4 days after surgery-lots of worry

Had my achilles tendon surgery on January 2nd - Happy New Year to me! I am a 43 year old male who injured playing recreational volleyball. Anyway, surgery went well and was feeling really good after 2 days of pretty bad pain. However, last night, as I attempted to move from the knee walker to a chair, the chair slipped a bit and I lost my balance. My foot did not hit the ground but I did jerk my toes upward which resulted in a flash of searing pain for about 3 seconds. Pain went from a 1 to about a 9 and then subsided to a 5 for the night. There is still some slight pain near the achilles but nothing thats not manageable. My question is - how easy is it to re-rupture the achilles with a movement like that? I cant imagine doing the surgery again. Anyway, if anyone had any similar slips and could give some advice I would appreciate it. Just really scared because I know if you re-rupture the chances of a normal recovery are really low. A pt friend of mine said the movement I described is not likely to rerupture the injury, but I’ll take any reassurance from you guys that I can get. Thanks

6 Responses to “4 days after surgery-lots of worry”

  1. Many of us have had a similar fall (I fell off my Scooter making a bed 2-3 weeks in), and usually everything is fine. I would still suggest mentioning it to your doctor to give yourself piece of mind. When if your follow up appointment?

  2. My first follow up is on Tuesday. Thanks for the response. Being super cautious now due to the scare.

  3. Stay super-cautious for another 3 months, regardless of how this turns out! Good luck. There are many more scares than reruptures, for sure.

  4. I slipped on a curtain about a week after the surgery, landed very hard on the repaired foot and had the same worries. everything turned out fine for me, as I am sure it will for you! nearly everybody has at least one scare during their recovery, unfortunately…

  5. As you probably know, the muscles that lift your foot/toes up (tibialis anterior) do not act through the Achilles. They are also, relative to the calf, very weak.

    Were you in a boot or cast? If so, I think the danger is almost nil. The way you can hurt your Achilles in this manner is to lift your toes too far, stretching it too much. Sounds like you did a reflexive active dorsi-flexion. If your range of motion was limited by a boot/cast, then I really think there is very little chance that you would have over stretched it.

    If you were hobbling around without support (I did it too), then there is some risk. But those muscles are so weak - that even then, I think you have a very very good probability of being OK.

    Conversely, it’s quite possible to damage the healing achilles with your calf muscle - in or out of a cast/boot. A strong calf contration - with, or without motion - can tear apart a damaged Achilles. So, as others have said, be extra careful for the next few months, no matter how this turns out.

  6. FWIW, early in my recovery, I found that I could flex the tibialis anterior as hard as I wanted, without pain or stress (so long as my range of motion was constrained).

    So, for instance, I could do seated leg extensions- flexing my quads and pulling my toes back with 100% effort (in a boot!), and there was no pain or lingering adverse effects. I was careful to ensure that the lower section of the boot was cinched down tight, to ensure that my range of motion was properly limted and no stretch was put into the fragile Achilles.

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