Range of Motion Begins - How much tension?

Lots of concentration and doing the exercises on my good leg to get an idea of how far I should be able to go with my foot.  It’s almost as if my foot is ignoring the commands of my brain.

My doc is great but he didn’t do a fantastic job of going through the ROM exercises.  Again, the web and You Tube are great resources to get an understanding of what I am supposed to be doing.  He did a great job of explaining everything else, including the surgery and exactly what he did, just missed it on the ROM exercises.

I find that the ROM exercises are making it easier to put weight on my leg.  Guess I will be religiously diligent to them and take time out at work to do them also.

The only question I have is how much tension or stretch should I put in the tendon.  It doesn’t hurt but I can feel the tension, but how far do I push the stretch?

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, wishing all a full recovery physically and mentally.

5 Responses to “Range of Motion Begins - How much tension?”

  1. How far? A fraction more than is easy - you’ll know it when you do it

  2. nmeagle0814, I recommend you add the ATR Timeline widget to your blog so readers have some immediate context of where you are in your recovery–you’ll get better comments. That being said, I didn’t start ROM exercises until week 4 (post-op) when I was out of the cast, into a boot, and had my first PT session. For the first few weeks afterwards, I was told to keep my maximum dorsiflexion “just less than neutral” while doing my ROM exercises, and keep them slow and controlled. In other words, don’t push it at an early stage. -David

  3. Ya, the ATR Timeline Widget is vital, because what’s perfect at 6 weeks would be a disaster even at 4.
    Bit.ly/UWOProtocol is one well tested successful recipe, and you can see 2 other great ones in Cecilia’s summary at. ../Cecilia/Protocols. All that said, I’d err on the wimpy side if you’re non-op, and not necessarily if you’re post-op. Lots of surgeries repair the AT too short, but non-op doesn’t do that.

  4. I know I am biased, but you really should consult with a physical therapist. It will also depend on how your surgery went. Some people tear their Achilles and it is a clean cut so the repair is fairly simple. Others shred their tendon (looks almost like a mophead). The surgeon then has to trim it before suturing it back together. In those cases, it will be tighter and more fragile.

    Also, a lot of patients “stretch” their ankle but do not get the ROM they are looking for. The ankle is actually made up of three joints: talocrural joint, subtalar joint, and your midfoot. You need to gain back dorsiflexion ROM and that is through the talocrural joint. However, you can cheat so to speak and gain motion by allowing your midfoot to collapse. This will only lead to other problems down the line.

    If and when you are cleared to start stretching your calf using a wedge or just leaning up against the wall, the best way to ensure you are not just collapsing your foot is to keep your weight more on the outside of your foot. That way you will not let your midfoot collapse.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

  5. Greg, your info sounds a lot like mine in my page on “Maybe healing short is scary after all!” In addition to the fear of midfoot collapse, my PT and I both think that my “trick” right knee is probably a side-effect of my too-short ATR op on that side. (My right quad is very tight, but my other one is even tighter!) And it has improved significantly with religious stretching.

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