Matt

  16. kkdub Says:

    J - hope you are doing well a couple days here after your second surgery. Thinking about you and wishing speedy healing this time ’round.

  17. w8kbrd Says:

    I am so sorry to hear abou this situation….. Honestly I could hardly believe it when I read it. I would be absolutely Pissed as Hell!!! I can’t understand what the Doc was thinking. I am 10 weeks post op and still in a boot walking around… I could not imagine putting all of my weight on my bad leg.

    Have you thought about taking this situation any further?

    Man, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


  18. Mikerford Says:

    Wow… I read this outloud to my wife and we both just cringed. I am 22 weeks post op and just am now standing on one foot on my toes.

    I would have switched doctors immediately. At four months is when my doc said no pain no gain…but still reminded me that I am in the early stages of my ATR.

  19. jacksprat Says:

    I really feel for you, Jacob! I know everyone makes mistakes in all walks of life but what your doctor did sounds insane and obviously so; it like saying its safe to pat a wild tiger. Of all the procedures involving early weight bearing (there are many links on this site) including my hospital I have never seen any that go any where near doing a toe raise at 6 weeks.
    That said there is one huge positive thought for you - you were making incredible progress until the toe raise; there is no reason why you shouldnt repeat this “super healing”. Good luck.

  20. catnboot Says:

    I just realized that we are both re-ruptures and both in Dallas. I just had a check up at the doctor’s and he took me out of the cast and put me back in the boot. He wants me to do weight bearing as “tolerated” beginning next week — week 6 post op!. I thought that was too aggressive. He said they usually have patients walking as tolerated at 4 weeks.

    How is your doctor treating you this go round? Is he more conservative? How are you doing? I think if I read everything right that you are about 5 days ahead of me. My surgery date (the second one) was July 22.

    I’m not sure if I want to put weight on it next week. But on the other hand how is the leg ever going to get strengthen if I am reluctant to do so?

    Hope we don’t actually have the same doctor. catnboot

  21. richard Says:

    What a ridiculous situation- mind you I’m not suprised that there are doctors out there who make these bad calls. It seems to me the potential for disaster is always looming around the corner because there is no agreed protocol for treatment- conservative or surgery?, cast or boot?,equinas or not? how many weeks at each stage? when should weight bearing begin? the list goes on and on. Why is this the case? This brilliant blog underlines the problem, read 20 case histories and get 20 differing treatments. go further and read the disagreements amongst the medical experts and confusion reigns further. Its not your fault its gone wrong we have to trust their’judgement’ but by gum its a worry

  22. ATRsd Says:


    You were healing insanely fast till the re-rupture. Keep your spirits up and heal quickly (for a second time).

    I am 20 days post-surgery and your experience makes me scared, but at the same time I will continue to be careful, but aggressive.

    I moved from cast to boot at 8 days. Boot has 2 inserts.
    Stitches removed at 15 days.

    Told to do simple ROM exercises 3 times a day and that’s it till 6 weeks.

    At 15 days was told I can put about half my weight on my boot and could use one crutch at 22 days. At 29 days can remove one insert from boot (down to 1 inch, I think).

    6 weeks post-op should bring in shoes (with a heel - dress shoe or “cowboy boot” which I don’t own) and can walk out of the office in normal shoes.

    Doesn’t hurt for me to put weight on my booted foot, but I’m afraid hearing your stories, but I think my doctor is reasonable. I will NOT be doing toe lifts any time soon.

    Take care.

  23. judy Says:

    i ruptured the 28th of sept,,and had surgery
    Oct 17 i was out of the cast and stitches out. Then put in a boot NWB and no PT.. Just stretches, which i did often. The week before thanksgiving I got the ok to start therapy and and FWB.. My doc said I want the boot off in one to two weeks. Today in Nov 29. I am walking in a shoe No aid.. just a limp.. Re-rupture scares me to death… But I am going to continue what I am doing. I am 55 female and have a few extra pounds. The knee walker saved me during those NWB weeks. I highly recommend one. To the person above who was in a cast all those weeks… I probably would have lost my mind.. lol.


  24. brian Says:

    I’m incredibly sorry to hear about your situation. Your doctor recommended an incredibly aggressive recovery program. It’s been 8 weeks since my surgery and I’m still in a cast and on crutches with 2 weeks to go. I was in a cast for 5 weeks at a 110 degree angle and another 5 weeks at a 90 degree angle. My dad ruptered his achilles 15yrs ago and he was in a hard cast for 8 weeks. The more things change the more they stay the same. Best wishes for a slow & conservative recovery!

  25. ceebabs Says:

    Great to hear! I was wondering if anyone has had a conservative repair of their re rupture? I have a long story where I ruptured my Achilles playing netball 11 months ago with surgery. Never really recovered and was still limping up until a few weeks ago when I reruptured. It’s due to an infection from the screw anchor in my heel bone. Currently had first surgery to remove infection and on high strength antibiotics, but thinking that I might try conservative first this time around

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