16 weeks post surgery update

I’ve been out of the boot 4 weeks now and really loving it.  I’m almost back to walking normally without a limp.  In the morning it’s stiff, but after I get moving a bit I’m fine.   I can walk for at least a couple miles with no problem and yesterday I went out to practice some pickleball shots with a buddy for about an hour (I took it very easy, no pushing off or running, just slowly moving around the court and practicing serves, dinks, etc).  It will be awhile before I’m back to playing normally, but I can see the finish line off in the far distance now.   I’ve got a little ‘knot’ of scar tissue on my Achilles where the doc sewed it up, but the PT is helping to knock it down.  Happily, it doesn’t really bother me, no rubbing on the back of my shoe or anything.  For the first couple of weeks after the boot came off, I experienced some swelling after walking around a bit, but that seems to be mostly in the rearview mirror now.

So, overall, I’m very happy with how things have gone.  Hope y’all are having similar good experiences!

Looking for veteran advice

Hi folks.  I’ve been out of the boot for 4 days now and just had my first PT session yesterday.  My therapist gave me a lot of exercises to do - many of which I’ve seen mentioned on this site (dorsiflexion and plantarflexion with theraband, scrunch the towel, sitting calf raises, etc).   I did them all for the first time today at home and then started to go for a walk, but noticed that my ankle had swollen up a fair bit so decided I better go home and ice.   I”m now also noticing that I get a “click” in my ankle every time I take a step and that’s a new thing that just started.   I get a little pain in the ankle every time i get the ‘click’.

My recovery thus far has gone very smoothly and this is really the first step backwards that I’ve experienced, so I just wondered if others had a similar experience with the swelling and clicking when they started to walk without the boot?   Would love to hear from some of you who have been there/done that!   thanks in advance for advice and support.

12 Weeks - No More Boot!

I had my 12 week doc visit today and he has cleared me off the boot.  What a wonderful feeling to be out of that thing and back into regular shoes.  Now I’m just trying to take it slowly and walk properly again.  The tendon is pretty tight so it’s a slow go, but so far so good.  I will also start PT on Friday (3 days from now) so pretty psyched about that too.  My incision(s) have healed really nicely and you have to look pretty closely to see any scar at all.   Doc just wants me walking on mostly flat ground for now - no hiking in my immediate future - that’s ok, I can live with that for awhile.   Hope everyone is doing well too!

Eight Weeks Update

Hi everyone.  I had my 8 week post op appt (well, technically it’s been 8 1/2 weeks now) today and all is looking good.   The doc cleared me to remove one of the two heel lifts in my boot now and said if it felt good that I can take the last one out in another 2 weeks.  I’ve done some walking around today and, yes, I can definitely tell that I’m getting a little stretch on the tendon now.  Really glad to be making some additional forward progress.  I did ask the doc about PT again and he said that he’d be happy to write me a referral, but that he didn’t want me to start until 12 weeks post-op.  I challenged him a bit on that, telling him that I knew of several other patients who had done PT sooner.  He said that it would be appropriate in some cases, but where I tore my tendon was particularly tricky and he wanted to give it more time before I do much more than boot-walking with it.  In the end, I trust my doc and am going to follow his advice.  I guess not all AT surgeries are exactly the same, so maybe that’s one reason why treatment differs.  Hope ya’ll are doing well too!

Full Weight Bearing Today!

Hi all.  Just had my ~4.5 weeks post-surgery appt with the doc and he has cleared me for FWB boot walking.   Wow - what an awesome feeling to be able to toddle around the house with use of both hands.  Still have 2 heel lifts in the boot so it’s a bit of an odd feeling.  Borrowed a friend’s “evenup” lift for my other shoe (the good foot) so I’m more balanced.   Next appointment in another 4 weeks.  I’m tempted to try to walk a few miles, but I think it’s best to start slowly and build up over time.

Good luck everyone!


Paul1’s Achilles’ Blog

Hi Everyone.   Today I’m celebrating my 3rd week post surgery - and yes, i’m using the word ‘celebrate’ pretty loosely!    I’m a 58 year old retired married male with 3 boys all about to head back to college so life will be a little quieter soon.  I used to be an avid tennis player but when I tore my scapho-lunate tendon in my wrist last year, i decided to move on to a less-physically demanding sport and took up pickleball.   I was really loving it until July 16th of this year when i experienced a complete Achilles’ tendon tear.  I had surgery 10 days later on July 26th, wore a splint for 10 days and I’m now wearing a boot.   My next doc appt is in 1 0 days (~4 weeks post surgery) and I’m hoping that i may start weight bearing in boot at that time, we’ll see.

First I thought I’d just mention some of the things I did to prepare prior to surgery which really, really has helped make my life easier post-surgery.   I bought a shower seat and installed a hand-held shower spray (very simple to do) which has just been fantastic.   I have crutches of course, but I have also borrowed two knee scooters from neighbors (one for upstairs and one for downstairs in our 2-story house).   So nice not to have to lug a scooter up and down the stairs.  I’m sure lots of others have recommended similar things, but I didn’t come across them quickly so thought it might be worth mentioning here.

I think I got a very good surgeon and I’m confident with the work he has done, but I am somewhat concerned that he doesn’t seem to think PT will be needed.  I’ve seen a lot of posts that describe some of the PT work others are doing and I don’t want to miss the boat on anything.   My doc isn’t opposed to it, but says he just doesn’t think I’ll need it.  We’ll see.  Would love to get your feedback on your own experience with this.   I did print off the excellent summary from Dr. Berkson that was posted to this blogsite and provides some stretches to do over time, but would love to hear what else y’all might be doing - including pool work (we have a community pool i could use when the time comes).  For now (3 weeks post surgery) I’m just taking it easy and not doing much other than wiggling and curling my toes and doing some upper-body workout stuff.  I sleep without the boot and am loving it!

Best I can figure, my planned protocol will be to start boot walking 4 weeks post surgery, and continue in the boot through ~12 weeks when I will advance to shoe walking, probably with a heel lift although i’m just guessing.  I currently have 2 heel lifts in the boot and I figure that will get weaned down over the next 8 weeks in the boot.

Look forward to sharing stories with everyone and hearing good advice from all you experienced hands out there!