19. Badminton. ATR. Post-Op Day 12. Swelling?

Hi Everyone,

This is a continuation of the last post.

It’s been 12 days since my operation. The first two days were quite painful and I had to take some Tylenol-3 with Codine that the nurse gave me post surgery. I stopped taking the pills on the third day as the pain got better.

Up to now, I’ve been spending the last two weeks on my bed with the TV, Internet (AchillesBlog), and Books and Magazines. After spending so much time on the bed though, my back is starting to ache. The calf on the injured leg has also shrunk considerably. My next appointment is this Friday, where I think I will be switched into a fiberglass cast.

Help! I’ve been elevating my leg as much as possible, but while the calf does not seem to hurt, my entire foot seems to be swelling considerably. The foot feels very tight, especially after I try to wiggle my toes. The back of the foot and the heel seems to be swelling causing quite a bit of discomfort. Is this normal? Did anyone else experience something like this?

I appreciate any feedback or comments and I would definitely like to hear from you about your ATR experience!




  1. tomtom Said,

    October 6, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

    Michael - It’s not uncommon to experience swelling. Do you ice your leg at all? This, along with elevating, might help with swelling. You can try ice packs behind your knee or even through the split/cast. Also, keep trying to wiggle your toes, unless it feels painful to do so. That being said, it is also possible there is an issue with your splint/cast. If they are not applied right they can cause pressure sores. I would suggest contacting your doctor if you think there may be an issue with the splint/cast.

  2. smoley Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 2:48 am

    Mike - I think a word with the doc wouldn’t go amiss if you are still swelling at day 12 despite all the elevation. Your cast might be too tight and that won’t be doing you any favours. Smoley

  3. Joe Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 8:18 am


    I agree that it sounds like it maybe to tight and would call the doctor to see if they can change it out. Being in a cast is never easy but it should be causing a lot of discomfort. Elevation and ice behind the knee should help..


  4. 2ndtimer Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    You need to elevate your leg above the level of your heart a lot.
    Eg. rest your leg on top of the back of the couch while lying down on it.

    I suspect it is your lower back that hurts. Make sure you support yourself with enough firm pillows if you stay in bed watching tv. An armchair with foot rest, or a lounge chair may be more comfortable.
    There are exercises for stretching the lower back, for example:

    I hope your toes are not turning purple when it is elevated. It is important that you keep wiggling them.
    Good luck.

  5. michael784 Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think your right, the cast is probably on too tightly since it still feels quite tight even after elevating it above the heart. (It feels better when I wake up in the morning though.) My follow up appointment is this Friday where my foot will be switched into a 90 degree position with a new cast, so I think I should just wait until then..? Would there be a big impact on the healing process if the cast is on too tightly?

    Thanks again,

  6. Michelle Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    I had to go back and have my…hmmm…1st cast I think it was…redone 4 days after they put it on…I couldn’t even get a finger in the top of it. It was MUCH better afterwards. Then the 2nd cast I had to get re’done a couple weeks into it because it got too loose…the swelling went down. Good luck !

  7. robert Said,

    October 8, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

    I experienced the same problem. My cast was placed on too tight and the swelling was only slightly alleviated by elevation. Please get to the doctor as soon as you can. If you don’t you may experience cast wound blisters. Your ankle swells with no room to expand thus causing your skin to break down. I don’t mean to frighten you but it could set you back in your recovery process. I know it did mine. Make sure they do it right the next time.

  8. Michael Said,

    October 8, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

    Thanks Robert and Michelle. It’s been almost a week since the discomfort, I should have gone to the doctor sooner, but I figured that my follow-up appointment is tomorrow, I could just wait it out.. (Not a good idea) I hope the new cast will be set properly this time.

    On another note, my heel started to hurt this morning out of no where. Would anyone have an idea as to why that’s happening?

  9. pouting!!! Said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 10:24 am

    I haven’t seen anything about pressure sores for a while so I thought I’d bring it up again since I’ve developed them. Casts probably should be uncomfortable but really shouldn’t hurt. If they hurt especially in one area insist that the doctor take a look at it. In my case the doctor never took the dressing off between casts and didn’t pay much attention to my complaints-now that I’m finally out of the cast it’s really affecting my recovery.

  10. charlie Said,

    April 15, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    Hi mike, how’s the Achilles now? I’m interested in yr rehab stage. I’m in week 10, boot went at week 8, already started pool work 2 weeks now.
    Did u have much pain on the bottom of the heel? The back of my achilles is super swollen n can hardly walk without pain..

  11. Michael Said,

    April 15, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Hi Charlie,

    It actually took me until week 14 before the boot was removed. I took it very slow the first couple of months. I wen to physio in week 14 where they taught me how to walk properly again. My achilles was definitely swollen as well. You’ll also notice that your achilles after it recovers is alot bigger than the normal achilles. I think you should definitely speak to a doctor about how the situation and the type of discomfort that you have. I think at week 10, it’s definitely early in the rehab, so take it easy. Hope you have a good recovery.


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