2 Months Out…Quick Recovery

I found this website just this past week and wished that I had stumbled upon it earlier.

My Story:

I decided to get my lazy butt back in shape around christmas of 2007.  I went on weight watchers and began playing basketball 2-3 times per week.  Things were progressing fabulously through April.  I had lost 35 pounds and was in the best shape that I had been in 10 years.  

Then, it happened.  I was playing basketball at my regular Monday night pick-up league, which was one of the 3 nights that I played.  I dont remember if I was going for a rebound or going back up to shoot and I heard the loud “pop” that everyone hears and said “what the @#$@ was that?”  The guy next to me said it was you.  I got up and couldn’t walk right.  I really wasn’t sure what had happened, but it felt like my left foot was standing on a downward ramp, and I could only walk on my heal.  The thing that surprised me the most was that it really didnt hurt that bad. 

I went home and looked on the wonderful internet and figured out that I had ruptured my achilles.  This was April 14th, 2008.  I went to the ER that night and they confirmed the self-diagnosis.  They made me an appt with the ortho who was with the Michigan State Univ. sports med department and I had surgery 2 days later.   I had the worst pain that I had ever experienced a few hours after surgery.  The heavy dose of vicoden only made me loopy, but didn’t help with the pain in the achilles.  The doctor prescribed Keterolac, which is an anti-inflammatory, and this gave me instant relief.

The main reason I wanted to post here was to give some hope to those that are just going through this. I’ve read that there are some real long recoveries, but mine has been pretty quick.  I am just over 8 weeks from surgery, and I was cleared and played my first round of golf on Friday.  I was fitted with the boot immediately and woke up with it on from surgery.  I had to leave it on at all times until my first post-op appointment.  I was then allowed to take it off when showering.  I crutched it around for about 3 weeks.  However, when I was at home in a safe environment I would begin walking without the boot around 3 weeks out, and began going to rehab.  No I did not have the ok to walk, but I dont have a lot of patience and I was feeling pretty good.

After 3 weeks of PT, things were progressing very well.  I was walking more, but still wore the boot when I went outside.  I was able to do calf raises and do wall stretches of the achilles.  A few days after that and I ditched the boot.  It was killing my back and my right hip and I just couldnt take it anymore.  I got chastised by my physical therapist, but it was worth not wearing that darn thing anymore. 

I went to see the doctor for my 2 month check-up.  He was very impressed with my progress and said to keep doing what I had been doing.  He said to have PT work on strength now.  At the end of the appointment I said “Doc, when can I play golf, because it’s killing me to not play.”  He told me that I was fine to play and I was pumped.  I played golf that afternoon and shot 42.  Not too bad considering.  It is hard to get me weight onto my left side right now, so I hit a little fade, but it will come. 

It sounds like the people that are put into the cast and then switched to different angles and different cast are working with an “old school” doctor.  My doctor is younger and did the boot, this allowed me to progress as fast as I have.  Everyone keep their chins up and you can make it back.  I am no where near 100%, but I am real happy with where I am.  I will be playing basketball again probably in November or December.   Thanks for reading.

577 responses so far

577 Responses to “2 Months Out…Quick Recovery”

  1. tennisjunkieon 24 Jun 2008 at 5:09 am 1

    You have made great progress. my doc won’t send me to PT until boot comes off - at around 11 weeks. I walk at home without the boot, but not confident to go outside or on stairs without it.

    Keep up the great recovery!

  2. danon 24 Jun 2008 at 8:13 am 2

    I just ruptured my achilled playing soccer. The pop sound was heard by several players and I am now trying to decide if I want to get surgery or not?

  3. mbotson 24 Jun 2008 at 9:09 am 3

    If you have any thoughts of playing soccer again, I would have the surgery. My doctor told me that with the surgery, there is only a 3-5% chance of re-rupture, and I will pretty much be back to normal in 6-12 months. Also, find a doctor that doesnt put you in a cast. Some will put you in the boot from day one as mine did. It sounds like that is the quickest recovery.

    Good Luck!

  4. mbotson 24 Jun 2008 at 9:12 am 4

    Tennisjunkie-
    It sounds like there are a lot of doctors out there that are like yours. I think I just got lucky and got a younger doctor. He had also worked for an NFL team before coming here. So I think that he looked at me as an athlete and tried to get me back to that stage as quickly as possible. Just let pain be your guide. If it hurts, dont do it. That’s what I did. Oh, and watch where you are walking.

  5. Matthewon 21 Jan 2009 at 1:47 pm 5

    mbots, I am very interested to know what boot your doc gave you. Was it VACOachill (vacocast.com) which allows earlier weight bearing and PT?

  6. keithon 19 Jan 2010 at 8:20 am 6

    I too am very pleased with my recovery. I am 8 weeks post op and now am into two shoes. Limpy sure, but my ortho said I will not re-rupture unless something really unusual happens. I attribute my rapid recovery to the Vacocast and the ability to move my ankle after the first three weeks of plaster cast. My surgeon was skeptical but . . . I persisted and at times bargained and pleaded for my own recovery protocol. This was my second rupture (I tore my right achilles 7 years prior and re-ruptured it because I was too aggressive in my recovery - non casted) so I was very cautious about going too quickly. Would recommend you order the day after your rupture so you can take with you to the surgeon. Worry about insurance later, the 3-6 weeks of additional freedom from casting was definitely worth it to me. I have a vaco if anyone would like a slightly used but in great condition cast.

  7. Julie Maureron 13 Jun 2010 at 9:11 pm 7

    I’m feeling like a wimp! I am three weeks post op and I can’t even imagine putting weight on my ATR leg! I am in a boot that has my foot point down still and won’t start “dialing” my flex angle for another week! I tore on May 21, 2010 and I am expecting to start PT by late August. It’s my goal to start training in November for an event in say Feb? I have no idea it the event will be a 5K or a 26.2 at this point, I just need a goal and I need someone to tell me it’s gonna happen!

  8. GerryRon 13 Jun 2010 at 9:38 pm 8

    Julie,
    First of all let me highly recommend, strongly encourage you to get your own blog. Just click on the link at the top of the main page that says “Create your own blog.” It will be much easier for you to get questions answered and get feedback on your own blog rather than using someone else’s.

    You’re in a boot now but not starting PT until late August? That’s ridiculous. There is no reason on earth for you to wait that long to start PT. I had surgery on August 3, stitches out on August 11 and my first PT appointment was less than a week later. Things went downhill from there but that’s another matter. The fact was that was standard procedure with my surgeon. If your surgeon is saying he/she doesn’t like to rush things, there is a wealth of information on here you can use to set him straight. Remember, it is your body, and you have the ultimate say in what happens. More than once I have had to tell a doctor “No, I am not going to do (insert procedure here.)” They are not used to patients actually researching and finding out what does and doesn’t work. You will get his/her attention if you go in armed with facts.

  9. osquiion 14 Jun 2010 at 9:58 pm 9

    hi julie am seven weeks post op and i went to see the doct today i been walking with the boot full weight bearing after my six week . an walking without crutches . basically as weeks go by your body is gonna push you . to try something new , just lisen to your body just dont overdo it . but keep moving get your blood going. it’s a rollercoaster

  10. normofthenorthon 14 Jun 2010 at 11:47 pm 10

    Julie, I’d say “+1″ to Gerry’s comments about studying up and to taking some (most?) responsibility for your rehab protocol. If you haven’t been doing gentle unweighted mobility exercises, out of the boot, while keeping your ankle plantarflexed, toes always below “neutral” or 90 degrees, that should be a harmless place to start. (This from a NON medical practitioner, though one who’s gone through TWO ATR rehabs, having torn both of mine playing the same sport, at 8-year intervals!)

    Like Gerry, I started PT at 2 weeks “in” — which in my case this time, meant 2 weeks after I did NOT get surgery, because I didn’t!. And you can find the exact protocol I followed — which produced excellent results in a randomized study, on BOTH post-op patients and “non-op” patients — at achillesblog.com/normofthenorth/the-non-surgical-protocol-ive-been-following/ .

    Also like Gerry, I’m fond of solid scientific evidence when I make important decisions like these, and you can find a lot of discussion of scientific studies on my blog, achillesblog.com/normofthenorth . On the other hand, I’m not sure there’s much solid evidence that PT actually produces superior results! Early-ish mobility and early Weight-Bearing have been tested, and both seem to help. PT at its worst can definitely do some harm (been there, done that, though that was all after my FIRST ATR!). I’m sure it usually does some good (and it usually feels good, physically and emotionally), but I don’t think anybody’s proved that yet.

    It’s part of “my” protocol, though, and that protocol produced good results in a big study (and for me and a few other folks “here”), so it’s probably a Good Thing and worth doing.

    But at 3 weeks, PT is a pretty gentle thing, consisting partly of very gentle massage and partly of the application of a series of (mostly untested) gizmos like Interference Current, lasers, and Ultrasound. Some ATR patients are just told to take off the boot while sitting cross-legged and “spell the alphabet” in the air with their big toe. I’d love to see a randomized study that compared THOSE two groups, and I’m not sure I’d bet big bucks on the PT group!

    Julie, if your boot can be “dialed” instead of just having internal heel wedges to tilt your toe down, then it can probably be set (later) to hinge, so your ankle can flex downward while the boot is still protecting it from flexing upwards. If so, congratulations, because I think (and so do some studies) that that sort of hinged boot is a Very Good Thing! (One of the studies that’s linked from the front page here calls hinged boots “Functional Orthotic Braces” or some such phrase, and says the data shows they help a lot — and some of them are letting the boot hinge starting right after surgery(!).

    Good luck and good healing, and start a blog of your own!

  11. willianon 08 Jul 2010 at 9:38 pm 11

    I completely ruptured my Achilles on 5/10/10. Had surgery on 5/13. Went into a walking hard cast and although it was very tight almost immediately started flexing my foot up and down. I was in that cast 3 days shy of a month and they put me in a walking boot. After the first day in the boot I was able to walk quickly in it. When I was home, would remove the boot and very carefully walk around the house. My first physical therapy was today, 7/8/10 and my therapist was in awe how much i was able to flex me foot/ankle. I guess all the self flexing and the fact that I gingerly walked so early on my own helped me strengthen my tendons. The therapist said I was so far ahead of the curve. I had an amazing surgeon but I’m glad I moved it as much as I did prior to therapy. Less than two months from rupture date and I can walk around with or without my boot. Outdoors I always wear the boot though. My surgeon said I completely shredded my tendon and for me to be so far along I’m just ecstatic! Good luck all!

  12. normofthenorthon 09 Jul 2010 at 1:41 am 12

    Willian, are you walking NORMALLY in bare feet, or is there a gimp/limp/dip in your stride when it’s time to push off with your healing foot? If you can walk normally, at 8 weeks, you’re close to the Gold Medal! Otherwise, if you’re just starting to wean off the boot at 8 weeks, you’re on the schedule I followed without any surgery — posted at bit.ly/UWOProtocol . That protocol produced excellent results for surgical AND non-operative patients (see the studies discussed at bit.ly/achillesstudies ), so I don’t think there’s any good reason for anybody to go any more slowly.

    Is your boot “fixed” or “hinged”?

    My first ATR (late 2001) was also repaired surgically, and my surgeon told me the tear was unusually messy (”like two horses’ tails”), and it recovered just fine after a much-too-slow rehab.

    Do “watch your step”, though, because you’re probably just starting to go through the scariest highest-risk month for making a false step and re-injuring (or even re-tearing) the thing. A few of the re-ruptures here were on top of the world just before they blew it, so do be careful.

    I had a fine surgeon in 2001, but I reserve the term “amazing surgeon” for the few that have read the new studies and figured out that it’s better NOT to give their patients ATR-repair surgery — like the amazing surgeon I found this time, in Dec. 2009!!

    P.S. Start your own blog page, instead of tagging your notes onto these old blogs by other folks!

  13. chubzon 05 Dec 2010 at 5:03 am 13

    I’m 2 weeks post surgery and wanting to know if I can play golf with my boot on? Can anyone tell me if its gonna cause further damage if I do?..I cannot stand not able to play golf.. please help

  14. Deniseon 21 Jan 2012 at 9:18 pm 14

    Oct 21, 2011 I ruptured my left Achilles completely, on Nov 5th, 2011 my right Achilles ruptured completely. Nov 10, 2011 I had bilateral Achilles repair done. I am still in a rehab center. Talk about a complicated and long recovery. Right foot infected at surgical site so am still trying to get a one inch hole to close now for over a month. I took my first steps on the paralel bars 5 days ago. What a crazy time. Telling you all this because you need to know dealing with ONE should be cake!!! Good luck to all of you.

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=592440388265

  15. Mikeon 20 Mar 2012 at 1:49 pm 15

    Thanks for the blog man, reading this made my day! I am 7 weeks post-op and have been walking around the house without the boot and doing some self administered rehab when I can and reading this helps my confidence that I might be hitting the links sooner then I expected!

  16. Steveon 26 Jul 2012 at 4:43 pm 16

    I exploded my left Achilles playing soccer (age 47). I live in Trindad and Tobago and am US Military. I had surgery 6/21/12. Had boot for one week and then post op, remove suchers and put in cast. I wore cast for 7 days and decided I couldn’t live with it, or fly back to Trindad with it. I cut it off and have been in the boot since. I ditched the crutches immediately and started weight bearing in the boot. i take the boot off in evening and walk around house w/o bending ankle past neutral. No problems. Time to go back to doc and get a referral to a PT.

  17. Margeon 28 Aug 2012 at 5:11 pm 17

    I ruptured my Achilles and had surgery to reattach it on July 7th, 2012. I am 73 years old and very athletic. I am now 7 weeks post op, and I am playing 9 holes of golf every day. I am still wearing my boot, but having no discomfort. Three times a day, I take off my boot and raise and lower my foot 20 times. I have very little swelling, but I do have some ankle stiffness, but will start therapy once I am at 8 weeks. I am a low handicap golfer, and playing golf in my boot takes a little getting used to, but I am able to hit the ball as far as I could before, but not as accurate. I expect that to improve and I also expect to make a complete recovery.

  18. Marge Johnsonon 13 Sep 2012 at 6:28 am 18

    I am now 9 weeks out. I wear my boot to play golf, and play 18 holes every other day, and have started my therapy. I shot a 38 on one nine last week. My ankle is still quite stiff and it gets swollen around the incision, but tomorrow my massage “terrorist” will start to deal with that. I put a heel lift in my tennis shoe and now I walk normally but carefully. I feel the important thing to do right from the beginning is to make sure both feet are of equal height when you first start walking in your boot. I got a sore adductor muscle from being lopsided and the therist told me it happens all the time. I have since corrected that and it is much better now. More later….

  19. crutchesintxon 13 Sep 2012 at 10:27 am 19

    I love reading these golf stories. I am now one month post op and was in a splint for 2 weeks and then a cast for the past 2 weeks. I am hoping my doctor will give me a boot today so i can start PWB better than I did with the cast and walking shoe. I really miss golf. I went and bought new wedges and a 4 wood while I was on bed rest. I just now started feeling strong enought to rest my bad leg behind me on the couch and balance with my good leg to practice putting.

  20. Tooquick?on 05 Oct 2012 at 9:20 am 20

    Thanks for the blog. I was questioning my doctor because after surgery I was put into a splint for 4 days then into the walking boot. I’m just a week from my ruptured achilles tendon surgery and will be in crutches for another week. My doctor tells me after 2 weeks I can start bearing some weight. After reading many blogs I was thinking my doc was going too fast. Hopefully this is the new post op recovery method.

  21. Hillieon 05 Oct 2012 at 9:38 am 21

    No, not Tooquick. Often the boot is on for 2-4 weeks (have seen 12+!) but some go straight into boot, and no reason why not if you have the right type. You’ll be weight bearing at about the right time although we all vary a little (and some are very sensitive, depending to their specific injury or treatment). Your specialist so far seems to know what he or she is doing and is confident enough to follow the newer protocols. I am now at 30 weeks and followed a pretty quick protocol too, as did many other successful recoverers, surgical and non-op.

    Norm has added a useful link further up this page, worth reading.

    Take care and be confident but not careless.

  22. Hillieon 05 Oct 2012 at 9:45 am 22

    Tooquick

    I made a mistake and said ‘boot on for 2-4 weeks’ - I meant the cast for for 2-4 weeks or more. You are doing really well with an early boot!

    H

  23. Brianinsbon 04 Nov 2012 at 9:10 am 23

    I am 2 days post op and was wondering how long ill need bed rest? I have a splint now and in 2 weeks will get a cast for at least 2 more weeks the Doc says.

  24. Johnon 04 Nov 2012 at 11:51 am 24

    Yes it gets better each day. That’s a nice way of saying it hurt the most right now. Don’t try and be tough….take the pain pills for a few days. You’ll sleep better and generally feel better. See notes on cast. Make sure leg is a bit swollen before you get cast. You’ll know what I’m taking about with splint over next few days.

    I stayed at home for five days and was then out and about. Be careful and keep leg p whenever possible. When you get your splint off (and if you’re brave, I wasn’t) you can see incision and you’ll know why it hurts.

    Remember, every day gets better!

    Good Healing,

    JL

  25. kkirkon 04 Nov 2012 at 12:28 pm 25

    Man, ruptured my right playing pickup basketball also. Happened so fast I didn’t realize it at first! About 3 weeks out right now and trying to work I. My patience.

  26. Anonymouson 19 Jan 2013 at 4:44 pm 26

    Hi guys, need HELP. I’m currently living in Bogota, Colombia. It seems the process here is a little old fashioned… I got surgery yesterday and am now supposed to were a cast for two months! The weight of the thing is killing me. I want so bad to go and get the boot regardless of what doc says. Any thumbs up???

  27. Danielon 19 Jan 2013 at 4:46 pm 27

    didn´t write my name sorry… i’m the one that started out “Hi guys, need HELP”I’m Daniel!

  28. Willon 03 Feb 2013 at 11:38 am 28

    Hey Daniel,

    I just recently underwent surgery on my right achilles. I can tell you that I did tons of research after tearing it, and one of the notes I captured was that you shouldn’t be wearing a cast for months. The reason being is that your calf may end up being weaker due to the pressure of the casting. That is why most doctors now-a-days remove the cast 8-10 days after surgery and into a CAM Walker (aka: Boot) in order to a) prevent any weakness in that muscle group area and b) to allow the patient the ability to move with limited motion, which then makes it quicker to attend PT. So yes push for wearing a boot instead of a cast.
    I am also taking some vitamins (A, B12, and C; I was taking E at one point, but the Doc said not to take it just yet) to stregthen my tendons. I don’t think it will make a significant improvement, however it depends on how your body reacts. Everyone is different, and I hope to be walking on my two feet after PT.

    Will

  29. Joanon 09 Feb 2013 at 8:58 pm 29

    I am at 12′weeks post-op and can bear full weight with my boot on. I am about ready to give up the walker and have a doctor’s appt. this week. I am surprised that he hasn’t had me start P.T. yet and will push for that to start. I exercise the foot every everning with the boot off and walk around a little bit w/o the boot. I still get quite a bit of swelling if I am on my feel too much. My concern is sharp prickly feelings around the incision site some of the time. Any ideas about what is causing that? Also, there is one tiny place in the incision that looks like a small indention—worrys me that it’s a place that hasn’t healed.

  30. Willon 02 Mar 2013 at 10:28 pm 30

    Wow Joan, 12 weeks with the boot on? I am at 4 weeks post-op and walking already with the boot. Actually I can already walk without the boot around the house and have been slowly walking up and down the stairs. Although I walk with a little skip because of it still healing. I just scheduled my PT so hopefully that will help immensely. Those sharp pricky feelings are your tendons still tightening. I have that pricky sensation on the upper portion of my foot but the doc told me it is still the tendon healing. The small indentation is the tendon still trying to strengthen. My recommendation would be to start PT and see how that goes.

    Will

  31. Mikeon 19 Mar 2013 at 12:22 pm 31

    Hello, I ruptured my achillies in August of 2012. I finally had my surgery March 7, 2013…..delayed due to a mis-diagnosis by a doctor. I visit my surgeon tomorrow (march 20, 2013) to have my splint removed. I am generally feeling pretty good, but I have started slowling walking on it yesterday without my crutches around the house. It is not painful and I wonder if anybody knows if I am damaging it in any way? Being immobile for two weeks is driving me crazy. I als wonder if I can be put into a walking boot or will he put me in a cast tomorrow? Any information you have would be greatly appreiciated….
    Mike.

  32. Lisaon 19 Mar 2013 at 12:40 pm 32

    I’m not sure anyone can tell you without knowing the details of your surgery and condition. I know my doctor was going to start early weight bearing but changed her mind post-surgery due to the complexity of the repair. Also, this is a time when you need to be super cautious to avoid re-rupture. Typically, after the sutures are removed and if the wound looks good they would put you in a boot.

  33. normofthenorthon 19 Mar 2013 at 9:22 pm 33

    Mike, the only good reasons NOT to get a boot right after surgery are (1) if you’re irresponsible, or 12 yeRs old, you might take it off and start walking and rerupture, and (2) Most surgical incisions ooze fluids for a week or two, which would soil the boot liner. (Some folks get two liners so they can switch and wash them.)

    There are some people here who’ve gone to PWB sooner than 2 weeks post-whatever (op or non-op), and to FWB sooner than 4 weeks. But they’re pretty rare, and I can’t recall a good-sized study that established that going that fast didn’t do harm. So you’re kind of in uncharted waters. Maybe you’ll do OK (like Columbus!), but maybe not. For sure don’t be confident, and Watch Your Step. I recommend that people read and learn the schedule at bit.ly/UWOProtocol , because it produced excellent results in ~150 patients (1/2 op, 1/2 non-op). If you’re going slower, you’re probably wasting time; if you’re going faster, you’re likely at risk.

  34. Mikeon 20 Mar 2013 at 1:38 pm 34

    Thanks Lisa and normofthenorth, I just got home from my post-op. The Doctor said everything looked good and gave me an aircast. He said I am able to walk on it with the use of a crutch or cane. Unfortunately, this boot is causing me a lot of pain while walking on it? Possibly because my foot is flat inside and when I was in my splint the heel was elevated? Thanks, hope to hear back…..again :)

    Mike

  35. Mikeon 21 Mar 2013 at 8:29 pm 35

    It is my second day on my walking boot. I’ve had it off more than on and it’s awesome today. I am gently moving my tendon with and without pressure…up and down and doing rolling all around. I may be crazy but, i am a firm believer that early mobilty is key. It feels all itchy inside and when I rest….I feel nothing. When the boot is on I feel pain but not like yesterday…..An accelerated recovery (my opinion) is key. I booted up today…went to the beer store (Canadian Brother) Had my Surgeon fill some papers for me and drove around smiling! I may be that asshole pushing it with impatience…..but who waits for it? By all means and not taking my words seriously….let your body do the talking….If it don’t hurt then move it if you can groove it and groove it it you can move it!!!

  36. Lisaon 21 Mar 2013 at 11:44 pm 36

    It might help to put some heel wedges or something that raises your heel in the boot. At 2 weeks you’re still healing interally (and externally) and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to go through the surgery again. There’s a difference between early mobility and taking unnecessary risks!

  37. Davidon 24 Mar 2013 at 6:38 am 37

    Not everyone can have an accelerated recovery. The most important factor when it comes to how fast or slow you go is how the incision is healing. I’m 3 weeks post op and still non weight baring and will be that way for possibly another two weeks. This is because the incision hasn’t healed completely and the worse thing you can do post-op besides re-rupture is tear your incision. So everyone heals differently. Some heal fast, some heal slow. So people, for the love of God please just follow your doctors advice. It will be less likely that you do more harm that way.

  38. Erneston 10 Apr 2013 at 9:02 am 38

    M/30/5′9″/160lbs pre-op
    M/30/5′9″/155lbs post-op/current

    Active lifestyle: Train 4-6 times a week in cycling/jogging/swimming/karate

    Hey there! I got an ATR on March 23rd, did full open surgery method on March 24th, was placed in a soft cast with splint. Did not do general anesthetics, opted for spinal and watched the whole operation. Kept foot elevated for first couple of days to control swelling, by the start of the 2nd week, all the swelling was gone. No itch, no pain. Did some simple exercises with my leg and toes, but NWB.

    On April 9th, I got my follow-up (roughly 2 weeks post-op), got cast taken off, and doc said my wound healed up real good, and gave me a FWB boot with 2 wedges, told me I don’t need crutches to start walking on it, but I am not confident in my ability quite yet, so I am weening off the crutches slowly. He told me to take off the boot everyday a couple of times to let the leg breath and to stretch out the calf/foot.

    Instructed me to remove one of two wedges at week 4, and the final wedge at week 6 post-op, in which at that time, I have my 2nd follow-up. By then, my foot should be walking at 90 degrees - and I believe he hinted that I will begin physio and exercise then.

    Definitely very aggressive doc, when he took my cast off, he cranked my foot at 90 degrees right out of the gates, to which I yelped in pain (it was a sore, tight pain, not a rip or anything). I told him WTF. Then he let it go again, and cranked it again - he told me the achilles is already reattached and repaired, it’s just tight, and told me I have to work towards getting the flexibility back. I am being careful.

    I have been massaging my leg, and stretching my foot, and rolling my foot about to gain flexibility. Woke up today, can WB with no pain or soreness. Was a good night’s rest. Will let you guys know how I progress.

  39. Ripraproaron 10 Apr 2013 at 12:11 pm 39

    Wow Ernest sounds frightening, but great to see you survived good recovery
    Rrr

  40. mbotson 10 Apr 2013 at 1:08 pm 40

    Wow. I did not realize people still looked at and read this blog. I haven’t been here in quite some time. I hope everyone is doing well in their recoveries. It’s been 5 years since that fateful night playing basketball, but all is well. I still play basketball once or twice a week and have had no setbacks. I always tell people I am glad I tore my achilles rather than blow my knee out. My brother is 4 years younger and blew his knee out in high school and it’s never been right. Good luck everyone in your recovery.

  41. ATRmanon 13 Apr 2013 at 10:44 pm 41

    I ruptured my AT yesterday and now on the long hard road to recovery! I am determined to come back 100% or better than I was. Ive read all the horror stories online about people taking 12 months to recover and not even fully. Well, I don’t intend to be one of these people so the first story in this blog has been a good find for me as there not many fast recovery stories out there with an ATR. Good to read other success stories here too. I’m only at day 2 but feeling very optimistic about it. I am trying to turn negatives into positives. So far so good.

  42. Naturalheeleron 15 Apr 2013 at 1:42 am 42

    Early rehab seems most predictive of fast and effective recovery. Even more predictive than surgery vs non-surgery options. Issue is risk reward on multiple levels. Too fast too soon increases risk of re-rupture and inadequate healing. Too slow, reduced blood flow slows healing process, results in weaker tendon and atrophied calf muscle, which together actually increase risks. Like a bell curve. Recent research seems to be moving optimum point further to the left on curve. Given insurance issues and profits, surgeons more inclined to avoid the worst result-re-rupture, than to max recovery speed. Same issues with surgeon’s bias toward surgical option. It’s where the money is, though rehab services are very high margin. But a surgeon is born to cut. I opted for non-surgical because of my own bias, no money, and it was a fortuitous forced choice. Rupture my left 20 years ago, had surgery and it was brutal. Felt it was butcher job, but just the nature of the surgery in that location. Rupture right achilles 2 weeks ago pop Not as painful as 1st Now 2 weeks into non-surgical rehab for my right, and it is amazing. Iced and immobilized with rom boot 20 degrees plantar immediately. (I had kept my boot & had crutches) new boot arrived 3 days later via amazon. Some minor heal only weight bearing from start. Had to worry about left leg wearing out. Knee meniscus. 3 times a day ice and message. Virtually no initial swelling (always a killer for any injury) and little localized pain. Rupture in common location. Calf cramp 2nd day terrifying. Water bananas and pushing with finger hard under nose–mom’s acupuncture remedy–worked mysteriously well to avoid and deter future cramps. Initially I could feel chasm of rupture, about 1/4 inch or less. 2 weeks later none. Calf muscle manipulation definetly controls foot flexion, not the illusion of control by those other tendons that control toes. At critical phase to avoid catastrophic mistake. I’m 3 weeks ahead of surgery patients because they lose 1 week right off the top waiting for surgery. 1 week is gained by leveraging the body’s short-lived post injury bonsai defense response, which quick 3 day surgeries also get, and I gain healing time focused on tendon, not the surgical collateral damage, and I get more freedom of movement early, the decisive predictor of early and effective and sustainable recovery. No risk of infections. No claustrophobic pain. And no empty wallet . I’m keeping my fingers crossed

  43. normofthenorthon 15 Apr 2013 at 7:38 am 43

    Naturalheeler, my fingers are crossed too, partly because your experience is similar to mine. I also skipped the surgery for ATR#2 — not for lack of $ (Ontario health insurance makes it “free”!), but because my new fancy sports-med surgeon had attended the AAOS2009 conference and met with the authors of the UWO Study after attending their presentation. He liked their answers to his Qs and stopped doing surgical ATR repairs! More details on my blog.

    You’re right that many OSs use slower rehab to avoid re-ruptures, but you suggest that they’re rational to do so, and the evidence says they are NOT! Mind you, the evidence shows a relatively minor clinical impact from fast vs. slow rehab for surgical patients, and a HUGE impact for non-op patients, all in the “illogical” direction l. Slow “conservative” rehab non-op clearly produces much higher rerupture rates, as confirmed by a new meta-study.

    Ryanb and I had a useful discussion about TOO-fast rehab on one of my recent pages. Immediate FWB was tried in one recent study and it did NOT produce good results, with or without surgery!! I wouldn’t Go There, based on that evidence. UWO’s 2 wks NWB then 2 PWB seems close to optimal. No, it doesn’t eliminate calf (&c.) atrophy. But it isn’t clear that you WANT a full-strength calf muscle pulling on your weak and still-healing AT. A spasm or a move to prevent a fall could cause a rerupture easy-peasy.

  44. NaturalHeeleron 15 Apr 2013 at 12:57 pm 44

    Thanks normofthenorth. Canadian health system is great, but there’s no migration path to that model in the US given our current population dynamics and historical evolution of our healthcare system. Too bad. ISSUE: the definition of “Weight bearing” or FWB, as I think you abbreviated it. I looked at some of those studies in detail, where I could, because I was perplexed that they didn’t seem to control for the “type” of rupture, if such categories could be practically made. Based on intuition alone, I thought the decisive factor in treatment would be the tendon’s ability to “bridge the gap”. Virtually nothing. Maybe you could explain that to me. But burried in one article was the tacit admission, almost as an afterthought, that “it has been known for some time (in animals and humans) that the tendon has the ability to agressively regenerate itself” or some words to that effect. I thought I would find more discussion about the conditions that would promote that. I guess I did. The agressive rehab is key. As far as WB, it depends on how that is defined. When I used it in regards to my injury, I was talking about placing some weight on the leg, with the foot braced completely for no movement and in the proper plantar flexion position. For example, resting the boot on floor at my desk of in the car. Or standing with crutches, or sometimes heel striking in walking with crutches. Absolutely no pain with this. Careful. This seems more related to the non EB regiment, then the partial WB therapy after 2 weeks. As a note, when I saw Kobe walk off after the rupture I winced. I read that the sheath around the tendons usually stays connected somewhat in a complete rupture. The sheath is very important to promote the direction and speed of heeling. When you walk like that after a rupture, you tear it off completely. Now, there was no doubt Kobe was going to have surgey, so I guess it’s moot. But for others considering the non-surgical option, it is very important to immobilize the rupture immediately. I mean right on the floor where you lay. Anyway, if you have an intel on these sort of dynamics regarding the non-surgical healing, I would sure appreciate it. I’m concerned that these issues are rarely controlled for in the studies, or discussed otherwise. I’m concerned because I don’t feel I have a way to evaluate the healing process, except going by feel.

  45. Patrick_Columbuson 23 Apr 2013 at 10:57 am 45

    I suffered a full rupture while playing indoor soccer of my left Achilles tendon on Tuesday the 9th of April. I immediately hit the deck once it popped. It was quite violent and loud. I did not put any weight on it whatsoever. I was fitted with a boot the next day as I was put in a splint the day of the injury. I did start walking around a couple of days later using the boot. I would have some pain in my calf but it wasn’t severe. I took no medication until after surgery. I had the surgery on the 18th of April. I am currently in a splint and bandages. I go to see the surgeon on Friday. I am taking part in a clinical research study that uses electro-stimulation on the calf post surgery to try and prevent atrophy. I do the stimulation 3 times daily and I crank it up to as high as I can withstand. This research also allows for two additional MRI scans and close monitoring of my calf muscles and progress after surgery. I really have no pain and don’t take the pain meds very often. I am 40yrs old, 5ft8, 160lbs. I totally intend to return to playing soccer and other sports. I am going to be as aggressive as my doctor and therapists allow. I will update as to the progress and what the e-stim seems to contribute in terms of preventing atrophy and aiding in recovery.

  46. Paulito718on 06 May 2013 at 7:43 pm 46

    Naturalheeler-I ruptured my right AT last week and can’t afford the surgery( no insurance) what did you do week by week to recover and how long before you went back to work

  47. Traceyon 05 Jun 2013 at 4:40 am 47

    I had partial rupture 10th March, no surgery, cast for 5 weeks, boot for 5 weeks, discharged from hospital 2 weeks ago, now struggling as cannot walk with out bad limp, unable to get on my toes, has anyone experienced this ? Is this normal?

  48. Ripraproaron 05 Jun 2013 at 10:09 am 48

    Hi Tracey feb 16 th
    8 weeks went two shoes still have limp and swelling

  49. darren yon 09 Jun 2013 at 11:26 am 49

    Completely severed my Achilles playing basketball….surgery 6 days later, soft half cast for a week, Boot splint for next few weeks;
    *Right at 4 weeks started weight bearing and some baby steps..
    *At 5 weeks ditched the crutches and doing PT 3 times a week. Walking everywhere in sandles, shoes, or bare feet at home….very slow and deliberate, and half steps at times but moving. My PT and Ortho are both very “progressive” and “aggressive”…and i am thanjful for that seeing/reading about folks being casted to 6,7,8 weeks. And mine was completely severed/ruptured. The only thing going slow is the scab on the incision. Good luck.

  50. dannyon 11 Jun 2013 at 1:37 pm 50

    I see everybody having surgery right after their injuries, I went to 2 doctors which did xrays and said just damaged muscle and busted blood vessels, then they sent me to another specialist that said something isn’t right and we need to do a mri, now they saying surgery due to torn achilles and its been 7 weeks!! I’m just a little worried because its been so long, has anybody else went this long??

  51. Stuarton 11 Jun 2013 at 3:00 pm 51

    Danny - Not sure if your rupture was partial or complete but you have what is called a stale injury which can be repaired. Most are surgically repaired and you should have a good result. With any injury, the healing process starts immediately but without the initial immobilization this process would not be able to complete as you continually tear the new collagen. The location of the rupture will be an influence. Ruptures near muscles tissue are more difficult to sew together but not impossible. There are quite a few people here that have been down your path and come out good. It is a great shame that you have had to wait so long before proper diagnosis and treatment but if you had a partial rupture near the muscle connection then I can understand how it could be considered a muscle tear. A muscle tear would start to feel better after a week and resolve itself in 3 or so weeks. 7 weeks is a bit long to wait. Hope it goes well for you.

  52. ryanbon 12 Jun 2013 at 6:28 am 52

    Danny,
    There have been a few bloggers here with long delays between injury and treatment. Kkirk was one of the more recent with an extensive blog.

  53. kkirkon 12 Jun 2013 at 6:48 pm 53

    Hi Danny, I went 4.5 months from injury to surgery, so I think I qualify. My doc made me go extremely conservatively, which has slowed my recovery, mainly trying to rebuild my calf muscle and fighting the atrophy battle, but at 8 going on 9 months since surgery, I’m about 75% back to normal. Just increasing strength and endurance. Have you had surgery yet? Make sure to check out my blog and make one yourself to keep us posted. :)

  54. Wayneon 13 Jun 2013 at 2:28 am 54

    Hi all, I had a complete rupture of my right achilles on 14/4/13 and then surgery on 20/4/13. Following surgery I was in a back slab cast for 2 weeks before stitches were removed and I was then placed in a full cast for 4 weeks. Then on the day my cast was removed I was placed in a boot with 3 wedges and commenced Physio that day. I will remove 1 wedge per week and continue with 1 physio session per week for 6-8 weeks.
    Once in the boot doctors advised to weight bare as much as I could handle. I am now two sessions into my physio and seeing good improvement with each session.
    Still having issues with swelling when foot is not up and resting.
    Cheers

  55. Mikeon 10 Jul 2013 at 4:58 pm 55

    Soooooo im 5 days out of surgery & I was wondering what is a realistic time frame until I start walking on my own? (Taking baby steps even) I’m going crazy in this bed!!!!!!!!!

  56. brokendadon 10 Jul 2013 at 7:11 pm 56

    Hi Mike- the protocols seem to vary. I was on crutches for 2.5 weeks. I was then in a walking boot for 20 days. It seems from this site it takes about 6 -8 weeks before you are ” stepping”

    Hope this helps.

  57. normofthenorthon 11 Jul 2013 at 12:16 am 57

    Mike, everywhere you read, you’ll find examples of time frames, many of them “reasonable” and all of them “actual”. bit.ly/UWOProtocol can give you an idea of a schedule that produced excellent results. Try (HARD) not to go any slower than that, even if your Doc “hasn’t gotten the memo” and thinks slower is safer. (It isn’t.) There’s a new analysis — discussed on suddsy’s blog here — of patients who got even better results going even faster, with the Vaco boot. Those are all realistic and reasonable time frames. Any slower is UNreasonable, IMHO.

  58. Kevinon 14 Jul 2013 at 7:38 am 58

    I had a partial tear of my achilles way back in March playing football but i didnt see the Ortho doctor until end May. When i had the appointment the doctor only said that he`s gonna put me in a cast for 4 weeks and when i came back after that he said that it was getting better and he said that i needed to be put in a cast ( this time i asked for an AirBoot ) Now i`m just a week away for my next appointment and taking out the cast. But my main concern is.. the doctor said that i don`t have to go for PT and since i`m a sporty person i don`t have to go through all that. Is it possible? All i`m aiming now is to walk normally..

  59. normofthenorthon 14 Jul 2013 at 7:09 pm 59

    Kevin, I want to make sure I have this right:
    - You had a partial ATR in March, and walked/limped around on it for ~6 weeks before seeing an OS.
    - When you saw him, he did NOT suggest surgery, but instead treated you non-operatively, aka “conservatively”.
    - You’ve been immobilized and Non-Weight-Bearing now for 4+3=7 weeks now, first 4 in a cast and the last 3 in a boot (maybe an AirCast brand boot)?
    - In another week, you expect to go into 2 shoes?

    If I’ve got this right, then I have more concerns than the fact that your Doc doesn’t want to send you for PT. First, about the PT: Lots of us REALLY felt as if PT helped us heal and recover, and to stay fitter and saner through our rehab. Nobody (AFAIK) has ever done a scientific study of ATR rehab with PT vs. without PT, but the vast majority of modern studies that have shown the best results (especially without surgery) have used PT as part of their rehab.

    But my other concerns are these: (1) You waited a long time before starting a non-op rehab, and (though I love non-op ATR treatment), I have little confidence in its ability to work after a long delay. Basically, the injury starts a mad process of inflammation and healing and tissue growth, and if you’re not treated promptly — i.e., immobilized in a toe-down position that brings your torn AT ends together — the two torn ends heal separately instead of together. Getting delayed surgery generally works, because the surgery re-starts that mad healing process.
    (2) All the new evidence shows that going as slowly as you’re going — maybe 7 or 8 weeks NWB? — doesn’t produce results nearly as good as going faster. Like as fast as bit.ly/UWOProtocol, or a week or two faster.
    Put those two things together, and (a) I wonder if your Doc is paying attention to the evidence and (b) I worry about your risk of re-rupturing or otherwise being disappointed.

    If I’ve got your story wrong, please correct it — or even better start a blog page and tell us all the whole story.

  60. worriedon 23 Jul 2013 at 5:57 am 60

    I had a complete rupture on 16th July 2013 while playing squash. My dr said I needed surgery but I opted for non surgery instead. I had an aircast boot fitted on day 2 which dr says must stay on for 5-6weeks. Has anyone experienced the same? Will my foot heal completely without surgery and how long before I can walk normal again?

  61. andrewcon 23 Jul 2013 at 6:55 am 61

    Hi worried
    My ATR happened during a game of squash too. I am 9 weeks into my treatment and I am walking almost normally. I did have a Vaco boot which was hinged and did allow me to have some movement during weeks 4 - 8. I had a cast for the first 2 weeks and was non weight bearing but managed to get to full weight bearing once I got into the boot.

  62. superjewgrlon 23 Jul 2013 at 7:51 am 62

    Hi worried ….. I went the non-op route also. I was in a cast for 3 weeks and was just fitted for the aircast for another 3 weeks. I wish I could answer your last question, when I’m in two shoes, I’ll let you know. Happy Healing.

  63. Kevinon 23 Jul 2013 at 10:03 pm 63

    Hello all. I ruptured my achilles 6/15/13 while playing basketball. Had my surgery the 26th, and everything was going fine until my doc discovered that I had developed a staph infection on 7/16/13. Have been in the hospital since then, and only got home today. Doc had to ‘undo’ my repair, and I am on antibiotics with a ‘picline’ in my arm. I am only 20 years old. Tough and unusual luck that this occurred to me, and I am unable to return to college this fall. Will have to complete online work.

  64. normofthenorthon 24 Jul 2013 at 1:30 am 64

    @worried: The key to a great result with non-op treatment (IMHO) is to follow a modern fast protocol that has demonstrated great results. The obvious choices until a few months ago were the protocol used by the 2007 NZ study (published here on bronny’s blog), and the protocol used by the 2010 “UWO” (Canadian) study, published here at bit.ly/UWOProtocol . More recently, two even faster protocols have been listed on Suddsy’s blog here, and one of them has demonstrated even better results (lower rerupture rates) than the others.

    All slower protocols seem to have markedly inferior results, especially non-op, so Don’t Go There! A recent meta-study (a statistical combo-analysis of the results from multiple studies) FINALLY made the distinction between fast non-op treatment and slow non-op treatment. It found that fast non-op treatment produces rerupture rates as low as surgery, and slow non-op treatment produces rerupture rates ~8.5% (absolute) higher — i.e., ~8.5 additional reruptures per 100 patients. (That’s around 3 times as many reruptures as surgery or fast non-op!)

  65. normofthenorthon 24 Jul 2013 at 1:35 am 65

    Kevin, your infection sounds like a real bummer, sorry about that! But how do you get from the infection to not being able to return to college in the fall? Because you’ll still be on IV antibiotics, and that has to be in a rehab hospital?? Even with a PIC line, some patients in some places are allowed to do the injections/drips at home. I think it takes maybe an hour a day for pretty massive IV antibiotic doses, no? I wouldn’t think that would rule out college. (I’m going from memory of my Dad having high-dose IV antibiotics through a PIC line for Bacterial Endocarditis in his 90s, which may or may not be comparable.)

  66. MTowerson 24 Jul 2013 at 2:42 pm 66

    Great to have found this website , I had complete ruptured my Left Achilles tendon back June 28th , Had surgery a week later. splint cast for 2 and now into a Boot , approaching my 4th week after surgery. Very Frustrated , I think I am recovering Ok , I am starting to put some weight on it. Very little pain , at night while sleeping I get these tremors in my calf muscle, Very painful for a few seconds.
    I am 42 years old that likes to stay in shape, kind of a workaholic ,, this has woke me up to making good decisions with my body. I did the rupture doing double back flips on a diving board. my second attempt on my second bounce put my toes to my shin and I heard the POP !! I am hoping to be able to Ski this December ? does anyone have any problems with that in 20 weeks ? or have these quick calf reflex at night ?
    Anyway , I will get better …. Good luck to you all ..

  67. DanitaJoon 25 Jul 2013 at 6:20 pm 67

    Hi, I’m 54 yrs. old and ruptured my right Achilles on 6/23 playing kickball ( lol). I had surgery on 7/19 and was immediately put into an air cast boot along with crutches. My stitches will be removed in a few days. Maybe I’m being a big baby, but my arm pits and hands ache terribly from using the crutches. Anyone else have this problem. Also my surgeon said I can drive with my left leg, I hope he’s right.

  68. kellygirlon 25 Jul 2013 at 6:28 pm 68

    @Danita: Welcome. Sorry to hear about your injury. Your crutches aren’t suppose to rest in your armpit. They should be just below. When you crutch, you are really using your hands and arms to support your weight. I was told that padding the hand holds helps a lot–I just developed big callouses. Those work too. Lots of great info and support here. I suggest reading some of the blog posts for tips. Good luck!

  69. kellygirlon 25 Jul 2013 at 6:29 pm 69

    @danitajo: Lol! You aren’t a baby–just an ATR club member! Hmm, not sure driving with the left foot is a good idea.

  70. Deniseon 29 Jul 2013 at 8:26 pm 70

    I am two weeks post op and have a appt this week to hopefully get stitches out and then a cast .. Haven’t put any weight on it yet and don’t think I will beable to for another 2 weeks .. But if people are having trouble with crutches look into renting or buying a knee walker.. I have been driving four days after operation since my left food it the one that had the Tare .. I didn’t ruptured it just had more than a 50% Tare …wishing everyone good luck

  71. Gretlawnon 05 Aug 2013 at 2:57 pm 71

    I completely ruptured my left Achilles on July 15. I had surgery on July 18. I was in a splint for 1 week. I have been in a cast for the past 2. Today, I almost fell. Instead, I accidentally put my foot down on my cast and heard a pop. Not nearly as big as when it ruptured, but heard it and felt it all the same. Kind of like pulling a particularly thick weed. Has this happened to anyone else? Did it re-rupture?

  72. superjewgrlon 05 Aug 2013 at 4:02 pm 72

    Hi Gretlawn…… I was not in a cast, but in a boot. I had just left the doctors office with the boot and the wedge wasn’t affixed so it slid under my arch and my heel went down while I was walking slow and steady. All of a sudden I had the most horrific pain I’ve probably ever felt. I turned white. But I didn’t trip or fall. I did re-rupture and I was at the end of week 3 of treatment, healing non-op.

    It’s possible that since you were surgically repaired you may not have reruptured it. But i did and I just had surgery 10 days ago. Get it checked out. Your tendon is going to be fragile or a long time.

    I’m keeping me fingers crossed for you. Btw, how is your pain level? My rerupture was way more painful then the first.

    Good luck, keep us posted. It will be okay. xx

  73. normofthenorthon 06 Aug 2013 at 1:31 am 73

    Gretlawn, we’ve had them both ways here, reruptures and “scar tissue releasing” and such. Time and a good professional exam will tell, not your pals on the Internet for this.

  74. worriedon 06 Aug 2013 at 2:40 am 74

    Hi has anyone had a complete rupture and recovered fully without undergoing surgery and just wearing the boot for 6weeks?

  75. ATRbuffon 06 Aug 2013 at 5:49 am 75

    I’m concerned about your ‘name’! Worried is way too pessimistic.

    Complete rupture, no surgery, then 2 weeks plastered, 6 or 7 weeks max in a boot, then 2 shoes. Easy peasy. Just needs a good practitioner, great physiotherapy for a few months if you can, lots of self-discipline and dedication with the exercises ((week 3+). Same as surgery in many cases but without the downside.

    At 2 years post-atr I’m now an old-timer. Wouldn’t have called myself ‘fully recovered’ until 11 or 12 months, but ’significantly’ well before that.

  76. Juststartingon 14 Aug 2013 at 3:31 pm 76

    Surgery on Thursday. Any advice for the newly initiated on diet and food?

  77. Gon 17 Aug 2013 at 12:34 pm 77

    7/28 full rapture playing basketball I’m 34.
    8/1. Surgery
    8/4 had surgery cast replaced at er. It was killing me.
    8/6. Had 2nd cast removed. demanded boot. Cast was causing all my pain. With the boot no pain.
    8/15 1st check up. need to wait one more week before stitches come out. Otherwise I would have started pt next week.
    8/18. I’m able to hobble around the house without crutches.

    Note: I stopped taking the antiamatories after week 1.5 and as zoo. As I did, the left over swelling went away overnight.

    8/16. Will probably start pt.

    Goal is to play golf in October!

  78. Raulon 17 Aug 2013 at 7:27 pm 78

    Im 35 and my left atr occurred 8/10/13 at 5 in the afternoon. I was playing baseball with my sons little league team vs. us parents. As soon as I took off from first toward second was when I heard and felt a pop. I hit the ground immediately. I thought I broke my knee brace and tripped me lol. I was surprised to see it intact mainly because I had no pain. When I got up I couldn’t put weight on my foot. I knew what it was instantly. I went straight to the er and it was confirmed…damn.no pain no swelling. Just that wierd feeling of my calf pulling on something that wasn’t there. I had surgery the next morning. First on the list because my wife was balling her eyes out so the doc promised to get me home as quick as possible. She was very upset that she had to leave to care for our sons and i was gonna stay and have surgery alone. My wife and I are always together with our boys. They are 10 and 2. Anxiety got the best of her. I love that woman so much

  79. Raulon 17 Aug 2013 at 7:31 pm 79

    My follow up is Monday. So it’s the boot or nothing as far as I’m concerned. I have lots of movement and some strength too. Don’t wanna lose that in a cast. Got my fingers crossed

  80. worriedon 20 Aug 2013 at 1:47 pm 80

    Hi,
    I’m in week 5 now after my injury, no-op, just the boot. The doctor wanted to operate, but I was not comfortable. Doctor says it won’t heal properly.I took the boot off today for a short while, and the back of my heel was blue, not sure if this is normal. I need to go back to the doctor next week and am very anxious and worried. I hope that all is well.

  81. Raulon 21 Aug 2013 at 12:30 pm 81

    Hey worried. Sorry about the atr. Doc’s right. You may never walk the same again and on the other hand maybe u will. No-op left to many things up in the air for me. I had the op about 12 hrs after the rupture. It gave me the peace of mind that the tendon is properly reconnected and the healing process will begin. The blue is from bruising. Your passed the black n purple part of it. This injury takes time. I went to my follow up and the doc wasn’t even there. Had an emergency. He instructed them to put me in a cast for a week. It’s been ten days since the op. I’m going crazy. Not patient with this. I wish u the best in your recovery.

  82. hillieon 21 Aug 2013 at 1:40 pm 82

    Worried, most likely you will heal just fine. Just read the blog pages from the past few months (or years if you like, you have the time…).

    Most non-op cases mend perfectly well, giving repairs strong enough to resume all of the activities we were doing before the atr. Surgery has its own risks and pain - bound to, but necessary treatment for some cases (but not most probably).

    Raul, I hope you get into the boot soon. Early weight bearing and mobility are key if you are going to keep up with the best.

  83. Laon 21 Aug 2013 at 9:10 pm 83

    This blog is great! Thank you!
    I just ruptured my at on Monday, had ultra sound to find complete rupture but waiting anxiously what’s next!!! Been sent home with 1/2 cast in a downward position and waiting to hear from the hospital for the next step. They discussed no surgery which suits me! I have several friends that can offer different rehab techniques which I will take advantage of and obviously the recommendation the hospital! However, I don’t understand how the tendon can fully recover without surgery? Obviously, it can because not everybody has had surgery! Just some insight will be greatly appreciated!

  84. kikion 21 Aug 2013 at 9:41 pm 84

    La, do a search from the main site for “normofthenorth” and read his blog - he’s a strong advocate for a non-op, early weight-bearing approach. His blog (and comments elsewhere) suggest that this gets results that are as good as, or better than, surgery.

    Good luck as you navigate all this information, as well as the new (temporary) adaptations you have to make to your life. It’s nerve-wracking, but you will absolutely get through it!

  85. worriedon 22 Aug 2013 at 2:53 am 85

    Hi
    Thanks for everyones comments. Raul what do you mean when you say I’ll probably not walk the same again. Will I be able to go into my high heel shoes again?

  86. superjewgrlon 22 Aug 2013 at 5:55 am 86

    Many people feel their mended tendon ends up better than pre-op so don’t worry about not walking the same again at all right now.

    Don’t let Hillie’s inflammatory comment “Early weight bearing and mobility are key if you are going to keep up with the best.” There is no “best”, having an informed discussion with your doctor so you can contribute to the solution prescribed for you is really key.

    Good luck!

  87. darleneon 22 Aug 2013 at 11:23 am 87

    I had my achilles repaired in nov of 2012, developed staph infection 9 weeks post op did antibiotics for 9 weeks by infusion 7 days a week. Infection blew whole incision open, took 5 months for the incision to heal they used pig stem cell therapy worked great. What I want to know is anyone has had any stiffness this long after surgery in the ankle area? I never had pt but do use a tens-unit for stimulating.

  88. hillieon 22 Aug 2013 at 11:36 am 88

    Hey superjewgrl

    Raul said “So it’s the boot or nothing as far as I’m concerned”. I responded with “Raul, I hope you get into the boot soon. Early weight bearing and mobility are key if you are going to keep up with the best”. So far as I can see, that is supportive not inflammatory. To make it crystal clear, that part of my post was clearly addressed to RAUL.

    You’ve either mis-read who my comment was addressed to or you don’t agree with the best practice newer protocols proven to aid a quicker return to mobility and fitness. Check them out in Achillesblog, especially from the home page or, posted recently, even newer Exeter UK data posted on Suddsy’s achilles blog.

    You are however, quite right to suggest having an informed discussion - but then again does worried have that relationship with a doctor who said “it won’t heal properly”! Raul’s comment (inflammatory?) was “Doc’s right, you may never walk the same again”. Sorry to bring you back into this, Raul - you might be proved right but it is far more likely that worried will make a great recovery.

    Superjewgrl - no need to apologise, or to post such an inflammatory comment. Have a great recovery.

  89. Riprap roaron 22 Aug 2013 at 11:48 am 89

    La
    Check out brady browne achilles o. You tube, that will give a full visual picture of how successful non op can be, the USA hasn’t woken up to it yet, which is surprising given they are normally the first with most things
    RRR

  90. Steveon 23 Aug 2013 at 2:45 pm 90

    Hi…I ruptured my left achilles right off the heel bone on 8/2. I am 41 and in great shape. I went to the OS on 8/8 after trying to convince myself that I had just “sprained” my ankle. I knew when the injury happened what was wrong, but I was in denial. The surgery was on Wednesday, 8/14 and came away with the splint only to have that replaced by the hard cast two days later on Friday, 8/16. I am going in for my 2nd post op. appointment this Monday, 8/26. I’m sure they are removing the cast to look at the incision. Hopefully, I will go into the boot at that time. At this point, optimism is shared with feelings of extreme dissappointment.

  91. Raulon 23 Aug 2013 at 7:46 pm 91

    Worried I’m sorry if I frightened you. It’s just that arguments for op or no op are split down the middle. I was gonna opt to no surgery but the risk of re-rupture is what scared me.u need to listen to your body. It’s obviously telling u not to have surgery so don’t. Believe you’ll heal beautifully and u will. You’ll have those heels on in no time. Sorry if I had u cast any doubt. Not my intentions. Hearing your doc say what he said just made believe u tore it pretty bad. Heels keep u on your toes. This probably shorten your achilles. Just remember to stretch them out. Stay positive.

    Hillie is on point. Being too conservative does more harm than good it seems. Meaning it makes recovery a little more of a challenge. Instead of focusing primarily on the rupture, you have to work your tail off if you lose strength and mobility to regain it. (I hope that came out right lol don’t wanna be inflammatory lol)

    I hate this cast. The cast is making cracking noises because I’m trying to break out of it flexing my foot up and down. It would be bad a$$ to walk into my follow up with a broken up cast asking them what else they got for me. The 27th can come fast enough.

  92. superjewgrlon 23 Aug 2013 at 9:13 pm 92

    Raul…. I’m in a cast. I walk on it. I do squats in it also. The way my foot is positioned I’m at best PWB. From what I’ve seen, I’m not sure walking in with a broken cast will be anything they haven’t seen before.

    I went the non-op route and reruptured in the boot the first day since the wedge wasn’t affixed. Hopefully you will have a proper boot and can heal nicely. Now that I’ve had surgery, which included the vy lengthening procedure, I wouldn’t opt for surgery if I didn’t have to.

    Good luck.

  93. Riprap roaron 24 Aug 2013 at 1:36 am 93

    Hi super jewgrl
    Sorry to hear about your rupture, good job you went non op first, it would of been even more frustrating and definatley more psinful if you’d done the same after a op, great feedback for everyone make sure the wedge is secure, they should be stuck in place
    RRR

  94. worriedon 26 Aug 2013 at 7:55 am 94

    So I’ve just been to the doctor, and there is hardly an improvement. This after 6weeks. Doctor has now booked me for surgery on Thursday. I’m so scared and feeling very disappointed and down. Has anyone had successful surgery after waiting 6weeks?

  95. superjewgrlon 26 Aug 2013 at 10:59 am 95

    Yes. I went the non-op route for my initial rupture. At the 5 week mark, I re-ruptured due to a boot issue. However, just that morning I was told I was healing nicely.

    My rerupture was pretty bad and I had to have the vy lengthening procedure to get the tendons connected. My surgery was at the 6 week mark. Good luck!!!!

  96. kellygirlon 26 Aug 2013 at 11:10 am 96

    @worried: Have you been in a cast with toes pointed down for the last six weeks or in a boot? At five weeks, non op, my tendon had come together but was weak. There was still a gap where the rupture occurred but I was still able to move my foot around. It seems a shame to have wasted the last six weeks–I’m sorry to hear that.

  97. Raulon 26 Aug 2013 at 2:42 pm 97

    Worried I’m sorry to hear that.if you have never had surgery it can be very scary.i didn’t sleep for days before my first surgery about seven years ago.it was for a quadriceps tendon rupture.fell down my front steps New Year’s Day. Sober. I’m sure if I was drunk i would’ve gotten up with no problem. I cried ever time I was alone. Scared out of my mind.i honestly put my faith in god that I would be ok.i also had to have faith in the medical team taking care of everything on their end. Blood work,EKG ,giving me the info I needed to know about pre-op etc.. Hopefully your not a smoker like me. You need to stop. Make sure your blood carries as much oxygen as possible. Stopping from smoking also reduces possibility of infection. Don’t look at the last 5 weeks as a waste. I would try to forget it and focus on the road ahead of you. It’s gonna take some hard work to get better whether you had surgery or not. It takes time. Just remember that it isn’t impossible. The day will come when you’ll be healed and this will all be a memory. You will be on here giving words of encouragement to someone going through the same thing. Your success story will be what pulls them through. Remember that.
    I go to my follow up tomorrow.i haven’t had a good night rest no matter how I prop up my leg. This cast is putting me through hell. I hate not being mobile. Especially when I get hungry and I look at the 2 flights of stairs to go down to the kitchen. I walk around on my cast but not so much since I started to crack it. I’m scared my foot is gonna go through the bottom. I wish it would be a Forrest Gump type of moment that it’ll break and ill walk just fine after but this is the real world.the pain of rerupture is very real. Don’t want that. I’ll let you guys know what happens at my follow up. Good luck everyone. Talk to u soon.

  98. worriedon 27 Aug 2013 at 11:53 am 98

    Hi All

    I was in a boot, but I guess the rupture was too bad. Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I am pretty scared, my mind running away with me. But I need to be strong, especially for my 4month baby. Good luck to all of you too.

  99. Ollieon 27 Aug 2013 at 1:48 pm 99

    Hi, I was wondering about the non-surgical procedure. If you have a substantial gap where it ruptured, how does the body repair it? Does it create scar tissue to make it connect? Is there a max distance apart before you can consider non-sugical procedures?

    Any advise/comments would be welcome.

    Thanks!

  100. kellygirlon 27 Aug 2013 at 2:37 pm 100

    @Ollie: I don’t know the maximum difference but have read it on various blogs here as being more than 1 cm. They describe the two ends of the tendons as being mop heads that knit themselves back together. The healing process is pretty amazing.

  101. superjewgrlon 27 Aug 2013 at 3:03 pm 101

    Worried….. You’ll do great. Your wife will have two kids to take care of. :) Good Luck! We are all here to support you.

    Ollie…… They say if your foot is immobilized in the plantar flexion position (toes pointed down), as Kelly said, the ends find each other and mend. My doctor told me the distance apart isn’t an issue, the achilles will mend. Take Care.

  102. Raulon 27 Aug 2013 at 11:09 pm 102

    So Ollie I went all googleholic to check how it does heal non surgical.turns out that tendon regenerates..crazy..look it up
    Weight bearing cast for 2 wks.thats what I came out of my follow up with. My rupture was just above the heel. I guess a bad spot. They wanna make sure i don’t do anything to it. Out of work for three months. That sucks. It’s 17 days post op. I guess I’m moving along if I’m on two feet again. Went school shopping with my wife and kids. That felt awesome. Gave me hope for “normal”. It’s a long road so lets enjoy the scenery. We can do this everyone. There are gonna be peaks and valleys. Getting to the top of the mountain is what I’m looking towards. That’s the focus. It’s gonna be a beautiful place. We will endure. It’s the beginning of our initiation. ATR conquerors.

  103. worriedon 03 Sep 2013 at 6:38 am 103

    Hi,
    So I had my op on Thursday and didn’t go too bad. I expected to be in much more pain, but am very grateful that I’m not. I was told that my foot must be allevated, but its very difficult as I have a very demanding 4month baby, which is with me whole day, so I’m up and down whole day with my crutches. I do however try to sleep with my leg slightly lifteed on a pillow at night. I’m a litlle bit concerned. Is this going to be a problem?

  104. worriedon 03 Sep 2013 at 9:10 am 104

    Hi,
    So I had my operation on Thursday 29th August and it didn’t go too bad. I expected to be in much more pain, but am very grateful that I’m not. I was told that my foot must be allevated, but its very difficult as I have a very demanding 4month baby, which is with me whole day, so I’m up and down whole day with my crutches. I do however try to sleep with my leg slightly lifteed on a pillow at night. I’m a litlle bit concerned. Is this going to be a problem that I don’t keep my leg up during the day?

  105. Marty (kjkw82)on 03 Sep 2013 at 12:35 pm 105

    Worried. Life is what it is. I am 2 weeks out from surgery. I have a very busy lifestyle and also not able to lay around all day. When I had swelling I tried to ice and elevate. which seemed to take care of it. I think you should follow the doctor’s orders as much as possible but check out some aides, such as a knee scooter, to make your life easier and better able to follow the direction of your doc. Talk to your doctor and tell him what your needs are and he may re think plan of action to minimize the time you are immobile. The important thing is to remember to continue to talk to your doc about any concerns. Since my surgery almost 2 weeks ago I have seen my doc twice and talked to him on the phone twice with questions and/or concerns. Good luck. keep updating.

  106. lodinpdxon 03 Sep 2013 at 3:30 pm 106

    Worried,
    Congrats on your surgery. I am so glad that it went well.

    I absolutely love 4 month old babies, it is one of my favorite stages. BUT that said I did not have an ATR to deal with. For what it is worth my advice is to sit on the couch with your leg UP and snuggle with your baby as much as you can. Let everything else go! This is the time for you to hang with your baby and heal. Not one of us got into this mess by sitting on the couch so I know it is not easy but now you must sit. Ask anyone and everyone for help and be specific. When I had twins people would come over to “help” by holding a cute baby or two while I did laundry, dishes or whatever. Finally I realized that was not very helpful so soon I learned if someone offered help I said here is the laundry, fold it and leave it at the top of the stairs. THANKS!!

    Good luck and kiss that cute baby!

  107. roscohioon 03 Sep 2013 at 9:43 pm 107

    Marty - hope you are doing well. I had my staples removed last Wednesday. Uneventful, OS said wound healing well but I did have some heel bruising. Thinks it was because initial splint too tight. It will be three weeks post op this Thursday and i will be NWB until 30 days post op, then PWB boot then FWB boot for Appx 4 weeks. Interestingly he has advised I remove the splint nightly to let the leg and wound breathe, do basic ROM (alphabet, gentle toe lifts) until next appt in two weeks. He also said at that time we will start some PT. let us know how your appointment goes on the 5th. Take care and God bless.

    John

  108. worriedon 04 Sep 2013 at 8:41 am 108

    Hi all,
    Thanks for your input and sharing your experiences. Keep well.

  109. Raulon 10 Sep 2013 at 5:41 pm 109

    I hope everyone is doing well in their recovery. It’s one month to the day of my atr. Had another follow up today. Im in a walking boot. My doc doesn’t want me walking without my crutches but i threw them in the closet with all the other walking crap they gave me. Im following what doc says to a point. From what I’ve researched i feel I would benefit more from a more modern protocol. So yes I walk without crutches. Im not planning to walk without the boot until a couple rounds of pt are under my belt. Just to see where im at. Im not gonna push too far but iam gonna test myself within reason. I feel no one knows our bodies better than we do. If its telling me its too much im gonna listen. If it says give me a bit more i will. I don’t go see the doc for 4 weeks. My goal is to show him i can go back to work. I have to. For me. Take care everyone and be careful.

  110. worriedon 13 Sep 2013 at 4:01 am 110

    Hi, hope you all doing well and on your way to recovery.
    2 weeks after my op and not doing too bad. Really not able to ellevate my foot during the day as I need to be up and down looking after my 4month baby. I try to sleep with it up on a pillow at night, but during the night the pillow slips out. Doctor said it shouldn’t be a problem, except that the swelling may cause it to pain. Fortunate I’ve not had a lot of pain, a bit this week at my heel, but that’s about it. My calf started twitching a bit laast night. Is this normal? Anyone else experience this? My hip is also starting to feel very painful. I guess its all the weight my one leg is having to take. So next week I must go back to have the cast removed and into the boot. I hope all is looking good and well under this cast. Really want to start been more mobile than just been able to hop about. Would like to hear from you.

  111. Anonymouson 13 Sep 2013 at 3:09 pm 111

    Worried, I think the twitching is pretty common; I had some twitching but also some myoclonic jerks, when my calf would spasm and jerk. It was a little disturbing at first because I was afraid my stitches would split, but everything was fine.

    One tip to help keep your foot elevated in bed is to put something either between the mattress and the box springs or under the legs of the bed. That way, you get the elevation without having to worry about kicking the pillow off or having it compress too much to be useful.

  112. worriedon 20 Sep 2013 at 1:56 am 112

    Hi all,
    Hope you all doing well. I had my cast removed yesterday, 3weeks after surgery. Doctor said that I can now start walking on it with my full weight, but at first with crutches. I’ve tried putting some weight on it, but it pains at the heel of my foot. Has anyone experienced this? Is it normal?

  113. upstate2519on 20 Sep 2013 at 5:08 am 113

    Worried, pains in the bottom of the heel are normal after having been NWB and/or immobilized. Are you in a boot or did you go straight from cast to shoes? I got permission to go PWB in the boot at 12 days post-op, and then to transition to FWB, still in the boot, at 30 days. It took 4-5 days after that point before I was able to ditch the crutches. Let your ankle tell you how much weight it’s willing to bear. good luck!

  114. worriedon 20 Sep 2013 at 11:11 am 114

    Hi,
    Thanks for your response. I am in the boot after 3weeks of cast. My foot also very swollen when the cast was removed, but the doctor didn’t seem to be concerned. Good luck to you too.

  115. Hopefulon 24 Sep 2013 at 3:25 am 115

    Well it’s 3am and laying in bed looking on my phone about how soon I ca plan to join the other walkers on this earth. I completely ruptured/ tore my right Achilles playing basketball 09/10/13. I went to make a move with the ball and it felt like someone stepped on the back I my shoe. My body went forward but my heel stayed in place, and I also heard the “pop”. Unreal, I looked behind me to see who stepped on my shoe but to my surprise no one was there. I immediately knew I had turn my Achilles, I watch a lot of sports and had seen Kobe do the same thing about 5 months earlier against the warriors.
    It’s been pretty depressing not being able to do the things I guess we all take for granted. I thought maybe this happened because I wa out of shape and tried to play ball as I did when I was younger, but them you see it happen to Kobe who is probably one of the most in shape humans alive today. So I guess it’s just random bad luck, nobody can prevent this from ever happening.
    So now what, I am stuck at home for a few weeks and its killing me. I made the mistake of going out to watch the mayweather fight 2 days after surgery and fell of my crutches and landed on my right leg which was in the boot but still hurt like hell. Post-op appointment told doc about it and he said he put me together very well and I will be fine. I want to get back to walking with full weight. Looks like 3 months is a safe bet. There’s a nice video on Instagram of Kobe running in an anti-gravity treadmill, gives me hope. Good luck to you all and cheers to getting back to our healthy selves.

  116. worriedon 25 Sep 2013 at 4:02 am 116

    Hi,
    I’m seeing the doctor in 3weeks again. Not sure if the boot will come off then. Was just wondering if anyone knows if I’ll be able to walk normal after the boot comes off in 3 weeks. What has your experiences been!v

  117. jwileyon 27 Sep 2013 at 10:02 pm 117

    I’ve appreciated this blog A LOT. Tore my achilles seven weeks ago and am still in the boot. Trying to stay positive and be patient with well intending friends, family and onlookers who inquire about my Star Wars boot!
    Just hope that everything is healing well down there - it’s hard to tell by looking or feeling the area. And it happened playing baseball - who does that?!?!
    All the best to you all - it will make us stronger!!

  118. jwileyon 27 Sep 2013 at 10:15 pm 118

    Raul, your atr was like an hr before mine and I too was rounding first headed to second - too funny! Most painful part for me was that I was booked into Nassau, Bahamas on August 14th and had to cancel the trip.

    Does anyone think it’d be wise for me to travel in mid-November?? I could use a mini vaca.

  119. worriedon 28 Sep 2013 at 6:17 am 119

    Hi there, can anyone help. I got into the car today and sat quite awkward changing my baby’s nappy in the backseat. My calf really paining now. Could I have re-ruptured.

  120. Kristyon 30 Sep 2013 at 4:31 am 120

    Hi everyone
    I had a complete achilles rupture back in June 19 2013. Almost 16 weeks on, I am close to normal. I was walking without VacoPed boot at 8 weeks with limp in line with Doctor’s non-surgical protocol. I found swimming to be the best exercise but take it easy and listen to body. Also make sure you are hydrated as I read tendon is made up of 50 per cent water. If you decide to go non-surgical, I found a paper on healing of Achilles and it takes at least 100 days to grow back. Finally protein is key to healing as tendon is made up of collagen so have protein every meal if you can. I supplemented to ensure adequate protein and lost 5 kilos. Early mobility is also key which my specialist agreed as if your foot is immobilised too long you calf will become weak and tendon will grow too long.

    Good luck and remember stay positive!

  121. worriedon 01 Oct 2013 at 2:57 am 121

    Hi Kristy,
    I’m glad to hear everything is going well. I also opted non surgical at first, and when I went back to the doctor after 6weeks there hardly any growth and doctor said we need to go surgical. Now almost 5weeks after operation and I’ve been in the boot for 2weeks. Doc said I can now do FWB but first with crtches and when I feel somfortable I can go 1crutch and then without. I’ve mainly been walking with crutches so scared of taking the next step, so scared of rerupture after reading peoples different stories. Some even rerupturing at 11weeks. I really couldn’t bear having to go back and start at point 0 again. This has been the most challenging situation I have ever found myself in, and having my first baby who was 3months at the time when i injured myself, and missing out on all the things I wanted to do with her. Its been so very hard. But thanks for your advice, especially on the water and proteins, will definitely try this. Good luck to you as you continue to recover.

  122. Stephanieon 01 Oct 2013 at 10:02 pm 122

    I am two weeks post surgery and am vertical! Can walk FWB as long as I have the boot on. Can sleep and shower without it. Slow toe exercises once a day. After three weeks will reduce wedge sizes inside boot and then another three weeks in boot at 90 degree. A this time, my heel is elevated on styrofoam wedges. I just need to find a higher elevated shoe for my good foot so that my back and knee aren’t compromised. This has been such a positive experience for me. After reading hundreds of horror stories on the internet, I thought it would be helpful to tell a good result. i am hoping to get back to golf by Thanksgiving. Come join me.

  123. Raulon 04 Oct 2013 at 12:09 am 123

    Wow its been a month since ive checked this blog. Worried im happy your doing well. You’ll be where u want to be. I also want to say welcome to all the newly intiated members of the atr club. Not exactly somewhere we want to be but hey we’re here. Lets party. Jwiley i thought i was the only person on earth to rupture playing baseball lol i guess we do that lol.im 8wks post op and I’ve been in a boot 3 1/2 weeks. The protocal im on is super conservative. Good thing i have my own. I walked without the boot 2 wks ago. My forefoot hurt. Guess it wasnt used to the stepping motion but its fine now. I put my boot on when i leave the house. That’s it. When i get where I need to go its off. I carry sandals with me and take it easy. I havent been started on strengthening exercises only motions. So according to my protocal, my 2 yr old sits on my lap,i put on spongebob and do calf raises with him. Actually i started doing stand up calf raises in my doorway.ill grab the top and assist with my arms when i have to. I’ve stumbled a few times and landed on my bad foot. No problems.thats a relief. I know i may sound crazy but thats me i guess. Please, don’t take my story and think anyone can just hop out of their boot n do the craziness i tend to. Be careful. Listen to what your body tells u. The day after surgery i was moving my foot around in the splint. Where it hurt i stopped. Kept on till it didnt hurt anymore. I honestly did everything they told me not to. Spent many a night in the doghouse because i would upset my wife with my antics. I want to get better. I would say im about 70 percent right now. I honestly feel that i would be half that if i didnt do things i did. I go see the doc Tuesday. I know hes gonna look at it.say its healing nicely and give me every reason as to why i should be taking it slow and tell me ok you can start the bike. I’ve been doin the bike 10 minutes every 2 days for a couple weeks now. If any one wants to scold me please do. Im not trying to be a hero or anything. I just don’t want to be out of work longer than another month. That’s the docs projected time. So i know im stuck with atleast that. Take care everyone and best wishes in your recoveries

  124. Birdon 09 Oct 2013 at 8:08 am 124

    Hello everyone. I ruptured my left achilles on 7/29/13. I went conservative treatment and at the advice of my doctor, was casted for 8 weeks. Yesterday, I saw a new ortho (since when I originally ruptured I was out of state) and he removed the cast, said it was healed, although my calf-squeeze test was weak. Strange thing though is that he did NOT put me in a boot!! Only a splint with instructions to remove it 5 times a day and start moving my foot around to reclaim some mobility. No weight bearing for 2 more weeks. I have not heard of ONE person in all my searches that did not get fitted with a walking boot. Is this unheard of? Is my doctor clueless? I need help, I’m uninsured and paying OOP, if he’s taking me for a ride I need to know to go elsewhere with my money!

  125. to birdon 09 Oct 2013 at 8:26 am 125

    Bird, i think you should do additional test to check there is no gap formed and tendon is in correct tension - very important. Also heel lifts are very useful to reduce stress on tendon. If you are not using boot then heel lifts are a must until 12 weeks post op i think.

  126. Rak43on 11 Oct 2013 at 7:21 pm 126

    Tore my right achilles on 9/19/13 and was placed in splint cast 9/22/13. Went to orthopedic and had MRI and was placed in 3-d walking boot from 9/29/13 til surgery on 10/9/13. It’s been 2 days since surgery and cast is driving me nuts. I’ve been reading a lot of post where people say their Doctors immediately put them in a boot. What type of boot is being used is what I’d like to know. Everything involving my surgery has been a process as I’m a 47 year old veteran who had surgery at the Atlanta VA regional hospital. From what my surgeon said it was a very straightforward surgery as it was not completely torn. Can’t wait to get into a boot.

  127. Raulon 13 Oct 2013 at 8:13 pm 127

    Hey everyone, so i graduated to 2 shoes this past week. Doc said i could ditch the boot. I was in 2 shoes for my 2 months anniversary of the rupture. I ruptured on 8/10, doc gave me the green light on 10/8. 9 wks post op. i cant go onto my toes on the rupture foot alone but i can with both feet. Still out of work though. 4 wks till the next follow up. Gonna work on strength now with the pt. dont walk with a limp. Just a little stiff if ive been on my feet and sit for a while. We can get through this guys. I know we will

  128. sweetdreamsnycon 17 Oct 2013 at 7:57 am 128

    Hi worried

    How did your doc know there was very little regrowth when you were doing non surgical?

    That is the route I am taking and wondering how the doctor will know if I’m improving or not

  129. Johnon 20 Oct 2013 at 2:43 pm 129

    Hi guys,
    My doctor said after the surgery: 3 weeks cast plus 2 weeks at different position (90) and then boot for 2 months. My healing has amazingly been very fast. After week 3 I removed cast and started to apply some weight. Every day went better and better. I am now at week 6 and can walk carefully with my LP support or my boot.
    I want to conclude that the recovery is different for everyone. So listen to yourself because the real patient knows better what is going on. I wish good recovery and be very carefully with your walking at the first weeks. Do not exaggerate as we’ll..have a good rehab

  130. Anonymouson 29 Oct 2013 at 8:46 am 130

    I partial ruptured short of eight weeks ago had foot in cast for 4 weeks then re positioned for another two in cast then put in boot for 2 weeks I’m not having physio doc just said throw boot away after the last two week period that’s it my foot and ankle still swollen get sharp pain in calf if I’m really honest it fills my with tears at the thought of just getting up and walking in case it happens again not sure what in suppose to do x

  131. Larryon 12 Nov 2013 at 6:37 am 131

    Good morning all
    I ruptured my left AT one week ago today and I’m really bumming out over it. My body was giving me warnings with pain and stiffness after I played tennis. But at 60 yrs old I thought it was as much old age as anything. With my Drs advice I opted for the conservative treatment i.e. no surgery. I will see doc again on the 25th. My plan is to be in a walking boot by then as it is imperative that I return to work. Do anyone have knowledge of what are the best options for walking boots?

  132. thelifechangingpopon 12 Nov 2013 at 7:31 am 132

    Hi Larry
    The ideal would be if you could find an orthotics centre where you could try a Vacocast and an Aircast but not sure if this is an option, it would seem that surgeons choose one or the other. I didn’t even know that there was a Vacocast option, am hopefully going to change to a Vacocast Pro Achilles at the end of this week but need to convince my surgeon that it’s the better option for me. Do as much research as you can, this achillesblog.com is a treasure chest of information. The early rehab protocol from UWO used Aircast boots, think normofthenorth said that the Vacocast can speed up process.

  133. Larryon 14 Nov 2013 at 7:48 am 133

    Thanks pop
    I am in the aircast boot now at a 35deg angle. The Vacocast appears to me to be a better option and I will be trying to get this boot as well. I think it’s a safer walking boot along with many other more advanced features

  134. naijamanon 15 Nov 2013 at 5:13 am 134

    Hello folks - 39 year old fitness freak here, tore my left achilles playing soccer on 9/8/13. Was running back on defense then got the ball back and swiveled to move on offense and I heard the infamous pop and turned around to see who kicked my foot. My teammates drove me to the ER and I was out in a splint and set up to see the specialist the next day. Opted for surgery and had the procedure on 9/12. My doc is my age so his post-op protocol has been quite aggressive - staples removed on 9/25 and went to the walking boot with PWB for 4 weeks. 2nd post op appt was on 10/23, and I was given the green light to wean myself off the crutches by going one week with both crutches and PWB, then one week with one crutch and PWB, then FWB without crutches. Also started PT 3 weeks ago plus doing daily foot excercises at home. I walk barefoot at home (carefully) and expect to be out of the boot next week. Thanks to everyone on this blog for keepinge from going insane when I first got injured and good luck to everyone!

  135. Chrison 01 Dec 2013 at 11:37 pm 135

    What’s happening everyone? This blog has been a great read! I tore my Achilles 11/17 and had surgery 11/21. I was put in a walking boot with wedges to increase the angle right away and have continued with it. I was on crutches for the first week but this last week (2nd wk post op) I have been PWB. I start PT 12/2 and at wk 2 they have me off the crutches and using just my western walking boot with the wedges. My PT plan has me out of the boot around week 8.
    Thank you all for sharing your story!

  136. Seanon 26 Dec 2013 at 11:08 pm 136

    Hey,
    PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES and ACTIVE ATHLETES
    I tore my Achilles training for the worlds toughest mudder. I am 30, ex college Bball player and have remained extremely active and competitive. Tough mudders, spartan runs, half marathons. I still play Bball and coach. Anyway, I tore my Achilles had pain for a day, then it was sore. I had the surgery, no narcotics went with the epidural and took Tylenol for the next 2 days and was fine. I was put in a cast for a week and then the boot. I wanted to add, once I was in the boot I was able to be active in my daily life, this talk of being in bed for 3-4 weeks is not only terrible for the muscles but also terrible for atrophy else where. On week 3, I am able to do flexing and some light stretching. Also was able to wrap incesion and go into the pool for a good work out. The water felt great. The doctors have to give the expected recovery time because its based off the average person who is not active previous to injury and they know won’t be active after. I was told, just like in life, u get out of it (rehab) what I put into it. My doctor specialized in sports medicine and is the doctor for the several pro sports teams. Let me add, I did not reciece any professional treatment, I worked on myself and trusted/ listened yo my body. For those who are active and healthy, eating right becomes even more necessary to maintain weight so ur not adding anything more. Also it can’t hurt eating right and yielding the results of the body soaking up the vitamins, the amino acids, and protein. Anyway bottom line, u can be the statistic like most or you can be the statistic that can move the line of average up because your determined to get back out there.

  137. Seanon 26 Dec 2013 at 11:21 pm 137

    I wanted to add, on my above post that i hope helps some active people that ate bummed bout the “recovery” time. On week 3, like I said above, I was in the pool doing work outs but able to take the boot off and walk gingerly in normal shoes. But what made me the happiest was being able to drive (tore righy achilles - obviously not driving with boot). I’m not even scheduled to to sports physical therapy for another 3 weeks but because of what I’ve been doing daily, not pushing it but listening to my body, my SPT got moved up. I really hope this helps because I was very bummed by the talk of surgery and the time I would be away from being active and competitive.

  138. Vikon 22 Jan 2014 at 4:29 am 138

    Just wanted to describe my experience with an Achilles rupture also lol… It’s been horrible !! Did mine mid November 2013, it’s now jan 22 2014 and I have 3 weeks to go in my “cam boot”. I did mine playing netball and heard to extremely loud pops! I knew straight away somethkng bad had happene as I went down like a bag of sh*t lol. It was like someone smashed the back of my leg with a bat…I went straight to ED and with one look they could see where the Achilles had detached. I decided to have the surgery as the recovery time was going to be the same and the chance of it happening again much less. So the next day they operated with just a
    Nerve block down my leg and unfortunately I could feel when they cut into me :( . As soon as I made a groaning noise which I mustered up they knocked me out. After I got clearance from the physical therapist to leave hospital I went home with a slab only with the angle of my foot pointed, which was out on in ED.2 weeks later I had an ortho appointment where they took my stitches out and slightly raised the angle of my foot and put anhort leg full cast on. Two weeks later same thing raised angle with another cast. 2 weeks later I finally went back and got the cam boot so now I can weight bare. I’ve been in the boot now for 4 weeks and have 3 to go. It’s heavy and uncomfortable and hot. But way better than being stuck in the cast and using crutches which actually gave me Achilles tendinitis in my other leg.. So I got a knee scooter to help me be mobile especially around Xmas. It’s been a long recovery and a lot of time off work….no driving , back aches from walking with the boot and just feeling depressed from the isolation. But it could be worse and it’s nearly the end of the very long road. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories where ppl have not listened to their dr and walked on it too soon and injuring it again and they had to start all over again. Operation and everything. No way would I risk that so I’ve done everything by the book apart from once or twice sleeping without the boot on lol… The healing phase is so important and I don’t think messing around with such an important tendon in the body is worth it.. I know id be devastated if I did this again… Thank god for mums hey lol goodluck to anyone going thru it… I feel ur pain !! But follw ur instructions :))

  139. Aranon 09 Feb 2014 at 3:16 pm 139

    Hello all,
    Tore my left Achilles on January 18, 2014 playing a friendly (if there is ever such a thing) tennis game.
    Surgery was on January 28.
    Tomorrow is my first post surgery visit with my doctor.
    I hope to be able to walk (gently) with out a boot in two weeks. Is that possible?

    Thanks,
    Aran

  140. hippybon 09 Feb 2014 at 9:57 pm 140

    Hi Aran,
    You asked if you will be able to walk (gently) without a boot in 2 weeks after surgery. Advice :
    - Respect the healing process : just because you may be able to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Rushing the healing process may lead to unwanted complications down the track eg. Healing without the correct tendon tension/strength which can lead to re-ruptures or dysfunctional operation (non-engagement) of surrounding (complimentary) muscles, bones, ligaments.
    - Adhere to your healing protocol. Patience is a virtue under this circumstance. Doesn’t mean you have to sit around incapacitated, there are plenty of early progressive exercises to do, as tolerated. Early ROM and weight bearing can be very beneficial, just don’t go crazy with it.
    - Everybody heals at different speeds. I’ve been diligently following one of the more aggressive rehab protocols, never feeling any pain or discomfort. I’m at 6 weeks (42 days) post sugery. Got my foot at the neutral position. Just walked my first (very slow) mile in joggers. Doing swimming pool heel raises in chest deep water. I have good engagement with the calf muscle and have noticed mass/strength returning to it. Thompson test gives very positive results.
    - Good luck with your recovery!

  141. masonson 09 Feb 2014 at 10:33 pm 141

    Ruptured my achillies 12/15/13, surgery 5 days later. I’m very athletic. Was in a hard splint 10 days, then a cast for 3 weeks. Dr. Moved me to a boot at 90 and told me to go pwb to fwb as tolerated with help of crutches if needed. By my 3rd day I was fwb no crutches. After a week of the boot I took it off and started walking in 2 shoes. It’s been about a full week of 2 shoes. When I’m on it all day (teach p.e) it’s gets a little swollen but nothing crazy. Really no pain to mention. Im slightly worried about lengthening the tendon or a re-rupture. Any advice? I’ve been taking it easy in 2 shoes not trying really hard to walk on the balls of my feet etc, but to me it feels like I’m way ahead of schedule?? My nxt appointment is on the 20th. I’m looking to hear from someone on advice or similar situations.

  142. kimcon 10 Feb 2014 at 6:57 am 142

    Mason - I was moved to 2 shoes at 5.5 weeks. Initially in a soft splint for 2 weeks, then a boot for 3.5 weeks (FWB after a couple days of crutches). Two protocols often cited on this blog (UWO and Exeter) have people moving to two shoes around 6 weeks, is that right Norm? I can tell you that it was pretty easy to overdo it in that 6-9 weeks period, and it was never apparent at the time - usually showed up the next day. By overdoing it, I’m referring to exercise endeavors (walking, spin class, pool running). Of course, everyone’s recovery is different. Wishing you a continued smooth recovery!

  143. Stuart (xplora)on 10 Feb 2014 at 2:32 pm 143

    Masons - I think you are pretty much on track time wise. The important thing is to be careful. Watch your step so to speak. You have to be very aware of every step you take up to around week 12. Make sure you wear good motion control shoes. I like ASICS or Brooks and every PT I have ever seen has told me to steer clear of Nike. Sorry to those Nike fans. I also had a couple of small wedges in my shoe to relieve the pressure a bit more and made a conscious effort to walk without a limp. Shorter strides and keep it slow, gradually increasing both length and speed as you are able then taking a wedge out as you improve. R.I.C.E. when needed and some massage of the tendon.

  144. masonson 11 Feb 2014 at 8:28 pm 144

    Ah man, I’ve been wearing nike’s! (Running shoes) I can’t walk without a limp yet and I don’t have any heel wedges at all. If I walk really slow with small strides I can darn near pull off a walk without any limp. It’s mainly like a gimp, but I try not to walk fast bcuz I don’t want to worry about speed over form. The leg and calf are def coming along. I’ve had huge gains they just go unoticed I guess until I look where I was. I walk a ton everyday + band exercises so I’m hoping to come along good. My nxt appointment is nxt week. Nurse and dr will prolly be mad bcuz they think I’m still in my boot. Thanks for the feedback, and I look forward to hearing from others near my recovery. I tried to start a blog but couldn’t although it says I have one…

  145. TVSon 12 Feb 2014 at 10:09 am 145

    Thank you all for your comments

    38
    215
    6′3
    Fell on ice and Completely ruptured my Achilles tendon. I did this on February 5 and had surgery February 11.

    I am in a splint/cast due to get off in nine days and be put in a walking boot. No idea yet if I will be weight bearing or not.

    I ordered iwalkfree 2.0 just in case I’m NWB.

    I am extremely athletic and was doing CrossFit. I’m very eager to get better and get back to doing what I was normally doing.

    Day One Post Surgery
    Today is February 12 and I’m keeping my foot elevated as much as possible I also did some knee push-ups and leg raises lying down and with assist from the walker. I have also been wiggling my toes a pointing them downward and upward as much as the cast/splint will allow me.

    I’m also taking a lot of vitamin C eating a lot of fruits and vegetables taking zinc and some other men health vitamins hopefully to promote good wound healing and tendon muscle repair from the surgery.

    I’m gonna call my PCP and see if I can get B12 Bcomplex and large dose of vitamin C to help speed wound/tendon healing.

    I’ll post everyday to let you all know how Im progressing

  146. TVSon 12 Feb 2014 at 12:29 pm 146

    I am glad I also got a walker for around the house. Much better than trying to use crutches!!!!

  147. Giannion 12 Feb 2014 at 1:20 pm 147

    I’m 21 and the Saturday before Christmas I ruptured my achillies. I’m 1 day from being 8 weeks out from surgery. Today I just got out of a cast and into a walking boot.

    I ruptured my achillies similarly to a lot of you while playing basketball. Cept I think I might be a tad younger to the normal age of ruptured achillies. In my defense I didn’t do anything to cause the rupture a 280 pound kid landed on my achillies while going for a rebound. Which is super lame but what can you do.

    I’m currently testing out my leg and seeing how much I can do. And it’s not much. Technically I’m still non weight bearing but I think to really know where you are at you have to at least try and either flex your calf, stand, walk, put weight on your leg etc…

    What’s cool is I can “walk”. I can move my foot up and down. However I can’t really walk as in normal everyday type of walking. I walk more like a “zombie” where it’s harder for my foot to be pointing straight towards my destination and my foot is angeled so not to take my full body weight into that leg. I can push off the leg and I can support my weight (165 pounds). However it’s not super comfortable but I’m glad to see I’m a lot more progressed than I thought I’d be. Next week I have another doctors apointment to see how I am. And then I start PT. I’m currently still on the crutches hand and I’m I’m a walking boot that sucks a lot but it’s better than full weight on my achillies.

    I hope all your recoveries go well and were all back to normal ahead of schedule!

  148. normofthenorthon 12 Feb 2014 at 2:20 pm 148

    Gianni, if you can stand on your repaired leg with your full weight then you should be able to walk normally in the boot. Do NOT get used to walking with your toes pointed out to the side! If your boot is well sized and adjusted, you should just be able to land on your heel and roll forward to your toe. You push your knee forward, and the boot transfers your weight to the front of your shin — doing the job your AT did until your ATR. Once you get used to it, you should be able to walk as fast as usual.

  149. TVSon 12 Feb 2014 at 5:52 pm 149

    Norm and Gianni

    I’m not sure but doesn’t 8 weeks sound like a long time to be in a cast at age 20?

    I will have to see how my next appt goes but I am scheduled to be in boot at day 10.

  150. Markon 12 Feb 2014 at 11:54 pm 150

    Hi everyone, I’m 31 and tore my achilles completely on January 7th playing basketball. Exactly what kobe bryant but not nearly as graceful. I had surgery on January 20th because I wasn’t sure what I had done and waited to get a professional opinion.

    2 weeks after surgery, I had my cast removed and my dr analyzed my achilles. He performed the Thompson calf squeeze and to his surprise, my foot was giving him no response. He then told me that it could be due to my calf being atrophied. Has this happened to others during the healing process?? My dr recasted my foot and and upped my remaining time in a cast from 4 to 5 weeks.

    I’m now halfway through the 7 week total recovery time from surgery day. I’ve gotten used to the cast and the crutches and slower lifestyle. I’m concerned of what I can and can’t do once the cast is removed. My dr has told me that I won’t need PT and that he will give me heel supports for my shoes once the cast is removed.

    I wish everyone that is going though this injury a speedy recovery! This is definitely a learning experience for me in more ways than one and I have a new appreciation for a body part that I had never even thought of before January 7th. Good luck to all and God bless!

  151. normofthenorthon 13 Feb 2014 at 12:13 am 151

    TVS & Gianni: Yes, 8 weeks NWB in a cast is too long at any age, but it’s in the past for Gianni now. And you can’t make up lost time by jumping ahead, or you’ll do damage. You’ve got to start where you are and gradually catch up to a good, modern, well-proven schedule, like bit.ly/UWOProtocol .

    Mark, we’ve had a surprising number of ATR patients — both post-op and non-op both — who’ve gotten no response on a Thompson test when they MUST have had intact ATs. I’m pretty sure many of them have healed up fine and done well, and I have no explanation.

    Whether slowing down an ATR rehab helps or hurts in that situation is also a good question! The old logic was that slowing down ALWAYS helped, but now the evidence is clear that it usually hurts (though more so for the non-op than the post-op). We don’t have any specific evidence to answer this question, so it’s up to each OS to make up a plan as they go along. The good news is that post-op ATRs seem relatively resistant to sub-optimal rehab schedules.

    I’ve never seen any solid evidence documenting the benefits of PT, either, though (1) most of us who got it FELT that it helped and (2) most of the most successful published studies used it. So I’d try to get PT.

    And finally, Mark: I’ve been around long enough to learn that there are NO unimportant body parts!! Whatever part you hurt, you’ll find out — about every 7 minutes — just how important it is! Our bodies are such an amazingly complex combination of parts working together, it sometimes seems amazing that we survive, much less run and jump and all.

  152. TVSon 13 Feb 2014 at 6:23 am 152

    Day 2 after surgery and I can feel the swelling beginning. Def in more pain than right after op and yesterday.

    Didn’t take many pain pills yesterday except two right before bed along with some drops of melatonin to help sleep and it worked.

    Very similar to days after I injured the AT it hurt/throbbed when all the blood rushed to it after being in an elevated state.

    How long post surgery does this last?

  153. TVSon 13 Feb 2014 at 6:30 am 153

    Mark did you hear a pop or jolt when you injured your AT

    Trent.seidl@yahoo.com

    You all can contact me by email also. Love to hear anybody recovery stories

  154. Markon 13 Feb 2014 at 1:46 pm 154

    TVS…yes absolutely, on January 7th I heard the pop and felt the jolt. It was the weirdest echo sound I’ve ever heard and the jolt immediately through me off balance and I hit the floor. I layer down and put ice on my calf for 30 min. At the time I thought I had pulled my calf…

  155. TVSon 14 Feb 2014 at 9:15 am 155

    Day 3 after surgery. Pain is not too bad when foot is elevated however when foot is lowered I can feel the pain.

    Did anybody have any issues when the cast/splint was taken off to remove the stitches/staples?

    Any issue with wound healing?

  156. Markon 14 Feb 2014 at 11:39 pm 156

    TVS…My Dr used stitches that were under the skin, there was nothing to remove except lots of small strips of tape on the outside of my skin. I briefly looked at my scar and it was nearly as bad as some of the pictures you can find on the internet.

    Congrats in making it to day 3…a couple more days and the pain will be completely gone and you won’t have to take those pain pills. Then the hardest part is just adjusting your lifestyle around the cast and crutches. Taking a shower is going to be a process that you will have to take slowly so you don’t get your leg wet.

  157. TVSon 15 Feb 2014 at 9:24 pm 157

    Day 4
    Pain has not been an issue while leg is rested but can still feel a little discomfort when up and about around the house on the walker.

    Crazy that I’m on a walker!!! But it is best method to easily move around the house.

    I have been doing leg raises while lying down and toe curls throughout the day.

    I have placed a seat in the tub and hang my leg outside the tub. It is a long process!! Yes just having to adjust to crutches/walker and using one leg and both arms to manage my body weight is exhausting!! I am in great shape and it still takes a toll on me! I feel sorry for people who are really out of shape with this injury!!!

    I have been really trying to eat right and take my wound healing vitamin regimen.

    It’s exhausting just to think of doing anything normal that I use to take for granted!!!

    What should I expect at my post surgery appt on Friday when they take my stitches out and put me in a boot? Can I get my wound wet or not? They said something about wedges but not sure if I will be PWB or NWB? Any thoughts?

  158. Brian2332on 15 Feb 2014 at 10:27 pm 158

    Just got my stitches out yesterday, the doctors said the incision looked great. I was put into the boot and told to continue to use crutches, but I was allowed to let my leg rest on the ground. I start physical therapy on Monday. Not allowed to submerge the wound in water, but am allowed to shower with it and get it wet. The walker is interesting, as I’ve been using crutches at work, and the one foot knee scooter is awesome around the house, because you can carry something with your off hand.

  159. TVSon 16 Feb 2014 at 12:53 am 159

    Brian

    Have you tried to walk in boot at all since you got it without crutches?

  160. Brian2332on 16 Feb 2014 at 2:01 am 160

    No. Doc told me that he doesn’t want me walking at all in the boot yet. Warned me that the tendon is going to start to feel really good in the coming days/weeks, but walking on it could stretch the tendon too much at this point. I don’t know if he was just trying to scare me from being too aggressive or if this is a legit concern. The incision is still new enough to where I wouldn’t want to walk yet, due to it rubbing and then possibly causing complications. I’m more interested in knowing if I have anything to worry about if I choose to not sleep in the boot, other then the getting up in the middle of the night and having an accident happen with it.

  161. TVSon 16 Feb 2014 at 1:01 pm 161

    Day 5

    I have less pain today and it does not throb nearly as bad as the pat few days.

    I am getting use to the daily activities and able to do them faster but they still exhaust me!!!!

    I am able to do toe crunches without any pain and can wiggle my foot without any discomfort.

    I am going to do an upper body workout later this afternoon. Push-ups/curls.

  162. Brian2332on 16 Feb 2014 at 2:09 pm 162

    I’m gonna start doing some core and upper body work as well….trying to keep my sanity. I’m trying to figure out a safe way to do some push ups so I don’t put any stress on the bad foot. Slept for like 6 consecutive hours out of the boot last night,was awesome. Foot feels pretty stiff, hopefully ROM and keeping it loose in and out of the boot will help. Good luck on the workout!

  163. janison 16 Feb 2014 at 3:56 pm 163

    You can do pushups on your knees instead of toes, with toes held off the ground. Sleeping without the boot was heavenly.

  164. shawnnutton 16 Feb 2014 at 10:32 pm 164

    Hey guys, especially TVS, be careful getting it wet. I can go on and on about my story but really just wanna give you some quick pointers. I had to have 3 surgeries due to Ortho Dr saying it was ok to get it wet. And I was a prime candidate for a quick recovery as well. Dont smoke, barely drink, and use to run all the time. I have mesh in my leg and am still fighting the occasional infection. So just be careful…
    All I could think about was getting back to working out and when would I be able to run again. It’s been over a year since my initial rupture and surgery…I’m just now starting to run on a treadmill again…Moral of the msg…Infection is not to be treated lightly. Do NOT do anything that could possilby cause infection. I’m more than happy to share any of my experiences. Take er easy…

  165. Brian2332on 17 Feb 2014 at 9:23 am 165

    What was your experience Shawn? I showered for the first time with both legs in a few days ago, now I’m curious to hear what happened with you.

  166. shawnnutton 17 Feb 2014 at 4:44 pm 166

    Brian,
    About a month or so after my first surgery, my Ortho Dr said it was okay to get it wet. I had an area the size of a fifty cent piece that was questionable. He had said that the tissue would fill itself it and that it was fine. A couple weeks later the scab came off and I could see the actual mesh/tendon. Which led me to another surgery. And eventually a 3rd. I’ll be filling out my story soon on my page where I can write about my experience and what’s been going on. But in the mean time, I tell everybody to be careful getting it wet. I have an Infectious Disease Dr I see who was able to get me healed up (still more to that too). So be careful if you’ve had surgery and the incision isn’t quite closed all the way.

  167. TVSon 17 Feb 2014 at 10:17 pm 167

    Day 6

    I Got my Iwalkfree 2.0 in today and it is pretty sweet!!!

    I was able to strap it on my leg and walk/stand around hands free. I had to put some extra padding on it but is so nice

    I have heard horror stories about infection so I am very Leary of getting the wound wet at all.

    No pain pills today and throbbing not too bad at all today.

  168. Helen Ellsworthon 18 Feb 2014 at 5:33 am 168

    Hmm, I had an opperatoin on my left Achillies Tendon, I wasn’t given a garuntee that it would be successful, I never heard a pop, a pop would say that you snapped yr Achillie not ruptured it,, my specialist said to me that I should have snapped mine, because a rupture is far worse. I was in my cast/boot for a total of 13 weeks, at this point i started physio,(gentle) so, 2yrs later I still get trouble from it, my ankles ache, badly, I should say at this point, my right achillie is no good either, no op atp, i’m in fair amount of pain most of the time coz I tend to do things i’m so not allowed to do, but cant be helped either, i have to move about. And I’ll never work on my feet again….ever! as I have been told by all my doctors.

  169. TVSon 18 Feb 2014 at 10:58 am 169

    Day 7 before noon.

    Ouch. Woke up with sharp pain in the curve of my heel of all places! A 7/8 on 10 pain scale. Would come and go. I don’t even think this is near my incision site.

    I almost thought I’d need a pain pill but pain has subsided for now.

    Really feeling much more strength in my foot/toes. I think I could bust this cast/splint if I wanted to moving my toes and now foot around in the cast/splint when I want.

  170. TVSon 18 Feb 2014 at 11:30 am 170

    Shawn

    If you had a wound that wasn’t closed or just scabbed over why would you get it wet!!!!

    Helen

    Why are you doing things your not suppose to do and expect to have positive outcomes?

  171. normofthenorthon 18 Feb 2014 at 1:06 pm 171

    TVS, WHICH curve of your heel? If the pain is near the back top of the heel (where the AT attaches to it ), then it may be AT-related. One theory is that we get referred pains from the AT there. Maybe you had a calf spasm in your sleep or otherwise stressed it? Let it knit now…

  172. shawnnutton 18 Feb 2014 at 5:38 pm 172

    TVS, I was wanting to take a shower…one can only sit in the tub backwards with their leg hanging out for so long. But I had full trust in my Ortho Dr at that time. He said it would be fine so I believed him. I was probably 4-5 weeks post op at the time. And you’ll have some wierd tightening sensations as you start you recovering. I’m a year + since my 2nd surgery and still feel tight when I flex my calf.

  173. TVSon 18 Feb 2014 at 8:23 pm 173

    Today’s heel pain has been off and on and almost feels like a burning sensation. It has not been constant throughout the day and not as painful as this morning. Off and on moderate today!!

    The I walk free has been nice to use to get ready. Shave brush teeth etc. I love the ability to stand and use both hands.

    I am really able to move my toes up down and crunch them with no pain at all. I can feel my foot getting stronger day by day.

    I will be put in a boot Friday NWB but will be so nice to get out of the splint. Geez I don’t know how people could stay in a cast so long. It is driving me nuts being in this one just for a week!

  174. normofthenorthon 19 Feb 2014 at 12:41 am 174

    TVS, I just grabbed a spare footstool, added an extra sheet of foam plastic to it, and stuck it in front of the bathroom sink until I was FWB — or maybe even a little AFTERwards! I also had a wheeled office chair in the kitchen, so my breakfast food and coffee could make the trip from the counter to the table while I was on crutches.

    I actually shopped for a kneeling scooter-walker and almost bought one, but with bit.ly/UWOProtocol I was FWB at 4 weeks in, and by the time the scooter thing could have been delivered, I already had no use for it. And even from TWO weeks in, I was PWB, and using crutches to re-learn walking, so I don’t see how people following a modern protocol get any real benefit from the various crutch alternatives. Especially if you’re post-op, and most of the first week is spent immobile and horizontal, that only leaves ONE WEEK to scoot or iWalk around!

  175. Markon 20 Feb 2014 at 12:04 am 175

    Hi all..just curious, I’m now more than half way through the recovery post op and I feel like I have good movement in my toes, minimal to no swelling, and zero pain in my foot. My doctor advised me back on week 2 that I could put 15% of my weight on my foot in week 7, my final week before cast removal. Are any of you putting weight on your foot during recovery? I feel like I could do it without any issue but of course I’m going to follow my Drs advice.

  176. normofthenorthon 20 Feb 2014 at 3:33 am 176

    Mark, bit.ly/UWOProtocol is a schedule that got great results in about 150 complete ATR patients, half op, half non-op. Most studies that went slower did worse. ‘Nuff said?

  177. Ripraproaron 20 Feb 2014 at 9:31 am 177

    Hi norm sorry to hijack your post, as you know I don’t have a blog, a big regret of mine ” last week I give up my gym membership, because I’m a year non op, here’s why, I can sprint, run , hop jump on boxes one leg and off on my ATR , I can heel raise , so why give up the gym, I’ve recovered enough that I don’t enjoy the gym much never have, although my upper body strength is the best it’s ever been, so at least I can thank the gym for that, but I’m more of an outdoor person so now look forward to 20 mile walks on Saturday and Sundays, do I still have problems ? Yes my ATR aches sometimes, and sometimes it’s stiff, if I do 220 lb weighted toe lifts, ( is it possible to heal short non op?I also have the numb nerve issue but I know that’s very rare ‘ I just live with it but it goes less and less each month I want to thank you norm for being there in my darkest hours you give me hope and education even more than my fancy consultant, you could make a career out of this, equally along the way I’ve met some great people who have helped, Alton, Ryan hillie, Kelly g and trin my anniversary benchmark, there’s been loads more who I’ve missed thanking, I visit the blog every time I have the time which is not so frequent, therefore if anyone wants support feel free to send me a mail at least I am on mail daily and if I could help a fraction of what norm and my other ATR friends did for me, I know I will make a positive difference, must go gota plane to run to, take care p.s any new ATR non ops . Take a looks at brady browne on YouTube
    RRR

  178. normofthenorthon 20 Feb 2014 at 1:45 pm 178

    Thanks a bunch for that thanks, RRR! And glad you’re doing so well without a scar! :-) Never heard of healing short non-op, but probably anything’s possible. I hope all your lingering aches go away with “tincture of time”! Even with them I’m sure there are a bunch of people here who would trade situations!

  179. anneon 20 Feb 2014 at 6:01 pm 179

    RRR - Congrats on your success. Best of luck to you!!

  180. Ripraproaron 20 Feb 2014 at 7:30 pm 180

    Hi norm , I’m fine just need to stretch after heavy excersise, I’m just going to run for yet another flight, thanks Anne
    RRR

  181. jwileyon 20 Feb 2014 at 8:17 pm 181

    Hi everyone, back after a few months. I’m doing physio hard for the past few months, but haven’t seen a heck of a lot of progress. I have very little lift in my calf and it’s been 6 1/2 months since the rupture. Is this normal?

    Anyways, overall it’s been a fantastic recovery. Those with recent ruptures - take heart. I know it sucks, but each day sees recovery even if you’re not aware of it. My journey gave me a new appreciation for people who deal with disabilities for life.

    Take care - be strong

  182. TVSon 20 Feb 2014 at 9:00 pm 182

    Day 8

    I get my splint/cast off 10 days post surgery tomorrow! My stitches will also be removed then I go in a boot!

    Today with te help of the Iwalk I was able to go bowling with the kids. Everybody thinks I have a fake peg leg!

    No pain at all today.

  183. TVSon 21 Feb 2014 at 1:41 pm 183

    Day 9

    I got my stitches removed this am and the wound looks great! I could move my foot a bit but it was tight.

    They fit me in a boot but not the huge robo cop boot cause I wear a size 13 and with wedges inserted into the boot my toes were hanging out of the boot. It works so well with my Iwalkfree.

    Ortho said to be non weight bearing for 4 weeks!!! Is this normal? I am in no pain at all.

    I am def not walking on it for a while but did any of you take the boot off and do exercises while sitting still during this NWB time with the boot?

    Tell me your experiences once you got the boot? Ha!!!!

    You can email me also.

    Trent.seidl@yahoo.com

  184. normofthenorthon 21 Feb 2014 at 2:55 pm 184

    Trent, NWB for ~5 weeks is not unheard of, but it should be. See bit.ly/UWOProtocol and consult it frequently and share with your doctor.
    The good news is that silly slow rehab doesn’t seem to do much harm post-op, according to the studies. (It seriously increases rerupture risk for non-op patients.) Just a serious nuisance for you and yours, for no benefit, that’s all!

  185. TVSon 21 Feb 2014 at 3:45 pm 185

    Thank you norm for the clinical data!!! Good read!

  186. TVSon 21 Feb 2014 at 4:07 pm 186

    Norm

    I read the data can you give me a link to the exact rehab protocol they used in the study or what exactly you did?

  187. normofthenorthon 21 Feb 2014 at 5:23 pm 187

    Trent, that page is titled “The non-surgical protocol I’ve been following” and it is. Except for the footnotes and the parentheses, it’s exactly what the UWO Study’s authors faxed to my OS in summer 2009, after he attended their presentation at the AAOS09 Conference in the US. And I followed it, except for the 2 exceptions in the footnotes - and the fact that I got 3cm of wedges instead of the prescribed 2cm (as explained in my blog).

    If you want to see the full study - with a link to the published version of the protocol (which I think contains 1 or 2 mistakes, and my fancy OS and one of the study’s authors agree) - you’ve come to the right place! This website is the only place where it’s available free online, on the protocols and studies page.

  188. TVSon 21 Feb 2014 at 6:35 pm 188

    Norm

    I know you have done this many times on this blog but can you tell me what all goals, and in what timeframe, you were able to achieve using this protocol.

    So you were non surgical?

    Thanks

  189. normofthenorthon 21 Feb 2014 at 9:24 pm 189

    My 2d ATR was non-op, 8 years after my first was repaired surgically. My first OS and rehab were both super conservative (He mostly replaced hips and knees), and my second one was fancier, more sports oriented, and quicker (UWO quick). The whole thing is on my blog.

  190. normofthenorthon 21 Feb 2014 at 9:53 pm 190

    I returned to competitive volleyball around 10 months post-op after ATR #1. I would have done about the same after #2, except I needed some open heart surgery first. Others’ mileage does vary (in both directions) - including mbots’s.

  191. Kylieon 22 Feb 2014 at 10:03 pm 191

    Hey guys, Im two weeks post op for Right ATR and in the boot. After a day of pain adjusting tobthe boot, Im now walking (slowly) unaided. Doc is aiming for 4-6 weeks to get the boot off. Just wanted to leave my story bcos I was really depressed at the loss of independence and propsect of long recovery for the first couple of weeks & wanted to give hope to anyone out there who needs inspiration - the boot on asap is best as it gets u mobile, independent, rehabing & happier much sooner! :)

  192. TVSon 23 Feb 2014 at 12:00 pm 192

    Day 11 Post Surgery

    Instructions by my dr was to be NWB in and only take my boot off for hygiene purposes. (No PT)

    After reading a few clinical studies on the benefit of early mobilization after post op ATR surgery, I have been doing my own light/gentle PT routine. I pay attention to my body and if it hurts too much to do I don’t push it at all.

    It is amazing just in two days how much stronger my foot is becoming. The same day of my stitches were removed I could barely put the foot down while walking with the walker. Today, after I do my PT AROM, I can walk with the walker and put much more weight on the booted foot. I have been doing seated calf raises also.

    I have not yet attempted to walk barefoot and won’t for two weeks.

    I honestly cant imagine being casted after suture removal for weeks or following my dr orders to leave boot on NWB/no PT for 4 more weeks. That being said,if I rerupture my AT, I am going to cry!!!! :)
    My calf at AT would be so atrophied and tight.

  193. TVSon 23 Feb 2014 at 12:02 pm 193

    Ok I have to admit I need to read my post before posting!

    Poor grammar!!!!!!

  194. normofthenorthon 24 Feb 2014 at 12:04 am 194

    I’m content with you going faster than your conservative Doc recommends, but I wouldn’t go more than a day or two faster than bit.ly/UWOProtocol or the Exeter/Devon protocol. Aggressive and modern is good, but uncharted, Not So Much.

  195. TVSon 24 Feb 2014 at 10:18 am 195

    Norm

    Did you do ant dorsiflexion stretching once you got the boot?

  196. normofthenorthon 24 Feb 2014 at 12:01 pm 196

    Yes, generally following UWO, though I am, and was then, a DF-stretching wimp. That’s because healing long is more common than healing short (esp non-op, without an overaggressive surgeon). And I used to think it was also worse, though that may be wrong. See my page “Maybe healing short is scary after all!”

  197. TVSon 25 Feb 2014 at 1:56 pm 197

    Day 14 Post Op

    I have 3 wedges in my boot and can walk unassisted. Walking in the boot is so awkward and tough cause it makes my bad leg 5 inches taller than my good leg.

    Leg and tendon feel great today. when I get up from sleeping and put my foot down I do feel tingling in my heel but that goes away quickly

    I did my PT today

    Seated non weighted calf raises.
    Elastic band heel raises. Down and Up

  198. normofthenorthon 25 Feb 2014 at 2:38 pm 198

    TVS, you’ve got to even up your legs. Hiking boot, insoles, strap-on “cast shoes” or “even-ups”, custom-built something… but DO it!

  199. TVSon 27 Feb 2014 at 12:40 am 199

    Day 16 Post Op

    Still doing ROM exercises twice a day. FWB walking around in the boot with no discomfort at all. My ROM has improved dramatically since my first post op appt.

    I started to incorporate elastic band exercises in my PT but still not doing much DF exercises. The guidlines really caution on not doing DF past neutral until 6 weeks even in aggressive rehab.

    Incision site is looking good but still not getting it wet for another week.

    Gonna sleep without the boot tonight!

  200. TVSon 02 Mar 2014 at 4:06 pm 200

    Day 19 Post Op

    Still doing PT ROM exercises. I have been doing seated calf raises no weight until today. I put 20 pound dumbbell on knee today and did the raises. Felt good!

    I can balance myself and zombie walk barefooted.

    3 more weeks until next appt then hopefully PT stars

  201. Ryanon 05 Mar 2014 at 8:57 am 201

    I tore my achilles (95% if not 100% tear) in summer of 2012. Elected to go non-surgical route. I’m playing soccer on it again, and despite the mental games of being worried about it tearing again, I feel fine. We’ll see how it all plays out long term.

  202. normofthenorthon 05 Mar 2014 at 1:34 pm 202

    Sounds great Ryan - but you should stop worrying about that AT and start worrying about the OTHER one! :-)

    Or you could stop worrying about either and just have fun! If something happens, you’ll deal with it.

  203. Kon 07 Mar 2014 at 10:27 pm 203

    Injured jumping out of bed during nightmare. 5 weeks post op and just got boot. FWB but walked too far and had to call for ride home. Embarassing. First shower without plastic cover. No pain except bone in front of leg where it hits boot. Walking “wrong”?

    Appreciate all the posts!

  204. normofthenorthon 08 Mar 2014 at 10:46 pm 204

    K, the front of your shin is where the boot transfers all your weight when you use the boot properly, so it should get a lot of pressure. But if it hurts, you’re allowed to re-adjust the boot or pad the tongue, or pad your shin, etc., etc. I chopped up a cheap “ensolite” camping pad into a bunch of pads for crutches, boot, shower stool, footstools for kneeling in front of sinks, and more.

    Like any sore spot, your shin may keep hurting some even after you perfect the boot. You may be tempted to change your stride in various unnatural ways to give your shin a break. I’d fight that temptation, because most of those unnatural strides are either hard to un-learn or tough on other body parts or both!

  205. TVSon 09 Mar 2014 at 12:44 am 205

    Day 25 post op

    Developed thrombosis (clot) in the calf. Had to go to ER. Discharged on Xarralto for six months.

    If you ever get sharp pain in calf could be a DVT.

    Removed all the wedges in the boot and foot feels great. Walking barefoot around house but not pushing off with injured foot. Still not moving foot past neutral dorsiflexion.

  206. Kon 09 Mar 2014 at 2:28 pm 206

    Thanks Normofthenorth for the suggestions. I have added some padding and it’s awesome!

  207. smickon 16 Mar 2014 at 12:21 pm 207

    TVS - just saw your progress. I’m 24 days post surgery and was waiting to do WBAT starting at 28 days (after four weeks), but it looks like you’ve just push things radically. Even faster than Norm’s protocol with FWB in boot after 16 days?! Very inspiring. I’m tempted to push things now.

    I also have a calf DVT and that has honestly made me more conservative. The pain when I stand up and move is pretty intense. Have you just pushed through the pain?

  208. normofthenorthon 17 Mar 2014 at 10:06 am 208

    The new Exeter study did PWB @1 week IIRC. It’s odd that the patient here with the fastest mobility and WB got a DVT. Tiny sample, but I’d expect that speed to be protective - but no.

  209. Hillieon 17 Mar 2014 at 12:00 pm 209

    Wishful optimism I think!

    Exeter had the first 2 weeks in lightweight cast, full equinous, followed by Vacoped boot with toes still down at 30º “but able to weight bear, and wean off walking aid as comfortable …and able to remove for very gentle active exercises”.

    After week 4 the boot was set to hinged with a progressively increasing ROM. This was the protocol from over 2 years ago. Ambitious team at Exeter so they may now be using the boot from day one, for non-op cases at least.

  210. Barry From Ozon 17 Mar 2014 at 9:25 pm 210

    Hi all, it’s great comfort to be able to read everyones results and especially all the successes. I’m a 56 year old male, complete rupture of my left achilles on 28th February, playing tennis. Non-surgery and in a cast until this Friday when I see the Ortho again. Well and truly over the crutches, first time ever, they need to invent robotic ones.

    Hopefully I’ll get into a boot and start moving forward feeling like I’m actually helping the healing process. At the moment I just feel useless, not able to do anything. I suppose the good thing is, there is no pain!

  211. Jeffon 18 Mar 2014 at 7:30 am 211

    Hi All,

    I figured I would share my story and thoughts as well. I am a 35 year old male who had a complete rupture of the left Achilles 3 weeks ago playing basketball. It was recommended that if I wanted to ever be active again and reduce risk of re-rupture, that I have the surgery. You should absolutely have someone there with you the day of the surgery from morning till bed time. You will be pumped full of medication and if offered, definitely take the “Nerve Block” from the doctor. My left leg from the knee down was completely numb from the surgery until almost 9AM the following day. I did one full days worth of medications for pain and I recommend doing that. I stopped after that day as I am not a fan of medication and have a higher tolerance for pain than most do. Depending on how your shower/bath is set up, I recommend getting a shower chair. This was a huge benefit and you will need it or something of the like through the first month post-op. I used regular kitchen trash bags to wrap my plaster cast in so I could shower the first 2 weeks. It made me feel a lot better. I am now in the CamWalker boot and able to apply pressure to my foot, but am still walking with the crutches. My understanding is that I will have them for another 2 weeks and then be able to ditch them. The biggest thing is to trust your doctor and your body. Everyone heels differently so be cautious following rehab steps that others take.
    Good Luck!

  212. normofthenorthon 18 Mar 2014 at 10:35 am 212

    @Hillie: I could have sworn that the Exeter study went faster than UWO, NWB–>PWB–>FWB, but I guess I confused it with the other protocol you first revealed at the same time (on Suddsy’s blog), a UK-based protocol from Vaco, as I recall. Confused, and too busy now to refresh my memory. Later.
    @Barry: With good fitting and good techniques, most patients (and especially most males, with higher average upper-body strength) can get comfortable and fast on crutches of any design. There may be something wrong with your fitting or technique.
    @Jeff: I’m sorry your OS (or somebody) “recommended that if I wanted to ever be active again and reduce risk of re-rupture, that I have the surgery.” That story was justified by what we knew back in 2001, when I tore my first AT, but it’s since been falsified by the evidence from a number of more recent studies and meta-studies. There may turn out to be a very small difference in outcomes (strength and/or rerupture rates) from good surgery and good (=~fast!) non-op treatment, but both of those differences seem to be too small to be statistically significant in the largest studies done so far, so they’re pretty trivial, IMO.
    Many of us here have skipped the surgery and return to full-bore activity in our high-risk sports (volleyball’s my own “poison”), and the evidence for low non-op rerupture rates (<<5%) is rock-solid — most recently from an Irish 2011 study with a 2.7% rerupture rate in almost **1000** non-op patients!
    That’s “bygones” for you now, and we’ll all try to help you have the best post-op recovery possible. I’m mentioning it mostly to keep uninformed newbies from accepting that outdated claim as Best Practice in 2014. “Trusting your Doctor” can make life simple psychologically, but it needs AT LEAST as much caution as “following rehab steps that others take.” This website is loaded with examples of patients who suffered from too much Doctor trust, and examples of others who improved their chances by studying the evidence that their Doctor hadn’t bothered to look at.
    One of the “funny” thing about ATRs is that they are boring to OSs! Many patients here have been reassured by surgeons that an ATR repair is “surgery 101″, or that the surgeon could do the op in their sleep or blindfolded. And nobody dies from second-rate ATR surgery either. So real-world fallible human surgeons can be forgiven for ignoring the scientific literature, which has basically turned on its head since 2007, when the first good-sized study was published showing no difference between post-op and non-op outcomes. But a scientifically literate ATR patient may not be distracted by knee and hip replacements or crises in a medical practice, etc., so some of us have taken some time to focus on the up-to-date best evidence about ATR treatment. Fortunately, most of that evidence is available online, so you can be cautious about accepting our summaries of the evidence, too!

  213. Hillieon 18 Mar 2014 at 1:38 pm 213

    Norm

    I wonder if it is the week numbering that’s caused the confusion.

    In the rehab schedule, as an example, 0 - 2 means the first 2 weeks, weeks 2 - 4 means from the end of (or day after) week 2 until the end of week 4 (i.e. weeks 3 and 4), weeks 4 - 6 means from the end of week 4 until the end of week 6, and so on. 0 is the day you start treatment, when you draw the line in the sand. Clear as mud? I can see why week 2 - 4 might imply “in week 2 you can…”.

    I don’t remember talking about pwb.

    Suddsy added the Vaco schedule and I added Exeter’s which I’m confident came from the same source a while before we were injured. He had surgery, and I didn’t.

    achillesblog.com /suddsy/2013/06/24/end-of-wk2-wow-progress for lots more.

  214. Timon 22 Mar 2014 at 5:37 pm 214

    Hi everyone,
    Thought I would share my story. I am 39 years old and decided to play on a basketball league with two friends of mine that are fellow assistant coaches. These two coaches are approximately 30. My wife and work partner told me not to play but I did not listen. I was point guard in high school and absolutely love competitive basketball. On the very first game, I heard the characteristic “Pop” on my left calf. I thought someone had fallen on me, but no one was there. I drove myself home and made a self diagnosis. I immediately called the orthopedic surgeon I work with and he informed me that he was out of town at a conference. The Dr. said he could operate on me 3 days later upon his return. Being an anesthetist, I have witnessed this operation many times. I knew that for an open repair, it can be a fairly large incision. Long story short, since I had all this time on my hands and nothing to do but elevate my leg, I intensely researched Achilles tendon surgery. I learned that there are essentially 3 ways to deal with this. Casting only, a minimally invasive technique and open repair. I started heavily researching the minimally invasive method using an Achillon device and a one inch incision. I even put myself on a surgery schedule 800 miles from home with a world renowned Dr. who does this mini-open technique. Needless to say my wife was not happy. She encouraged me to have the surgery close to home in case a complication should arise. Also, she said “Who cares how large your incision is as long as your tendon is good and solid.” After talking to my surgeon I know, He said the same thing. I went with the Dr. I have worked with for 13 years and he repaired my Achilles tendon one week ago. This splint cast has been horribly uncomfortable. I have my first 10 day postop visit this Tuesday. Will let you all know how it goes.

  215. Paulon 22 Mar 2014 at 5:44 pm 215

    Hello, everyone! Maybe, this question has been answered already, but I am 2 - days post-op, and was wondering how long I should stay laying down? I have gotten up to use the restroom, but mostly been lying down and sitting up. WhenI l I allow my leg to dangle the throb starts; does that put too much pressure on the wound?

  216. normofthenorthon 22 Mar 2014 at 7:56 pm 216

    Good luck to both of you! Paul, I’ve never heard of anybody rerupturing or opening a wound with that pressure, though it feels that way for a few days post-op! It’s conceivable that the pressure can do some physical harm, but e never seen any evidence. Mostly it just feels awful. It’s possible that some alternating between up and down helps by increasing blood flow - again no evidence. Some experts recommend high elevation - leg above the heart - and others not so much, just whatever brings the swelling down.

  217. normofthenorthon 22 Mar 2014 at 8:06 pm 217

    Tim, have you seen good follow-up evidence on the Achillon? It looks nifty (if you like ATR surgery; I no longer do, based on the post-2007 studies that have gotten great results with fast non-op treatmeninin a boot - NOT casting), but most of the authoritative sources I’ve seen have not endorsed minimally invasive surgery over open repairs. Mostly because of higher rates of Sural nerve problems. But they may all be pre-Achillon.

  218. Markon 22 Mar 2014 at 8:51 pm 218

    Hi everyone,

    I am now finished with my 8th week post op. I’m out if the cast but still using crutches. So far I’m able to place 30-55 lbs on my foot that I place on the scale. According to my last dr visit a week and a half ago, he advised that I take it slow by adding 20lbs of weight on the leg per day. Well…I can’t… I’m only able to do 55lbs at most right now before I feel this strong tightness and tingly feeling at the ball of my foot. The scar looks good, the swelling is minimal but the time it takes to be able to ditch the crutches is that hard part for me. I’m 31, did this playing basketball on jan 7. Had not idea the recovery is quite this long…does this sound normal, should I question my dr, is there something I’m not thinking about? I would appreciate your feedback….thanks, mark

  219. Johnon 23 Mar 2014 at 1:06 am 219

    Hello there, I’m a 22 year old male athlete. I train quite a bit and love to snowboard. Just this past November I landed a bit wrong and completely ruptured my left achilles. I’ve been out of a boot and cast for a while now and it’s been 4 months since the date of my surgery. I’m still trying to regain strength in my left leg but I keep getting a soreness in my achilles near the rupture site. The weird thing is that it doesn’t hurt while I’m doing calf raises, riding the bike, or anything like that. It only hurts when I walk or push into the back of my heel. I was wondering if anyone had similar issues? If so I’d love some advice. Or if you’ve got any good physical therapy suggestions to help with strength and balance I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

  220. Markon 23 Mar 2014 at 9:21 am 220

    Hey john,

    I also completely ruptured my left achilles. I’m 2 months out from surgery. When were you first able to walk or limp without crutches?

  221. Paulon 23 Mar 2014 at 1:23 pm 221

    Hello, normofthenorth. Thank you for getting back to me as soon as you did, and for the information. So, is it best to lay down for as long as I can, or is moving around, when I can bare it, okay? Does the wound heal faster when I am just laying down and keeping my leg elevated? Sorry, for all the questions, but I get stir crazy not doing anything, but I don’t want to rush if I don’t have to.

  222. Timon 23 Mar 2014 at 1:45 pm 222

    Norm,
    I think from all of the minimally invasive devices I looked at the Achillon was the best. It was created to help spare the sural nerve. When you type in Kobe Bryant Achilles tendon injury on Youtube, it shows an orthopedic surgeon using the achillon to repair an Achilles tendon. The trouble is none of the professional athletes(including Kobe Bryant) have this noninvasive repair because it is probably inferior to the open technique. Plus, ultimately to have more of a risk of nerve injury vs a larger incision, I will take the larger incision anyday over a numb foot for the rest of my life.

  223. bcameron1007on 23 Mar 2014 at 1:48 pm 223

    Hi Tim,

    I am the about the same age as yourself and my doctor highly recommended the non operative route. Just curious what made you decide to get the surgery? It seems like a lot of people chose surgery over casting. Thanks Brad

  224. Timon 23 Mar 2014 at 2:06 pm 224

    My tendon was completely ruptured. If you review all the literature, unless you are a terrible surgical risk, most experts recommend to have it repaired. Also, when it is completely severed, you could end up with a gap between the two tendons that is not as strong as two anastomosed ends. I could not imagine having a cast for 6 months to avoid surgery and then rupturing the thing. I think the nonsurgical route is best reserved for partial tears which was not the case for me.

  225. bcameron1007on 23 Mar 2014 at 2:36 pm 225

    Tim,

    Thats interesting as the only test my ortho doctor did was the thompson test. No MRI or anything else. I am assuming mine was completely ruptured as well but he still pushed me to the non surgical. He was quoting recent studies and comparisons on surgical vs non operative and he said in his experience he has equal success with both options. Hoping he is correct as I am a little nervous going this route. Good luck with your recovery. I am only 3 days in and am dreading the long road ahead. Brad

  226. Paulon 23 Mar 2014 at 3:48 pm 226

    How long does the throb normally last when you start to stand, post-op?

  227. Hillieon 23 Mar 2014 at 4:58 pm 227

    Oh dear, Tim

    I wish that I had time to provide a fuller response, but is past my bedtime, and my OH is reminding me that I leave for work early tomorrow. Perhaps one of the the other guys or ladies will post.

    3 years since my complete rupture - treated non surgically and 100% successfully using Exeter’s (UK) latest dynamic protocol - check it out and see the links on Suddsy’s pages. There you will also find the paper on Exeter’s rehab schedule and I think more on the Canadian UWO work (also from the achillesblog homepage).

    Most of what you say is surely from old findings e.g 6 months in a cast - really? Not the norm (sorry Norm) for typical (or any?) treatment in the 21st century. Or maybe it is in your country, sorry I don’t want to assume that I know where you are.

    BCam, don’t worry, you didn’t need an MRI scan (££££). A Thompson test and basic knowledge will inform the doctor well enough in almost all cases.

    Tim again! I’ve just read your earlier post. I see that you are something of a medical man yourself.

  228. grammyon 23 Mar 2014 at 7:02 pm 228

    Paul - I couldn’t find your original post to reply to but I tried to keep my foot elevated as much as possible for almost three weeks. “Toes above the nose” was my motto. I made sure I had all my electronic toys handy - iPad, laptop, phone, tv remote, and tried to keep my foot elevated as much as possible. I am older than the average repair and also overweight. Yes, the throbbing for the trip to the bathroom or the time in the shower was significant. However, it does get better! The time seems to crawl by at first; then things get moving and you can look back and see progress. I think reading the posts from others helps and yet realizing that each of us have a unique recovery and yet most of us can look back and say we are glad it is behind us and we are walking (running, playing basketball, etc) again.

  229. normofthenorthon 24 Mar 2014 at 12:11 am 229

    Tim, it seems that old idea do die hard. As I said above, ” (if you like ATR surgery; I no longer do, based on the post-2007 studies that have gotten great results with fast non-op treatment in a boot - NOT casting). Your Dad’s old “conservative casting” really was third-rate ATR treatment, suitable only for geezers. And with a lousy high rerupture rate after all that time lost too! Today’s new non-op treatment - a la UWO, Exeter, and the new Irish study - is a different species. Interestingly, NONE of the new non-op studies treated partial ATRs. (I don’t recall any old ones that did either.) And the one study that looked for a correlation between gap size and clinical outcome non-op found NONE!! The evidence has refuted a bunch of old logical-sounding ideas. But only those who pay attention have noticed!

  230. tordon 24 Mar 2014 at 3:13 am 230

    Tim, I agree with Norm on one condition: That you have access to a PT and a rehab regime that follows the UWO or Exeter protocols.

    That isn’t always the case, however. In my case, I would have followed the same path regardless of op or non-op, and that path is inferior to the Exeter or UWO protocols. I could have sped it up somewhat when it comes to mobilisation (I had a splint that was easily removable before I got a boot after 17 days), but not when it comes to the intensity of PT (well - I did had the option to pay for PT myself, but for me that would be prohibitively expensive). Point is: With less PT and less aggressive rehabs, an op is still better.

    BUT: If you have access to a rehab protocol that is similar to UWO or Exeter, you actually do better with conservative than with op. In my opinion, that is the important message to take home, and to advocate for with your insurance company, GP, PT, and all the other people you depend upon in this matter.

  231. RWon 25 Mar 2014 at 11:07 am 231

    New to this site but wanted to spread great news! I had surgery on my achilles exactly 6 weeks ago. The Dr. chose the tendon transfer of my big toe tendon to repair the achilles. I spent a pretty pain free month on a knee scooter while icing regularly. Was cleared to walk in my boot from weeks 4-6 but went quite a bit without the boot and have been riding a bike at the gym some. Just walked out of the Dr.s office after 6 weeks in my regular shoes and barely a limp. He cleared me for treadmill and eliptical but no jogging for another 2 weeks. Attitude, icing, prayer, great Dr. and staff, and my loving family has gotten me to this point and I could not be more excited. Good luck to all!

  232. VSon 25 Mar 2014 at 12:04 pm 232

    - Injury occurred on 2/7/14. Surgery on 2/11/14 of right Achilles tendon rupture

    - 15 days in short leg cast toes pointed down before first post OP visit where sutures were removed. Placed in another short leg cast at 90 degrees and cleared for FWB with a cane for 4 weeks.

    - Next Orthopedic visit is 3/27/14 where I will go to two shoes with felt heal lifts.

  233. Paulon 25 Mar 2014 at 4:45 pm 233

    Grammy, thank you for the info. Yeah, I am at the backend of 34. I just went to my first post-op appointment, and the surgeon said that my incision area looked great with almost no redness or swelling, and no bleeding. I actually just went to get a haircut and to the store (on my own), and it was okay. Jesus has me. :) Oh, my surgery was March 20th.

  234. Anonymouson 28 Mar 2014 at 1:19 pm 234

    I ruptured my achillies march 13 doctor told me it was one of the worst ruptures he has ever seen he called it a spaghetti tear had surgery on the 14 th now I am two weeks post opt they put soft cast on initially in the 8th day they took sutures an put hard cast on I have to wear this till April 7th. Then I will go see the doc an he is going to put me in walking boot I can’t at this point 2 wks post opt even imagine putting weight on my ankle it still hurts tremendously when I lower it an walk with my crutches does anyone have any insight when will the pain go away an I be able to put weight in this foot ??

    Kenny

  235. Carrieon 28 Mar 2014 at 6:42 pm 235

    I had a heel spur that fractured in 11/2013. I went to the MD 12/6 and X-ray confirmed left heel spur fracture. I was put in a boot for 9 weeks and had an MRI which the MD said showed tendonosis and small tears of the Achilles’ tendon. After 9 weeks in a boot plus 6 sessions of PT, no change. I still complained of pain and burning in the heel. I then went for a second opinion and that MD agreed with MD #1 but he would also recommend night splints. I went back to MD #1 and was told go into an ankle brace, no more boot and call him or see him back if no help he would want to do surgery. He talked of cutting into the calf to loosen the tendon and that scared
    me. I went for a 3rd opinion, that MD repeated the X-ray which concerned him,he sent me immediately for an ultrasound of the achilles area and next thing was a call that surgery would have to be done. I had surgery 3/21/14 with a popliteal block. I had heel spur shaved off , haglund deformity shaved down and a torn Achilles’
    tendon repaired. I was sent home with Norco and Duricef and Aspirin 81mg. Went for follow up hosp. Visit 3/27/14- dressing changed and was told site looked good. The boot put back on still no weight bearing and I have crutches and roll about knee rolling cart. Now 1 week post op and today Motrin controls the discomfort. Next appt. 4/10/14 for suture removal and supposedly start weight bearing. So far glad I had the surgery.

  236. normofthenorthon 28 Mar 2014 at 11:40 pm 236

    Carrie, when it comes to fractured heel spurs and Haglunds, we don’t have many people here singing the praises of non-op treatment. Not all are happy post-op, but (1) There are no guarantees anywhere and (2) a blog site like this probably gathers more unhappy than happy campers. The case for skipping surgery when you’ve just had an ATR is quite a different matter, IMO, and is a strong one with the new evidence - PROVIDED (as tord says above) that the patient can follow one of those fast post-2007 rehab protocols. Mind you, anybody can do so, but some Docs/OSs haven’t gotten the memo, and many patients are understandably reluctant to go faster than their professionals prescribe, regardless of the scientific evidence.

  237. Kon 29 Mar 2014 at 7:46 am 237

    60 year old female with total rupture of right AT. Surgery 8 weeks ago. 4 weeks cast. 4 weeks boot. Walking as of yesterday with no boot, no crutches. Will start PT at 12 weeks. No pain or problems while walking barefoot. Shoes are slow. So happy to be cleared to drive but haven’t tried it yet.

  238. Katherineon 04 Apr 2014 at 9:03 pm 238

    Hi guys,

    I’m a 31 year old female. I tore my achilles on March 24th walking across a damned flat floor. Walking will kill you, apparently. ;) I just wanted to write about my specific situation and offer a word or two of caution to the non-op proponents.

    An MRI on March 25th revealed a complete type 4 tear with retraction of the tendon approximately 2.5 inches up into my calf. I saw Ortho on the 27th, and he explained the benefits and risks of both operative and non-operative treatment for this injury. He was REALLY pushing for op, though I was reluctant. He finally told me that if I chose non-op and was unhappy with the results, which he felt I would be, it would be much more difficult to do a late surgical repair. He also threw in that if I were his wife or his daughter, he would recommend repair (he’s a warm, caring type…very sincere).

    I had the surgery March 28th. Despite the fact that I had an MRI, there were a few surprises when he opened me up. Apparently, my tendon had already been 40% detached from my calcaneus prior to the rupture, which occurred higher up. My ortho ended up having to re anchor the 40% to my calcaneus, repair the other 60% that ruptured higher up, and then reconnect the two. A surgery that was supposed to take an hour took two and a half. I felt pretty good post op. I had a popliteal block, which I would highly recommend. I was sent home with a big ol’ bottle of Percocet in a giant splint/soft cast type thing. Now, a week post op, I’m still taking the occasional Percocet, and having burning in my heel and tingling in my toes. I go back on April 8th, and I believe his intention is to put me in a boot at that time and start allowing me to move my foot and ankle a little, just without weight bearing. I’m happy with him so far, and I trust him.

    So, here’s the word of caution: The full extent of my injury was not obvious to the radiologist or to my surgeon prior to the surgery, even with MRI. I now firmly believe that this injury would NEVER have healed appropriately without surgery. How could it possibly have, with the tendon split 40/60 lengthwise like that, partially detached from bone, retracted 2.5 inches, etc.? So, if your doctor recommends surgery, please consider it even having read the recent studies about similar outcomes for op and non-op. Some people reall do need surgery.

  239. normofthenorthon 05 Apr 2014 at 12:53 am 239

    Interesting stuff, Katherine. We’ve had others here too, whose surgeons discovered scary stuff when they looked inside. My OS told me mine was the messiest ATR he’d ever seen, and my heart surgeon told me I was in the same “club” as the worst Aortic valve he’d ever seen — and I literally would have bicycled to the hospital if I could have figured out how to get my bike home! It has slowly dawned on me (at 68, and after 4 operations) that many highly revered surgeons have a well-developed “bedside manner” that involves making every patient feel very special. No polygraphs in sight.

    Not that there aren’t real complications, some of which respond best to surgery. There are, no doubt. But I think more than half of all patients are told that their injury is in the top few %.

    OTOH, we’ve just seen a new published study from Belfast — boneandjoint.org.uk/highwire/filestream/17691/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/1362.full-text.pdf — where almost 1000 ATR patients got non-op treatment and came within a hair of 100% happy campers. 26 out of 975 were streamed into surgery because their AT ends wouldn’t “approximate” in equinus. 2.8% — fewer than in virtually all published surgical studies — reruptured, and ALL of them became happy campers after the second non-op treatment! A handful of patients — 6 out of 950 — ended up healing long, and they got subsequent surgery to correct that.

    I think — and hope! — that these published results in a refereed journal are 100% honest, without blarney or “good bedside manner”. I’m much less sure about what my skilled and charming surgeons have told me on their rounds about how special I am.

  240. Nickyon 05 Apr 2014 at 4:59 am 240

    Wise words norm.

  241. glennon 10 Apr 2014 at 10:30 am 241

    Hello all,
    This blog has been great help btw! I have a question why my recover process seems much longer than most. I’m 35 years old, I fully ruptured my achilles playing basketball on 2/13/14 had surgery the very next day (Valentines day). Woke up in partial split cast/split. 1st follow up the split was removed and 12 staples and 9 stitches were removed as well. At this time I also had a knee high cast put on with my toes pointed down. 2nd follow up 3/19/14 I had the cast taken off and foot reposition to 90 degrees (new cast). 3rd follow up, yesterday (4/9/14) i had my cast taken off and i was placed in walking boot . I can stand but can’t really place full weight down when I attempt to walk. Also my calf looks almost comepletly flat now? Has anyone else had a similiar experience with recovery? Is it that different doctors have different procedures and steps for recovery?

    thanks!

  242. Katherineon 15 Apr 2014 at 9:43 pm 242

    My doctor’s protocol has been a bit different than yours so far, Glenn! I have never been in a hard cast. Immediately post op I was in a soft cast/splint type thing for 12 days. After that, he put me in a boot with two heel lifts (they look 1 inch each to me). I am now almost 3 weeks post op, and I am not allowed to bear weight, but he does want me to take the boot off and move my foot around wvery day to prevent stiffness. I will be allowed to bear weight and drive at 6 weeks post op. Still in the boot for weight bearing, not so for driving.

  243. Katherineon 16 Apr 2014 at 12:02 pm 243

    Norm,

    Impressive study. I’m surprised though, out of that many people, that only 26 of them had ends that would not approximate in equinus. My “gap” was described as 2.5 inches, with one end of the tendon having rolled up like a window shade. I can’t imagine that approximating, but then, nobody tried it.

    In truth, I would have loved a non-op approach, but my surgeon was convinced that I would in fact heal “long” and wind up with an unsatisfactory gait. Who knows, I guess? There is some truth to the saying that you’ll never meet a surgeon who says you don’t need surgery.

  244. Tord Steiroon 16 Apr 2014 at 2:17 pm 244

    I also find it a bit surprising that they managed to make som many ends meet in the study. Perhaps they supplied some kind of muscle relaxant first? I had a cramp in my calf for four days straight before the surgery. Actually, the first thing I noticed after surgery was the fact that the cramp was gone, and I had a whole new set of pains to worry about.

    My surgeon said the loose end of my tendon went almost all the way up to my knee. He needed to extend the incision in order to reach it, and actually spent a full 45 minutes to drag the thing down. A standard surgery that should have taken about an hour took almost three!

    But this is not too uncommon, so I am actually quite sure they have techniques to deal with that when they do non-op. any clues to what that might be? for someone who don’t have the time to read the methods chapter in the study?

  245. Steve Weekson 24 Apr 2014 at 1:27 pm 245

    Hi,
    I had AT surgery on 18th March 2014, and was put straight in to an aircast boot with three heel wedges. After two weeks the staples were taken out and a heel wedge removed. I was told to remove another wedge after 2 weeks and was walking (full weight bearing) without crutches less than 4 weeks after surgery. I also did some gentle swimming which was great as i purchased a Drypro waterproof cover that went over the top of my boot and worked a treat. I have just ordered an Silistab Achillo® Achilles Tendon Ankle Support, in the hope that will enable me to recover more quickly and help me to drive the car at the end of May. I will see the consultant for the last time tomorrow (25/4/2014) and hope that I can start some serious PT and ditch the boot.

  246. goldmanon 24 Apr 2014 at 2:13 pm 246

    @glenn: Hi Glenn, 1st let me suggest that you start your own blog. It’s really helpful for understanding and coping with both the mental and physical aspect of this injury. See achillesblog.com home page for instructions.

    As far as your particular recovery process - from my readings of many blogs on this site there is great variety in rates. From what I can tell there is some randomness in the process– meaning it depends on what surgeon you happened to get. Your recovery process seems a little bit slower than average but doesn’t come across to me as a great outlier. Also, there could be something that your surgeon knows and has not shared with you, e.g. maybe there was some minor complication or unexpected fix he/she had to do during the procedure and based on that knowledge he modified your protocol to go slightly longer than average. Or your Doc could just be old school and conservative and drawing out your protocol longer than needs be. There are lots of variables here and again I think you will benefit and understand your particular process better by starting a blog and discussing what you know about your situation. And if you have not already done so, call your Doc or hospital and ask for more information — for example they usually are fine with sharing the technical notes about the procedure they write up right after surgery. Maybe you will see something in there that helps explain your protocol. Ask to speak with the triage Nurse or PT Nurse who works with your Doctor. I have found in my case that they are very receptive to questions. Good luck! -Jon

  247. Charleson 29 Apr 2014 at 9:57 pm 247

    Norm, I just wanted to say thanks for your continued posting here. Makes me feel a lot saner. I ruptured yesterday evening and based on a few hours of reading through PubMed arrived at a similar conclusion (non-op is the way to go). Met Ortho today who was not completely opposed to non-surgical, but quoted the 40% re-rupture rates of pre-2007 lore & made it sound like they have a conservative nonop protocol too.

    I got them to put me in the boot for now and I’m scheduled for an MRI next monday, at which point they’ll evaluate (and I’m guessing he’ll tell me I’m the perfect candidate for surgery.) Shopping around for PTs willing to follow the new protocol. We’ll see how it goes!

  248. normofthenorthon 01 May 2014 at 12:04 am 248

    @Charles, you sound properly “armed”. Good luck!

    @Katherine and @Tord: I don’t think a 2.5″ gap is nearly as big as they get, or too big to “approximate”. And the only studies I’ve seen correlating gap size with non-op results have found that there is no correlation — illogical and surprising, but we wouldn’t need studies and evidence if all our guesses were right!
    But the most embarrassing part to me is that virtually nobody applies the sensible “let’s try it” approach that Wallace uses, and the one team that does, gets spectacularly wonderful results! The most shocking part of their results to me, is that they got just as excellent results with “stale” ATRs and reruptures — even a smidge BETTER, though the difference is way within the statistical noise. Until I saw that, I was “advising” all the “stale” ATRs and reruptures here to go for surgery. Now I’ll suggest they go to Belfast!!
    @Katherine, I already HAVE met a surgeon who talked me out of surgery — see my story on my blog page.
    And @Tord, it’s always possible that your ATR would have been sent to surgery by Wallace because your torn ends wouldn’t come together. All we’ve got is a story, so we’ll never know for sure.

  249. Sergeon 01 May 2014 at 8:25 pm 249

    I have a general question. anybody ever take the boot off during sleep after 2 weeks post surgery ? I usually put it on during day, and it feels so good taking it off in bed? My foot is tightened up in downwards position anyways so i figuer its ok?

    anyone?

  250. E.L.on 16 May 2014 at 10:08 am 250

    The more research I do, the more I come to know that Drs deal with this differently and the injury is more severe in some cases than others. I completely ruptures my Achilles back in early march. I wore a cast for 8 weeks, being re-casted at week 4,5,6,&7. I received the boot at week 8, 3 days ago. I have to wear the boot for 4 weeks, so week 12 of pre op I start my physical therapy. My dr did tell me at the beginning that he takes this approach and in his years of practice he has never had a re- rupture in 25years and never a blood clot or set back. I can’t walk with out boot, my tendon is extremely tight. Getting very impatient, but I’ve been trying my hardest to follow orders. Having 2 small kids make things difficult, but am blessed to have a job that has allowed me to work from home. Be carful following other peoples advice, because your Dr. Could have went a different route in surgery. Not a doubt in my mind that my surgery was different than most, my cut looks like an upside down question mark and my tendon after being puled back down was tied tightly back together with a rope or twine, meaning that it takes way more time for my tendon to fuse back together. Good luck in your healing, and follow docs advice. I wish I would have gone with a second opinion, but now I must listen to how to recover with how I had surgery.

  251. Evoon 16 May 2014 at 11:10 am 251

    E.L.

    My first post but done lots of reading over the months.

    Your story is amazing. You are obviously a very patient person and highly respectful of your doctor.

    What country are you living in?

  252. goldmanon 16 May 2014 at 11:21 am 252

    @Serge - I’m not an expert in this area because I’ve only had to treat one ATR patient — me! But my opinion based upon my own Doctor’s advice and having read several blog entries on this website from people who re-ruptured after surgery - KEEP THE BOOT ON. At least for a few weeks. Who knows, maybe it depends on whether you had full rupture or partial rupture, because I had full rupture. But I was strongly advised by my doctor not to remove the boot during sleep when I asked him whether I could take it off at night at week 3. I am at week 8, going on week 9 and I just started sleeping without the boot a couple nights ago. I still feel nervous about it because what would happen if there was an emergency and I got startled awake and jumped out of bed on the repaired side? Might re-re-rupture due to stiffness.

  253. Stuarton 18 May 2014 at 6:44 pm 253

    E.L. - the important thing to take out of what you have said is if you are happy with the way you are being treated and confident you will get a good result from your doctor’s protocol then by all means follow it. I too would urge caution following or trusting others experience without proper consultation but there are better ways and they are not dependant on how bad your injury was or the type of surgery. You said yourself your doctor has treated people the same way for 25 years and has not had a re-rupture so regardless of the injury or surgery his treatment is the same. I am sure you will have a good result in the end because the protocol you are following has documented evidence over time but it will be slower than others. The evidence for early weight bearing and mobilization is growing as is our understanding of how tendons heal with regard to the remodelling of collagen. The last thing any of us want, including the surgeon, is a re-rupture however re-rupture rates for op and non op are lower for those following a documented early WB and mobilazation protocol regardless of the method of treatment or extent of injury.

  254. Roarkon 19 May 2014 at 8:37 am 254

    Serge,

    You can get some very solid sleeping braces that are really light weight and comfortable to sleep in if you’re worried about it at night. The problem is, most of them double as plantar faciitis braces, so they keep your feet at neutral to 10 degrees dorsal flexxed. I know some people started sleeping without the boot earlier than others and its different for everyone. I started around week 8 when I was able to get my foot to neutral and use a sleeping brace and that seems to be working well for me.

  255. danceteacheron 02 Jun 2014 at 1:36 am 255

    Hi! I had surgery to repair my rupture on April 24. Was completely nwb for weeks, pwb for two weeks and was told by Dr. to bear full weight starting last Friday. Problem is, I can’t figure out how to walk in boot. Doing this”hop” thing. And, I have terrible pain ( cramping, burning, you name it) in foot when sleeping in boot or when I sleep without it. Any suggestions as to what might be going on or how to alleviate pain and walk in boot. These sleepless nights and painful days and nights are killing me.

  256. normofthenorthon 02 Jun 2014 at 11:32 am 256

    danceteacher, the boot has to be fitted, adjusted, and used the way it was designed. It has to be snug enough and supportive enough to transfer all your weight from your toes (ball of foot) through the boot to the front of your shin. If it’s the wrong size or the straps are too loose of?r you’ve got painful pressure points, fix that first. Then technique: no hopping, no peg-leg, no toes-out gimp walk, just land on the heel and roll over the boot to the toe, knee pushed forward and slightly bent.
    And off you go! The first ~2 weeks (optimally from 2 weeks post-treatment to 4) are usually spent PWB on crutches, then you start forgetting where you left them.
    When you start WBing, it’s vital that your hips be level, so you need some kind of fat shoe - maybe Vaco’s EvenUp - to build up your other foot.

  257. danceteacheron 02 Jun 2014 at 4:10 pm 257

    Thanks for your response. Finding this blog has been a lifesaver. I go back to my Dr. for the second follow-up following my surgery Friday and can then make sure I am wearing the boot properly. I think I’m just afraid to put all of the weight on my foot.

  258. Sean Con 20 Jun 2014 at 9:36 am 258

    Glad I found this blog since I have been stuck at home and getting a bit down. I am about 2.5 weeks post op from a full rupture of my AT. I was put into a walking boot with three wedges yesterday by my Dr. I was in a soft splint for the first two weeks after surgery. Although I was on narcotic pain meds pretty heavily the first few days, I weaned myself off of them by the end of the first week. The worst pain was the first night when my nerve block wore off. But last night the pain was almost as bad as that first night. I left a message with my Dr. and he still has not called back. I am wondering if the pain I felt last night is normal and related to my change in foot position from being placed into the walking boot or if I should be concerned. My Dr. has recommended not to attempt to bear weight on it for at least four weeks (when I have my next appt) and for my first day in the boot I still took it very easy. Insight anyone?

  259. normofthenorthon 20 Jun 2014 at 12:05 pm 259

    Sean, you should consult the protocols summarized and linked here at /Cecilia/protocols. They all got wonderful results non-op, going faster than your Doc’s plan for you, and two of them also got great results post-op. (The 3rd study was just non-op.)
    I see no evidence of benefit from going slower post-op, and some evidence of minor harm - and major nuisance!

  260. normofthenorthon 20 Jun 2014 at 12:10 pm 260

    If your pain persists, you should definitely get attention. Your booted ankle angle should be close to your previous angle, and the boot should be snug, supportive, protective, and comfy. If not, it might be sized or adjusted wrong. If you’ve got pressure points, it’s OK to tweak the straps or even add padding. Best done by a tech, but many patients are at least as skilled, and we’re all much more motivated! A bad boot can do harm. Even simple pressure points can take weeks to heal if they turn into sores…

  261. Stuarton 20 Jun 2014 at 2:18 pm 261

    Sean - Have to +1 to Norm. There have been so many people here who have had their boots incorrectly fitted and I read another today. If the angle has been changed in accordance with instructions then there will be a minor adjustment which could cause pain. 3 wedges does sound like you will at least have some downward angle so do not panic but check it out if you are concerned.

  262. Ronaldon 13 Jul 2014 at 1:03 pm 262

    Hello, I just ruptured my left ATR on July 10, 2014 playing flag football. Felt the popped when trying to make a quick cut. Went to urgent care and I’m in a splint right now with crutches. Go see the doc Wednesday which I’m pretty he will say I need surgery. Start a new teaching job on July 30th. If I’m lucky enough to have the surgery this week will I be able get around by then. Went on amazon and purchased the iwalk 2.0 so I will be able to get around without crutches. Not looking forward to this painful process. Any questions I should ask the doctor so I can be aggressive in my recovery?

  263. Ronaldon 13 Jul 2014 at 1:07 pm 263

    I am very active and in shape, running 5k 3 days a week and lifting as well. Will this help me when trying to get back on my feet quicker. I tore my right ATR 15 years ago and it was very slow process. Took me about 6 months to really get back to normal. Don’t want to wait that long.

  264. davidkon 13 Jul 2014 at 2:34 pm 264

    Ronald, being active and in shape will not, unfortunately, affect the healing speed of your Achilles’ tendon–which is just plain slow. However, it likely will positively affect your approach to your physical therapy, which will benefit your recovery overall. The protocol your OS and PT follow will be your best guide as to when you should be “back on your feet”, although full return to sports is likely in the 6 month range. I had my ATR surgery 4 months ago and have been very actively walking and biking for the past month, but am still working towards a return to sports. Also, do your research on the non-op option to ATR recovery. I dismissed it completely at the time, but with what I know now it would be a much harder call. Good luck!

  265. Ronaldon 14 Jul 2014 at 6:59 am 265

    Thanks David, I will definitely consider the non-op route. If I decide to go that route, what is the probability that I will be able to run as well as play sports at 100%. I coach basketball as well and pretty involved in the practices. I’m mentally drained thinking about what’s going to happen. What specific questions should I ask my OS before any procedures?

  266. davidkon 14 Jul 2014 at 8:18 am 266

    Ronald, I’m not an expert on the non-op route, but there are plenty of athletes (and non) that have successfully gone the non-op route on this site, so I’d read and learn from them. I just know that when I made my decision to have surgery, I didn’t really understand the non-op route and dismissed it pretty quickly. My OS told me that he could provide a stronger repair surgically than if I went non-op, and he also told me that my risk of re-rupture was lower if I had surgery. I took his advice and have not been disappointed thus far. If I had to do it over again, I might make the same decision, but I would definitely give the non-op route much more consideration. Good luck! -David

  267. normofthenorthon 14 Jul 2014 at 9:19 am 267

    Ronald, I think non-op is the better way PROVIDED you can follow a good modern fast non-op protocol like one of those at /Cecilia/protocols. Wallace’s 945 non-op patients had 100% return to sport, e.g.

    OTOH, getting back to sport - especially unrestrained - in less than 6 months sound a bit wishful, with or without surgery. Sorry about that. 10 or 11 months to Go For It again is common, without any complications or setbacks. And even the second yeat usually brings some improvement in strength and comfort and shape…

  268. Ronaldon 15 Jul 2014 at 7:08 pm 268

    Thank you all for the insight. I will be having my first OS appointment tomorrow to discuss my options.

  269. Jackieon 19 Jul 2014 at 1:13 pm 269

    After trying non surgical techniques for a year (yes a year), I finally had surgery for my ruptured achilles (at which time my doc lengthened my achilles, removed a cluster of bone spurs and did stem cell infusion) on July 9th. I was put into a soft split for 5 days until my post op. I then went into the boot. I have sutures removed in a week. Doctor indicated partial weight baring at 5 weeks with full weight baring at 10 weeks. I only did pain meds for two nights because they made me not sleep at all but the pain was easily tolerable. I went back to work in less than a week but that likely wasn’t the best decision. I’m feeling impatient but also remembering that this is a minor inconvenience and many folks are facing life long health challenges.

  270. Ronaldon 20 Jul 2014 at 9:14 am 270

    Had ATR surgery yesterday. I have a nerve block on and Percocet. Stop taking the Percocet last night because it was making me sick. In a lot of pain right now. Took some Advil gel but that doesn’t to work either. The nerve block worked well yesterday and last night numbing me up but that is wearing off as well. Any ass suggestions to help at least make it bearable.I have it on six pillows right now. How long is this pain going to last.

  271. normofthenorthon 20 Jul 2014 at 10:42 am 271

    Jackie, did you know you had bone spurs that affected you AT, like Haglund’s?

    The evidence is now really clear that non-op works as well as surgery for standard overstressed ATRs, but the sample I’ve seen here with bone spurs has mostly NOT responded well to non-op treatments. Surgical results are mixed, but many patients wish they’d done the op long ago. Those samples aren’t scientific, but I’ve never seen one of those for the Haglund’s folks.

  272. normofthenorthon 20 Jul 2014 at 10:50 am 272

    Ronald, most of us found post-op pain hurt like heck for a few days. Drugs and elevation help, being vertical hurts for a while. Time helps a lot. I lost about a week (compared to my second one, non-op) between the moaning and the lolligagging… Others lost less, a few more with complications.

  273. Ronaldon 20 Jul 2014 at 4:39 pm 273

    Thanks. Has gotten better since this morning. Have to back to work in a week. Hope the pain is gone or manageable by then

  274. markon 22 Jul 2014 at 6:42 am 274

    Hi All
    Did my Achillees 9 weeks ago, doing Judo spent 6 weeks in a cast and two weeks in a splint went down non surgical route as heard so many horror stories of surgical side.Can walk on it have a slight limp i’m sure this will go with time I am having my first bout of Physio this week see what they have to say apart from a pain on sole of my heel after walking feel ok and more than happy with my progress

  275. normofthenorthon 22 Jul 2014 at 10:00 am 275

    Good luck, Mark! You’ve unfortunately received an old, slow and high-risk version of non-op ATR treatment. About 75%-80% still escaped rerupture, but too many didn’t. So Watch Your Step. Its probably OK to gradually catch up to the more modern protocols listed and linked at /Cecilia/protocols, but stay incremental and don’t do the No Pain No Gain thing.

  276. markon 22 Jul 2014 at 12:38 pm 276

    Thanks for the reply it’s nice to chat to people who have same issues. I am still puzzled as to how I got this injury as never had an inkling , no soreness no warning signs just a bang, I felt like I’d been hit at the back of the head. Take your point on no pain no gain thing. I am constantly slowing myself down not doing to much as I realise this period is crucial and a slip or a wrong turn could put me back to square one.I hope to return to sport but realise at 53 I need to tempur my enthuasism somewhat.I was amazed after reading the other blogs they never gave me a ultra sound to see how bad the damage was,mine was a total rupture I would have thought ultra sound was mandatory. I also found it strange that although I visited Hospital every couple of weeks to have ankle set at diff angles no Doc actually looked at my ankle again until end of week 8!!! is this normal practice?

  277. normofthenorthon 22 Jul 2014 at 11:01 pm 277

    Mark, I think a majority of ATR people here had no relevant ATR problems until the ATR came “out of the blue”. Granted a sizeable minority did have various kinds of AT discomfort, but I think most didn’t.
    I think I was 56 when I popped my first AT, playing competitive court volleyball (standard 6-on-6) with a bunch of young guys. I expected to return to full-on “go for it!” volleyball after the AT healed, and that’s what I did. 7-ish years after returning (8 years after that ATR), I popped the other AT. This time I was older, but I was playing a MORE competitive, high-exertion, and aggressive form of volleyball — 4-on-4 court ball on a full-sized court! This time I skipped the surgery, and that’s what I generally recommend to other ATR folks. Again, I expected to return to volleyball again, and I did — though my return was delayed about a year by a heart-valve replacement.
    I’m 69 now, and still playing competitive volleyball in the winters with a bunch of youngsters, though much more indoor beach volleyball than court these days. No problems from my ATs, though many other body parts are threatening to keep my volleyball career from lasting forever! (3 nights ago, my back bike tire got stuck in a wet streetcar track and I got slammed down on my right shoulder, which still hurts like a @#$%&! Fortunately, it didn’t bother me this evening when I cycled down to the lakeshore and sailed a dinghy with two novices, so maybe it’ll be OK. With or without PT and sports-med-MD involvement, we’ll see after the short-term bruising resolves.)

  278. Markon 23 Jul 2014 at 6:34 am 278

    Refreshing to hear you went back to volleyball after the ATR, did you wear any Achillees support on your return to full on volleyball activicty?,I have been looking on the internet and seen a few but still weighing up pro’s and con’s.Just as a matter of interest how long was it before you felt confident to go back to volleyball after the surgery? I have been left with blank expressions by my Doc who will not commit himself to a timescale which I do understand as we all heal differently.1st physio session tom maybe they can tell me more. Competitive volleyball at 69 !!!Fantastic !!

  279. normofthenorthon 23 Jul 2014 at 10:40 am 279

    Never wore any support, just double socks inside low vball shoes, = pre-ATR. I did go to high basketball shoes for a while long ago when I was turning/spraining my ankles, then I got over it and switched back.
    I was around 10-11 months post-op ATR #1 when the volleyball league season began, and I was there. Nervous and ATR-conscious for a minute, then just into the game, all good. My way conservative OS told me to wait until I could do a bunch of 1-leg HRs without grunting and groaning, before returning to explosive sports, and I was there at 10-11 months.
    2nd ATR non-op was complicated by heart surgery, and by a much weaker Gastroc response. Wimpy 1lhrs permanently, but no discernable effect on performance. I was sure it would compromise my spiking (vertical) in court vball, but I really don’t see it. Mostly playing indoor beach now (where my spiking has always been wimpy, lots of rolls), but I’ve returned to court often enough to check it out.
    Without the heart surgery, I think I would have returned to vball around 10-11 months post-non-op that time too, without even 1 good 1LHR. My leg felt stable and safe to me, just lacking in that one strength (and maybe full strength from the soleus = knee bent). I’ve come to see the 1LHR as a good exercise but a silly test of sports fitness, at least post-ATR.

  280. mrsdon 24 Jul 2014 at 3:44 pm 280

    it makes me chuckle reading some of these… i totally ripped my left achillies running after my water bomb bearing daughter in july 2013 i had surgery on it in the aug i was in plaster for 4 1/2 weeks then into a walking bootin oct 2013 and sent on my way,,,,unfortunatly it reripped which was not discoverd til april 2014 i had it redone in may and am curently still in my pressure boot. i dont want to play golf or football i want to play with my kids ride my bike n go to work
    u all think 4-6 weeks is tough try it for 12 mths

  281. Chombaon 06 Aug 2014 at 1:16 pm 281

    Hi guys, five days a go I ruptured my two Achilles’ tendons doing high jump.my ortho have put me on cast for 6wks after surgery.Am very eager to know if there’s anybody out there with a similar case and how they’ve faired in their recovery.Thanks

  282. davidkon 06 Aug 2014 at 1:51 pm 282

    Chomba, I do happen to know someone who ruptured both their Achilles’ tendons at the same time. He’s a friend of mine. This happened to him 15+ years ago. While he’s told me that it was a very tough recovery (I didn’t know him then), all I can tell you is that today he is doing just fine. Best of luck to you! -David

  283. normofthenorthon 07 Aug 2014 at 12:39 am 283

    And there have been a few people who blogged and posted here who also ruptured both at the same time. I vaguely remember two, both women, but don’t remember their LoginIDs, sorry. A search of the site should turn them up.
    There are also MANY people, mostly kids, who have both Achilles tendons surgically lengthened at the same time. Similar rehab. My (late) Father-in-law had that done a million years ago, and he turned into a jock afterwards.

    Pretty much eliminates crutches and scooters, need a wheelchair, then maybe shuffling, maybe using a walker for a few days.

  284. normofthenorthon 07 Aug 2014 at 1:27 am 284

    Chomba, were you taking antibiotics in the month-ish before the ruptures? As you can read elsewhere on this blog (and from the experience of a recent/current blogger, too), the Cipro family of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones, IIRC) have a nasty side-effect of greatly increasing the likelihood of tendon tears, including ATRs.

  285. Ronaldon 08 Aug 2014 at 7:55 pm 285

    Hello everyone, I’m in my third week post op achilles tendon repair. Started pt on yesterday. I thought my first session would be just an evaluation but the pt took me through a lot of exercises that has made achilles very sore again. She had me peddling a stationary bike with no boot for five minutes and lot of flexing exercises. She then massaged my calf and ice my achilles. My achilles has been hurting all day. I fear she may have caused some damage to achilles. Should I worry or will the pain subside soon. Has anyone else experience this in their pt session this early. I thought Ishould just be flexing my foot at this point. Any advice, thinking about holding off on therapy until the pain go away but don’t want to lose any time strengthening as well.

  286. markon 10 Aug 2014 at 5:23 am 286

    Hi back from Hol’s just thought i’d let everyone know where up to week 11 now 3 weeks out of ankle harness, been on holiday to Wales, and London.done lot’s of walking really pushed myself but when heel got to uncomfortable stopped and rested up until a couple of days ago felt really stiff this stiffness seems to have disappeared and foot seems much stronger still a slight limp but can see the difference now. The trick is knowing when to stop excercising and not to over do it Patience is the key !!

  287. markon 07 Sep 2014 at 1:44 am 287

    Hi all; seems I have been overly optimistic on my quick recovery .Did my Achillees middle of May can walk 1-2 miles at a time but still very stiff at back of ankle and still have limp any idea how long this will take.I was hoping to be back on the Judo mat shortly but have postponed this now till limp and stiffness disappears.I feel like I have flatllined in terms of my recovery still doing physio but very frustrated.

  288. normofthenorthon 07 Sep 2014 at 2:08 am 288

    Mark, welcome to what we call “the frustrating plateau”! It’s very common, because the transitions from NWB to PWB and FWB, then from boot to shoes, all come so quickly, compared to the final returns to full strength and mobility. We all expect that pace to continue, but there’s a long “tail” to the recovery graph…

    Can you tell if your limp is from weakness or stiffness (lack of strength vs lack of ROM)? Can you do a good 50-50 2-leg heel raise? And one of those up, then down mostly on the injured leg?
    Walking perfectly with a slower shorter stride, but lack of pushoff with a long fast stride? All of those are useful landmarks, and also useful exercises.
    Some of us measured our AT-and-calf strength by pressing down with the ball of “that” foot onto a bathroom scale. Even after you can support your body weight that way, you can push the bathroom counter up to add load and keep measuring your strength. Sometimes that kind of measurement can show progress where it’s otherwise invisible, to cut the frustration a bit.

  289. markon 14 Sep 2014 at 10:27 am 289

    Thanks for that, Ikeep thinking only 4 months since I did the injury so i guess just have to keep focused and be patient.

  290. jayon 15 Sep 2014 at 12:20 am 290

    I healed quick at first then .slowed down.its one yr.and aolmost back to norm

  291. Ronaldon 17 Sep 2014 at 11:14 am 291

    Hello all, I am in my 9th week recovery FWB and my heel is kiiling me from walking. Also at night when in bed feels like pins are sticking the top part of my foot. Has anyone else experienced that? What can I do for my sore heel. I hate to walk on it. I am still in the boot but I have my next follow up soon.

  292. markon 12 Oct 2014 at 1:19 pm 292

    Hi all 5 months since did A/t non operative proceedure getting better all the time have been given ok to Judo train again but still a little stiff so erring on side of caution also very very slight limp still, thanks Norm you’re comments and advice been great hope I can help in a similar way.still not their yet but can see light at end of tunnel now.

  293. Adamon 14 Oct 2014 at 7:56 am 293

    I ruptured my left achilles playing flag football on 10/01/14 and surgery on 10/08/14. I am very active and completed a triathlon this past summer, I am 53 years old. My Dr. wants to keep me in a hard cast for 8 plus weeks, I am determined to insist on my post-surgery appointment that I want to be fitted for a boot. I he says no, I am prepared to tell him that I’m doing it not matter what. I live by myself and have no one that helps me get around. Any suggestions on the best boot?

  294. Stuarton 14 Oct 2014 at 2:18 pm 294

    Adam - Get prepared with a great deal of scientific information but don’t expect a good reception. Also be prepared to find another doctor. There are many scientific studies now (most listed on this site) that show early weight bearing and mobilization aids recovery. The non op studies listed on Cecilias page give a good indication. Why would you go slower than that. I some information on my page (xplora) under further reading tab. I spent a week in a cast and was walking in the boot without crutches around 4 weeks then in 2 shoes in public around 7 weeks. This is not said to suggest we have to race to those marks but 8 weeks or longer in a cast is not healthy. In the long term you would be fine but you need to get mobile quickly. Many doctors believe the boots offer a chance for patiences to be non compliant and this has been the case. They should also be fitted properly to prevent movement of the limbs. I also went to my doc and told him I wanted a boot but I was suffering from cast claustrophobia. He was great. Hope yours is too.

  295. herewegoagainon 14 Oct 2014 at 2:49 pm 295

    Adam, I spent 8 weeks in a cast after ATR surgery 15 years ago- it was not easy so I wish you luck getting into a boot. Definitely go well armed with studies and a protocol to your next appointment is a great suggestion. It would also be worth checking into PT and finding a therapist who supports a modern protocol, this may help build the surgeons confidence and you will need to factor in lots of PT regardless of your recovery approach. Don’t be surprised if you are told that PT is not necessary, old school surgeons often don’t see the value in this. As far as boots go I have a Vacocast/Vacoped and love it, a bit of an investment but worth it. Would be worth starting a blog here- all the best!

  296. Eugeneon 23 Oct 2014 at 9:22 pm 296

    I’m 6 weeks post surgery. Am I suppose to be feeling little shocks in and around my Achilles? Also, how long should the pain and swelling persist.
    MI tried talking to my Dr and insisting on the boot but he was totally against it. I’m in a walking boot now after 3 weeks in plaster cast, which has my joints pretty stiff. What can I do to speed my recovery. Well to at least get rid of the swelling.

  297. normofthenorthon 24 Oct 2014 at 1:25 pm 297

    Eugene, one of the many nuisances of opting for surgery is that it’s virtually impossible to “fire” a Dr who gives you bad service. And Orthopedic Surgeons are much more resistant to being educated by their patients than the average person. If you’re in a boot now, then it may all be behind you now — and at least one of the best modern protocols starts out with 2 or 3 weeks in a cast, so you’re not way behind.
    But you should check the timetables that the most successful studies used, and try not to fall farther behind. The 3 best are summarized and linked at achillesblog.com/Cecilia/Protocols . All of them included some non-op patients (who went at the same speed), but there’s no reason you should go SLOWER than the people who skipped the surgical repair, right? Especially because there’s no clinical benefit, and probably a small disbenefit, according to the studies.
    Stiffness is normal, and “little shocks” sounds pretty normal, too. Your leg has been immobile for longer than ever before in your life, so you can forgive it for feeling weird and acting weird. If those shocks become big spasms, they could do harm, but otherwise it’s probably just normal.
    Swelling is very common, and hugely variable from patient to patient, without clear reasons. Obviously RICE helps, and staying vertical hurts, maybe standing worse than moving more. But I was pretty active, and elevated my leg whenever I was seated, and I think I was around 20 weeks in (non-op) when I posted a blog page entitled “This Swelling and Elevation is Getting OLD!”
    Do control it, because it limits ROM and causes a number of the feelings that we associate with the recovery. (I had an unrelated leg bruise post-ATR on my other leg, and when the swelling set in, I was shocked how familiar the feelings were!)

  298. Eugeneon 26 Oct 2014 at 10:12 pm 298

    Normofthenorth- I greatly appreciate the feedback. And will take a look at the site you provided.

  299. Adamon 03 Nov 2014 at 9:11 am 299

    Just a follow-up on my recovery. I had surgery on Oct 8th, put into a cast after surgery. I’m now 26 days post surgery and have been transformed into a VOCOcast walking boot. All I can say is “WOW” what a difference!! Even while in the hard cast I was able to ride a stationary bike with no problems what so ever. The Dr was surprised how well the incision has healed up. He said he would not have expected to see it look like it does until the 6 week post op. He believes that since I was ‘exercising” that the movement greatly accelerated the healing process. The VOCOcast boot is simply amazing, the next step is to adjust my foot to 90 degrees in a few weeks.

  300. Jpon 03 Dec 2014 at 7:28 pm 300

    3 weeks out 1 week with boot. What’s the point of the boot? I have wedge I can put in a regular shoe or boot. I never got a good reason. How does a boot prevent my achillies from rupturing again? What is it protecting actually? It is unstable to me

  301. dondonon 03 Dec 2014 at 7:57 pm 301

    I think the point of the boot is to keep you from over extending your tendon. It keeps you in a certain range of motion so you don’t overextend and cause further damage.

  302. normofthenorthon 04 Dec 2014 at 2:06 am 302

    Right, the boot maintains your ankle angle so you don’t stretch or load your AT while it’s rebuilding (or you do so in a limited and appropriate range, if it’s a hinged boot set to hinge). AND it protects your leg from getting banged, by passersby, your other leg, furniture, etc. AND it stabilizes your weak ankle from twisting etc. in other directions. That last one especially is a mixed blessing, because it leads to loss of fitness of a lot of little muscles and tendons and ligaments and propriocentric “circuits” that have to be rebuilt later.
    The boot lets you walk FWB safely, by transferring your weight from under your toes to the front of your shin. That way the boot (and your shin) does the job that a healthy AT normally does.
    As we move through PWB (with crutches) to FWB, most of us got good at walking fast in the boot, long before we could safely walk in shoes, with or without heel wedges.

  303. Jpon 04 Dec 2014 at 11:30 am 303

    Thanks guys that makes sense. I do feel all the pressure on my shin. I guess I just need to YouTube how to walk with it. I rarely wear it since I’m not allowed to walk yet, but when I try light walking with crutches it is very uncomfortable and seems like I will strain another part of my leg or legs. I was considering buying achillies brace and just using some personal redwing boots I own with wedge. They cover my ankle.

  304. Johnon 04 Dec 2014 at 4:00 pm 304

    I had a left AT rupture on 27/10/14 while playing football. A MRI scan showed a 100% rupture whereas my Ortho stated that it was only 80% and hence opted for non-surgical. He felt that at my age, 47 years, surgery was not recommended and has put me in a hard cast for 6 weeks, to be followed by air boot for another 3 weeks.
    Just wanted to know if anyone with a similar case as mine has been able to return to active sports. My Orltho feels that the risk of re-rupture is very high in non-surgical treatment.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  305. herewegoagainon 04 Dec 2014 at 6:46 pm 305

    John- sorry to hear you are one of the rupture club. MRI’s are often read to give different results and having a full rupture doesn’t necessarily impact recovery. For non-surgical ATR following a fast modern rehab protocol from week 2 gives far superior recovery outcomes .
    Where are you living? Your OS sounds like he is way behind the times and I would be questioning the rationale behind not offering you surgery seeing if he believes the re-rupture rate is so high (which if treated correctly is not true)
    I am 15 weeks into a non surgical recovery and am planning to ski come the new year- but I am following a modern protocol. I had 3 visits with my OS each lasted less than 5 minutes and am now released from his “care”. I found a great physio who supports modern protocols and is easily providing all the medical support needed.
    It may seem like a risky and radical thing to do, but following the protocols independently from your OS but with a PT is not difficult at all. If you search cecelia on this website you will be able to check out the protocols.
    There is such a great wealth of experience on this blog- I am sure others will comment as well.
    By the way- 47 years, when did that become an accepted age to quit!!! If I was you I would be planning on at least another 30 years of highly active sporty living.

  306. Ianon 07 Dec 2014 at 5:25 pm 306

    Ruptured tendon 6 weeks ago had surgery week later plaster cast for two weeks during which I crawled round house rather than crutches .Then had stitches out have had no pain at all ,walked with air boot one crutch with fwb against instructions .Told to see surgeon month later ,insisted on three weeks .Checked by surgeon week 5 post op given all clear to walk with out crutches which I was doing one week prior told surgeon he did.nt reply but smiled ,immediately he removed two of the three wedges in boot .He Told me remove third wedge in 2 weeks ,I will do it in one week if no pain .I am going to physio tomorrow against instructions hope she will treat me .Think moral to all this doctors conservative and insurance company does not want to pay for re rupture op. I have lost calf muscle strength but not too bad .Think it all comes down to if one is a natural risk taker ,for good or bad I am .will update

  307. Timothyon 07 Dec 2014 at 5:48 pm 307

    Hi my name is Tim I had rupture my Achilles Oct 14 2014 had surgery on the 16 same month.had my staple s out the 30 of the same month and they put a cast on for a month. Bout 2wks in my cast I felt I could put a Lil pressure on it so on Dec 4 they cut the cast off and I’m putting pressure on it with out no pain feels more tight than anything. I’m not having problems walking am i doing any damage if it don’t hurt when i walk. For the last few days I been stretching back &forth side to side like i said it was complete rupture! Like a mop he said! .but not in walking booth it feels strong but just wondering if I’m making it worse if it dont hurt

  308. Timothyon 07 Dec 2014 at 5:51 pm 308

    Hi my name is Tim I had rupture my Achilles Oct 14 2014 had surgery on the 16 same month.had my staple s out the 30 of the same month and they put a cast on for a month. Bout 2wks in my cast I felt I could put a Lil pressure on it so on Dec 4 they cut the cast off and I’m putting pressure on it with out no pain feels more tight than anything. I’m not having problems walking am i doing any damage if it don’t hurt when i walk. For the last few days I been stretching back &forth side to side like i said it was complete rupture! Like a mop he said! .but not in walking booth it feels strong but just wondering if I’m making it worse if it dont hurt day 51

  309. normofthenorthon 08 Dec 2014 at 11:41 am 309

    JP, you’ve got to stand before you walk, and just shifting weight back and forth can build confidence, as can PWB walking with crutches. (I prefer 2 crutches, hated 1, opinions differ.)

  310. normofthenorthon 08 Dec 2014 at 11:55 am 310

    John, the good protocols and the great non-op results are at AchillesBlog.com/Cecilia/protocols. (NOT Cecelia!)
    Bad slow non-op treatment - like 6 weeks of NWB casting! - DOES have a very high rerupture rate, often 15-25%, so Don’t Go There. But good fast modern non-op has rates = or <3%, either close to op or identical, and pretty close to 0.
    I’d still avoid the op, but you’ve got to find somebody willing to guide you through a modern protocol. One or 2 people on YouTube etc. have done it by themselves, but that’s definitely not for everybody!

  311. normofthenorthon 08 Dec 2014 at 11:59 am 311

    Ian, it sounds good. Except that going as fast as the 3 studies in Cecilia’s list (link above) does NOT seem to increase risk post-op, and REDUCES risk for non-op patients! That evidence is still new (>2007) and hard to believe, so lots of experts are still wrong.

  312. normofthenorthon 08 Dec 2014 at 12:06 pm 312

    Tim, I love boots, and you’re skipping it. That makes me nervous. If it makes you nervous too, you’ll probably be OK. If it makes you feel confident and unusually strong and invincible, you’ll probably rerupture. Rerupture risk is high til ~12 weeks post. Risk of serious setbacks afterwards if you do too much too soon, including falling on it. But also including exercising until it feels like “enough” - sometimes under a PT’s orders!

  313. timon 08 Dec 2014 at 4:44 pm 313

    Normofthenorth. Thanks for the feed back it just feels more numb than anything I just didn’t know how much pain I should or shouldn’t have. not going to skip the booth use it when I leave the house just curious how much pain if any suppost to have.

  314. normofthenorthon 09 Dec 2014 at 12:04 pm 314

    Tim, the ATR rehab is often characterized by a bunch of weird feelings and sensations. But I’d avoid doing, or repeating, anything that causes pain. And some things that don’t cause ANY immediate pain can still do harm and cause delayed pain. One example on my blog - I overdid heel raises too many too soon and suffered a painful setback for a MONTH! So keep progressing on schedule, but do it incrementally. Any new activity, just do a few or with minimum weight or resistance at first. Wait before ramping up, and do it gradually.
    It’s tempting to feel so excited about your first whatever - walk, heel raise, bike ride,. .. - that you just keep going, and then you suffer. Don’t Go There.

  315. Johnon 22 Dec 2014 at 3:21 am 315

    Normofthenorth. Thank you for reply dated 08-12-14. After 3 weeks of the initial injury, my first cast came off yesterday to be replaced with another hard cast for 2 more weeks, but this time with the foot in neutral position. My ortho was a bit concerned about the muscle loss in the left calf and felt that I should go for surgery to stitch the tendon although initially he was of the opinion that surgery was not required. I am still against surgery, not sure if it’s the right decision on my part. It was a great relief when my Ortho told me that the 2nd cast would be weight bearing and I should try to walk with the aid of crutches for 1 week and then gradually wean myself off the crutches. I did try to walk a couple of steps yesterday with some pain in the ruptured area and I should say it felt good. Should I be concerned with the rapid muscle loss in the calf or is it normal when one has a complete ruptured tendon? BTW, I am based in the Middle East region, where health care is still a growing sector.

  316. Johnon 22 Dec 2014 at 3:28 am 316

    Herewegoagain. Thank you for reply dated 04-12-14. After 3 weeks of the initial injury, my first cast came off yesterday to be replaced with another hard cast for 2 more weeks, but this time with the foot in neutral position. My ortho was a bit concerned about the muscle loss in the left calf and felt that I should go for surgery to stitch the tendon although initially he was of the opinion that surgery was not required. I am still against surgery, not sure if it’s the right decision on my part. It was a great relief when my Ortho told me that the 2nd cast would be weight bearing and I should try to walk with the aid of crutches for 1 week and then gradually wean myself off the crutches. I did try to walk a couple of steps yesterday with some pain in the ruptured area and I should say it felt good. Should I be concerned with the rapid muscle loss in the calf or is it normal when one has a complete ruptured tendon? BTW, I am based in the Middle East region, where health care is still a growing sector.

  317. normofthenorthon 22 Dec 2014 at 10:41 am 317

    John, it’s hard to say from here if your muscle atrophy is so unusual that it’s clinically significant, but if you search this site for “atrophy” or “noodle” etc., you’ll find that almost everybody here is shocked by the speed and extent of our calf muscle loss. Post-op and non-op alike. If you can get into a boot ASAP, you’ll be able to add some gentle exercises and PT to your PWB-to-FWB walking. Otherwise, your schedule isn’t far from the best new non-op protocols, see AchillesBlog.com/Cecilia/protocols. Their results were basically as good as post-op, without the scars and the wound risks.

  318. JJon 31 Dec 2014 at 9:05 pm 318

    normofthenorth, I totally agree with you. I am 16 days post-op, in a walking boot that allows ankle movement and am already able to walk around my house without crutches (with boot on). But the thing that surprises me the most is how quickly my calf muscle has disappeared. I have always had big calves and there is a VERY noticeable difference between my left (non-injured) and right (injured) legs. Furthermore there is a significant “mass” difference, how “thick” my calf muscles feel when squeezed is VERY different.
    All that being said, I am well on my way to recovery and feel VERY lucky.

  319. Richardon 02 Jan 2015 at 5:28 pm 319

    Hi JJ - I am at the 9mth mark and followed an aggressive non-op protocol, eg boot at 11 days and fwb at 3.5wks, shoes at 6.5wks. My muscle loss was still huge - maybe down to 30% of the good leg. What has proved even more surprising is the very slow rate of muscle build up. At 6mths I was at about 65% strength/bulk despite running, cycling, hopping, lunging etc. As others have commented, progress then slows - In the last 3 months In Am now at about 75-80% strength. My target is 90% if I am ever to return to competitive squash - at current rates I may get there in March taking me to the 1 yr mark. Guess the moral is that to just to get to where I am you have to keep up the exercise(s) even when the improvements are slow. They are cumulative so you onl go forwards.

  320. Anonymouson 04 Jan 2015 at 5:21 am 320

    After being in hard cast for nearly 5 weeks, the 2nd cast finally came off today and now I have switched to an air boot. My ortho is happy with the recovery progress and he suggested that I should start the physiotherapy as soon as possible. So hopefully, this week I will start physiotherapy. Has anyone on this blog used shockwave therapy for tendon repair? It would be helpful if I get some feedback as one Physiotherapist is strongly recommending that I go for shockwave therapy treatment for 15 days.

    I have also advised my ortho that I prefer to get the physio done outside the hospital, it seems the hospital does not have therapists specializing in tendon repair although they are aware of the protocols. I am planning to see a therapist who specializes mostly in treatment of tendons. Hopefully I have taken the right decision in choosing the therapist.

  321. johnon 04 Jan 2015 at 5:21 am 321

    After being in hard cast for nearly 5 weeks, the 2nd cast finally came off today and now I have switched to an air boot. My ortho is happy with the recovery progress and he suggested that I should start the physiotherapy as soon as possible. So hopefully, this week I will start physiotherapy. Has anyone on this blog used shockwave therapy for tendon repair? It would be helpful if I get some feedback as one Physiotherapist is strongly recommending that I go for shockwave therapy treatment for 15 days.
    I have also advised my ortho that I prefer to get the physio done outside the hospital, it seems the hospital does not have therapists specializing in tendon repair although they are aware of the protocols. I am planning to see a therapist who specializes mostly in treatment of tendons. Hopefully I have taken the right decision in choosing the therapist.

  322. ericm98on 04 Jan 2015 at 8:59 am 322

    There’s a good outline here on how to choose a PT

    achillesblog.com/gerryr/2010/06/16/finding-a-physical-therapist/

    I followed the same approach when selecting a surgeon..I wanted someone who was a specialist and was accomplished. You would think that the PT at these same places would be equally as good in that area re: specialization but I’m finding out it’s not always the case.
    I haven’t had any experience with shockwave but in the upper right of the website there’s a search box and if you type in shockwave you’ll find some experiences there.

  323. normofthenorthon 04 Jan 2015 at 12:55 pm 323

    Richard: your calf mass difference is probably not unusual (there seem to be huge variations on that score), but your rate of strength recovery does seem disappointing - even to me, and no doubt to you. Keep doing what you’re doing and good luck, but it may be that your AT-&-calf have healed a bit long, maybe one of the attachments more than the other (Gastroc vs. Soleus). Several of us here, op and non-op (GaryR and I come to mind), have convinced ourselves that our Soleus-AT system healed fine but our Gastroc-AT ended up longer than pre-ATR. Soleus mostly does bent-kneed seated heel raises, Gastroc straight-kneed standing heel raises. And most of the visible (posterior and medial) calf muscle is Gastroc. On my weaker leg, I can see that my Gastroc is raised/flexed sooner (with a smaller DF angle) than on the other leg - which was surgically repaired too short after my ATR #1, causing OTHER problems (on my blog)!
    Alas, this information probably won’t help you regain bulk or strength any sooner, though I still love solving mysteries. In extreme cases of Healing Long, it can be repaired surgically - starting the whole rehab over again, with another cycle of atrophy and rebuilding.

  324. normofthenorthon 04 Jan 2015 at 1:02 pm 324

    John, its much easier to switch PTs than to switch OSs, so if you’re unhappy, think about switching. I haven’t researched shockwave, but my PT used 3 or 4 high-tech gizmos on my healing leg, one of which was an electro-stim gizmo. (Also IR, Laser,… maybe just 3.) PT treatment for ATR is probably even MORE varied than OS treatment, which is semi-random! Most of it doesn’t seem to do any harm (though some does!), and I’ve never seen solid evidence proving benefit, though I haven’t looked much.

  325. Jackon 13 Jan 2015 at 7:32 pm 325

    Hey, how everybody doing. I rupture my right Achilles on the night of 1/12/2015. I’m not going with the surgery because I can’t afford it. My doctor gave me a boot and told me I can walk in the boot. Is that normal to be walking in a boot just 1-2 after rupturing the Achilles. I haven’t taking the chance to walk in the boot. I have it on but I don’t no pressure on it. I get around using my crutches. What’s the best method to do for a non surgical process? I’m worried.

  326. Jackon 13 Jan 2015 at 7:43 pm 326

    Should I ice it and if so how often? How should I position my foot? Keep it elevated?

    Hey, how everybody doing. I rupture my right Achilles on the night of 1/12/2015. I’m not going with the surgery because I can’t afford it. My doctor gave me a boot and told me I can walk in the boot. Is that normal to be walking in a boot just 1-2 after rupturing the Achilles. I haven’t taking the chance to walk in the boot. I have it on but I don’t no pressure on it. I get around using my crutches. What’s the best method to do for a non surgical process? I’m worried.

  327. ericm98on 13 Jan 2015 at 7:49 pm 327

    Hey Jack..I’ve never heard of immediate weight bearing like that. Are you in the US? There should be proper coverage for you to get appropriate medical advice.

    There are protocols here that involve non-surgery but I would strongly advise you to go see a new orthopedic surgeon.

    achillesblog.com/cecilia/protocols/

  328. herewegoagainon 13 Jan 2015 at 7:58 pm 328

    Sorry to hear you are one of us Jack- the good news is that if handled correctly you will be fine without surgery. I am at 20 weeks and have had a great recovery. Take Eric’s advice and check out the 3 protocols on Celicia’s blog, there is lots there that will help. For now you should be not walking or bearing any weight for the first 2 weeks and keeping the foot elevated as much as possible, you should also have the boot/foot pointed to 30degrees (this can be with the help of heel lifts or through the boot’s settings). I would skip the ice and rest as much as possible.
    If you can start your own blog then it will be really easy for the collective wisdom of others to be able to help you out.
    Yes a second OS opinion would be a good idea!

  329. donnaon 13 Jan 2015 at 8:05 pm 329

    Hi Jack…I’m sorry for your injury. If you just ruptured yesterday, according to even the fastest protocols I’ve seen, no one is NWB for at least two weeks. I don’t even recall anyone going directly into the boot, but I could be wrong. Most get a NWB cast for two weeks then a boot with different angles or heel wedge changes over time to stretch the tendon out slowly over time, some get a NWB cast for 8 - 12 weeks but have a new cast with the angle of their foot changed every few weeks…some get a boot after and some go right into two shoes. You can read about the many different protocols (slow vs fast) of others who have gone non-operational, and I’m sure you’ll get good suggestions and information here, however, I wouldn’t take on this injury alone and suggest you find a way to finance a new doctor, an Orthopedic Specialist would be the best. Non-op seems to work out great for lots of ATR. Good call asking for help. Best of luck!

  330. donnaon 13 Jan 2015 at 9:45 pm 330

    Jack in answer to your question I did some research for you, however, I can’t put the link to the web site in this blogs comments without a moderator to approve it, but if you go to my blog (Donna’s AchillesBlog) I posted the article. Based on new data it says that FWB right away is OK, however, there were other protocols that were followed such as “All patients were treated with a walking boot with three 1.5-cm wedges, fixing the ankle in equinus (20 to 30 degrees of plantar flexion) for 8 weeks. Every 2 weeks, one wedge was removed to gradually bring the ankle into a neutral position.”

  331. Jackon 14 Jan 2015 at 7:43 pm 331

    Yes, I live in the U.S. On the night it happened I could move my feet kinda in a walking motion even tho I rupture my achilles. Even now I can move my toes and kinda move my ankle up and down. When I put my leg elevated it kinda hurts in the beginning. (404)956-6517. That’s my number. I’m very lost, worried, and confused.

  332. herewegoagainon 14 Jan 2015 at 8:36 pm 332

    Jack, I would strongly recommend you find another doctor to help you understand the best way to recover without surgery. The outcomes are great if handled properly and should not be costly- you will need to find a doctor who will help you with an accelerated functional rehab. If in doubt print out the protocols on Cecilia’s blog as a reference. It is possible to still move the foot even after a rupture and move the toes. Being proactive and finding professional help as soon as you can is the best way to stop being lost, worried and confused.

  333. donnaon 14 Jan 2015 at 9:03 pm 333

    Jack I can only echo what herewegoagain has said so very well. I would also suggest being proactive in ask a friend, family member, clergy, or even a good neighbor to help you find medical care that you need. It isn’t always easy to ask for help, but you’ve asked us here on this blog for help and this is my personal answer to your call for help. You’ve got this, you can do this.

    As for being able to move your foot or walking, I could walk with a funny limp, I could put weight on it and wiggle my toes etc. I too was given and wore a boot. I was walking around with the boot for 9 days before I chose and had surgery. I’m doing great, now and nothing bad happened because I did that. You’ll do fine, this is not a life threatening injury. You’re OK. Keep wearing the boot, try to stay off your feet and elevate. Elevating does feel weird, more often when you stop elevating, lets say to go to the bathroom ,you may get a rush of blood down your leg and it will tingle…that’s OK.

  334. johnon 15 Jan 2015 at 8:05 am 334

    Hey Jack, sorry to hear about your injury. I guess it depends on the kind of injury…was it a complete rupture or a partial tear?
    My MRI showed a 4cms gap(complete tear) between the 2 tendons. I could still walk, immediately after the rupture(21-10-2014)….although I had to drag my injured foot and even drove myself to the hospital for treatment. I opted for non-op and got a NWB cast for 3 weeks in plantar flexion position and another 2 weeks with the cast in neutral position. I was advised by my ortho to wean myself off the crutches in the 5th week. I did so and could walk without the crutches…did not feel any discomfort. This could be because in the first 3weeks of the injury, I kept my foot elevated throughout the day and even while sleeping at night which helped to get rid of the swelling and edema to a great extent.
    Now I am using an air cast boot and I am pretty much doing normal things although I prefer to wear the boot at all times to avoid risk of re-rupture. I have just started my physical therapy sessions last week.

    I have asked my physical therapist for hydrotherapy. Unfortunately, most of the PT centers do not have hydrotherapy in their protocol. The protocol recommended by the physical therapist is very similar to achillesblog.com/cecilia/protocols/

    Best of luck for your recovery!!

  335. normofthenorthon 15 Jan 2015 at 1:38 pm 335

    Jack, I hope you’re still here. Top-notch ATR treatment can be done cheap or free, if need be, once you’ve got a boot that fits and crutches that fit. PT is nice, but many have recovered fine without. Non-op produces great results IF you follow a modern protocol - schedule - that has been shown to produce great results. Three of them are summarized and linked at AchillesBlog.com/Cecilia/protocols. Let us know if you can’t find them. There are also some YouTube vids from people who’ve followed good non-op protocols, including 1 or 2 athletes who did it on their own!

  336. Jackon 15 Jan 2015 at 3:18 pm 336

    @normofthenorth Can you please send me the youtube links please?

  337. normofthenorthon 16 Jan 2015 at 12:34 pm 337

    @Jack, YouTube has a good search engine, just go for it! One name I remember is Brady Browne, a Canadian pro football player who decided to skip the op - he’d had a lot for other injuries - and posted a lot of videos on his progress. I forget how many weeks into his rehab he was running up walls in trainers, but it’s very inspiring stuff. He had professional help, but I remember another guy who did it all himself. NOT for the faint of heart, obviously - and a careful study might show that the results aren’t consistently good, but he did fine.

  338. rowdyon 16 Jan 2015 at 11:29 pm 338

    don’t have time to see how this all works right now. have a quick question only .do I need to wear the boot all the time . can’t i take it off if am chilin at home? any help is help.

  339. rowdyon 16 Jan 2015 at 11:33 pm 339

    oh should say i did this skateboarding doing jump off board. showin off. my bad bad.

    clinic said i’d be in this boot for 2 wks . dont walk in it, keep it up on pillows. do use crutches . So if im not walking in the dang thing and keeping my foot up, why wear the boot?

    and how do you use crutches. they seem really hard to use. this is new. i will read more here when i can see strait.

    taking pain killers.

    hurts like a bitch.

  340. rowdyon 16 Jan 2015 at 11:36 pm 340

    sorry my typing looks dorky . but i think ya’ll get me right?

    oh said i could walk in boot after two weeks . maybe if it does good.

    what does does good mean? how they know it’s good?

    help is help. thanks peeps.

  341. Jameson 18 Jan 2015 at 10:02 pm 341

    Hi all,

    I ruptured my AT Nov 20th and had surgery Nov 25th. Surgery went well but I did end up with a DVT clot in my calf. I had never had surgery or even a broken bone. The clot spread to my lungs as a pulmonary embolism which is life threatening. Turns out I have a genetic blood disorder Factor V Leidenwhich is common for those of Irish or Northern European dissent. I’m half Irish and half Scandinavian lucky me. All good now as I am on blood thinners to break down the clots but want to warn people if you feel any pain in your calf let your Doc know immediately. If I had pt him know earlier I may have avoided the two night in the hospital with the clots. Lastly I hope to get back to golf soon and wondering how soon anyone was to get back on the course and play for real? Good luck everyone!

  342. Laetitiaon 19 Jan 2015 at 6:34 pm 342

    Hi everybody.
    I’m 32 year old and thought that I still had it playing basketball after 8 years of not playing. Ruptured my left AT on Jan 11. Went to ER same day and had an appointment with Orthopedist the next day. Offered me surgery as the best option which I accepted. Got my surgery on Jan 16 which went well. Got a splint. Nerve block started to wear off by the next day; that’s when I started to feel the pain. Today, 3 days after surgery, I had my follow up appointment so they can check the stitches (or should I say staples… Pretty impressive). Next appointment is in 10 days to remove stitches and to be put in a boot. Doctor said I will be able to ditch the crutches in about 2 weeks. The orthopedic clinic I’m going to is specialized in sports medecine and is taking care of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves so I believe they know what they are doing. Let’s see…

  343. ericm98on 19 Jan 2015 at 6:41 pm 343

    Sounds a lot like me (age and basketball after a long layoff). Welcome to the club :)

    I took my pain meds religiously for the first 5-6 days post surgery and then weened off in a day or two after. Are they not working well for you at this point?

  344. Christineon 19 Jan 2015 at 9:52 pm 344

    I had surgery Dec 3 2014 Achilles repair removal of bone spur. I was told today 1/19/15 I can walk in my boot. I was walking around my home and the pain in my heal is horrible. Anyone have this experience? It’s the bottom of my foot the heel that touches the floor (in the boot of course). I have followed doctors orders throughout but this does not seems right.

  345. Nikkion 20 Jan 2015 at 3:43 pm 345

    Hi
    I had surgery 2/12/14 achillies repair (removal of keloid scar causing restricted movement) and bony spur removed. I had heel pain when I started walking, but am 8 days into walking, it’s still a bit sore when I apply pressure after it’s been rested but much better…. Physio tomorrow.

  346. Praveenon 21 Jan 2015 at 4:45 pm 346

    Hi All,

    I just did my achilles last Sunday and I am seeing my surgeon today. I have an operation scheduled for Tuesday. I haven’t really experienced much pain to date, but the post-op pain and recovery sounds a bit daunting

  347. Laetitiaon 21 Jan 2015 at 6:07 pm 347

    Hi Praveen,

    The post-op pain is stronger than pre-op but it lasts only a few days. Make sure you take your prescription and that you elevate your leg. Everything will be fine. Stay strong.

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  349. Tonyon 29 Jan 2015 at 5:33 am 349

    Hi Had complete rupture of TA 27/12/14. Im 49yrs. Heavily twisted my left ankle holidaying in Havana Cuba 2 weeks earlier. Surgeon believes I may have weakened it prior to the accident on 27th. Had surgery 9 days later. A little over 3 weeks post surgery now. Was surprised how little pain I was in post surgery after reading other comments. I didn’t need any pain relief following the surgery. Had a few aches and pains in the obvious areas but nothing to serious. Hardest thing was trying to sleep with the cast on post surgery. Now in the ski boot set at 20 degrees. A little more mobile but still NWB. I was a little paranoid and worried that the surgery hadn’t worked until I seen the surgeon this past week. He reassured me all was well. Had my 1st physio early this week. Given some stretching exercises to do. See her again in 2 weeks. Set my self a target of playing golf again Early May. Hope i’m not being to optimistic!!

  350. Laetitiaon 29 Jan 2015 at 8:31 pm 350

    Hey y’all,

    Today I had my 2 week post-op visit. Doctor removed my staples and put me in the air cast boot with 2 wedges in it. Next appointment is in 2 weeks to remove the first wedge. He told me no WB this coming week, then by end of following week I should be able to ditch the crutches. I’m starting PT in 1 week.
    Biggest challenge will be to sleep with the boot wrapped in a plastic bag (don’t want to bring the outside germs in my bed). To be continued…

  351. beachy12on 29 Jan 2015 at 9:12 pm 351

    Laetitia, I used an old pillowcase and put my boot in that while sleeping. Might be a little more comfortable instead of a bag.

  352. Laetitiaon 30 Jan 2015 at 10:21 pm 352

    Thanks beachy12, good idea.

  353. Laetitiaon 07 Feb 2015 at 11:38 am 353

    Hey there! I’m starting week 4 today. I had my first PT yesterday and worked on all sorts of flexibility exercises that I need to do 3 times a day everyday. I had no pain but my tendon feels very stiff which is normal. I’m PWB with the help of both crutches. Planning to ditch one crutch by end of next week.

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  355. Jackon 08 Feb 2015 at 8:59 am 355

    Tomorrow going to make it 4 weeks since I tore my Achilles. I didn’t have the surgery, I went the natural route. I was wondering how should it should when I touch it. What can I be able to do?

  356. ericm98on 08 Feb 2015 at 10:51 am 356

    It would depend on the nature and location of your tear. When is your next Dr follow up? I would ask her/him how it should feel or better yet don’t worry about it if they say it’s ok (self diagnosing and googling can be hazardous to your sanity)

    It depends on the protocol, if you’re in the more aggressive non op protocol you can find the guide here

    achillesblog.com/cecilia/protocols/

    That’s probably another question for your Dr though. He should have given you some idea of what to be and not to be doing in between appointments, or the PT if he referred you to one.

    Did you get another doctor based on everyone’s prior recommendations or read the links provided earlier regarding the protocols available?

  357. Laetitiaon 11 Feb 2015 at 11:21 am 357

    week 4: PT is going well. Im going twice a week. im walking with one crutch even though i can walk a few steps crutchless. Tomorrow i will have one wedge removed. I can feel my ankle getting more flexible. still not going past neutral. sounds promising….

  358. siegeon 11 Feb 2015 at 2:03 pm 358

    I go in today for my first Dr. visit since the surgery (11days) first thing in the morning I have some soreness in my calf but all and all that’s about it. Hopefully, I’m in a boot this afternnon

  359. ericm98on 11 Feb 2015 at 5:59 pm 359

    Good news Laetitia! Congrats on the wedge removal.

    Hope you got into a boot siege..ask about that calf soreness to rule out anything serious like dvt or a clot.

  360. Angelaon 12 Feb 2015 at 8:31 pm 360

    I had my surgery 9/2/14 a bone spur right under my Achilles so he had to detach than re-attach the tendon. Was in a hard cast for 2 weeks used crutches, not a good idea for me, hurt my rotator cuff leaning on those crutches. Put in a walking boot after 2 weeks and out of that within a month. He gave me inserts for my athletic shoes and warned me not to walk barefoot. He said I was doing extremely well with PT. Its now Feb and I moved from Fla to Calif in Dec. Did a lot of lifting, etc. I’m normally an every day walker but of course with this injury walking has been a problem. I am walking a few times a week a mile or so and try not to walk the hills that are all around me. My ankle still swells a lot and gives me terrible pain. Just feel as if its not doing very well. I’m not the type to stay in bed for a week but I guess the next step is to see a podiatrist. Anyone else 6 months out of surgery and not where u should be?

  361. donnaon 13 Feb 2015 at 8:50 am 361

    Angela you can go to the search box in the top right corner and put in 6 months and you’ll get blogs that are titled 6 months and can read them. You are exactly where you should be. How do I know? That’s where you are. Start where you are, it can only get better! Lots of luck.

  362. Laetitiaon 14 Feb 2015 at 4:57 pm 362

    Went to Zumba this morning. Of course I couldn’t do much but just the simple facts of doing some arms and core movements made me feel I was doing something. What a great feeling to go back (light) exercising! Life is not over when you’re in the boot

  363. petesfoon 18 Feb 2015 at 9:21 am 363

    Hi,Ruptured my at 3 days ago. The surgeon wants to use the Anthrex Pars system for surgery. It is only a inch incision. Has anyone tried this method?

  364. donnaon 18 Feb 2015 at 9:30 am 364

    petesfo just write anthrex pars in the search box in the top right and you will get any blog that mentions it! Best of luck. Consider signing up for a blog and joining us!

  365. atrbuffon 18 Feb 2015 at 11:08 am 365

    Petesfo

    Maybe a radical thought - has there been any discussion on the use of an early mobility non-surgical option?

    Buffy

  366. DJon 18 Feb 2015 at 2:20 pm 366

    I’m 31 extremely active ….So I raptured my achilles on the 2nd day of 2015(what a way to start a year right) I was on fastbreak about to go up for a dunk heard a pop and I just didnt elevate, because i felt no pain I thought right away my air bubble on my shoes had popped yeah no not the case obviously …. I didnt go to the doctor until 1/9/15 because i was never in pain i just couldnt walk without a limp and my ankle was extremely stiff but NO PAIN. My ortho schedule me for surgery 1/12 i was reluctant to have surgery but after speaking to other orthos at the practice that dayi proceeded with the surgery… i was placed in a splint 2 weeks post op….went back and staples was removed…The doctor placed me in a hard cast which I thought was odd based on all the blogs i was reading… he stated this is the safest way and since this is where the green bay packers are treated i figured he must be right…. Now reading this blog and seeing not many people were placed in a cast im starting to wonder….Can anyone shed light on why this dude put me in a cast? I just feel like my calf is getting smaller and smaller as im wearing this cast and I cant see that being a benefit at all. Any feedback greatly appreciated!!

  367. nico76on 18 Feb 2015 at 2:39 pm 367

    Dj, have a look at my story achillesblog.com/nico76 no boot story, 8 weeks in a cast, avid sports guy. I am 18 weeks now and feeling just great. Let me know, nicolas

  368. Wendyon 18 Feb 2015 at 5:48 pm 368

    Hi Laetitia I was reading your story and thought it was interesting because I ruptured mine on 1/11 and had surgery 1/16 also. I was playing soccer and ruptured my right leg. I am 35 years old. I am in a boot now and have my last wedge out. I use one crutch on occasion and try to be FWB in my house. I found that the bottom of my heel bone is totally aching today due to walking more each day. Good luck with your recovery!

    Wendy

  369. Duketherodon 24 Feb 2015 at 5:23 pm 369

    Hi there. I ruptured my RIght ATon super-bowl sunday. Decided to have surgery since it appears it is the best option for my age, 41, and athletic. Doctor seems very agressive. Never put me on cast but a boot with a couple of wedges on it. Went for my post op a week later and he is already asking me to move ankle and move feet up and down. He also is encouraging weight bearing. My concern is i was not put on a cast and I was free to remove the boot. Is there a cause of concerned since I was not completely immovilized??? He gave a time frame of 42 days for the boot to come off. Can i sleep without boot now? Any help is greatly appreciated it.

  370. donnaon 24 Feb 2015 at 6:04 pm 370

    Duketherod…you said: “My concern is i was not put on a cast and I was free to remove the boot. Is there a cause of concerned since I was not completely immovilized???” I have never heard of using a boot instead of a cast or splint immediately after surgery or of being able to remove the boot before two weeks. I have never heard of being able to bear weight before two weeks.

    I have heard of weight bearing as tolerated after two weeks. I have heard of getting a boot at two weeks. I have heard of sleeping without the boot at two/three weeks. Best of luck to you.

  371. DJon 25 Feb 2015 at 1:36 pm 371

    nico76- thanks for the helpful tips very helpful blog!! Good luck with your rehab as you continue…. I was placed in a walking boot on friday 6 weeks post op…surprisly i was able to bear weight right away and my Ortho said to ween off crutches if i can walk with no pain well the crutches lasted about 4 hours.. I cant walk far by any means but i can walk around for 30 mins or so without any discomfort or pain. Started PT on monday 2/23 which i wont lie was kinda a waste you can do all the rehab on your own. Only good take away was my theparist was cute and the ankle massage was great right before icing but I can massage myself and I have tons of ice packs at home…lol … Good luck everyone this injury sucks

  372. Jackon 03 Mar 2015 at 9:22 am 372

    Went to my doctor this morning and he cleared me to walk again. 7 weeks after tearing my Achilles with no surgery. He said it wasn’t a major tear and order me to start rehab. But I can’t go to physical therapy for like 2 weeks because I’m going to be out of town. Do anybody know anything I can do while waiting during these 2 weeks?

  373. donnaon 03 Mar 2015 at 9:46 am 373

    Have you tried walking? If so, how is it?

  374. Jackon 04 Mar 2015 at 6:47 am 374

    It was real strange. My doctor asked me how it feels and I told explained to him. He said that’s because I haven’t walked in 7 weeks to practice walking with my crutches.

  375. donnaon 04 Mar 2015 at 10:05 am 375

    You can look up Range of Motion (ROM) exercises in google and google image. You can do them a few times a day as well as what your doctor said, start weight bearing as tolerated. Those should both get you going until you can see a PT. Best of luck JACK!

  376. laetitiaon 04 Mar 2015 at 12:26 pm 376

    hey Wendy. just seeing your post now. we are ATR twins :). How are you recovering?

  377. Anonymouson 04 Mar 2015 at 2:14 pm 377

    5 weeks post op and my Dr. wants to keep me in boot WB for 3 more weeks before I start PT. I have some scar tissue that I’ve developed and tried massaging out. Any suggestions?

  378. Jackon 04 Mar 2015 at 10:08 pm 378

    @Donna

    He told I can put full weight on it.

  379. donnaon 04 Mar 2015 at 10:44 pm 379

    JACK…As always take what is helpful and leave the rest…I’m assuming you are talking about being in two shoes not a boot? A boot is helpful to rest the tendon if it’s sore from newly walking or to protect it when you are in risky situations. I was in and out of the boot AS NEEDED weeks 7/8 through week around week 13.

    Yes Jack…you can put weight on the repair as by walking in two shoes as tolerated, if you can’t take full weight use the crutches or a cane. Try some gentle ROM exercises to wake it up until you can get to PT. AVOID excessive LIMPING…excessive limping will only become a bad habit you will have to correct later, the longer you do it, the harder to correct. Avoid walking in pain. If in pain or limping excessively go back to partial weight bearing or non weight bearing and try again later. Hope that helps. Also, be very careful…the tendon is not fully healed at 7 weeks and it seems to me people re-rupture due to accident or to doing “risky” high impact moves way too early. I highly recommend PT, I think you can recover without it, but I personally wouldn’t do without it. Hope that helps.

  380. Jackon 04 Mar 2015 at 11:24 pm 380

    @Donna

    THANKS! When I 1st started walking it was real sore and I put the boot back on and walk with the crutches while having the boot on. It’s still sore but not as sore as it was when I 1st started walking. I wrap it with a bandage wrap and it really helps. I have light walking but not aggressive walking.

  381. dudelingeron 10 Mar 2015 at 1:24 am 381

    Hello. I ruptured my achilles 1/25/2015 and due to extended doctor appointments and delayed MRI, my surgery was a month later on 2/24/2015 (2 weeks ago). I self diagnosed my achilles a week after it happened and ordered my VacoCast on my own being tired of waiting on Doctors with poor Diagnosis. Luckily the surgeon put it on during my surgery and woke up with it on. When first weight bearing, is everybody focusing on putting the weight on their heel or arch or balls of their feet? I assuming after two weeks I should start trying somewhat with this highly regarded walking boot, but don’t know where to start placing the weight safely. Thanks!

  382. donnaon 10 Mar 2015 at 9:40 am 382

    dudelinger…I can only share my experience. I had surgery and a cast for 3 weeks then to a boot (not a vacro) mine had removable heel wedges and 3 heel wedges were placed inside that were specifically to keep my weight on the HEEL. I was clearly told that my foot (ball and toes) were to hang over the heel with no weight to give the tendon more time to heal and as to not stretch it too soon as I’d only be stretching the repair site.

    Over time, one a week if I remember correctly, I had to remove a heel wedge to get my weight from the heel to the whole foot at neutral, which looks like you are standing flat footed or your ankle - foot angle is 90 degrees which is neutral.

    Hope that helps.

  383. donnaon 10 Mar 2015 at 9:46 am 383

    ALSO dudelinger…at 3 weeks in a cast I was NWB…I was told at week 3 when I went into the boot that by week 6 I should be FWB…I was told to FWB as tolerated which meant I could be FWB at any time between 3 and 6 weeks. In two days I was FWB in the boot because I could be (everyone is different and it’s just a common to be NWB for a few more weeks). I removed a heel wedge each week so that by week 6 my foot was neutral in the boot or flat footed and walking normally in the boot.

  384. dudelingeron 10 Mar 2015 at 6:40 pm 384

    Thanks for the reply donna, i just got back from doctor and he removed the stitches. My incisions are actually 2 small horizontal ones, (one about an inch from bottom of heel and one about 3 inches higher up where the tear was), because it was done semi-orthoscopically. He said that i can start to put some weight on it in the boot and gradually progress as long as nothing feels overkill and to come back in 2 weeks (month post op) to start therapy. Thanks for the tip on focusing the pressure on the heel! I realize you are just stating your personal experience but I was assuming that was the way to gay considering it keeps pressure off the tendon. Thanks again.

  385. dudelingeron 10 Mar 2015 at 6:42 pm 385

    *the way to GO considering*

  386. donnaon 10 Mar 2015 at 7:02 pm 386

    Good news Dudelinger…

  387. BritInSpainon 13 Mar 2015 at 11:04 am 387

    Hey all. I ruptured my right Achilles tendon playing football (soccer) indoors on 27th feb. had the operation on 5th March.
    Have been reading a bunch of sites with info but decided to finally post on one.
    First thing to say to anyone going into this is that the surgery is really not so bad. I haven’t been under the knife for about 17 years and I was very apprehensive. I was given the choice to have an epidural rather than full general. Was nervous about being awake at first but still prefer it to being put to sleep. To be honest the lack of feeling coupled with the pre med drugs meant I basically took a long nap anyway and woke up when they were done!
    Have been in a cast for over 1 week now and I have my appointment to check on progress in a few days. Worst part was the pain 2-3 days post op. I couldn’t get to sleep it was so bad and I didn’t want to take super powerful drugs.
    Very little pain now but my angle ligaments feel sore from being held in a downward angle for so long. also occasionally get unpleasant tingling coldness and heat in my toes/top of my foot. I attribute this to the tightness of the cast and the general healing that’s going on down there. Am so desperate to get this cast off!!
    Anyway no idea how long till I can walk but hope to find out at my appointment on Tuesday.

  388. Bettyon 13 Apr 2015 at 2:02 pm 388

    Hi,
    Ruptured mine down at ankle 3/13 no surgery. Cast non weight bearing for 3 weeks. Boot now. Last week 50% weight bearing w crutches. This week first lift taken out of boot and 75% weight bearing w crutches. I find it easier w one crutch not as bulky. PT not happy about it… Anyone else just use the one crutch at this point? Thanks… This stinks

  389. donnaon 14 Apr 2015 at 11:28 am 389

    Hi Betty…it’s easier to get responses if you start your own blog…directions are on the main page. I think you’ll get as many using one crutch as using two, as using none…it varies and I believe is a personal thing. I didn’t use any…just went FWB a few days in boot week 3…see? very individual.

  390. Ethanon 15 Apr 2015 at 6:42 am 390

    Hi everyone,

    I’m 4 weeks from surgery and can walk slowly around the house with a limp, even stairs a bit, but wear the walking boot most of the time. Feel like I am progressing fast as ankle doesn’t hurt, swelling is getting better, but it’s my right foot and I am anxious to start driving (just locally, short distances!)….My next appt is in two weeks which would be 6 weeks from surgery (2 weeks splint, 4 weeks boot, gradually adding weight). Is driving seemingly OK sometime soon? Feel like I could do it now, but really hoping to get the OK on this.

    Thanks so much for this resource!

  391. donnaon 15 Apr 2015 at 8:07 am 391

    Ethan, in my point of view walking with a limp at 4 weeks even in the house is probably a few weeks too early, especially stairs. It is possible to elongate the tendon by dorsiflexing it too much this soon, there is a reason that no protocols take you out of boot for 6 weeks. Also the chance of an accident and re-rupture is very high at 4 weeks.

    You are a ways off from driving. Only your OS or PT can give you the OK to drive, you must have the ROM and strength for an emergency stop. From these blogs I’ve ascertained that most people go back to driving at around 8 weeks. To drive sooner in my opinion is irresponsible, even if it’s around town or short distances. Can you imagine the insurance nightmare you’d be in if you were in an accident? Especially if you hurt someone because your reflexes were not up to par?

  392. Ethanon 15 Apr 2015 at 8:34 am 392

    Appreciate the point of view. Interestingly my OS originally told me I’d be able to drive in 4-6 weeks if I recovered normally and has extensive experience in this area. I’m going to defer to his guidance at our next appointment and per your note, be more conservative at home. I’m still very encouraged how I feel at 4 weeks and my range of motion, decreased swelling, etc. and was thinking that at 6 weeks driving would be conservative. Everyone is different so I’ll just defer to the doc and if I have to wait longer, so be it.

  393. donnaon 15 Apr 2015 at 8:51 am 393

    Great Ethan…one thing you’ll find in this site is tons of conflicting OS protocols/practices…where some Docs OK driving earlier and others not until much later…I think it wise to let our actual abilities dictate when we drive…and if you and your OS think you are ready sooner as opposed to later that would be wonderful for you. As for decreased swelling, the way this works from my own experience and pretty much most blog reports is that swelling increases over time with activity. For example I had almost NO swelling the first two months nor any real pain, I didn’t need to ice, not until I started standing PT movements at around 8 weeks…that was when I purchased good ice pack icing systems…swelling continued weeks 8 - around 16 with a gradual falling off at 22 weeks now. My point being that swelling is not a good indicator of “I”m OK now”. Good ROM is as is increased calf strength over time, glad to hear yours is so good at 4 weeks…however diff. degrees of swelling and types of pain/stiffness seem to increase over time. As you get more active, hopefully, you will be in the minimum range on that as you seem to be progressing so well.

  394. Ethanon 15 Apr 2015 at 9:13 am 394

    Thanks for the feedback, in general so far, so good, knowing there is still a long road ahead. The information here is very good at helping to set reasonable expectations. I’m going to temper my own but my current short term goal is to walk and drive again (slowly/carefully!) at the appropriate time. Also per your note with summer being on the horizon, I assume the heat factor could play into swelling in the weeks ahead.

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  396. bettyon 22 Apr 2015 at 10:38 am 396

    Is there something else to sleep with besides boot at night? 5+ weeks post rupture non surgical.

  397. donnaon 22 Apr 2015 at 4:18 pm 397

    betty…Sleeping with the boot as a protocol is very individual doc by doc. Mine didn’t require it. I never slept in my boot once I got it at week 3. I slept with a good ace bandage around my ankle for support, that worked well for me. I believe there are things you can buy online. If you go to google images and type in sleeping achilles tendon support you’ll see a variety of products that might be more comfortable than the boot. Maybe others will help out here if they found something that works for them.

  398. bettyon 23 Apr 2015 at 8:59 am 398

    Donna, just worried if I get up in the night…with out boot. Found a turbo brace that looks really sturdy my try it. Did you shower w boot on? Going on beach vacation soon for 2 weeks. Any suggestions? I read how so many people are in 2 shoes by week 6… I have started back at gym(i crossfit) doing lots of core and upper body stuff. Also, pedaling an air bike. Went from 5-6 days a week of gym to zero was really getting to me. Being careful but I need more than ankle flexing and leg lifts in PT.

  399. donnaon 23 Apr 2015 at 9:50 am 399

    betty…when I was still NWB and sleeping without the boot I had a walker at my bedside and left a night light on to maneuver to the bathroom during the night. I did not shower with the boot, mine was not waterproof…I used a shower chair until 8 weeks when I could stand with a degree of safety. Even if you are in two shoes by your 2 week vacation you will NOT be walking normally at all…it will be slow and awkward at first and you must be very careful as re rupture rates are highest weeks 6 - 12, you will NOT be able to walk barefoot as the fleshy pad on your heels needs to come back over time…it will actually hurt a bit to walk barefoot at first, you will not have a good stretch in your achilles nor do you want to force one but let it come on naturally from gentle slow walking or sitting ROM exercises, you will not have much calf muscle to power the walk and other small muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle will overcompensate to do the work the calf/achilles can’t and you will fatigue easily…this all occurs when you first get into two shoes…LindaF and Beachy can tell you how to best use a beach as Linda was in Fl early on and beachy lives there… check out their blogs and write them. I don’t think there is any problem doing upper body as you heal. As for needing more in PT you can’t rush this rehab…the tendon goes through healing phases and until you reach each phase you can’t really build much calf muscle without risking rerupture. Each phase of PT has specific exercises to do. For example you can’t really start doing calf drops or raises until after week 12 because your tendon isn’t healed enough. See?

  400. Ganeshon 24 Apr 2015 at 12:59 am 400

    Ganesh: I done surgery on my LTA on 05/4/15 i.e 3 weeks ago. im still in hard cast. Im a police officer & i am expected to join my department as soon as possible bt my doctor says still 3 more weeks I have to remain in cast or plaster as my AT rupture is one of those worst ruptures. I really want kind advice from all friend around the world to have rapid recovery i.e about exercises in this time & condition, about the applied method of my doc. or anything else.;

  401. donnaon 24 Apr 2015 at 7:10 am 401

    Ganesh the best way to communicate with this community is to start your own blog. These are the instructions from the main page:

    To create a new blog, please create a user account first. And then, please send me an e-mail (achillesblog@gmail.com) from the e-mail address that you registered with, and I’ll create a blog for you. Please tell me what your username is, and mention briefly how your injury was caused. (The amount of spam blogs that gets created on the site is becoming unmanageable, so I’ve decided to restrict creation of blogs to just me.) I check the site frequently and check AchillesBlog e-mails from my phone, so it’ll won’t take long for you to get your blog up and running. :)

  402. Scotton 04 May 2015 at 9:21 pm 402

    Had left Achilles rupture surgery today. After reading many of the comments here I feel very energized on a speedy recovery.
    I am a very active 48 year old male that plays golf every chance I can…. Hope to be on the links in 8 weeks! Thanks to all of you!

  403. Ganeshon 05 May 2015 at 2:01 am 403

    I ruptured my left AT on 02/04/15 & done surgery on 05/4/15. I am still in hard cast. My doctor will remove caste on 16/5/15 & will give me 1″ high heel slipper or shoe. Is my OS doing my treatment in proper way? What kind of exercises should I do at this time and how many days is needed to be fit after removing caste? Really I desperately need help, so somebody help me.

  404. Kristianon 05 May 2015 at 5:45 am 404

    Hi Ganesh. A lot of doctors seem to have very different protocols. 6 weeks in a cast post surgery seems like a long time to me but I’m sure lots of people will have done this. You can have a look at my protocol on my blog to see what I am doing at each stage. If you are concerned regarding your treatment read up lots on protocols and speak to your OS and/or PT.

  405. bromboneson 05 May 2015 at 5:54 am 405

    Scott, best of luck to a fellow traveller. I’m ten weeks post surgery and would only suggest to focus on a determined recovery rather than a speedy one. I’ve had just about everything go right so far and am hoping to be able to hit balls at the 18 week timeframe. At ten weeks, I’m just now walking more confidently, etc. walking up an incline is a challenge and I can’t even quantify the risk of entering/exiting a proper bunker at this point. Putting and chipping lightly is as far as I’ll push it at this point.

    I’ve figured that my play will be so poor in the fall when I do start playing again that my handicap will balloon up and I’ll be a great member guest partner next year!

  406. Stephenon 17 May 2015 at 9:42 am 406

    Hi. I am 47 years old and have ruptured my Achilles. a&e in the Uk were fantastic and plastered me up to the thigh. I have an appointment with Orthopaedic Trauma this Wednesday so will see how bad it is and whether they opt for operation or natural healing. I did this playing football and usual scenario of cracking sound, falling over thinking I had been I kicked from behind. Feelings right now are frustration of immobility and relying on my wife and kids to do things for me. 1st night of spelling with foot up was spoilt by massive calf cramps. I will keep posting to share my progress. This site has been really useful so th ask for all the prior posts.

  407. Stephenon 19 May 2015 at 5:35 pm 407

    Had an appointment at Cheltenham Fracture Clinic on Monday, 2 days after the incident. The registrar was good and physical examination confirmed rupture and estimated a 1 cm gap, although due to swelling was not certain of the exact gap. I asked for a scan and this was agreed and will happen this coming Friday with an appointment at the Foot and Ankle clinic next Tuesday. In the meantime, my full leg cast from A&E was taken off and a lower leg Aircast boot has been fitted with 5 wedges to keep my foot angled down. 1st night of sleep with the boot was painful as I think the boot was fitted too tight, so I will loosen tonight, but still keep it raised. I feeling more positive. Friends from Church are praying for me also, so we will see what happens…..more updates to come.

  408. Shannonon 24 May 2015 at 9:38 pm 408

    Ruptured my Achilles on the 24th of April playing rugby league, had the operation on the 25th. My surgeon said I actually started pulling the AT off the bone before it ruptured, so he needed to anchor it back on my foot properly. Was in a cast for 10 days and now in a boot. All I wanna do is walk so I can put the kids to bed and go back to playing golf. Still not off my crutches yet but have taken all wedges out of my boot. Seeing my Dr. next Wednesday and hopefully I can start putting some weight on it. All roads lead to me playing golf at some stage in the next 3 months, but will have to see as just last week my incision has developed an infection for which I am taking antibiotics…I am at my wits end!

  409. Gary Wellson 24 May 2015 at 10:54 pm 409

    Keep your head up. I know its hard as I have had a hard time with this as well. My goal is to be playing golf by my bday in august!

  410. Stephenon 26 May 2015 at 9:05 am 410

    So, 10 days post injury and saw consultant this morning. He said MRI scan showed no additional damage that UltraSound scan wasn’t sure about. Confirmed it was s full tear/ rupture and gap was about 1cm. We agreed to go conservative (non operation) route as he said at 47 and little intention of doing explosive sport it should heal well for my activity level. He mentioned the risk on infection and risk of operation was not necessary. He took 2 wedges out if the boot and now I am down to 3 wedges. He said to start putting weight on the foot while standing. Have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. I am feeling positive. Just spoken to my mate Andy who re-ruptured after 14 weeks and has now had surgery last Friday- so we will see who recovers the best. Just hoping I can go on my golf tour to Spain in October.

  411. Luison 15 Jun 2015 at 8:52 am 411

    Hi Everyone,
    I ruptured my Achilles tendon 9 weeks ago playing basketball. I had surgery 8 weeks ago, so basically one week after the injury. I started physical therapy almost a month after the injury. Therapy is going great I’m just taking my time with it. The best advice my doctor gave me was to be patient and do not over do it. He mentioned that I will have the rest of my life to put weight on my leg and use my Achilles. Also, that these first few weeks after surgery were very crucial because letting the Achilles heal properly will be very important in the future. In conclusion, know yourself, know your body and do not be in rush to get back to physical activity because it can hurt you in the long run.

  412. Alon 18 Jun 2015 at 7:45 am 412

    I had my left ATR on June 2/15 and surgery June 8/15. 2 days post op, stopped all pain meds. Started feeling really good and decided to walk around the house with splint cast on and managed no problem. Went to OS for follow up June 18/15 and was told NWB at all. Put into air cast with wedges and told to keep it on 24/7. Very awkward trying to get around without crutches considering angle and boot thickness. Sleeping is awful with Frankenstein boot! 50 years old, very active, tore AT on other leg 9 years previous and was long rehab. Hoping this time will be much quicker. Surprised to read how some people have PT so early. My doc insists on no foot movement for 3 more weeks. May have to go against orders and start minimal exercises at home as long as I feel good and no pain. Good luck to all!

  413. Nigelon 24 Jun 2015 at 2:18 am 413

    On the 18th of June, whilst sprinting, I felt a snapping noise in my lower left leg which caused me to fall to the ground. After 24 hours of trying to convince myself that it was a calf tear, I finally went to A&E and had it confirmed by Ultrasound that I had fully ruptured my left Achilles’ tendon! Not really the news you want to hear!!

    With my foot pointing down the tear was 1cm which is apparently quite typical for this injury. I was recommended surgery and had the operation on the 23rd of June. The speed of the surgery was very impressive - I was getting prepped for the operation at 10am and it was all completed just after 11am!

    I had the percutaneous procedure which involves making 3 incisions along the Achilles, stitching the broken Achilles at the top and bottom incision and then pulling the two ends of the Achilles together at the centre incision. As this was all done under local anaesthetic so I was out of hospital before lunch time! The pain has been very low since the operation so have not had to take any pain relief (yet!!).

    I now have two weeks in a plaster cast and then move into a boot so will keep you updated!

  414. Alexon 09 Jul 2015 at 4:36 pm 414

    Hi all I had surgery 6/1 n was put on a spleen a week after surgery then he placed me on the boot by my 3rd week I went to my first pt didn’t do nothing big just some ankle movement I had my second docs visit on June 30th he said to put a little weight in it as much weight as I can handle he said not to baby it am at week 5 n afraid to put any weight on it do u guys recommend to try n put weight in my Achilles? U have therapy tomorrow but I am anxious to start walking little by little help plz!!!!

  415. Maureenon 14 Jul 2015 at 1:50 pm 415

    Hi…I had surgery on 6/10. In a walking boot by the 6th day. By the end of the 2nd week, I was doing PT with the boot on. I have been walking without the boot for about a week now. I ventured out of the boot, it was so uncomfortable, my heel was killing me in it. I bring it with me in case I might be walking in a not-so-controlled area. I feel lucky…my doctor and physical therapist are the best, cautiously supporting my determination to walk. Their regiment has gotten me to progress faster than a lot of the posts that I have read. I am walking with just a small limp, but I know with more PT, I will regain the strength in my calf muscle to walk normally once again. I am starting to feel whole again. Try to get into a rehab program as soon as possible…this will help, not only physically, but mentally!

  416. Anonymouson 17 Jul 2015 at 8:03 pm 416

    I had my complete tear in the ocean on 5-23-15. Surgery on 6-1-15. Fiberglass cast NWB for 6 weeks. Got in boot on 14 th. Started PT on 7-15. ROM exercises only. Boot for 6 weeks-says orthopedic! PT doesn’t seem to have active protocol. Getting around on boot with one crutch-boot kills heel. Compression sick kills everything else. Told rehab 9-12 months. Dying here.

  417. Sylviason 18 Jul 2015 at 8:27 am 417

    hi been reading through the blogs and would like to ask a few questions firstly let me tell you about my story about a year ago i injured my foot and cracked my cocyx in an accident then six months ago I fractured my finger (hang on it gets worse) 6 weeks ago I broke my left foot and was put in a moonboot for said brake the pressure on my back,hips and other leg was horrendous finally came out of the moonboot was dancing at a mod/ska festival and bam went down like a ton of bricks I thought I had been kicked or sledgehammered on the back of my leg by one the skinheads behind me but low and behold I was taking to the ambulance men who told me it was muscle damage this went on for three days (it was a camping festival) i limped i danced and i was back and forth to the ambulanceman who said go see your gp when u go home.went to a&e on the monday of my return nearly went back home as it was a six hour wait but held out was not expecting the outcome a comlete rupture I have been in plaster for two weeks and put into aircast which made me have my second hissy fit my first being put into solitary confinement,I ordered the poor plaster guy to take it off as it didn’t fit felt like I was squeezing my foot into one of the plastic kids Rollerblades but after I calmed down i perceveered,the first night was awful and I consider myself to have a high pain threshold I had to pop pills to help me sleep but next day I felt fine but heres the thing I’ve not been told anything other than don’t take the boot off only to cleanse so my questions might sound a bit silly but I’ve read people are taking their boot off to shower/bath so are u standing on two feet when getting in/out of bath i tried the bath got one leg in then didn’t know how to put my other foot down got stuck and was left standing like a flamingo (and did I mention my other foot is back in splints for the break which is still not fully healed)had to shout for my 13 year old daughter to come help me out who was not impressed also anyone know of anything to do for the burning my foot my foot my foot is on fire and should I be walking about normally now or still elevating I’ve been bolting out the door at a snail pace since I got this boot on going for walks sure that’s what’s burning the rubber on the boot and one more thing anyone needed the loo more since rupturing there A.T cos I think mines literally taking the pee,rest I can’t sit for 5 mins without needing to go I’m never bloody off my feet and if anyones wondering the song I was dancing too when my A.T snapped ONE STEP BEYOND !!!!!

  418. Beccaon 26 Jul 2015 at 3:48 pm 418

    Hi.

    I’d just like to share my story as its a little different from a sporting injury and I’ve been told I’m very young to experience an AT rupture (I’m 19) so I figure there may be some more experienced people on here to help.

    I went on holiday 7th July this year to Crete and in a club somebody went to throw a glass on the floor but it smashed against the back of my ankle and a piece of glass got stuck into my sandal. I was none the wiser it had impacted me and stepped back and as you can imagine the glass cut through my AT. I couldn’t walk so went to the medical centre. They cut into it assess the damage and it’s 70% damaged. They referred me to the hospital and I had surgery on it the next day. I had a cast put on and crutches given.

    Since returning home, I visited A&E where they booked me into the fracture clinic. Since this visit, they removed the outside stitches and put me into a boot and have referred me to physio.

    However most people I have read about have been able to remove this whilst sleeping yet I have been told not to??

    Also I have been told I will need this for 6 weeks but it could take up to 12 weeks to be able to fully weight bear. I have heard many timescales but none that seem to match up to mine.

    If someone with a bit more knowledge on these injuries could help me assess whether this timescale is realistic or what I can expect from physio that would be super helpful.

    Thank you!!

  419. oscilloton 26 Jul 2015 at 4:00 pm 419

    That timeframe sounds right, Becca. I was eager to start rehabbing at week 6, but my OS and I wanted my surgical wound to heal entirely, so I didn’t bear weight or start PT until week 8.

    Others on here start bearing weight and doing light ROM exercises much earlier. It’s a balancing act between regaining some semblance of normalcy, while hopefully minimizing your chance of re-rupture. Something like 85% of re-ruptures happen in the first 12 weeks, and as far as I know, there is no long-term benefit to going faster, so being patient was the right choice for me.

    Happy healing!

  420. oscilloton 26 Jul 2015 at 4:26 pm 420

    (Correction - I wanted to start at week 4, but got the green light at week 6.)

  421. Beccaon 31 Jul 2015 at 2:13 pm 421

    Thank you for your super quick and very helpful response :)x

  422. Michaelon 03 Aug 2015 at 3:55 am 422

    Hey guys, I ruptured my achilles last Wednesday (29th July) night playing rugby. I thought i’d been kicked from behind until I realised what really happened! Anyway i’m in a cast and will see a specialist this Wednesday. Can any golfers out there tell me how soon they got back on the course and also, how about travel? I’m hoping to travel from New Zealand, where I live, to Sydney in 8 weeks time to watch the Rugby League Grand Final. 3 hours flight. Will i be sweet to travel and wander around?

  423. cpoon 03 Aug 2015 at 12:59 pm 423

    Sorry to hear re your injury. It sounds like you are non-operative, so that will likely factor into your timeline. I can only speak to the surgical option, and I wasn’t very mobile at 8 weeks. I was 6 weeks in a cast, and 6 weeks in a plastic boot. I totally get that goals are important, though, and there are a lot of factors in terms of what it means to be mobile. I used a knee scooter and it worked out really well, was faster than walking in a plastic boot. I also used an “even-up” once I went FWB.

    I’m sure others who went the non-op route will chime in. Good luck!!

  424. Stuarton 03 Aug 2015 at 1:34 pm 424

    Michael - Have you bought the tickets yet? If not then maybe consider if it is worth the trip particularly since you will be in a very busy place. There is a chance you will be back in 2 shoes by then but your tendon will be fragile for a bit longer. Putting yourself at risk of a slip or fall (maybe even a push and shove) and a re-rupture will be your decision entirely. If you are walking around by then (which is very possible) you will be plagued with swelling and you will get sore and tired if you do too much. It is of course only the NRL final and not a real game. If it were something important then maybe I would think differently. Like Oz vs NZ in the Rugby world cup final. In saying all this (and joking of course) you could wear a walking boot the whole time and maybe take a cane with you. The cane is another visual thing for people around you and can also be used to gently persuade those intent on pushing you over to get out of your personal space. You will still have some swelling and soreness but your tendon will be protected better.

  425. LindaFon 03 Aug 2015 at 6:12 pm 425

    Michael- I had surgery and had to fly 3 weeks post op. Had to keep my foot elevated and was NWB. I was in a cast and trip was a bit challenging. I also flew again at about the 7 week mark to St. Martin in the boot. That was a little easier. I agree with others- it isn’t so much the flight, but what you will be doing once you get there. I am also a golfer and got back to playing at about 17 weeks. Actually just played today and everything feels great. I am about 5 months post op and all is well.

  426. Beccaon 05 Aug 2015 at 4:00 pm 426

    Hi Michael :)

    I was operated on whilst away in Greece and was deemed fit to fly home three days after - four hour flight - so the flight itself shouldn’t be much of an issue. I did have to inject myself for four days before the flight to prevent deep vein thrombosis but other than that I was fine. Was fortunate enough to get assistance at the airport and switched with a very kind man so had the extra leg room seats.

    The main concern would be when you’ve arrived at your destination I suppose. Maybe if you speak to your GP or doctor and ask them if they think it would be suitable??

  427. Michaelon 06 Aug 2015 at 2:24 am 427

    thanks guys that’s really great advice all round. I have had to give my All Blacks v Australia tickets to my father in law for next Saturday, I just need to focus on elevating my leg and not getting too carried away!

    I’m in a fiberglass cast now, 1 week after rupture with 5 more weeks in a cast prescribed. It’s a little uncomfortable every time I’m not elevating it ( bathroom breaks, sitting in a car, shower etc) is that normal? It was very swollen when the initial cast was removed and the specialist advised more a proper elevation.

  428. Ed Favorson 06 Aug 2015 at 5:05 pm 428

    Sup guys 30 year old football player I rupture my Achilles in a game had surgery on Friday tomorrow I’ll be a week out. I didn’t have a cast on after surgery I just a boot with crutches. The doctor said I can put half weight on my bad foot im also walking up and down the stairs with the crutch and boot. I had my second therapy session since surgery. My first doctor visit is Monday the 10th do I get mh do I get my stitches out then or do I have to wait?

  429. Stuarton 07 Aug 2015 at 2:56 am 429

    Michael - bummer about the tickets. That one would be hard to give up. They are touting Oz to win over here. We’ll see. I think they will choke under pressure. Hopefully not as bad as the cricket. I am sitting in hospital right now recovering from heart sugery and go home tomorrow but we don’t have TV at home so I will miss the game. Regarding your pain, this is quite normal and usually subsides in the first couple of weeks. From what you have described it is when you put your leg down and you get a pain the the calf area. Don’t worry. It is a good reminder to put your leg up and rest.
    Ed Favors - may be a bit early to take the stitches out but you never know. Much depends on how the wound is healing.

  430. Michaelon 07 Aug 2015 at 4:14 am 430

    thanks Stuart that’s sound reasoning and advice!

    I stayed up to watch that cricket last night, dear I say it, could it be all over in 2 days? Anyway I think Clarke needs to make way for a fresh start possibly Smith?

    I’ve noticed that as soon as I take my foot down from being elevated the fiberglass cast gets tight around my foot, almost like my foot is swelling. My toes go a little numb and change colour slightly but as soon as I elevate it again that all disappears.

  431. Stuarton 08 Aug 2015 at 2:42 pm 431

    Michael - keep an eye on the toes as you have been. What you are doing is good but it could be worth a mention to the doc when go next. It could be a good case for a boot as well. Still have not confirmed if you had surgery or not. If not then you would be better served looking into the modern non-op protocols which get you weight bearing early in a boot. The first couple of weeks is more about rest and elevation anyway. Sorry about the loss last night and thanks for letting us have one Bledisloe every now and then. Good lead up to the world cup. I should try and get TV before then.

  432. Michaelon 10 Aug 2015 at 1:37 pm 432

    Stuart - get a TV the world cup will be awesome, mind you, it will be on in the middle of the night live.

    Non-op for me. 4 more weeks in a cast (6 total) and 4 in a boot with the last two weight bearing. Not sure if its realistic but I’d love to be back on the golf course by Christmas.

  433. Stuarton 10 Aug 2015 at 4:13 pm 433

    Michael - golf by Christmas is very doable. With a non-op protocol the best results do come from early weight bearing and movement. Yours is a bit slower than the optimum. Weight bearing can start as tolerated around 3 or 4 weeks in the modern protocols. This seems to produce better strength results with a lower re-rupture risk. It is not to say you will have a bad result going the way you are but the re-rupture risk is higher for longer. It seems your time in a cast and boot is about the same.

  434. Edon 10 Aug 2015 at 6:55 pm 434

    10 days after surgery got my staples removed today and my doctor told me I can take my boot off twice a day and move my foot around for half hour. I do put half my weight on the foot it doesn’t give me much pain. Not to mention he took my staples out 7 days early

  435. peteon 19 Aug 2015 at 7:27 am 435

    It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I tore my right achilles (playing touch football). I was wearing new cleats that didn’t fit right, and I pushed off hard and “pop”. I take the natural approach with all things, and here, no different. No ice, no cast/boot, no immobilization, just slight elevation at night that I will probably stop doing now that the swelling is almost gone. Aspirin for pain, but that too is coming to an end. I am chronicling my rehab and recovery on my youtube video channel (Google “61 Custom Rebuild”). I still plan to play semi-pro football beginning November, at age 54. At this point I am beginning exercises to restore push-off strength, which remains very marginal, as I am not close to being able to get up on the right toes. Today I will be in a drum of water to see what I can do. I am planning the fastest recovery ever.

  436. Stuarton 19 Aug 2015 at 7:32 pm 436

    Pete - I understand this was a partial rupture. To what extent? Partial tendon ruptures have a tendancy to go full at some stage. Not sure why but that is the evidence. Asprin or other anti-inflams actually slow the healing process for tendons and should be avoided. I am sure you are a pretty fit guy but if you end up rupturing completely later on you may need more intervention than you are currently employing. Surgery is not always necessary though so you can rehab naturally but with a little help. Hope it works for you this time round.

  437. breezon 20 Aug 2015 at 2:41 am 437

    27 year old here. It has been 5.5 weeks since my complete achilles rupture. I was playing basketball. I felt the pop and went straight down. Got back up and finished the game. Next day I went to the ER and was given a splint. Hours later went to the OS and they gave me another cast (with my foot bent down slightly) for 2 weeks. Went back to OS and then put into cam walker book with heel lifts for 3 weeks. Just two days ago, I upgraded to FWB as tolerated and still using can walker boot.

    Doctor says he feels no gap but my only concern is that my injured leg still has no response to the Thompsons test. There is slight swelling on back of tendon about 3 inches up from my heel. And recently a little pain in my heel when walking.

    Does anyone have experience with a full rupture? And how long did it take for your thomspon test to reveal movement? I’m worried that if I wait too long it could be too late for surgery. I Dont know if I am healing correctly either. Thanks!

  438. Stuarton 20 Aug 2015 at 2:41 pm 438

    Breez - Firstly it seems your doc is not concerned and that is a good thing. Secondly there is no gap so that is a big plus and thridly I would not be overly concerned about the Thompson test as it does not always work this early. You may have to wake the muscles up which will happen naturally as you begin walking. At your stage of healing it would not hurt to do some ROM exercises without the boot. Your leg needs to be fully supported at all times. A recliner is good for this or you can lay on the floor and put your lower leg on the cushion of couch. In this position you can write the alphabet. Although there are other muscles that will give your foot some movement the majority is done with the calf muscles via the achilles in particular pointing up and down. If you can do this then your tendon should be functioning. These exercises start around the 3 week mark for those on the modern protocols and you only use your muscles, not a towel or rubber band to get the movement. They will also assist you to wake up other parts around the foot and get you ready for shoes. If you have real concerns then you should always speak to your doctor but I understand in this case you have probably missed the opportunity at the appointment and felt a quick response from a blog site might put your mind at rest. Relax. If there is a problem then you have not missed any opportunity for surgery. That can be done any time but I suggest you do some searching on this site for non-op protocols. Early weight bearing and movement are the key to a better outcome for non-ops. You seem to be close to the mark with WBing. Start with Normofthenorth for detailed info. Hillie is also very good. Most of these guys are not around now but you can read their pages and send a message to them if you need to.

  439. oscilloton 20 Aug 2015 at 4:38 pm 439

    @Breez - You may want to pursue a second opinion. I’m no professional, but am not sure if one can have a negative Thompson test with an attached tendon. If your body hasn’t reconnected the tendon with scar tissue after 5.5 weeks, you probably need a surgical repair.

  440. breezon 20 Aug 2015 at 5:08 pm 440

    @Stuart - thank you for the words. It is amazing …I did about 30 minutes of exercise before reading these comments and it feels like I woke up some of my leg muscles. It feels like I retrained my leg for a bit.

    I feel good about not being concerned about the Thompson test, but now I can feel that the calf is awake. I did 3 sets of 15 reps dorsiflexion but not raising foot past neutral.

    I’ll give everyone an update in 1 week or 2 as the boot is supposed to come off for good.

    Thank you all.

  441. breezon 20 Aug 2015 at 5:10 pm 441

    @oscillot - I’ll be sure to look at the other posts recommended above by Stuart, so I can do more research on other non-op status.

    Thanks!

  442. cpoon 20 Aug 2015 at 9:13 pm 442

    @breez, I had a positive Thompson test (positive being bad!) early on after a scare, done by a non-medical professional…and it was a totally misleading result. Swelling can cause that, as can improperly administering the test (apparently Medical School and PT school helps :-)). I’d not be too alarmed about that, IMO, but would of course be interested in what the OS and PT have to say about Thompson test results.

    Hang in there, and good luck!

  443. AJon 21 Aug 2015 at 4:05 am 443

    Hey Hey,

    Almost reaching the 6 week mark non op. Up to neutral not a problem and even a little bit past neutral, but I will only focus on the 10% past neutral from week 6 onwards. Fully weight bearing and walking a fair amount every day. I can see the calve activates (obviously still like a babys calve, but at least progress).

    Using a combination of VACOPED Accelerated Achilles Rehabilitation Programme and UWO.

    I am quite happy with the progress at this stage. Aiming for the 12 week mark now, and then the 16 week mark.

    I only stopper training for the first 2 weeks. Fully active in the upper body….but desperate for a surf!

    Have an awesome day!
    AJ (South Africa)

  444. mrsnoochon 21 Aug 2015 at 7:08 am 444

    An MRI will confirm whether or not there is a rupture.

  445. Rick Blackmonon 24 Aug 2015 at 3:01 pm 445

    I’m 29 years of Age, 6″1, and about 180 pounds. I stay pretty in shape and have been active for the majority part of my life. Anyways, I ruptured my left Achilles on July 29th playing basketball. It was very strange because all I did was plant my left foot when attempting to dribble and then when I tried to kick off, I felt someone had tripped me. Looked behind me and no one was there, lol. I surgery on August August 4th and was put in a splint wrapped in a ace bandage until that Friday a cast was put on me. I had the cast on for 17 days and i’m in my walking cast with two wedges inserted so I don’t stretch it but I can still put weight on it. When I had the cast on, I was able to move my toes and sort of move my leg inside the cast. Sometimes I was able to just walk on my toes but only if I needed to for balance. The doctor says in 4 weeks I have another check up and that’s when we will begin PT. Is there anything I can do in the meantime before then? Any certain juices I can drink or exercises I can do without being to vigorous on my tendon?

  446. honeybadgeron 24 Aug 2015 at 3:27 pm 446

    @ Rick Blackmon, considering that you will be 3 weeks post op tomorrow, I’ll make a few suggestions. I started physical therapy at 3 weeks post-op. You can try the following light exercises:

    Ankle pumps - this is to help your range of motion
    Alphabet - write the entire alphabet with your ankle
    Leg lifts - strap on very light ankle weights and lift in all 4 directions
    Calf activation - just focus on twitching the calf muscle

    Let me know if you have any questions. It does get better, just have patience. At 2 and a half weeks post-op I was back in the gym doing upper body lifting. This has helped me out a lot so far in my recovery IMO.

  447. oscilloton 27 Aug 2015 at 4:56 pm 447

    Rick, I injured mine exactly the same way as you (and Kobe). I would get your surgeon’s permission before exercising the Achilles in any way, as every case is unique, and you don’t want to risk a re-rupture. Having said that, it would be good to keep your upper body (pushups, dumbbells) and core strong, and Shelly Prosko from this board posted some good seated yoga videos on YouTube while rehabbing her ATR.

    As for nutrition, I’ve been eating fruits (for Vit C), jello (collagen), bromelain, fish oil, and cissus supplements, and believe in their effectiveness in that order.

    Hope this helps, and happy healing!

  448. Valerieon 04 Sep 2015 at 7:44 pm 448

    I am no athlete, just a 52 year old woman who had never even sprained an ankle when I missed a step while caring for a relative out-of-state. I thought I had a high ankle sprain, and ordered a boot from Amazon and flew home the next week. No surgery- Ten days after the injury I saw my Orthodo Doc who put me in back cast slab for 3 weeks, then Bledsoe boot. I hated the boot and ordered a Vacocast and started weight bearing at 4 weeks, dropped the crutches at 5 weeks, have the degrees set 10-30 with the Achilles sole. I made up my own program from reading posts here and started PT last week. I have tried the smaller sole and just cannot get the feel of it, even at 5 degrees. They both make my hip hurt. I can walk a little in shoes, so can’t wait for that transition. Does anyone else have trouble with the smaller Vaco sole? I only get about two minutes walking time before the hip pain forces me to sit.

  449. oscilloton 05 Sep 2015 at 5:13 am 449

    Heck yeah, Valerie. I didn’t bother with the flat sole until at 0 degs, and it put so much strain on my Achilles that I decided to ditch the boot entirely after a couple days.

  450. Valerieon 05 Sep 2015 at 2:16 pm 450

    Oscillot,
    Good to hear that. Yes, it definitely put too much strain on my Achilles. I can even walk in regular shoes carefully, not going past zero in the house for a short amount of time. But, the smaller sole just feels wrong. I am 7 weeks today since injury, 5 1/2 since first cast. I have to fly on Thursday and was hoping the smaller sole, would improve my walking, but it’s just not to be. In a couple of weeks I’ll be to zero, and just keep working on regular shoe walking.

  451. Alexon 12 Sep 2015 at 9:09 am 451

    Hi I had surgery 3 months ago n now am walking with the boot n walk around the house without my boot I walk with a limp now and it doesn’t hurt the only part the hurts is the too of my foot I feel like it burns the doctor prescribed me some neurotin to take to see if the helps it my question to u guys is doesn’t any one fekt the pain after their surgery! And if so what did u guys take to help it? Also I wanna get my heel inserts but don’t know the size I need my doctor said leave the boot if I don’t have any pain on my Achilles and can now use my shoes but with some inserts it will help a lot of someone can give me some advice thanks

  452. [...] A Quick Achilles Rupture Recovery » 2 Months … – I too am very pleased with my recovery. I am 8 weeks post op and now am into two shoes. Limpy sure, but my ortho said I will not re-rupture unless something really … [...]

  453. osakaboyon 27 Sep 2015 at 2:47 pm 453

    Hi

    Tore achilles 90% on Sept 16th playing basketball with co-workers in China. Had x-ray and MRI done in China flew home to Canada 3 days later to see another doctor and do rehab at home since it’s quite long. Had ultrasound done at local hospital on the 20th and was put in an AirCast and told that I could walk with tolerable weight bearing right away. First few days just been elevating foot in bed with maybe 5 minutes of getting outside for sunshine air and moving my legs with virtually no weight bearing. I have noticed yesterday and today that when I stand on my good leg just to use crutches or get circulation going the right side of my achilles hurts a fair amount. It wasn’t doing that the first few days. I’m wondering if it’s because it’s going through a slight inflammation stage? At first I thought it was the weight of my AirCast pulling down on my achilles when I stood up but it hurts even without the AirCast. In bed my foot is fine. Maybe I shouldn’t be trying ANY standing even though the doc said I can do tolerable weight being? If I drag my foot so the AirCast toe is dragging on the ground my foot doesn’t hurt because it’s not hanging. Any sort of position where my foot is in a hanging position doesn’t feel nice. Interestingly I can sit on the bed and let my foot hand over the side while resting it on the ground and it doesn’t hurt.

    What do you make of this? Is the first 2 weeks totally crucial to not move the foot even if it’s not a complete tear? Its 90%.

  454. osakaboyon 27 Sep 2015 at 2:55 pm 454

    I was wondering if the AirCast hardness was causing the pain? Always having your leg elevated and its resting on the achilles area. Thing is I always tilt to the side so it’s not resting on the achilles most of the time. I ordered the VacoCast and it will arrive tomorrow. I’m hoping it changes things for the better. I have been reading another blog here everyone has nothing but complaints about the AirCast. Maybe I just need to wait another week for some more healing? But why would it not hurt the first few days then all the sudden even without the boot standing position hurts? Is that normal? Did your achilles hurt when you stood without a boot even?

  455. osakaboyon 27 Sep 2015 at 5:20 pm 455

    Ok Wow. I seem to have found the problem. Even though it’s only been 11 days since the injury I believe I have been too sedentary and elevating my leg too much. I’ve been in bed keeping it elevated most of the time thinking I have to baby this thing 100% and I think that’s what the problem was. I sat at the side of the bed and my foot hurt in and out of the Aircast. I stayed there for a few minutes in pain and sure enough the pain went away and I went outside with almost no weight bearing and crutched around in the sun. My leg warmed up and blood got going and it felt pretty good. So now I’ back on the couch but keeping my leg hanging down with a little WB since It’s resting on the floor.

    This resting business can be very dangerous I think. There’s a fine balance.

  456. Gerryon 04 Oct 2015 at 1:45 pm 456

    Hi. I’m 4 days post op for Haglunds. Had the heel spur on the right Calcanus removed and some debridement done to remove the very inflamed area.
    I had been in a lot of pain for 3 months and unable to play tennis, walk any real distance or do much lower body workout in the gym. Prior to that time I had nuggling heel pain but was able to carry on until I must have overdone it with a couple of tennis matches one weekend.
    So I have got a plaster cast on, but not completely fixed in that it is open a bit at the front to allow for inflammation I guess.
    I have not had much pain post operatively. Did have a nerve block injection during the op that lasted about 36-48 hours. Took some cocodamol and ibuprofen but come off that now. Non weight bearing and managing on the crutches although I am very limited in what I can do of course. Still keeping leg elevated most of the time. It is sore when I try to pull my toes upwards or try to put some weight down on it.
    Am having the cast off 12 days post op when I return to see OS again. Nit sure what will be happening then. Perhaps the air cast boot that I had anyway for trying to manage the situation without surgical intervention but didn’t work really.

    I am 57, female and very fit and active. Hating that I cannot do any activity at present but will start some upper body weights tomorrow. I was going to the gym and doing what I could every day before the op!
    I will update progress in a little while.
    I found this blog really interesting and useful.

  457. Billon 08 Oct 2015 at 11:02 am 457

    I can’t believe some of the horror stories listed here. I also had a VERY QUICK RECOVERY. So here’s my story: I injured my left Achilles on September 3, 2015, saw the doctor on the September 4, 2015 and had a complete tear. Surgery was completed on September 11, 2015 and I was placed in a hard cast. Started physical on September 13th at home just doing leg raises, set-ups, and push-ups. The cast was removed on September 23, 2015 and I was placed into an air boot and started going to the gym for light workouts. Meet with the PT guy on September 24, 2015 and will see them once a week for six-weeks. So right after surgery I made sure that my foot was placed higher than my heart for the first four-days to keep the swelling down. When I was placed into the hard cast I would wiggle my toes and still tried at all times to keep my foot higher than my heart in order to keep the swelling down. I was walking with about 25% WB in the cast only around my house at about the five days with the hard cast. By the time I got into the boot I was walking without crutches!!! And that was just under two-weeks after surgery. It is now October 7, 2015 getting close to four-weeks after surgery and I am walking around the house without my boot with no pain and I continue to do my PT routine DAILY without pain. My first PT appointment (9/24/15) I had 2 degrees dorsiflexion and on the second appointment (9/39/15) I had 11 degrees dorsiflexion and on October 8, 2015 I had my third PT appointment and I was at 19 degrees dorsiflexion. I am a 58-year male healthy and work as a Fire Chief. So people tell me I am lucky. I don’t think its luck, I think it’s having a positive attitude, keeping your foot evaluated, iced, and working hard on PT. So my PT guy was watching me walk without my boot today (10/8/2015) and he said he’d like me to stay in the boot for another two-weeks. I told him I’d like to try walking without it now, but would be very careful while walking outside, he didn’t have a problem with that but said the protocol was to continue wearing the boot and he didn’t want the doctor coming back to him. My next doctor appointment is schedule for November 2, 2015. So I am walking without the boot and started playing golf again today (10/8/2015) and felt good (thank goodness I am right handed). So the bottom-line is to listen to what your own body is telling you, basically if you have pain at any time stop! Be careful not to take risks while walking inside or outside and watch where you’re going. Small baby steps, it worked for me.

  458. Stuarton 08 Oct 2015 at 1:02 pm 458

    Bill - I hope things go well for you in the long term but I have serious doubts. I am not sure how much you understand about this injury or tendon healing but I can tell you it has not healed yet and it cannot be treated like a muscle tear. Your tendon has not even started the remodelling phase so most of the collagen you are relying on is type III which is weak and disorganised. The first indication you will get of a re-rupture will be the pop so listening to your body will not help a great deal. Pushing your dorsi flexion this early will also put you at risk of healing long which will mean your push off strength is reduced forever without another surgery. Probably too late to fix that now anyway. Some surgical techniques do reduce that risk and provide a strong join until the collagen takes over but a 5mm gap is a clinical failure. Where has this extra dorsi flexion come from? You will not know the answer to that for some time. Early weight bearing and movement does produce better early results which is more about quality of life and yes walking without crutches when you did is not uncommon. Going into 2 shoes at 4 weeks is a bit early but your body, your call. You were warned by the PT and your doc and not that it counts for much, me as well. You may get through this without drama but for the many people who visit this site searching for some miracle cure it would be remiss of me not to add a word of caution. I do hope your journey is trouble free and please keep posting or start your own page so we can see your long term progress. All the best.

  459. Billon 08 Oct 2015 at 3:21 pm 459

    Stuart, I fully understand the risks. Maybe I should have explain a couple of more details. Like you I read as much as I could about early WB and protocols for PT. First my PT guy is the one who told me to do flexion exercises both plantar and dorsiflexion during the first week in the boot with just my foot, second week was with bands, and now this week toe raises on a flat surface. Now his biggest worry was if I fell on a uneven surface without the boot or had a twist without the boot. So that’s why I am very careful, plus I am wearing an ankle brace that was purchased to help remind me of my injury and yes it’s not the same as a full boot. But again I have no pain, the 19-stamples healed up nicely. I also had a screw that the tendon was attached to and in part help lengthen the tendon according to my doctor (in his words shorter route). Not sure if that’s newer medicine or not. But it’s working for me. And thank you for hoping the best for me. I also warn that anyone who is dealing with this type of injury that the results can be different for EVERYONE. But I wanted people to know that some people heal quicker than others and who knows why.

  460. Stuarton 08 Oct 2015 at 7:10 pm 460

    Bill - I understand more of your circumstance but in fact for this injury the time frames are more to do with doctors protocols than the body’s ability to heal. Personally I would not have been using a theraband so early but it may be OK for you. If a new technique is being used then it is difficult to compare unless we have the full details. As long as you understand you are still in the danger zone for re-rupture and take care then all could turn out fine for you. I do hope you will not heal long and again I would ask you start your own page so we can follow your progress more closely.

  461. Jimon 09 Oct 2015 at 7:39 am 461

    Interesting Bill. I had surgery on 9/11 too - but have been NWB for four weeks - two splint/two cast. I get the cast removed today and go into a boot. I’m curious to see what restrictions are lifted, but was told I could snowboard in December. At this point, I’m still not sure - but have done quite a bit of elevation, leg raises, and light work-outs (but all core and upper body). I’m also in my 50s so it’s good to hear you made progress so quickly

  462. Will Mon 16 Oct 2015 at 12:44 am 462

    I completely ruptured my left achilles tendon playing basketball on May 27th 2015. Me being boneheaded and all, I wasn’t even going to go to the hospital that night! But I finally decided to go ( this was about like 11:30 at night ). I couldn’t drive my car to the hospital (stick shift) so I called a cab to bring me there. The cab driver drops me off at this random entrance and bolts so I ended up having to walk 10 mins to get to the emergency entrance (due to my condition it took me way longer than it normally would). So finally I get seen by a doctor at 8:00am who diagnoses the rupture and puts me in a half cast wrapped with a bandage. So because I decided to go non-op, they give me an appointment for two days later and put me in a full cast with my foot pointing down. Every two weeks I went back to the hospital and they would change my cast while adjusting the angle of my foot. On July 16th, roughly 7 weeks after the injury, I was out of the cast and no walking boot or nothing. The major issue I had was not being able to drive my car because my calf muscle and tendon were still too weak due to immobilization. After a week I was able to drive with minor discomfort and started PT. Now I’m at the point where I can do a single leg calf raise but can only go up half way (without holding anything). As of the end of November I’ll be cleared to return to work (construction worker) without any limitations (avoiding ladders, not lifting over 50lbs, …..) I’m hoping I’ll feel connfortable enough to hit the rinks this winter, only time will tell…!

  463. Seth Rollinson 16 Oct 2015 at 5:15 am 463

    Hi, 22 years old; Playing football, sharply turned and heard a pop. Thought I had been kicked from behind but when looked to my amazement no one there. Surprisingly wasn’t in a great amount of pain. Went to stand up and zero success as you can imagine, left heel was what I can only describe as a slinky. 29/9
    Went straight to A&E where was told Achilles Tendon Rupture, but in his words ‘it could be 80%, could be 30%, it’s hard to say’, at this point I had movement in my foot, rotating my ankle, something I wasn’t able to do last week. Having recently graduated from university I was due to start a new job on the Monday, I feared the worse but this was delayed till the Thursday after I saw a consultant. I am using crutches to the office. Placed in cast at an angle, returned to see a consultant 1 week later, she confirmed the Rupture and now have leg in a Vacoped Boot. In terms of the treatment she advised me Conservative would be better with the implications that come with surgery, however from everything I read… with me playing a lot of sport I am unsure this was the right option? I am due to see consultant in 4 weeks time with a Physio appointment days before, an appointment I was told would be 2 weeks prior.
    Quite in the dark by quite a lot of things and reading this discussion forum I thought would be the best place to find some answers and suggestions for a speedy recovery; When taken out of the cast last week, foot went into a spasm, moving forward and back for minutes, is this normal? Also what can I expect in terms of a recovery time? And if so is there anything that can be recommended to ‘speed up’ the process? At this point my last concern is running or re-joining sporting exercise, I have come to realisation that will not be happening anytime in the near future however I would love to walk again soon.

  464. atrbuffon 16 Oct 2015 at 11:01 am 464

    WillM, you really drew the short straw didn’t you? Unfortunately you didn’t know that at the time so you were subjected to the old slow methods with very late mobilization. Don’t worry though you will get there!

    For anyone who is now at an early stage, Seth here has it much closer to the modern faster protocols practised today in some locations - although even Seth is getting a little frustrated with a lack of information.

    My atr was 2 years ago and I can recommend, among many others, the information posted by normofthenorth, hillie, suddsy, et al. Use the Google search box on Achillesblog home page to find their posts, maybe even start your own blog within the blog - easy to do, tells you how on the same home page.

    Good luck guys

    Buffy

  465. adamjames1980on 16 Oct 2015 at 7:16 pm 465

    Seth,
    So are you leaning on trying to eventually have surgery or have you accepted just letting it heal? Have they told you if surgery is still an option?

  466. IanDon 18 Oct 2015 at 6:05 am 466

    Hey Seth,

    I’m currently in my 6month of recovery from a total rupture. I went the conservative approach. I read up on the whole surgery vs non-op debate and the overall gist I got was that if you go non-op with early functional rehab supervised by a physio (that is familiar with a 12 week progressive protocol) that there are similar outcomes for surgical and non-surgical. Theres a few newspaper articles and studies on this. Personally I would only go surgery if it were a last resort.

    The other factor that made it decisive for me was that my tendon break was up near the junction of the tendon and the calf so surgery was not an option. But my physio said that this can still work on distill breaks too. (where tendon comes off the heel)

    The main thing either way is to get physio involved early. As long as you get movement involved it will help with blood flow , joint condition and healing. So you’re at a good stage to get this happening.

    After 2 weeks in the cast I went and bought a vacoped boot and was very happy with the choice. It was comfortable and the 5 degree increments made it a smoother transition each week to introduce each angle change. Being able to take the boot off and massage and do physio was great , something you cannot do in a cast. And the range of motion (ROM) was excellent when I got to 8-12 weeks to allow some controlled movement while protecting my achilles. You have been lucky getting put into this straight away. You can swim in the boot too which is a bonus.

    I also got an iwalk. It was a godsend after having a spill on crutches in my second week. Crutches suck and the iwalk means you can get around make food for yourself , go for walks outside and still engage the muscular train for the leg with the walking motion. Highly recommend it plus you look like robocop. With an iwalk I pretty much went back to work after only one week off.

    Recovery wise , in a nutshell you are looking at 3 months (12 week protocol) to get out of the boot. By 6 months walking and building calf strength. (be patient this is slow) By 9 possibly limited sport. 12 months to be safe before any comp sport. depends on how you go with physio. Theres plenty of things you do at the gym for upper body. I was even hitting a bag with my vacoped on and iwalk. Swiss ball is great for doing workouts where you can do push ups , leg raises etc. With crutches the gym is painful.

    Diet wise. Drink lots of water as the body will detox a fair bit while initial recovery occurs. Practitioner level Vitamin C , zinc, collagen powder (great lakes) and silicon. These will all help with the reconnective tissue repair.

    Hope that helps
    Ian

  467. Stuarton 18 Oct 2015 at 12:29 pm 467

    IanD - just a quick point of clarification. What you have said about non-op treatment is correct and also about high ruptures but if the tendon comes away from the bone then it will not reattach itself and surgery is the only option for a functional outcome. The most common rupture point is mid tendon and non surgical methods as you have described do give excellent results if the tendon ends can be approximated with plantar flexion. If the tendon has retracted too far and will not touch with plantar flexion then surgery is the best option for a good functional outcome.

  468. IanDon 18 Oct 2015 at 10:50 pm 468

    Thanks for clarification Stuart. Yes that makes total sense. Cheers Ian

  469. Seth Rollinson 29 Oct 2015 at 10:37 am 469

    First of all thanks for the guidance Ian, it helped and reassured in many ways!

    Just an update and some good news, attended my first physio appointment today, 4 weeks and 2 days after the initial incident.
    After looking at the foot and having a general ‘feel’, he confirmed the rupture had heeled and it was now time to begin strengthening, giving me exercises to do 3 times a day and to begin fully weight bearing on it. First with crutches for guidance but as soon as feel comfortable to ditch the crutches.
    I will see the physio every other week at this point altering the angle of the boot which currently remains at 30 degrees.
    The only issue I have is that the scheduled time from this point (4 weeks after rupture) to remove the boot would be over the next 6 weeks;
    2 weeks - angle altered to 15.
    4 weeks - angle altered to 0.
    6 weeks – boot off.
    However I have read most people suggest quicker alterations to the boot to improve strengthening the tendon, any recommendations or guidance on this would be much appreciated!

  470. Ronaon 16 Nov 2015 at 9:41 pm 470

    I am almost five weeks post surgery. I was in a splint for two weeks and a boot now for three. My first week and a half in the boot was not bad. I was moving it a bit and walking with minimal weight. My last week and a half have been brutal. It is swollen and whenever I put my foot down I almost immediately need to elevate it. My doctor says its from the stretching I had done and this is completely normal. Has anyone else had this happen where they started out ok and then it got worse whenever their foot was down? Also, when does the pain from the foot being down end. It’s unbearable for me and I need to elevate immediately. Any advice is appreciated.

  471. Julianon 03 Dec 2015 at 9:18 am 471

    Early weight bearing and mobilisation is the key. This is made so much easier and recovery very fast if you use a VacoPed boot. I tried a number of splints and boots and this one is both comfortable and allows and courages you to get moving fast. You get just as good results with this without surgery as with.

  472. Frankieon 07 Dec 2015 at 3:00 pm 472

    I tore my achilles competley and is 4 days post surgury. I am 27 and very athletic and bummed because basketball league starts in early March. My main goal now is to recover fully and come back stronger than ever before. Sooner the better but realize this is going to be a long process.

  473. aribon 07 Dec 2015 at 3:56 pm 473

    hang in there ..i’m 48 and blew my achilles playing basketball also . Made a move to the basket and pop. I am almost 4 weeks post surgery. after reading all the posts you have to take it day by day week by week. that’s the attitude to come back stronger. i have had pain in my foot and have just tried to elevate it and not take anti inflammatory meds ie: advil as that reduces healing. stay strong

  474. Peteon 07 Dec 2015 at 5:52 pm 474

    What I’ve learned is to ignore all the numbers. Just proceed by feel. When it feels good, do it; when it doesn’t, don’t. Don’t let a physical therapist drive you; go at your own speed. Worst thing is a rerupture. Yes, it’s a long recovery, and yes, you CAN come back stronger from it. I will, and so can you.

  475. travison 23 Dec 2015 at 4:15 pm 475

    Im just about 5 weeks removed from surgery and I’ve already full weight bearing in a boot without crutches. Im tired of wearing this boot, I just want to walk with out boot again, just reading some of these are helping me out alot

  476. Chrison 29 Dec 2015 at 1:31 am 476

    4 weeks post op.Full rupture.Cast 2 weeks.Walking boot on crutches for a week and a half.FWB at 4 weeks with a limp.Slight swelling.Wear padded shoes for heal support(heal sore with limp).Very active.Listen to body,you can push it much farther ahead of schedule.

  477. amadon 01 Jan 2016 at 4:57 am 477

    Hey guys, thank you all for your time and encouragement. I am 4 weeks post op and just started a few exercises rom and very little weight bearing. Was on a spkint woth toes down for 2 weeks and then went straight to a book with 90 degrees. After some exercise and very minimal weight bearing I feel a little stiffness on my Achilles right around the torn part and right behind my ankle, is that normal?
    Also I was about buy the vocast boot but I am hoping to go full weight bearing by the next couple of weeks. My next dr appointment is on the 19 of January 2016 and I am hoping to start pt right after that.
    Thank you all again and best wishes to everyone

  478. Leonon 08 Feb 2016 at 3:33 pm 478

    Hello, All.

    I’m 44 and I completely tore my left Achilles the day after Thanksgiving. I’d done the same to my right 5 years before that. Both times I was playing basketball at the same facility. I had surgery on 12/9. Wore cast for 3 weeks, got stiches removed, and was in cast another 2 weeks. I’m in a walking boot (mostly) and going to physical therapy at the moment. I say mostly because I have been walking around the house and other short distances with shoes on. This recovery is about the same as the first. I was bummed at first but at least I will walk normally again. Like the OP said, I would rather an ATR than blown knee. But then again, I would have rather had a broken leg than an ATR!!!

    Keep your head up, Folks!

  479. Brian Defordon 14 Feb 2016 at 4:53 pm 479

    I’m 45 with a mind that kept telling me I was 25, and too be honest could still hang with the younger guys with the sports I enjoy participating in. Then it happened, reality hit..After rounding 1st base I decided to stretch it into a double to get the inning started off right..next thing I know, it felt like someone hit me in the back of the leg with a bat or threw something at me. I was instantly angry untill I looked back and there was nothing but a startled look on the 1st basemans face. When I got up to continue running and realized I couldn’t, I then realized what I had just done. A ruptured Achilles, oh crap..luckily haven’t had any pain, even 4 days after surgery no pain….seems strange that it doesn’t hurt, I haven’t taken any pain meds either, nothing! Hopefully this is a sign for a quick recovery?? Can anybody relate? My post op is this friday 2/19/16

  480. metoniaon 14 Feb 2016 at 6:10 pm 480

    Brian, pain is different for everyone. Different surgeries, different pain tolerances etc. Hopefully you will continue to manage your pain well, but don’t get discouraged when pain hits. It can sneak up on you and you go what the ….

    Recovery is the same way. Do what your told to, don’t overdue it and learn about your surgery and recovery. Doctors and PT’s don’t always tell you enough to prepare you for the long hall.

    Best wishes on your recovery

  481. Jerrion 25 Feb 2016 at 3:50 pm 481

    Hi John thanks for your story. I just had surgery 8 days ago. Home health csme out and therapy came out. Both said all is good. My achillies ruptured and retracted plus a tear in my calf muscle. Was in a boot 2 weeks prior to surger woke up in a cast splint and bandage. Nurse took it off said incision looks great. Therapy said what I have been doing with my foot was great. Back and forth and in circles and doing the alphabet lol. It does not even hurt in the slightest. I’m so ready to start walking at least in a boot but my post op appt isn’t until 3 weeks. I can’t wait that long. Docs orders says non barring weight omg. I think if I can move it all around and it doesn’t hurt I think I could put some weight on it or wear a boot. The incision is only about 3 inches. I just want to walk. ☹

  482. metoniaon 25 Feb 2016 at 6:36 pm 482

    Hi Jerri , boy can I empathize. I thought I was the only one who was writing with her feet lol. My week 2 eval had 2 more weeks NWB. Another week to go and I’m beginning to push those NWB limits too. But I think a fall the night before I saw the doc had something to do with the extended NWB.

  483. Summeron 27 Feb 2016 at 3:57 am 483

    I am three weeks post op . I had no pain after the left Achilles’ tendon complete rupture. Headed for surgery on 6th February 2016. There was no pain for straight 3-4 days post op . Then the pain started day 4 at night . It would be throbbing pain whenever I need to move on crutches. Pain lasted for 3-4 days only and then subsided throbbing pain only when the foot went down to move on crutches.
    After surgery I was on splint for one week . Day 7 , I was fitted into a medium size vacoped shoes 30 degree angle ( I need to wear it every time I needed to move and then remove , elevate and keep icing ) at night I had to put the splint back on with crape bandages.The splint kept the foot safe from sudden reflex movements while sleeping.
    Second doc visit post op ( day 14 ) the stitches removed ( 2 knots) and angle reduced to 25 degree.
    Day 17 - bandage removed and allowed to shower with no cover. Wound dry and healing well with a dark brown scab.
    Also started gentle massage around the wound with bio oil.
    Physio ongoing twice a week post op.
    Day 21 - shoes angle reduced to 20 degree. Brown scab reduced but still there. Bio oil massage 3 times and ankle weight exercise 3 times a day.
    NOTE - head to surgery asap , to have a small scar . Late surgery decession only leads to the tendon retracting up into the calf and hence a longer scar.
    Healing well and today is day 22 …..

  484. Mannyon 27 Feb 2016 at 8:31 am 484

    Thank you for such a nice write up of your experience and advice to date, Summer! And welcome to our diverse group and tribe of foot and achilles rehab.
    Now I understand why my orthopedist commented that a decision to do surgery had to be quick (we decided against it). He was planning on 3 small incisions for the surgery, but non-op gave similar results without the risk of surgery issues (which, as a diabetic, I am certainly careful about).

    Good luck with your recovery! And please do keep on posting!
    Manny

  485. Tonyson 27 Feb 2016 at 4:41 pm 485

    Good afternoon
    I had surgery on Friday Feb 19. So I 1 week 1 day into my recovery. I had posterior heel spur which damaged Achilles’ tendon. Doctor also lengethen the calf muscle. Before having surgery I purchased a knee scooter which has worked out great and a shower cover for my bandaged leg. As a result I able to shower, yeah! I borrowed a shower chair and elevated toilet seat which both have been a god send. I stopped pain med on Sunday, it was keeping me awake. I am taking the prescription aleve twice daily. My question is — does anyone else have burning pain in their surgical area? And how long it this goes away? I only have this sensation in the afternoon.

    I have to say I love this blog. It was very helpful for me to understand what to expect after the surgery and what others have done to help with their recovery. Oh I am 59. And will have the other foot done when doctors says I can.

  486. Mannyon 27 Feb 2016 at 9:29 pm 486

    Welcome to our eclectic and unpredictable group! I’m glad the blog has been helpful. We are a few golden years people, some intense athletes of all ages, and all over the world. You sound as if you’ve got everything under control, and since you had surgery, I have no experience to help you with the pain issues. All I can say is that we are all different, but follow similar patterns. :-)
    Good luck with your recovery!……….. and keep us posted!… Manny

  487. Summeron 28 Feb 2016 at 8:12 pm 487

    Dear Manny ,
    Thank you .
    It’s day 24 post op …..3 weeks and 3 days

  488. Summeron 28 Feb 2016 at 8:16 pm 488

    I have ordered for vacoped evenup shoes. Looking forward to it !
    Hopefully it’ll be more comfortable to have both feet at same height

  489. Mannyon 29 Feb 2016 at 6:52 pm 489

    Summer, Good call in ordeing the “Even Up”. I had a few weeks of back and hip pain due to the uneven height, and the first week I even just used rolled up socks to “even up”… REcovery from the hip pain was over 2 weeks! Hope you have better luck that I did, though I’m sure you are not as heavy as I am! ;-)
    Manny

  490. Seanon 29 Feb 2016 at 10:46 pm 490

    Surgery December 15th for me… 4th PT visit this evening and I felt a pop when catching a medicine ball on my left achilles (surgically repaired)… it did not hurt but I felt and heard it. PT immediately checked the tension with me on my stomach and then sitting and applying pressure… nothing stood out extraordinary or out of whack.

    Should I be freaking out (cause I am)? Was told to ice and elevate here this evening and then have an idea when I wake up in morning with how it feels.

    My first thoughts were “oh no, not again” yet it did not really hurt like it did when it happen. Partial re-rupture? Or simply pushing hard thru the scar tissue I had built up from a delayed start to my rehab. I had been pushed back 2 1/2 weeks due to stitches popping on me at 3 weeks.

    I have appointment to review whether an out-patient procedure needed to repair the scar gap, now I may have an additional issue come Friday. Hoping not but next 48 hours going to be interesting.

    Any stories or similar happenstance out there would be good to calm my concerns or prep me for the worst.

    Thanks,

  491. Mannyon 01 Mar 2016 at 7:13 am 491

    Sean, I am so sorry you are going through this. And I understand your fear, having something in my uninjured leg that pops almost every time I am doing my PT at home. the sound is scary, and it would be much scarier if it happened in my injured foot.
    Please keep us informed. I’d also suggest calling the surgeon for an emergency check up to insure nothing broke.
    Good luck!……… Manny

  492. Jesseon 01 Mar 2016 at 12:01 pm 492

    This is a rough situation for me because I’m not use to this. I’m 30 years old I was working two jobs and playing semi pro football. Football is the last thing on my mind right now I just want to walk again. I just had surgery last week and will see doctor next week to take splint out. I’m trying to see what’s next and how long will I have to use these crutches

  493. Seanon 02 Mar 2016 at 9:05 am 493

    Update on my situation, appt for Friday now.

    Not dealing with any additional swelling ( more than the norm) nor pain, however, achilles is tight and tender.

    After 24 hours I am beginning to be relieved as I do not think I re-tore, however, a partial tear could certainly be in play. The PT also said it could have been scar tissue but I have been unable to find any individual’s story of scar tissue having been broken thru via “popping”.

    More to come on Friday but I am slightly more optimistic.

  494. beanieon 02 Mar 2016 at 11:00 am 494

    Hi Sean, I have read of quite a few people who had scar tissue release with a popping sound. One I remember well was in ryanb’s blog at around the 12 week mark I think when he first attempted single heel raises. You can find it here achillesblog.com/ryanb/2011/11/ just scroll down to the post headed with something about a monkey. I hope it was scar tissue and not a partial tear. Good luck and take care.

  495. Seanon 02 Mar 2016 at 11:16 am 495

    Awesome, beanie, thanks for sharing! I had not caught that blog so this gives me some comfort admittedly.

    I try and go about my day(s) and get things done with work (actually just got promoted and dealing with a Re-Lo at the same time as all this…) and admittedly it is quite a lot to absorb. Fingers are crossed here for sure.

  496. Seanon 07 Mar 2016 at 7:21 am 496

    Good news from Friday as I had hoped the pop was merely scar tissue. I still need to be watchful the next couple of weeks not to go too hard but healing is coming along. It looks as if I will not need a graft for my opened wound either. Find out for certain in 3 weeks though.

    Overall, movement is a little behind due to some of those issues but doctor was satisfied knowing all things considered. I left relieved to be sure. Appreciate some of the thoughts over the past week. Road to full recovery continues…

  497. TooYoungForThisUgh (Not)on 18 Mar 2016 at 6:08 pm 497

    Mid 20s, active, Right ATR

    Hi Everyone, I’m 16 days post op and had my cast (which has been on for a lil over two weeks) taken off and was fitted for a boot. I am in the Vacoped boot which is huge due to my size 13 foot. This is quite depressing since i have not been able to do any of the physical activity I love. Adding to my troubles, is my sudden dependency on others. I’m single, no children, and employed but currently my days have been revolving around other people’s schedule. My co worker has graciously been bringing me to and from work over the past two weeks. Not being able to drive is huge for me. Realistically, it would be a real challenge due to me owning a manual sports car. Nonetheless, two days after my rupture (before surgery) I drove it back home from work.

    When did you all begin driving again? Could i try taking my boot off and giving it a try?

    Thanks for the help and advice.

  498. Stuarton 19 Mar 2016 at 12:53 pm 498

    TooYoungForThisUgh (Not) - you should get a clearance from you doctor before driving as this will cover your insurance should you be involved in an incident. It may also negate prosecution as you would not be able to control a vehicle with or without a boot on properly. Taking the boot off to drive would be asking for a re-rupture. Not sure which tendon you did but regardless you could do some damage as your tendon is still knitting together and the tissue is very weak. You will need to be patient and wait. I was cleared to drive once in 2 shoes but mine was the right. Depression a clutch often could be painful even then. I would talk to a physio as well if it is your left tendon.

  499. Minute Maidon 19 Mar 2016 at 3:57 pm 499

    I just had the surgery two weeks ago, staples come out on Monday and I will be placed in a boot. I tore the parietal tibular tendon and shifted my ankle. He sowed the tendon back amd placed a screw in my ankle. I have 4 more wewks to go, but I’m already placing my foot on the floor.

  500. TooYoungForThisUgh (Not)on 19 Mar 2016 at 6:31 pm 500

    Stuart–Thanks for the advice. I will say last night I did toe curls and a few ROM exercises. I noticed a huge difference this morning and was able to walk (zombie walk) in my boot with no crutches for the first time. Looks like i’ll be using Uber next week for work transportation. Grr

    Thanks

  501. pozaiceron 20 Mar 2016 at 2:47 am 501

    hi folks, if you search for my name (pozaicer) you can find some updates i did on my PT appointment. as you suggest tooyoungforthisugh (not), the PT and home exercises are fantastic, but the trick is to fully and attentively focus on the foot every time, this reinforces the nerve pathway brain-foot, which is the one that tends to atrophy rather quickly…

    suerte

  502. ckoutnyon 23 Mar 2016 at 8:23 am 502

    Hi folks - Looking for some advice. Had my ATR surgery on 2/19 and was put in a boot on 3/1. I’m just about 5 weeks from my surgery and feeling no pain in the Achilles. I go back in a week to my ortho for a follow up at which point he thought I would be FWB. I called yesterday to see if I could be PWB to FWB only in the boot depending on pain. Nurse called back today to inform me I should NOT be putting any weight on it yet. Seem a little conservative? On one hand I don’t want to do any damage but I also want to do everything I can to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. I can wait the week but this approach feels a little soft.

  503. Stuarton 23 Mar 2016 at 12:25 pm 503

    ckoutny - if you follow your doctors advice instead of the nurse then you should be bearing weight now. It is accepted in most modern protocols that weight bearing can begin after 4 weeks and some have done it sooner as long as you are wearing your boot. Contrary to hurting your tendon it will only make it stronger. Please do not take my advice without due diligence. Do some research into early weight bearing for AT ruptures. Heaps of info out there. You can read one study on my page (Xplora) under the tab ‘Further reading’. The transition from NWB to FWB could take a week or more depending on you. Start by adding weight with the aid of crutches or hold a bend as you place weight on the boot. The boot is designed to protect the tendon from going beyond its limits. If it hurts then back off.

  504. shady1on 23 Mar 2016 at 12:53 pm 504

    Ckoutny, totally agree with Stuart’s comments. I was in my Medi boot at week 3. Was FWB at week 4 and walking ever since. I am now at week 8 and the physio is so impressed at how the calf is recovering given I had a total rupture. I put it all down to my boot allowing me to build up the Achilles and muscles around the calf. Take it slow. Listen to your body. Don’t push it! Healthy healing!

  505. Chadon 23 Mar 2016 at 8:24 pm 505

    Thanks for the feedback Stuart and Shady1. I get them wanting to take a conservative route but he’s not living life on a scooter either. I mainly wanted to find out if I would be doing any damage to it by starting to walk in the boot. The boot I have is a normal boot not these vacocast or air cast ones I’ve been reading about. However, I assume it’s just as stable. I will continue to do what I am doing unless there is pain and will be anxious to hear what the ortho says next week. If he wants another 5-6 weeks before I start rehab, I think it might be time for a second opinion. Thanks again for your insight. It’s much appreciated.

    Chad

  506. Kenon 30 Apr 2016 at 11:09 pm 506

    Hi,

    I recently also had the unfortune of rupturing my achilles tendon. This website and everyone’s stories/experiences has been extremely helpful and inspiring. I have decided to pursue recovery through the non surgical method. However, one question I have is during the first two weeks of recovery there’s mention of having the foot in plantar flexion. Does that mean to have it in full equinus position (i.e. fully pointed downwards) or just somewhat plantar flexion? Does it matter? I am about a week in, and currently in 20 degree plantar flexion. I’m worried that this is not “plantar flexed” enough, not allowing the tendons to connect and recover.

    Would appreciate any feedback or advice. Thanks!

  507. Chrison 10 May 2016 at 10:56 pm 507

    Hey guys,

    Tore my left AT on 4/23
    Surgery 5/5

    I’m now day 6 post op and I can’t take this semI hard half cast anymore. I was given the boot before my surgery and really want to put that on instead. I haven’t had my post op appointment yet but I can already fully move my foot and even flex my calf. I can’t take this cast anymore I’m just wondering if going to the boot on my own will be a huge mistake.

    Also when I lift my leg to a certain height the nerve used in the nerve block goes crazy (ton of tingling, like when your foot falls asleep and starting to wake up) is this normal!?

  508. pozaiceron 11 May 2016 at 5:07 am 508

    hi Chris

    i think you just answered your question, will you compromise your health for a few days of being out of the half cast? i wouldn’t! take a chill pill, get some videos and remember that you will get better (in due course!)

    we’ve all been there and we sympathise and empathise, but risking a great outcome is not worth it for a few days of comfort!

    i’m about week 15 and i could start running, but in my personal progress and my life stage i don’t need this risk, so as hard as it is i refrain from it!

    keep it up!

    suerte

  509. Stuarton 11 May 2016 at 1:07 pm 509

    Chris - I think you should stop trying to move your foot as that is not helping your healing. You may suffer from cast claustrophobia and in that case a boot would not hurt but it needs to be fitted correctly and you will have to keep it on all the time. If you see your GP doc then you may be able to get a sedative like Valium to help calm you. It will ease those feelings but be careful using these drugs as the can be addictive. Search this site and you will see it is very common.

  510. Harold Robinsonon 22 May 2016 at 8:22 am 510

    Hi Chris,

    Tore my left AH playing soccer on May 15th. going for surgery on May 23rd. believe it or not this is my second tear (right one back 14 years ago). I recall from my first one that there was no movement possible in my foot after the tear. This time I can still move the tip. Dr. in ER said rupture was partial. Orthopedist said total. I am not concerned, as I know I need surgery to recover fully. I am asking my Doctor for the boot since day one (as I did the first time). Will update you after surgery.

  511. Faarron williamson 23 May 2016 at 7:13 am 511

    Hi I’m about two months post surgery..after a laceration straight through my Achilles tendon
    The doctor has told me to leave the boot on for six more weeks taking a level out the heel every two weeks..
    Two days into the six weeks I have been walking with a limp around the house up and down stairs still cannot calf raise that feels impossible at this point..
    I’m stretching and exercises to a extent..
    It’s still a very slow process but I’m keen to get back to walking properly and just take it easy know your limitations.

  512. Karen the Dance Teacher in Tucson, AZon 02 Jun 2016 at 5:14 pm 512

    As a teacher of over 120 high school students a day, teaching 4 hours daily M-F with starts and stops, I started having signs of Plantar Fasciitis feet pain upon wakening over a year ago. Then it got where my pain in my Achilles and back of heel all were very painful. My Ortho doc last year was year put me into a walking boot, with instructions for non weight bearing for 9 weeks, put me in orthotics in both feet since my arches are super high. I am a dancer teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and all the other styles including Pointe shoes. My job is my feet and body. I started gaining weight, since I wasn’t going full out as often, and I feel the weight gain impacted my ability too for total non surgical repair. My go to that worked on the pain was taking Steroid 6 pack. Loved the drug. Felt so full of strength and back to old self…for 6 weeks or so till drug wore off and back to same, not worse, but same pain. Doc asked if I wanted to try controversial amniocentesis fluid into the tendon. Insurance wouldn’t cover he said and I paid out of pocket over $300. for it. I could not be weight bearing again for 4 weeks after this, but it did nothing. I wanted more Steroids and doc agreed to keep me going on these to get me through the school year. As the end of the year came close we chose a surgery date to do the Achilles Tendon Repair, 2 heel spurs removed, and the (not sure what he did, but did something, have the surgical hole inside arch near heel) of the Plantar Fasciitis May 16, 2016. I taught really hard the day before surgery and then cleaned my house like a nesting momma. Used and mixed chemicals in the bathroom and once turned onto the chest while incubated and under the general, I apparently got ‘chemical pneumonia’. So, admitted to hospital for that for two days, and leg in a cast with open breathing gauze at the front to allow for swelling. But looked like a full hard white cast. Saw doc, post op at one week. They took off cast and then looked at it and replaced same hard cast with only using ace bandages around it. Once home, I took off the hard cast to sleep and it took Tylenol PM to keep me from pain. I never took the pain narcotics, too much for me. Was scheduled to see doc post op at 2 weeks to remove stitches, but the night before, still being Non weight bearing, was hopping bare foot on my good foot, the right, and landed on a dog bone, and quickly jumped down onto my left foot and BANG, right down to my back in masses of pain. No one was home, so laid there for :30 minutes, called for help, crawled and iced within 35 minutes, and took 1000mg of Tylenol. Had I been in the boot when I jumped onto it, maybe it would not have been so painful, but it was just the ace bandage on it, as I was just going 3 feet to turn down the air-conditioning. Had I been wearing a shoe on my good foot I would not have reacted to the bone at all. (Note to self?) Saw the doc within two hours. He tested for blown Achilles by having me press against his hand, which hurt like cray-cray. But, he said it is in tact still and took x-rays to look for any fractures. none, yeah. Next day, which was yesterday, turned black and blue at the back of the heel. My left calf in ONLY 2 weeks has gone down to half the size it was. It’s crazy! I told the doc I truly wanted to exercise my ankle and keep my calf muscles up and he said, NO. He said, stay in the walking boot with NON weight bearing night and day till we see you again June 21st. Ugh…. laying here, writing and yep, it’s been off all day. Who can stand a huge walking boot (Aircast manufacturer) all day with weight onto the back incision area. I keep a roll of toilet paper under the calf since it hurts for anything to touch the incision area, even tho all stitches were removed. Bruising I guess is why it hurts so much. I am flexing and pointing a little, but as doctor said to me: “If you are asking yourself, ’should I be doing this’ then you shouldn’t”. I will go with that for now and now never get up out of bed without a shoe on the good foot. But, I did go out to dinner and used the knee scooter I borrowed from an out of state friend (poor thing had to bring it on an airplane for me) and that people is a great thing to have! Happy Mending. Wish I were dancing!_

  513. Stuarton 03 Jun 2016 at 2:17 pm 513

    Karen - Firstly I have to say that although the steroids make you feel good for a short time they have probably caused some damage to your tendons. You should read up about steroids and tendon injuries. Studies have shown it to weaken the tendon in the long term and they eventually rupture. I appears you have not ruptured but it is not clear what the doctor has done inside. The PF tendon has a close relationship with the AT. I suffered from PF when marathon training but it was fixed easily with strapping and orthotics along with better running shoes. Chuck the Nikes out I was told. Putting you in a boot to fix this really does nothing as you found. The boot is your friend now though and you should not take a step without it. Those who have had surgery for a ruptured AT can start weight bearing fairly early (4 weeks) and can have the foot out of the boot around 3 weeks to do some basic range of motion exercises with the foot and leg supported but as it is not clear what has been done I could not say that you should do this and I would advise you to follow the instructions of your doctor. You will need to be patient and think of the end game which is getting back to dancing again. Many dancers go through these injuries, especially ballet dancers. It may not be as long as you imagine before you are back to normal things and you certainly do not want to rupture your Achilles tendon as that will add a year to your recovery.

  514. Jeffon 09 Jun 2016 at 8:05 am 514

    I am 55 obliterated my Achilles tendon playing in a basketball league. Had surgery April 1st, splint for two weeks,cast for four weeks boot for 3 more weeks. Had no pain whatsoever since surgery and pt is going really well. Walking for the third day today without boot and am very pleased. I will definitely come back and play full court again just going to take my time and do it right. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

  515. Deniseon 09 Jun 2016 at 2:50 pm 515

    I am 49 and ruptured my tendon exercising. I also had surgery April 1…splint for two weeks, cast for three weeks, boot for 4 weeks. In day 3 of wearing shoes. Limping and walking slow….foot and ankle is very swollen after a few hours…hoping this subsides. Not sure if my regular shoes are too tight or good support. I’m fine with taking it slow and easy…want to get back to my “old” self :-) Hope you continue to do well Jeff.

  516. BUD KLEMPon 14 Jun 2016 at 3:30 am 516

    June 14, 2016
    Hi ATR Survivors,
    I had Surgery Jan 19, 2013-3+ years ago in FL, the worst surgery for a 64 year old. I heard the pop that everyone is saying. and fell to the tennis court.I Stayed off my legs for 2 weeks, elevated the surgically repaired one above my heart. At 2 weeks splint/cast and sutures were removed and I wore a boot(best friend) for 4 months. After about 7 weeks I was allowed to sleep without it. Everything seemed fine until a pain from head to toe enveloped my body. The surgeon said these kinds of complications can happen due to wearing the boot and your gait is off balance. I had an MRI and found out the boot exacerbated conditions that I had over 40+ years ago at age 22. My back had extensive herniated disks and degeneration of my spine and lumbar and spinal stenosis etc. Also, my neck became so bad that I couldn’t drive as the excruciating pain when moving side to side became unbearable and unsafe to other motorists.I stopped drives and hired a driver. I started P/T on my Achilles at about 20 days post surgery, which helped greatly. P/T commenced after my back/neck diagnosis about 8 weeks post surgery. It helped, but Chronic Pain is still with me. Pain meds help at times, but a concentrated P/T routine on my back and neck seem to help, although the Chronic Pain is a major issue and always there. Ones age has a lot to do with a recovery and you should ask the doctor if there is a way for proper protocol to feeling ok after the splint is removed to have a shoemaker make your good foot the same height as the boot. I personally believe that this might solve some of the problems of past injuries, which, affecting a full recovery. To date I still have problems in my neck and back, but I deal with it as there is no panacea. Best way to live a fruitful life is to do stretching with the bands, certain targeted stretching on the achilles,back and neck in warm water if possible. Also, ice is great on the Achilles when in terrible pain. You will notice more pain when it rains, I have found. Another thing I did was to buy a sleep number bed as it is void of coils that would dig into my back. For my neck I purchased pillows that allow my neck no movement which makes for a better night sleep. One last note, I do not know of any professional athlete that has made a consistent comeback from their sport to continue to perform at a high level. Kobe Bryant and Ryan Howard(Phillies) are just 2 athletes that never were the same. So my headline is to remember you will NEVER be able to compete as you once did, assuming you are a competitive person that wants to win-ALWAYS. That is me. So I don’t play tennis anymore and accept that a good daily P/T routine should help over 70% of the time. Make exercise a daily part of your life and you will have more good days than not so good. See nutritionist and take vitamins. Also, when in terrible pain don’t be a hero and not take pain medication; just don’t abuse the narcotic. There will be many times you NEED pain medicine to stay sane and live a good life.I hope I helped and feel free to contact me with any questions. Bud
    my email is bklemp@comcast.net
    Best of luck to all that took time to read this post.

  517. Stuarton 14 Jun 2016 at 12:36 pm 517

    Bud - I am sorry you have had other issues since this injury and as it seems it was the treatment for your ATR that brought those other condition to the fore. Even ups are readily available for your other shoe so a bootmaker would not be necessary. I also feel you were in a boot way too long. Five or 6 weeks in the boot after your cast is quite routine and few people ever go as far as 3 months. It is true that some people do not get back to the pre injury level but it is not true for all. You should probably dig a little deeper. David Beckham did quite well. One in the community here who comes to mind is Ryanb who is a high level speed skater and he posted personal bests after recovery. Age is also not as much of a factor as people want to make out with this injury but other conditions, such as those you have, certainly make things harder. Age is certainly an issue when it comes to joints wearing out. A balanced active life will keep things moving but we tend to push ourselves beyond what our bodies were really intended. I ran ultra-marathons. Not a good thing for your body and I pay for it now. Dealing with chronic pain is also very hard and takes a great deal of energy. Pain meds are less effective the more you use them so you have to train yourself to cope but you are right that every now and then you may need them. Hope you continue to improve.

  518. Karen the Dance Teacher in Tucson, AZon 27 Jun 2016 at 12:15 pm 518

    Thanks Stuart for the encouragement.
    I see the doc tomorrow for my 6 weeks post A.Tendon and P.F. surgeries plus 2 heel spurs removal. I sprained my ankle 2 weeks ago, and never saw it coming. I had my boot off; lying on the couch, my ankle up onto the back of it to be elevated, and my dog jumped up and hit it accidentally. Right away it started to swell. Weird. Two weeks later, still swollen. Hope this won’t prevent me tomorrow from becoming weight bearing.

  519. Aoife Hegartyon 26 Jul 2016 at 12:16 am 519

    Hi im 33 years, pretty sporty. I came off my push bike and cut thro my achilles. I had the op the next day. Was given a soft cast for 2 weeks and and in my second week of the boot. 4 to go. Start my first physio thursday. Dreading it as my scar is all lumpy and tight and when i walk without the boot i have a gimpy flat footed walk. I am signed off work till out of my boot as u have a challenging where by reatraints need to be used somedays. How long were people off work for and is it right to be walking flat footed and gimpy. Thanks

  520. Greg Woodon 31 Jul 2016 at 9:12 pm 520

    Hi All,

    I am 58 and very active in working out; playing golf, swimming, paddleball, spinning and crossfit! June 27th I was playing paddleball, fell to the floor and turned to my opponent and said; why did you kick me in the heel? His response…I was 5′ away from you! I knew I tore my AT; got up, walked down 3 flights of stairs and made my way back to work then to the ER and surgery 2 days later. Having a strong type “A” personality I have been reading all over the web looking for the fastest, but smartest way to recover. Pain has been very minimal, although I feel my heart beating in my ankle/foot after a long day. Splint cast for two weeks and now a boot with 2 heal risers and my next PO appointment is August 18th. My Ortho told me to start placing weight on my foot (left) and even walking a little bit and I do without difficulty, but I am somewhat chicken and do not want to re-injure myself because I am not being patient with the recovery phase. To that end, just looking to hear how others are doing (hopefully well) and sound advice as folks recover…thank you.

  521. mibballon 01 Aug 2016 at 7:36 am 521

    Greg,

    Just adhere to the protocol your doc gave you. Once you’re out of the splint you can start doing ROM exercises while laying down. Depending on the protocol the doc has you on, you can start doing band/resistance workouts while seated/laying down within a few weeks of surgery.

    I was able to start on the stationary bike at week 6 without the boot, as tolerated. Earlier action is certainly better to minimize calf atrophy, but you also need to be careful not to push it or stretch out the tendon too much in the earlier weeks.

    If you have the OK to be FWB in the boot (or without), definitely go ahead with it. Taking things slow and incrementally in those first 10-12 weeks is paramount.

  522. Marcon 03 Aug 2016 at 11:49 am 522

    Hey all-

    Thanks for the forum. It is extremely helpful. I tore my right AT 7-19. I was jumping off a diving board and when I went to jump my right AT snapped 100% clean rupture. I had surgery one week later 7-26. I have been recovering now for 8 days. I feel good and have not had much pain post surgery at all. I am 31, very very active, 5′9 175 and in very good shape.

    I have one major concern that I know you all could help with.

    Today I was using a knee scooter a friend has given me to get around more easily. When I went to open the fridge my knee slipped and fell down a couple inches in between the padding causing a great sense of internal pain for my AT. I didn’t feel a pop though. I felt like a flex sensation that created a sweat throughout my body and personally a mental scare. It was almost like a extreme twitch/sensation right in my AT. I am back to laying in bed and elevating.

    I have an appointment tomorrow for a check up and maybe new cast, as it HS been 9 days.

    Please let me know if anyone else has felt this strain/stretch/flexing sensation on a minor slip ups and if it led to something.

    I don’t feel like I reruptured anything but I, like anyone, am freaking out some.

    Thank you.

    Marc

  523. Greg Woodon 06 Aug 2016 at 10:45 am 523

    Marc,

    Did you have any damage to AT and how are you doing?

  524. Peteon 15 Sep 2016 at 2:43 am 524

    Hey All,

    I’m 38 started to play In a over 35 football league. Second game in and a ruptured my left Achilles. Went to a&he and they have put me in a cast. Waiting to see the fracture clinc 10 days after my rapture. Do you guys think I should push for surgery or let it heal naturally?

    Thanks

  525. Stuarton 15 Sep 2016 at 1:36 pm 525

    Pete - I am guessing you are in the UK and under the NHS. The majority of hosptials will not opt for surgery anyway. If you are in a cast with your foot pointing down then treatment has started. The problem with NHS is they do not always follow best practise with treatment for this injury and you should find out what they intend to do. Read up on this site about non-op early weight bearing with specifics on UWO protocol, Exceter and Richard Wallace. You can site specific search these from the main page of the blog. If they want to lock you in a cast for 12 weeks then I would say no as this is not the best way. If they want you in a boot early and weight bearing (by six weeks and no later) then it should be OK. The first and most important thing with a non-op is for the tendon ends to touch when you foot is pointed down. The body can do the healing. Surgery just holds the tendon together until the body has done its job. The first 3 weeks is important to keep the foot secured so the tendon can lay down the first collagen and join the ends. After that gentle movement and weight bearing as tolerated or incrementally is allowed and this will encourage the stronger collagen to form but you will still be at risk of re-rupture until 12 weeks or more regardless. This early weight bearing reduces the re-rupture risk for non-op significantly.

  526. Peteon 16 Sep 2016 at 3:53 am 526

    Thanks for the reply Stuart,

    Yes I live in the UK, that’s my biggest concern at the moment is the rerepture.

    My toes are pointing down in the cast so I suppose the recovery has already started. I work as a firefighter so I know they will offer me a good rehab program. Just want to get to my appointment next week to see what they are going to recommend.

  527. Demetriuson 17 Sep 2016 at 2:59 am 527

    Hi everyone, I was doing a small run at the end of my karate session and pop my leg gave way under me. I hoppled off really not normal as I never been like this before , I took a quick shower drove home but than decided to go to A& E in Wrexham . One look by the doctor he knew it was a tendon tear. I had my MRI which showed a partial tear not a full tear no sure if that was good news. I was so upset I did not ask many question to the doctor just nodded in what he was saying to me. They have put a cast at the moment with my foot pointing as out as possible and I need to keep my leg elevated as much as possible they also gave me a course of injections to stop blood clotting. I have my next appointment on 22 of Sep which means that I have been in my cast just under 2 weeks. Not sure what to expect, reading many web sites most sites recommend early walking boot. So wanting some advise should go on what the doctor recommendeds which will probably be a new cast with my foot at a smaller angle or insist on a walking boot ASAP. At the moment very upset with the injury never had a injury like this before, I am 51 very active gym work ,karate and running I just want to get bak to normal but I know it going to take some time before I can get back to my best. Is there any advise from anybody on what I should do and recovery time. Thanks Demetrius

  528. Dave Leeon 21 Sep 2016 at 1:16 am 528

    Hi Stuart can I suggest you advise your readers to look up Exeter rather than Exceter. Great job though, you’ve been here a while now.

  529. Alexon 29 Sep 2016 at 12:45 pm 529

    Hi all, Here is my story. I am a month past surgery and recovery fast. 6 weeks ago I was playing volleyball and ruptured my achilles. I had the typical reaction, thinking my leg had been hit with a metal ball. I went to the orthopedic doctor 2 days later and was fitted into a boot. After 2 weeks of patiently waiting, I had surgery. The surgery went well. The first few days of recovery were rough. Anytime my leg was lowered below my heart the pain was unbearable. It felt like my leg was being cut off. After day 5 I stopped taking pain killers and took marijuana edibles to help take the edge off. My first post op appointment was at my 2 week mark. My bandage and stitches were welcomely taken out and the dr. gave me the ok to start bearing weight and to start physical therapy. Week 3 I started physical therapy and threw the crutches in the closet. I began doing simple exercises moving my ankle and foot around. Yesterday marked 1 month since surgery and I had my 2nd PT appointment. He massaged my leg which felt so nice and he gave me some more exercises to do. He also put me on a stationary bike to ride for 10 minutes. In 2 weeks I go for my 6 week post op appointment and will most likely get to drop the boot and start water fitness. After I hurt my achilles, I googled the heck out of achilles ruptures. I was so discouraged at one story after another with the length of recovery and lack of mobility. I was in a state of depression for weeks. When I found this blog, I became more hopeful. It seems that The people that were put in casts and had no mobility had a much longer recover than those that were put in a boot and started weight bearing and physical therapy right away. I walk everywhere in my boot at only 1 month past surgery. I listen to my body and rest and ice when I feel. Everyday I spend more time on my feet and my physical therapist says that my leg looks amazing and my mobility is incredible. Its all about getting going, resting, eating healthy with lots of protein and omegas. The journey to healing after an achilles rupture is not an easy one but its not the end. For me it has been a complete reboot. It has slowed me way down, allowed me to appreciate the little things and feel grateful for all my little accomplishments and those that have helped me. There is light that comes out of the darkness.. Just thought I would share my story and give those that have recently ruptured their achilles some hope.

  530. Bradon 11 Oct 2016 at 7:55 am 530

    Hi guys, I’m 33 years old and ruptured my right Achilles on October 6th. It was a bit odd, I was helping push a tent trailer, leg was extended and some gravel/rocks gave out under it, hyperextending my ankle, that’s when I heard/felt the pop. I felt both ankles and noted the Achilles tendon was gone, or reduced anyway.

    Went straight to emerg and sure enough the doc confirmed the rupture on exam. Unfortunately they couldn’t ultrasound it that evening (staff had left for the night), but they consulted the Ortho team who came and assessed as well. Agreeing it was ruptured, they didn’t bother doing further imaging, and casted me in plantar flexion, toe pointed down around 35 degrees. I’m not getting followed up until Oct 17th.. They mentioned they dont do the surgery as often anymore, and it looks like it won’t be surgery for me as far as the resident was concerned. I will still ask the attending MD on my follow-up about surgery vs no-surgery for sure, but my concern is would that be too late 11days post injury? I’m healthy, active, and no med history. Really worried about how long this will put me off work as well as trying to help at home ( 2 young kids under 3 yrs, newly pregnant wife, unable to drive for now, etc). Also how early can rehab happen? I’m guessing while in a hard cast theres nothing I can do?

    Thanks guys, reading some of your posts already makes me a little more at ease.

  531. indianajonon 11 Oct 2016 at 9:27 am 531

    Hi, I’m John, 66 year old fit and active UK male, recently walked up Ben Nevis and Snowdon, but ruptured left Achilles dancing in a bar while on holiday in Spain. Didn’t hear a pop ( music was too loud) but felt the ‘kick’ and thought I’d banged my leg on a chair. No pain but foot went kind of floppy and numbish. Thought at first I’d broken my ankle but then thought no that’d be painful. Limped into A&E next morning, had x-rays which confirmed nothing broken but examination suggested rupture. Had plaster back slab fitted with foot pointing down about 33 degrees. Left hospital on crutches with enough Clexane jabs to last until I flew home 3 days later. Went straight to A&E on return to UK and got fracture clinic appointment next day. Plaster was removed, leg examined (pinch test), was given appointment for ultrasound scan 4 days later and follow-up with consultant 7 days later. Was fitted with knee length aero boot with wedges and told I could weight bear with one crutch and could remove boot in bed. Ultrasound scan showed tendon had snapped and consultant recommended non-surgical self healing with review every 2 weeks. Happy for me to fully weight bear but said I should be keeping boot on 24/7. No other advice given but after some research I’ve only been weight bearing 10-20% with two crutches and removing boot to wash foot, taking care to keep it at 33 degree position. Still no pain but am self medicating with 400mg ibuprofen, 300mg aspirin and 1.5mg melatonin at night to promote healing and control swelling. Due to see consultant in 2 days, which will be 26 days since rupture, but no scan booked so interested to see how he knows if healing OK?

  532. Stuarton 11 Oct 2016 at 12:34 pm 532

    Indianajon - Just a couple of small concerns. The weight bearing from the start is not a worry but usually a couple of weeks off the leg is better. Asprin and ibruprofen is not good for tendon healing as it blocks the prostoglandins which are required for the healing response. There is plenty of research on this if you wish to google. Melatonin will help you sleep but sleeping without a boot fromt the start is dangerous before 3 weeks (which you are past anyway) as the tendon has not joined. Non-op healing is fine if they use a modern protocal and it seems your hospital is following one of those. Would be interested in why they told you you that you could sleep with the boot off but you also mention keeping the boot on 24/7.

  533. Stuarton 11 Oct 2016 at 12:49 pm 533

    Brad - Not sure which part of the world you are in. Guessing not the USA as they operate more often than not. If you are in the UK then your rehab is a mixed bag depending on the hospital you go to. A bit the same in Australia if you go through the public system. Non-op is fine but you should read up on the more modern protocols which have you out of a cast and weight bearing in a boot around 3 or 4 weeks. The time off work will be the same regardless of surgery and since you recovery has already started you would be behind a couple of weeks if you went that way. Getting back to work depends on what you do. If you have a physical job that requires lots of leg strength then you will be off work for around 5 months at the least. If you do not start the early weight bearing then that will be extended as your re-rupture risk is much higher. If your right leg is injured then driving is out until you get into 2 shoes which can be around 7 or 8 weeks. Some people fit an adaptor to the car (autos only) so you can drive with the left foot but you would need to have this approved with your insurance. Rehab (physio) can start once you are in a boot. After 3 weeks you can do simple range of motion exercises with the boot off and of course walking or at least the start of walking (in the boot).

  534. Bradon 11 Oct 2016 at 2:40 pm 534

    Stuart, thanks so much that helps a ton. I’m in Canada so it may be similar to UK/Australia’s public system. I work in the hospital, 12 hrs and a lot of it on my feet so it may be on the longer side for going back. Thanks again!

  535. indianajonon 12 Oct 2016 at 5:18 am 535

    Hi Stuart, thanks for your concern about NSAIDS which I’ll bear in mind. I believe the melatonin also aids healing by promoting phase 3 sleep which is when cell regeneration takes place. It was the guy in the plaster room that fitted the boot who told me I could take it off when sleeping and resting and I did this from day 5 to day 11 until I saw the consultant who said no it needs to be on 24/7. I was very careful to keep my foot in exactly the same position when it was off and not cover or otherwise allow it to be moved while in bed, so hopefully no harm done. I wasn’t really given any info about wearing the boot - how tight to strap it, how much air to pump in etc so have been experimenting to give a comfortable but supportive fit. I believe its main purpose is to keep the foot at the right angle and am surprised there isn’t something much more light weight and comfortable for sleeping and resting in. Seeing consultant again tomorrow (day 26) so will let you know how I get on.

  536. Stuarton 12 Oct 2016 at 12:46 pm 536

    Brad - You may be able to get back to work sooner than you think. Being on your feet all day is a problem as you will need some time to rest and let the swelling go down but some shorter hours could work. You will sort that out as you need. One of the better studies in non-op was done in the UWO in Canada and if you site specific search that from the main page then you will find plenty of reading. Something to do for the moment to keep you occupied.

    Indianajon - a night splint can be fashioned from the special plastic physio’s use but I doubt the NHS would do it. It goes on the front of your leg and stops any dorsi flexion of your foot. Held on with velcro. The idea really it to keep your foot in the boot though for the moment. It will be over soon but I had trouble sleeping with it on. At times I wish I had some meletonin to shut down and sleep. Hoping sleeping without the boot has not done any harm. Your tendon ends need to be touching so the body can do its job but if they separate then the body just fills the gap and your tendon heals long. The boot should be firm enough to stop any movement of the foot or leg.

  537. indianajonon 13 Oct 2016 at 6:36 am 537

    Hi Stuart, just back from doc with one wedge removed from boot. Have to remove another every 2 weeks then go back to see him in 4 weeks (54 days from rupture), by which time only heel lift wedge should remain. Asked how it was going but told no way of knowing until 8 weeks. No exercises suggested but plan to start gentle ankle rotations and plantar flexes with no dorsiflex beyond position of foot in boot. Fingers crossed it’s going OK.

  538. Stuarton 13 Oct 2016 at 1:03 pm 538

    Indianajon - that pretty good news. For ROM exercises support the leg leaving the foot free. A reclining armchair is good. Then you can write the alphabet with your foot. This is called Active ROM. Passive ROM is not for you at the moment. This involves an external force like a theraband or somebody else forcing your foot. A big no this early. People worry about the lack of dorsi flexion but it comes back. Forcing it early could lead to healing long and lack of strength.

  539. indianajonon 16 Oct 2016 at 4:31 am 539

    Stuart - tried active ROM for first time this morning (28 days) but, never mind the alphabet, it was as much as I could do to move my ankle a few degrees each way. Quite surprised really as it all feels so normal otherwise, apart from some swelling, and have had no pain at all since day 1. How often should I be trying & how much effort should I be putting into it at this stage? Thanks, John.

  540. Stuarton 16 Oct 2016 at 1:01 pm 540

    Indianajon - The recommendation for me was to do active ROM 3 times a day but I did a little more. The amount of effort relates only to how much you can do with your own muscles. No need to force it as the idea is more about keeping things moving and is probably more to do with all the other soft tissue in the area. Writing the alphabet is just a way of getting your foot to move many different ways. Persist and it will come. The next few weeks will be about weight bearing, ditching the crutches and getting ready to put a shoe on the foot. That is probably when the fun starts and the work.

  541. indianajonon 17 Oct 2016 at 10:47 am 541

    Thanks for the advice Stuart, exercise this morning was much easier with good range of rotational movement due to less swelling. I didn’t try anything else today but will build up gradually to two to three times a day over the next couple of weeks. Weight bearing has not been an issue with no pain and I’m only using two crutches to compenxate for difference in leg length caused by wedges. Will ditch a crutch when next wedge comes out. By the way, how do you trace letters of the alphabet without dorsi flexing?

  542. Stuaton 17 Oct 2016 at 12:17 pm 542

    Jon - writing the ABC’s is about building flexion in all directions including dorsi flexion and you have to do the best you can with the limited dorsi flexion you have at the moment but you can still flex that way under the leg’s own steam. You will not be hurting the healing tendon if you point your foot up as far as it will let you as long as you do not push the foot up with an external force.

  543. markon 20 Oct 2016 at 3:59 pm 543

    Hi All:

    I am glad that I found this blog. One feels alone and the answers here help. I had a complete Achilles tear, and had surgery on 10/12

    I have been getting around with a walker and knee scooter. The one question I don’t see here is…….my NWB foot has touched the ground a couple of times…….not complete weight on it, and just for a second, or two. I haven’t felt any pain when it happens, so I just wondered ….how common is this? What are the chances I did any damage to the tendon?

    Also, I have a low couch that I have been sleeping on. I have to turn and put my bad leg up on it to be able to get onto the walker or knee scooter…..a couple of times…..a little weight on my toes….which are upside down at that point as I lift up. I appreciate your help

  544. Nicolaon 20 Oct 2016 at 11:38 pm 544

    Mark I wouldn’t worry. I toe touched a bit while in cast and actually slipped a couple of times on wet tiles in my office building - very scary but you’re very protected in a cast or boot. I’m 10 weeks now and healing well (no surgery).

  545. markon 21 Oct 2016 at 2:10 pm 545

    Hi Nicola

    Thank you so much for your response! I figured that the point of the splint/ cast is to protect the tendon from that sort of thing…..but still …when they tell you to be NWB and then you go and ……put weight on it a few times…….it is scary. You just helped me sleep better!!I appreciate your quick response!!

  546. markon 30 Oct 2016 at 1:23 pm 546

    Mark here again.

    I am now at day 18 post op, and admittedly going crazy being NWB I tell myself though that this is just a short period of time to invest in the quality of life I hope to gain over whatever time I have left…..lol……hopefully a few decades…..I am 62

    I am finally having my post op appt. with the surgeon tomorrow. I have been in a splint with ace bandages since day 1. Gonna see if I can start to put a little weight on the foot, encouraged by what i have read here.

    Going forward, here are my questions: I know that a boot is in my future. What have people done with covering it when you come in from the outside? After all, who knows where one walks? Certainly, into a public bathroom. The thought of tracking that into the house, and sleeping with the boot then grosses me out!

    Also, do people just get by with wearing a shoe on the other foot to alleviate the difference in height from the boot to the other foot? thanks

  547. markron 30 Oct 2016 at 8:21 pm 547

    yikes…..tipped over on the knee scooter tonight. NO pain in the foot or swelling…..as if nothing happened. Has this happened to others? Hopefully, I didn’t damage anything…..I am in a splint with ace bandages….day 18

  548. Stuarton 31 Oct 2016 at 12:21 pm 548

    Mark - Many people fall on the scooters and most of the time are OK. You will be seeing your doctor anyway so you will know soon enough but I would not worry. Yes, what you say about the boot is a bit gross but there is not a great deal of option. Some boots have a sole that can come off at night for bed or you can wrap it in a garbage bag or pillow case. I found it hard to sleep with anyway so took it off to sleep after 3 weeks. You should ask your doc if that would be OK first. If you search this site specific from the main page (top left corner) with the words ‘even up’ you will find some answers to your other problem. I didn’t worry about it but I had to put up with a bit of uncomfortable pain in the hips.

  549. markron 31 Oct 2016 at 10:37 pm 549

    thanks stuart

  550. Johnon 10 Nov 2016 at 12:48 pm 550

    Day 54 consultant visit - after brief examination and pinch test, was told that there’s still a tiny gap but was pleased that I was able to move my foot up and down naturally. This seemed like contradiction to me, surely if there was still a gap I wouldn’t be able to move it?? Have to take one more wedge out this week, leaving just the heel cup, then keep boot on for three more weeks when walking but take off while resting and sleeping. After three weeks revert to normal shoes with heel pads then return to see consultant one week later when I should be signed over to PT. I was planning to travel a week after that, so my question is would I be able to take exercises from PT and continue with them myself independently? Planning to walk and swim every day while I’m away as well.

  551. indianajonon 12 Nov 2016 at 7:59 am 551

    Sorry Scott, posts seem to be going astray, this was meant for Stuart.

    Hi Sturat, day 56 update. Saw consultant again last Thursday & after brief examination and pinch test he said that it’s healing ok but there’s still a small gap but was pleased that I could to move my foot up and down naturally. This seems like a contradiction to me, surely if there’s still a gap I wouldn’t be able to move it?? He said to take one more wedge out this week, leaving just the heel cup, & keep the boot on for 3 more weeks when walking but take it off while resting and sleeping. Then revert to normal shoes with heel pads for a week before seeing him again, when he should be able to sign me over to PT. I was planning to travel a week after that, so would I be able to take exercises from PT and do them myself independently? I was planning to do easy walking & swimming every day while I’m away and could also have access to an ex sports PT privately if necessary. My other question is how long does the sweelling last? My foot & ankle are ok in the morning but still swell up during the day. Thanks, Jon

  552. Stuarton 13 Nov 2016 at 12:47 pm 552

    John - it is common for some to have small gaps or dents. The tendon is joined but still filling in the bits. Given this then the more conservative approach of leaving you in the boot a bit longer is advised as long as you are still weight bearing. I can’t see anything wrong with your travel but you will have to rest more and walking could be painful if you do too much. As tolerated is a good mantra. Swelling will be with you for a long while yet. PT is about showing you what to do so you can do it at home or away.

  553. Kevinon 13 Nov 2016 at 2:36 pm 553

    Hi Stuart,

    I started two footed heel lifts at 91/2 weeks. I had a small ridge/dent too…do you think it would be good to hold off heel lifts?

    Docdidn’5 seem too worried…but I am lucky if I get 5 min of his time.

    Kevin

  554. indianajonon 14 Nov 2016 at 5:47 am 554

    Thanks for the reassurance Stuart and sorry for the stupid mistake spelling your name. I am still fwb and have just got evenup so with only one wedge can now walk fairly normally in the boot. It’s good to be able to take it off while resting though and helps with the swelling a lot. I am still doing the active foot and ankle exercises three times a day and have good mobility with little stiffness. I was only planning easy level walking while away, no long distances, with swimming, pool walking and lots of rest.

  555. Stuarton 14 Nov 2016 at 12:44 pm 555

    Kevin - The heel lifts, if done correctly, should not be a problem. Go up on your good and the proportion the weight onto your bad so it does not take it all and go down slow. They are not something to be overdone either but you can build your strength slowly this way and increase the weight on the bad leg. Initially it will be more weight on your good going down.

  556. kevin Youngon 15 Nov 2016 at 8:41 pm 556

    Thanks Stuart

  557. markron 16 Nov 2016 at 11:12 pm 557

    mark …also mark r….lol

    5 week anniversary for me today, and I went back to my teaching position today. Last Thursday, week 4 and a day, got a good report. Went into a walking cast until 11/21, but was told I could be full weight bearing. Take it slow at first with the walker and or cane

    By Saturday, I no longer needed either support and started going up the stairs, slowly grabbing on to the railing. Felt good to sleep in my bed again, rather than the couch downstairs Started driving on Sunday (my left foot is the one that had the rupture)

    I am lucky, by 3:00 my foot was a little swollen, but not too bad. Elevated it some when I got home…..feels great now. But, I had to take a nap earlier……I wasn’t used to working after 35 days away

  558. Indianajonon 04 Dec 2016 at 5:40 am 558

    Hi Stuart - wk 11 and, with some trepidation, removed the boot and started wearing normal shoes. Surprisingly things generally feel OK… the underside of my heel is bruised, the outside of my ankle is stiff and swelling during the day makes everything feel tight but the acilles area feels fine. Initially I had pain in my hip but that seems to have worn off now. I don’t intend to venture outside for couple of days and am not forcing things, just letting things return to normal naturally. Hopefully the news from my consultant next week will be positive and I’ll be signed over to PT.

  559. Stuarton 04 Dec 2016 at 12:24 pm 559

    Indianajon - good move to take it slow. What you are experiencing is normal as your foot has been locked away for a very long time. The tendon will still be quite weak and needs to build strength and the new collagen which aligns itself with the force.

  560. Indianajonon 06 Jan 2017 at 8:11 am 560

    Summary of my (slightly unconventional) recovery to date.

    Day 1 - 66 year old, fit and active male injured left foot while dancing energetically on holiday in Spain. Had no idea what I’d done, no pain, foot just went floppy and wouldn’t work properly.
    Day 2 - attended A&E where doctor confirmed suspected achilles rupture, lower leg put in plaster back slab with foot 35 degree plantiflexed & prescribed clexane jabs to prevent blood clots
    Day 5 - flew home and attended fracture clinic in UK. Back slab removed and further examination confirmed Spanish doctor’s diagnosis. Fitted with aero boot with four wedges and told to fully weight bear but mistakenly told I could remove boot while resting and sleeping.
    Day 9 - ultrasound scan revealed full rupture with 3.5 cm gap that had already started to fill
    Day 12 - first consultant appointment (actually saw registrar as consultant unavailable) Told to keep boot on 24/7 and NOT to remove it for sleeping (I did continue to remove it each morning to wash my foot and leg though and also removed the front guard at night for sleeping)
    Day 26 - consultant appointment (actually saw different registrar as consultant unavailable again) Brief visual examination, one wedge removed
    Day 28 - started active range of motion exercises for foot and ankle and seated heel raises with boot off, three times a day
    Day 42 - removed second wedge at home myself
    Day 54 - consultant appointment (consultant actually available this time) Examination revealed suspected dents and small gap, third wedge removed and told to keep boot on for three more weeks but could now remove while resting and sleeping
    day 70 - removed final wedge at home myself
    Day 77 - removed boot and reverted to two shoes
    Day 82 - final consultant appointment (saw registrar again) Confirmed tendon had healed and thought that previously felt ‘dents’ and ‘gap’ were in fact just depressions caused by my socks in the swelling!

    I have never been in any pain since the injury occured and have now been walking in normal shoes for four weeks without pain, apart from soreness underneath my heel. I think this is due to my instep becoming higher while I was wearing the boot, which is putting more pressure than I’m used to on my heel when I walk. Initially swelling and stiffness was a problem but is improving each day and I’ve just started wearing a compression sock which is helping a lot. I’m still limping (mostly through habit I think) but if I walk slowly and really concentrate the limp is almost gone. Yesterday I walked for four hours and had no reaction apart from a brief cramp in my calf in the evening.

    Unfortunately, physiotherapy in my part of the UK appears to be a bit of a dead loss - a few basic ROM and stretching exercises (most of which I’ve been doing since wk 4 anyway) with no hands on or massage. I’m happy to let things continue to recover naturally though, as I’ve no ambition to do anything other than be able to walk, swim and cycle as I did before.

  561. jokeron 10 Jan 2017 at 6:27 pm 561

    Hi guys, I m very satisfied to find this blog, I gues it helps you a lot to know other’s similar cases.
    I m 33, I play basketball , I had complete ATR and this is my case:
    12.04.16 playing basketball I broke my AT
    12.09.16 surgery (operation) and cast for 6 weeks
    12.23.16 first apt after surgery just to check that everything is fine.
    This is where I started to research about ATR and what is the best procedure for a fast recovery and I found that early weight bearing is the best option and also wear a walker boot instead a cast, so I decided to propose that to my doctor next apt.
    01.03.17 second apt. I talk to my doc if it is a good idea to drop cast and use walker boot instead; he said it is not what he normally suggest to patients and I could be exposed to a re-rupture, so he removed the stitchs, remove cast and put a new cast but just for 10 days more ( I convinced him with all the info I collected, obviusly he knows that I am not asking something crazy, it is just to remove cast 1 week before plan). So, I ll be just 5 weeks in cast then a walker boot
    01.13.17 it will be my third apt, doc will remove cast, put walker boot and I ll start my PT immediately.
    I would like to know if someone has faced some similar case and what you did.
    Regards
    Joker

  562. achillespositivityon 10 Jan 2017 at 7:59 pm 562

    The timeline that you describe sounds like it is within the general range of what patients experience. It took me longer to get into a boot and start PT, but my Ortho said this was largely because my tear was higher than typical and he wanted to take extra caution. My schedule was:
    2 days post-op: sutures removed & cast put on
    3 weeks post-op: cast removed; placed in boot, NWB 1st week, PWB second
    5 weeks post-op: cleared to transition to FWB in boot
    6 weeks post-op: started PT

    I hope this helps!

  563. Robon 10 Jan 2017 at 8:50 pm 563

    Hi all,

    I had full rupture of my Achilles on 12/1/16 playing basketball. I am 30 years old and multi sport athlete in high school and college. I somehow managed to escape major injuries all this time and now blow out something in a casual pickup league. Ugh. And surgery on 12/15/16. I really had no pain before or after surgery. Only took pain meds the first night after surgery to stay ahead of pain once nerve block wore off. Was in splint until 12/28 and got stitches removed. I currently have 2 weeks left in the hard cast and then back to the boot. Was wondering how long until I can realistically move around better than start partial weight bearing. I mostly want to know just for showering which may be the hardest part so far. Seeing all these stories makes me feel a lot better about the recovery process. Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated.

  564. jokeron 11 Jan 2017 at 10:50 am 564

    Hi achillespositivity, I wonder if your doc allows you to swim in the pool.
    Regards
    Joker

  565. Ninoon 17 Jan 2017 at 6:43 pm 565

    Thank you guys for sharing your experiences, find it very informative. Had my ATR last 12/13/16, had the surgery 1/11, am 1week now w/ splint and will have my apt next week to put on a fiber glass cast. After 6weeks post Op will be scheduled PT. Hoping for the fastest yet safest recovery for us!!!

  566. Paulon 07 Mar 2017 at 1:08 pm 566

    Hello everybody…I’m glad I found this blog, nice to see that people have recovered well from this common, but life altering injury! I’m 52, from Canada, a multisport athlete and former college football player, who like some in the blog escaped injury for most of my sports years, only to completely rupture (shred, was the word my surgeon used) my right AT on Jan 22nd. I was doing some offseason indoor football drills, and was demonstrating a pass route stance and takeoff. I heard the ominous loud pop, no pain but it actually felt like my foot “lost all power” and was no longer communicating with the rest of my leg. I had a pretty good idea of what had happened, but was optimistic that it might not be completely torn because of the lack of pain. I drove myself to Emerg, and the ER doc confirmed my worst fears with a Simmonds-Thompson test. I had surgery on Jan 28th, and Post Op recovery was remarkably pain-free, I didn’t require any of the pain meds prescribed after the injury or after the surgery. At 10 days Post Op, stitches were removed and I began to wear a Don Joy MaxTrax ROM aircast. This boot has an adjustable range of motion lever on the ankle, and I’ve had it adjusted once since putting it on. I’m 5 weeks post op this week, i’ve been walking without crutches for the past week, short distances and around the house. I had excessive swelling for the first 3 weeks, but a compression socklet on my foot and ankle plus lots of time spent with the foot elevated fixed that. I have my next followup on Mar 22nd, and I expect that my formal Physical Therapy begins then, but I’ve been doing simple ankle and toe flexes for weeks now. I’m happy that this happened in January, because the lifestyle change is immediate and shocking. The first few weeks of NWB were brutal, I went from always on the go to scheming how I was going to get meals, go to the bathroom, sleep upstairs, etc. I have a virtual work from home job, so it kept me sane in the beginning as it was the only thing that didn’t change. I’m trying to be patient and follow the doc’s orders to the letter, I’m motivated by the idea that if I do so, this won’t happen again LOL!!!

  567. Kennyon 07 Mar 2017 at 4:27 pm 567

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to jump in and share my experience. This site had helped me tremendously during this journey back to normal from ATR. I’m 42yrs old and fairly fit. Been playing basketball most of my life in school and various leagues. I’ve been very fortunate at avoiding injuries, as I’ve never even sprained an ankle before until this devastating injury. On 1/4/17, I was playing in my weekly league. As I jumped up for a rebound, heard a pop, and felt like someone kicked me really hard on my heel. I collapsed to the ground and turned to look to see who kicked me, but no one was there. I pretty much knew right then what had happened, but was hopeful that I was wrong. Went to my doctor the next day, and he was almost certain of a complete ATR. Had an MRI on 1/10/17, and it showed about a 3cm gap. My doctor recommended surgery, but during the days waiting for my crappy insurance to approve my MRI, I was doing a bunch of research on this site, and saw that many people had great success going the conservative route and doing early ROM and early weight bearing. So I decided to go against my doctor’s advice and use the treatment plan from Vacocast’s website. Here’s my timeline:

    1/10/17 - Soft cast put on by my doctor while I think over if I want to go with surgery or not. Crutches
    1/14/17 - Told my doctor I will not go with surgery, and he put on a hard cast for me. Went home and ordered a Vacocast.
    1/19/17 - Made an appointment with doctor to remove my hard cast so I can go with the Vacocast. Vacocast set to 30 degree and NWB.
    1/31/17 - Set Vacocast to 15 degree and started PWB.
    2/6/17 - Set Vacocast to 30-15 degree ROM and started FWB. Ditched the crutches.
    2/13/17 - Set Vacocast to 30-10 degree ROM FWB
    2/22/17 - Set Vacocast to 30-0 degree ROM FWB
    2/27/17 - Ditched the Vacocast and into 2 shoes

    It’s been 9 days since I stopped using the Vacocast, and everyday I feel my injured leg getting stronger. My ROM is getting better as well, and hopefully soon it will match my good foot. I still walk with a slight limp, but it has gotten much better since the first day back in 2 shoes. It’s been about 8 weeks total from my initial ATR to back in 2 shoes. Hopefully I’ll be back to fully strength in a couple more months with PT. I just want to encourage people who may have just ruptured their achilles, or are still in the early recovering stages, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that thing will get better soon! I also highly recommend the vacocast. It works as advertised, and it looks kinda cool too. I’m not sure if insurance will cover for it, as I just ordered it on my own. For me it was money will spent.

  568. cpark1234on 13 Mar 2017 at 10:48 am 568

    Hi all,

    I wanted to throw this question out there since I haven’t had much luck finding information online.

    I ruptured my Achilles playing basketball on 01/28/17. Had surgery on 02/06/17. I was told NWB on a hard cast for a month, then a walking boot for a month, then start PT. I got off the cast on 03/06/17 and is currently in the boot. I’ve been PWB (ortho said to “put weight on leg as tolerated”), so I’ve been probably around ~25% for the last few days. I’ve been keeping the boot on pretty much throughout the day while i’m at work and/or driving and have it off at night when resting at home. I sleep with the boot on since I tend to move around a lot while sleeping.

    I was wondering if anybody out there has had any problems with pain or discomfort on the leg while PWB? The discomfort isn’t necessarily coming from the achilles, but from the leg overall (muscles and bones) as well as foot area. And the pain is at it’s worst when I wake up in the morning. I have a follow up with my ortho in 4 days (he said it’s not normal to fell that much discomfort) but I wanted to see if I can get some information from other people before going in.

    BTW the discomfort I’m feeling is the feeling you get when you’ve walked around for hours and your leg is just throbbing.

    Hope you guys can share some information!

  569. hopefulon 13 Mar 2017 at 7:34 pm 569

    I ruptured on 1/28, had surgery on 2/6 and started weight-bearing on 3/2. My PT says the sporadic pain stems from the muscles being weak (lack of use between surgery and PWB). The leg pain keeps me from sleeping through the night, but overall it’s not too bad. If it is a concern, at least make sure the calf pain is not due to a blood clot or anything more serious than the typical fatigue/soreness due to activity.

  570. morcson 14 Mar 2017 at 3:08 am 570

    I got pretty bad pains/aches in the top of my foot and lower leg from the boot. I knew what this was from snowboarding though - boot too tight. I actually had to wear it really loose to be comfortable, but be careful :)

  571. cpark1234on 14 Mar 2017 at 9:15 am 571

    Thanks for the reply!

    I was wondering is it possible to still get blood clots even after 5 weeks post-op?

    Also, I’ve pin point where some pain is coming from. It’s coming from maybe half an inch above the incision from the surgery. The muscle seems to be real tight and throbbing. Has anyone experienced this pain after starting PWB??

  572. Cornelon 23 Mar 2017 at 4:22 pm 572

    Hi guys
    Yes i share the same experience but non operating.
    You’ve covered all.
    I am 4 weeks since it happened and wandering just when will it be safe to sleep without the boot???

  573. markron 16 Apr 2017 at 7:39 pm 573

    Hi All: It has been awhile since I have checked in. This past Weds. was exactly 6 months since my surgery to repair my let ruptured Achilles tendon. I am doing well, just finished PT….although I am still doing the workouts at home.
    I still struggle with stairs, and the foot still goes numb now and then, but……it is so nice to have the foot back to the way it was before the injury.
    I post this because my incision did not heal quickly down by where the back of the shoe was. In case you are going through this, it took a little over 3 months to heal. I actually took an old pair of gym shoes, and cut away the back so that it wouldn’t rub on the wound; surgeon’s idea. Maybe this will help someone?
    I am 62, and my stamina is coming back but I still can’t walk for long periods {say an hour} without resting a bit

  574. markron 16 Apr 2017 at 7:41 pm 574

    Cornel…….after 4 weeks of being non weight bearing, I went into a walking cast. A week later into the boot. My surgeon told me not to sleep with it on. The surgical area needed air to help it heal.

  575. Justinon 06 May 2017 at 10:38 am 575

    Cornel, I am by no means any kind of an expert (just stating my personal experience) but I would have to echo what Markr said… of course being a non-surgical instance may be a bit different. I am 3 weeks post surgery with mine; I had a splint for the first 2 weeks and went into a boot just over a week ago…As soon as I did, I began sleeping without it. It was extremely rerfreshing to get a full nights sleep.

    I took my first non-booted steps this morning…had a good limp, but I’m ecstatic that it didn’t hurt and now know that I’m progressing well.

  576. cserpenton 06 May 2017 at 2:12 pm 576

    And my surgeon had me in a night splint for 10 weeks. Check with your surgeon since he knows what went on under the skin. Glad you took some steps Justin! Take shorter steps so you don’t limp. You want to walk with as normal a gait as possible. As things heal up and start to get stretched out you can lengthen your stride.

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