How to deal with complications

I’ve been reading others’ ATR experiences on the internet and this is a compilation of “worth reading” postings that I’ve found. The following are some possible complications to keep in mind and hazards to avoid. Please also keep in mind that these complications are usually rare, not limited to just Achilles surgery.
As my anesthesiologist told me, The chances of complications is lower than the chances of getting into a car accident on the way to the hospital. But, as I’ve always been told, hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.. within reason. (Disclaimer: These are other’s ATR experiences, nothing more. It’s just something for you to keep in mind. Ask your doctor for qualified medical advice.)

General running theme of all these experiences is: Become Your Own Advocate for Health Care Services

Adhesions: Comments regarding Adhesions

Bri’s post regarding blood clot: Thrombus in the anterior tibial vein

Vance’s comments on AchillesBlog. Vance highlights the importance of 2nd opinion on his blog: Importance of 2nd opinion. It really riles me up when I read about careless/incompetent doctors and physician’s assistants!

I thank you for the info. I am 24 hours post op and I am in quite a lot of pain. The pain is a burning sensation and my upper calf is sore. I have only got up a few times today. I am trying to keep up with the ice and elevation and the pain meds. When I first posted on this site I was 2nd guessing my doctors diagnosis and treatment. She was a physicians assistant and said no to surgery and heal with immobilization. I emailed doctor and they rushed me in for a 2nd opinion. The Orthopedic surgeon looked at my injury and said it most definately could and should be treated with surgery. The physicians assistant originally diagnosed it as an upper rupture saying surgery was not an option. She did no tests and did not even feel for rupture. The Orthopedic Surgeon could feel where the rupture was and it was lower not upper. He then called in 1 of his colleagues who confirmed his diagnosis. Had I not have had sites like this ro research my condition I would not have known any better.

Kelly’s comments on Simon Barrett’s ATR:
Kelly had some major complications. I’d like to think that it’s rare for these things to happen, but it’s good to keep this in the back of your mind of what can happen. Being too aggressive in your recovery protocol and being too passive with your doctors is not good. Luckily, Kelly did good in the end.

I ruptured my achilles tendon on April 15th in a karate tournament. Just like the rest of you, I thought someone hit me with something. I looked around to what it was, didn’t see anything, took a step and fell flat on my face! I had surgery two days later to repair it, was walking in a regular shoe nine weeks after the surgery. My second day in the shoe I was walking down the hall at work and it completely re-ruptured! I had to have surgery again on June 15th - different Doctor. This one told me that walking at nine weeks was absurd after a total rupture. This time around I was in a hard cast for eight weeks, a boot for another seven weeks. I didn’t start walking in the boot until twelve weeks. Today (15 weeks) is my first day walking in a regular shoe and it feels fantastic. The first time around when I walked in a shoe it made me sick to my stomach,it didn’t feel right, this time, it feels good and strong and I can almost walk normal. Be careful those of you who are on a fast track. It’s been brutal having to go through it twice. Crutches on wet spanish tile?? I did the same exact thing,,OUCH! OH, beware those of you who said you have calf pain. Two weeks out from my first surgery my calf started hurting and they found a blod clot in my leg, been on blood thinners for five months - one more to go. This whole ordeal has been extremely difficult I hope all of you not a speedy recovery but a HEALED recovery. I’m used to working out 1-3 hours a day, so six months doing nothing has been awful. Going from the best shape of your life to the worst doesn’t do much for the mental health.

Some additional info - When I called my first Dr. and told him that I had a re-rupture, he felt awful, the only reason that I switched Dr’s. is because I was driving 4.5 hrs one way every two weeks to see him. (Known him forever, didn’t trust anyone else to fix me) He told me that the healing of the Achilles tendon is anything but text book. Some have healed in as little as 6-8 weeks and others have taken as long as four months (that’s me!). He figured since I was in good shape and fairly young - 35 that I would heal quick. So basically it’s a crap shoot, but here’s the differences that I noticed so you all can take notes as it sounds like you’re all on a bit of a different schedule. The first time I started walking in the boot (7 weeks) I noticed alot of swelling in my foot and calf - so much so, it didn’t look like I had any atrophy….not good. The second time around I started walking in the boot at twelve weeks - NO swelling ever occurred, no matter how long I was on it and my calf stayed nice and shrunk. The first time I took a step on my foot without the boot, I literally almost woofed my cookies, it felt so wrong - nine weeks. The second time I took that step - 15 weeks, the foot was tender on the sole and heel but the tendon felt stiff and rigid. Two days walking now and it is getting better. Last night it was not swollen, but tired and I still had stuff to do so I just put the boot back on to ease the fatigue. I’m sorry I’m so long winded, I just wanted to share these acute differences with you all in hopes that it may save you further injury. I knew something wasn’t right but I wanted to be on the path to recovery so bad that I ignored that little voice that kept saying…..”you’re screwed!”

Simon - I’m sorry to hear of your Dr. troubles. It seems that you’re totally at their mercy and sometimes it’s hard to speak up…but you’ve got to. When I had the terrible pain in my calf two weeks after my first surgery my Dr. thought it was a blood clot and sent me to radiology for an ultra-sound. The tech that conducted the ultra sound. Finished it up and said “nothing is there, no blod clot” I started to leave it at that because that’s what I wanted to hear then better sense got ahold of me. I asked why my calf would hurt so bad when I hadn’t used it in two weeks? It made me jump every time she touched it even lightly. She said she didn’t know. I told her I wasn’t leaving until an actual Radiologist read the ultra sound. She was a little put off but called him. I waited a half hour and he showed up, ultra sounded it again and found a HUGE bloodclot that had all but cut off my vein. Thank God -

Please speakup and make them help you, Oct. 11th??? I’d make myself a real pain in their back sides if I were you to get in earlier. Do they at least have you on some caustic antibiotics?

Philip’s comments on

So here is where it gets a little screwy, but it is worth mentioning for others when they have the choice of general anesthesia or blocking the pain only in the lower portion of your body and taking mild sedatives. I chose General as I have never had problems in the past. The surgery went very well and my Doc was pleased with his ability to fully pull all the pieces together; however, post op I became hypoxic (meaning I was not getting enough oxygen into my body). They tried for many hours to just let it correct itself while I was in recovery but to no avail. At this point they brought in the EKG and a Cardiac Surgeon as they believed I was having a heart attack. After a while it was determined that that was not the case. So, still hypoxic they tried to check me out of the hospital. My wife asked, “so what happens if his breathing continues to deteriorate.” Their response, “call 911″. That did not go over to well with her. She insisted that they get an answer prior to my leaving. They checked me in and now decided that I had had a pulmonary embolism from a blood clot. Many hours later, 3 chest x-rays, one CT scan, one Pulmonologist, two Cardiologists, a very scared patient and family, no embolism was found and someone in the recovery room finally commented that I had thrown up while coming out of the General anesthesia. Pneumonia caused by asphyxiation. Ahh..haa. I went home the next day with a lot of antibiotics. Two week out, I have no lingering symptoms of the pneumonia. A big scare but a big lesson in always being your own doctor and that General Anesthesia can have its real complications.

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47 Responses to “How to deal with complications”

  1. Ruptured my Achilles tendon in Sep. 6, 2008.
    Had a surgery a week after.
    Had pain consistently since the surgery.
    Every time I brought it up when seeing a surgeon he told me that everything looks fine.
    After 3 months of cast and walking boot started physiotherapy and walking in sandals (couldn’t feet my bad foot in to a regular shoe).
    The pain and swallowing continued.
    After 3 months of therapy there was some progress but the pain and the swallowing persisted.
    Talked to my PT, but he wasn’t sure why I’m still in pain and limping.
    Talked to the doctor, he just told me to take a brake from therapy.
    Finally got frustrated and made an appointment with another doctor.
    He checked my ankle and saw the lump in the back of my ankle.
    He told me that the tendon may be re-ruptured, but he didn’t want to guess and sent me to MRI.
    A week ago I went back to see him.
    The MRI report and the doctor’s diagnosis is that I have a Severe Achilles Tendinosis.
    In his opinion I need another surgery to fix it.
    So here I am, 7 months after the surgery facing a prospect of another one to fix what it seems like a failed first surgery.
    Did any one have a similar experience?
    Any input will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi all,
    It has been seven months since my surgery for my ruptured achilles and I have developed pain on the lateral (outside) portion of my lower leg. I don’t think it is my achilles rather I believe I have developed a tendonities in my peroneal tendon during my rehab. Has this happened to anyone else? I’m worried because I am not able to do much without the pain coming back. I have a feeling I will have to rest it for a few weeks before restarting my physical therapy. Thank you for your input.

  3. Maldo - It sounds like some rest may be the best remedy. I know that is difficult because you don’t want to scale back now, fearing it may result in extending the length of recovery. But, if you’re in pain, it’s probably your body telling you it needs a break. If you have access to a pool, you could try doing some of your exercises in the pool, thereby reducing some of the weight on the tendon.

  4. thanks, Tom. I saw my orthopedist yesterday and he thinnks that t is actually the lateral portion of my achilles that has the tendonitis. Either way the remedy is rest and ice. This is really a bummer. I guess I just need to be more patient…..

  5. anyone have experience with sural nerve distribution numbness and parasthesia? my doc thinks it’s transient and compression-related because I was in boot 3 weeks preop, then splint/padding two weeks post op. Any opinions or suggestions?

  6. I originally had surgery to remove bone spurs in my achilles. I was told that they didn’t have to remove any of the tendon in the surgery and because of that I was not put in a cast. I felt fortunate not to be in a cast until I fell three days later.

    I went into A&E because I’d felt something pull loose in the fall and was in considerable pain — about a 37 on a scale of 1 to 10. After an x-ray I was told to stop wasting their time, go home, take some more painkillers, and keep my surgical follow up appoint in two weeks. I thought at the time something looked out of place on the x-ray, but was told that my opinion didn’t count becuase I hadn’t been to medical school.

    I brought up the fall, x-ray, and my concerns at the follow up and was ‘reassured’ that I couldn’t have done that kind of damage and I should just carry on with physiotherapy. I struggled through months of ineffective physio, being again ‘reassured’ and offered more physio with each follow up.

    After 10 months of this, including several acupuncture sessions for pain relief, I was still unable to walk without pain so they decided to inject cortisone into the tendon area to help with what they thought was an inflamed bursa. I completely lost my sense of humour at that point and refused a cortisone injection in a series of short shouted sentences. I told them to find out what was wrong before they start sticking cortisone into places it doesn’t belong.

    They reluctantly agreed to do an ultrasound to again ‘reassure’ me because I couldn’t have anything seriously wrong and still be walking around on it.

    During the ultrasound they found that I had full thickness vertical tear, significant calcification, and that the 30% of the tendon they’d removed and reattached had pulled loose taking a further 30% along with it. Less than half the tendon was intact. They scheduled a second surgery in record time.

    In the second surgery they removed the scar tissue, bone fragments, shortened the tendon to get back to healthy tissue so they could reattach the various pieces. The recovery from that seems to have gone well but they neglected to smooth the bone where the tendon had pulled loose and I’m left with a painful clicking at the back of my heel with every step I take.

    The moral of this story is, If you think anything is wrong and you keep getting ‘reassured’ instead of someone taking appropriate action, do whatever you have to do to get someone to listen. Don’t wait until they decide to take care of a problem in their own merry time. If I’d had the presence of mind to throw a wobbly earlier, I would be better off than I am now.

    I’ve been left with what may now be a permant problem because doctors in the NHS refused to rake appropriate action… several times. Starting with failing to apply a cast after the first surgery.

  7. I am almost three weeks post op. I’ve had increasing pain this week, night twitches, pain at the cut and deep in my achilles.

    This has me totally scared for these reasons:

    1) It didn’t hurt like this last week.
    2) I just started twitching recently.
    3) It’s considerable pain.

    Any help would be deeply appreciated. I’ve called my doc twice in two days but can’t get through.

  8. Hi Steve
    Going on my previous experience when I had my first Achilles Op I would get this checked as I had this and it was an infection that would need treatment if you have the same.
    Has anyone got any advise for me also, my other achilles recently snapped and I’ve had surgery 2 weeks ago and have just gone into a proper cast. I am already on heparin due to my history of DVTs had a scan on Mon due to calf pain, but they said it was clear, today the pain has come back in my calf 10fold, should I ask to be re-checked or could this be that I need my leg elevated more?

  9. Hi, I didn’t know where to ask this but after my second surgery (yes I reruptured it) I had this complication I couln’t find anywhere on this blog. Incision is actually bonded with the muscle! When I move my leg top of the incision do not move and it is pulling the skin. Its been 13 weeks post second surgery and healing is going good other than this problem. Cosmetically it looks horrible and sometimes when the skin is dry it actually hurts the skin. Does anyone have this problem? Doctor says it will not cause a problem but it really bothers me. If anyone know how to deal with this please email me

  10. Sorry to hear about anyone having a rupture, or re-rupture. The adhesion you’re experiencing is pretty common. I had one surgery to fix my ATR and three more surgeries to try to correct the problems created by the first with the last surgery being May 20, 2010. I still have quite a bit of adhesion and yes, it can be uncomfortable and it definitely impedes getting strength back in the calf. Mine is better than it was but it going very slowly and I do exercises every night to try to strengthen the calf and in the process break down the adhesion. If you don’t have one, find a good physical therapist and have him or her do extra work in that area.

    And just so you know, it is not a good idea to post your email address in public because the spammers have spiders crawling website looking for the “@” symbol. Some people think it’s OK to use “at” instead but the spiders are also looking for that.

  11. Thanks for the reply. yesterday doctor gave me a cortisone shot to the spot and told me it will weaken the tissue. Do massage really help? I read about same complication on different surgeries and they talk about a surgery to seperate the skin.

  12. Cortizone to weaken the tissue? That’s certainly a new one. Massage definitely can help and is commonly used for this.

  13. I ruptured my achilles on 11/19 and had surgery last Tuesday morning (11/28), and had an issue thursday night while sleeping. apparently, i must have been dreaming that i was running or jumping in my sleep and twitched very hard and woke up to probably the worst pain that I have felt since injuring my achilles. I immediately feared that I re-injured it and laid in the bed stressing about it the rest of the night. I have not placed any load on it, as instructed, but keep wondering just how strong the tendon is now and if there is a chance that I actually did re-injure it. anyone else experience something like this?


  14. yep - had literally exactly the same thing happen to me a few days after the op. I figured that it couldn’t have actually moved in the plaster so was unlikely to have been damaged but the pain was so similar to the original tear it was a bad moment. I forgot about it soon after (until just now when I read your post).

    I’m 6 weeks in now and all seems to be going fine now. I had a few other similar things happen since - so seems to just be par for the course with the nerves sorting themselves out.

    Good luck with the recovery - the first 2 to 3 weeks post op are the worst. It does start to get better….

  15. Been reading on here a while and like the support. Here is my problem
    I have been out of cast since Nov23,2011 and in walking boot. Started Physio on the 28th of Nov. All was going good until today i was at home walking on my threadmill doing my physio when i felt a small pull almost like a pop but not a hurt. I instantly got off the threadmill went and sat down on a chair. I checked it out and it felt okay. I walked around on the floor abit and it still felt okay. As the day has gone on and i walk i can kind of feel like somebody is pulling up a sock inside my leg.

    HELP what did i do? I go for Physio on thursday and i am going to tell him this but did i re rupture it

  16. I tore my AchillesTendon 12/4. I had surgery 12/9. Thankfully I had an epidural which I’m thankful for. After surgery prior to going home they did a popliteal block which extended the pain relief to the surgical leg for 8-10 hours post op. So far I’ve managed to keep the pain under control with percocet, valium, ibuprofen and ice. I know nutrition will be a huge part of the recovery. Anybody have a good web page for nutrtion? The hardest part for me is going to be sitting and elevating my leg. I’m not a sitter by nature. I do have crutches, but I recommend for those mom’s out there who still have to do all we do get a knee walker and if will give you freedom to get things done.

  17. Am 20, injured ma achillis tendon by mistk while walkIng..later figure out it was almst a complete cut perhps slice with a bottle on d flour..I guess I kinda tripped backwards a little and then sustained the injury…well I have had sugery and almst 31/2 wks postop ..buh I just can’t help thinkin for a long time if dere is any slight pain..I am terrified to b honest..cuz I have nva had aninjury this severe…d

  18. very sorry to hear about your injury. it’s definitely one of the worst injuries a person could sustain. just follow your docs orders, and don’t rush your recovery/therapy. i’m 4.5 wks post-op, and i go into a boot next tuesday (dec.27). i too am worried about certain aspects of the recovery process. i’m most curious about when i get my boot if i’ll be PWB or FWB. good luck on your recovery!

  19. hey, I’m unable to subscribe for the RSS feed. Can you help or do you know why? thanks for your info.

  20. Wow, you inspired me to share this idea with others. Thank you!!!

  21. Some really nice stuff on this web site , I love it.

  22. This site has been wonderful during my recovery. I am 4 months post op on left side. No PT, just home based stretches and strengthening. I am now experiencing a burning pain on the bottom of my injured foot at the heel? I have no idea when it started, but when I stretch or squat down the pain is unbearable. Then begins to tingle at the skin level, not deep inside. If this makes sense.

  23. Well…3 1/2 years out from complete rupture. I still have some issues with nerve damage, which is tolerable. My chief complaint is cramping in my arch and feeling like my toes want to curl. I have to stretch my foot out during a workout or it will cramp to the point of debilitation. Aargh!!! I run and play basketball, soccer, but pointing my toes in yoga and pilates is the worst. Any one else have these kinds of problems?

  24. I am I same ballet and Pilates kill so does yoga-still love Zumba but I would only really stick to brisk walking cycling and swimming,I put my food through a window and I feel I have done damage to my peornal tendon which is annoying but my other tendons still attached shall I still get an MRI scan? My injury was in 2006 and I am worried that I’ve had 4 years of luck and now it’s gone again 1what shall I doooo!!

  25. Hi everyone…I am in desperate need of encouragement. I had an ATR 3/4/2011…it’s been a year and a half and still not right. My first Doctor at one year said there could be possible nerve damage. My foot didn’t feel right. Needles and pins feeling throughout foot. I was still numb all over after even 1 year. Decided to go to HSS in NYC. Scar tissue built up around my tendon so I had second surgery to try and release scar tissue. It feels better than first time but not 100%. My toes still having a numbing sensation and tingling. I get very severe constricting calf charley horses in left leg . And now it’s been 7 months since 2nd surgery…now to complicate things I have developed a small mass of nodules..called Ledderhoses Disease in my left inside arch. I think it’s pushing on my Tibial nerve and preventing proper healing. The surgeons don’t seem to want to touch it again because when they took out first nodule it was size of I have another one…same spot…much larger. I have been an active runner and exerciser my whole life! I am so depressed about this situation. I don’t know what to do anymore! Can anyone tell me how long was your foot numb? Did it take years? Did you feel your toes again? I still feel I need to deal with these nodules but perhaps my ankle and foot need more healing time? Any advice?

  26. Hi, as previously posted, my full ATR on 29th June this year went the conservative way. After my original NHS hospital wanted me in pot for 12 weeks, I bought a Vacoped boot and found a new (recommended) knee and ankle orthopod. After 12 weeks going from NWB to FWB in wedge sole, then flat sole, I was diagnosed ‘none healed’, with a 5cm gap ! The orthopod says that ‘we’ will see how it goes, as I have a strong Plantar tendon and that allied with scar tissue could hold it altogether (?). I am 66, don’t want to do any explosive sports, just want to be able to walk without a limp. It seems to be coming on, albeit slowly (16 weeks) and I have contained swelling by ICE; my AT area front and back of ankle is almost back to the size of my ‘good one’. I know that I should bite the bullet and go for the operation, but have a very full life, travelling across to Dubai to see my children, grandchildren etc, China on business; another 12 weeks, effectively out of action would be very difficult !
    The main man, Norm, says go for the op: anyone out there with similar experience ?

  27. Hi Roger,
    I’m here in the UK too and although I can’t tell you what to do I can tell you what happened to me and my thoughts. Firstly, I think Norm knows a lot more about ATR rehab than a lot of doctors do…..
    I presented at A&E on May 24th an hour after I did my right achilles. I was put into a cast (after they argued whether it should be front or back slab and then had to make a call to check, the doc turned ot to be wrong and the nurse was right) sent home with an appointment to come back next week. I then decided to go non op but my protocol was six weeks in three different casts then into a boot at six weeks for 4. I was weight bearing with crutches for the first six and then FWB after. I re ruptured walking up a gentle slope at 14 weeks. I decided to have surgery because of what I had read here and my surgeon said that’s what he would do. He’d have gone non op first then for a re rupture surgery.
    Now this is where it may be pertinent to you. On the operating table, at full plantar flexion there was still a gap. the ends didn’t meet. My surgeon said he didn’t want that filling with scar tissue so he did a an FHL tensdon graft from my big toe.
    I also agree with Norm that your ATR is stale and therefore the window of opportunity may pass.
    It is your call of course but maybe you should get a second opinion. I paid for my op out of my own pocket because the NHS just kept me waiting as they had a very busy time. Might be worth forking out to see a couple of different people. London foot and Ankle and Surrey Foot and Ankle have both been mentioned on this site as being good.
    Oh I bought my own Vacoped boot too!

  28. Roger- Sheena and Norm are giving you good advice. I would seek a second opinion, but I’d be focused on getting another (confirming) diagnosis. If you really are zero healed with a 5cm gap, I think this is a no-brainer: get the surgery.

    You’re 66, not 96, with a (hopefully) lot of life in front of you. Follow a modern protocol, and you should be back on your feet (FWB) in around 6 weeks or less. Some people are FWB (in a boot, with wedges) as soon as 2 weeks. That’s a pretty small investment for a life-long payback. The window of opportunity for a successful conservative treatment has almost certainly passed.

    Trying to hobble along on your plantar tendon- just think about all the extra stress you’d be putting on it, and the problems you’re likely to have down the road.

    Get the surgery.

  29. Roger,
    I went non-op successfully and usually am a big proponent of the non-op procedure. If you had a fresh re-rupture, giving non-op another try might make be a possibility. Unfortunately in your case, going non-op didn’t even come close to working. I’m not a doctor either but I don’t see how just spending more time in a boot is going to work in the long run. I suspect that even if somehow the gap filled in, it might be a weak bond and you could be be at high risk for a re-rupture.

    As ryanb points out, if you go surgical, you will only be out of commission for a few weeks. Dubai and China will still be there. As you said, “I know that I should bite the bullet and go for the operation” I think you already have your answer.

  30. Roger
    forgot to say-second time round I asked my doc if the FHL tendon graft would affect my rehab…after he said a magician I pulled my boot out of my hat and said great, I can go into a boot then. So same surgeon who had me in 3 casts over 6 weeks last time let me go into a boot at two weeks this time…WBAT at 4 weeks.(I dropped my crutches bang on four weeks). I do take it easy by the end of the day though when my tendon has had enough. I then bought a vacoped as I had an aircast and presented my surgeon with that. He now lets me adjust by 5 degrees each week and I’m out of the boot in a few weeks.
    Good luck with your decision. BTW if I want advice from this site I listen to Norm, Ryan and Hille…If I want a good laugh I read Brokenbride! Starshep is great for the physio info too…

  31. 8 weeks recovery of achilles rupture surgery this week. However week #3 my incision slightly opened & bleeding occurred. From that point until now I have had wound issues. I currently have wound vac & have crutches. Occassionally i do put a little weight on my foot but only when my boot s on. doc said only 10% is still in tact from first repair??? we have no idea how the other 90% became unattached? anyone ever heard of this? i guess i am not a rerupture patient but this wound needs to close & then figure out if surgery AGAIN is needed. i am 33 & very active so this has been HORRIBLE! Trying to stay positive!

  32. Hello, my name is Quinn and I am a 25 year old ATR survivor (good word?). I tore my Achilles in January of last year (2013) and had surgery about 6 days later (January 30th). My road to recovery was long and hard like everyone else’s and included student teaching on crutches (fun!). I seem to have fully recovered 15 months post surgery but the last month I have been experiencing back pain. I went to the doctor and he told me I irritated the sacroiliac joint between my spine and pelvis. While it seems to be getting better, the back pain still flares up for days at a time. The reason I bring this up is because I have this theory that my back problems are related to my Achilles injury. While I did go to PT for months after my surgery (my insurance only covered 20 visits) I really did not continue the exercises much after I completed PT. My left leg (injured one) has gotten significantly stronger, however, through a lot of walking and exercises a few times a week. Despite all this, I find that I overcompensate with my right leg a lot because it is still much stronger than my left. That being said, I’m 6′1″, lean (about 175) and generally stay active so I don’t know why I’m having the back pain. I have noticed there is a structural difference between my two legs post surgery and I don’t know if this is because my surgically repaired Achilles seems to be thicker and more upright. Anyway, I looked up causes of discomfort in the sacroiliac joint and one of them is one leg being longer than the other. Could this have happened? Had anyone else had back problems post surgery? Finally, what are some good workouts I can still be doing to strengthen my left calf? Thank you for reading and good luck to you all in your continued recoveries.

  33. Quinn, I don’t recall an identical situation, but many people here have messed up their walk through ATR rehab. Several thought they were fine til a sports-med PT spotted a “silly walk” and worked it out. Others had knee problems (me!) or hip problems, either from developing a new gait or from a shorter AT post-op (me again!).
    Gait analysis may help. Worth a try.
    I’m a geezer now (69), but I had the most backaches 30-ish years ago, lower back. I got great relief from the spandex-and-Velcro back belts that are sold in many drugstores and worn by man Home Depot employees. Even with an underlying structural problem (and we ALL seem to have some if we’re checked!), the ACHE usually comes from muscles in spasm, and the belt gives the core muscles permission to relax. Many of my friends have borowed one of my back belts, and used the word “magic” when they returned it. DEFINITELY worth a try, almost regardless of the source of the problem.
    Good Luck!

  34. @normofthenorth thank you for the quick reply! I will look into the back belt for sure. I’ve been taking naproxin and using the thermacare heat wraps and they seem to work really well until I do something that stresses the joint again (I am working two serving jobs right now until I get a job teaching in the fall). Hopefully it’s just something that will go away with time and rest and isn’t related to the Surgically repaired Achilles. Is their any other strengthening exercise you would recommend other than calf raises? That seems to be my go-to exercise..

  35. Hi Quinn,

    I’m only 3 weeks post-op myself, but I may be able to give you some help.

    As it’s been told to me, our operated Achilles will never be the same length again, that’s just the way it is. Kinda weird to think about. But with surgery they have to pull it down a bit, overlap it and that results in it not being as elongated. Now with rehab, exercises, etc. most people get back to near 100% normal and may never know the difference but, as I understand it, some may notice and less so over time.

    Also, I’d maybe call some PT places (yours or new ones), tell them your situation and also ask for “self-pay” costs. It can be surprisingly affordable this way, as I’m learning.

    At my PT, they give a 50% discount on self-pay and per session it amounts to around $25-35. So a handful of visits might be beneficial, particularly if you’re in pain and the cost won’t sink you financially.

  36. I had my ATR surgery on 4/12/14 and just over the last 4-5 I’ve been experiencing severe pain on my ankle bone and the surrounding area. My tendon and the incision dont hurt nearly as bad. Anyone have any syptoms like this? The pain causes me to limp very badly and the pain is non stop. any advice would be great.

  37. Hello nwebber,

    I am 4 weeks post op and I am having the same acute pain in the ankle bone and surrounding area as you, and no pain in the tendon or incision site. I am still in a cast and my 2nd post op appt is 2 weeks away but the pain is making me worry that I might try to see the doctor before then. Anyone else experience sharp pain around the ankle bone and does it go away?

  38. I’m hoping for some help on this site. Briefly: ATR injured 9/1/14. Surgery 9/15/14. Normal recovery protocol. Developed major PlantarFacia, but after heavy treatment, went away in mid 12/14. Achilles tendon healing normally, however, have had MAJOR wound healing issues. At bottom of scar, have finger nail sized area which simply has not healed. Within that area, a 1mm sized hole that still had not closed and oozes puss. In 2/15, looked down one morning and saw a suture was expelling itself from the wound. Note that the scar sutures had either been removed or dissolved. This was a heavy suture as part of the tendon repair which apparently are supposed to just stay in the body. About 1.5 inches of suture were snipped and ortho surgeon suggested I see plastic surgeon for wound repair. PS prescribed Silver Sulfadene cream which I used for 2 months with really no help. All during this time, I have had very difficult time wearing closed healed shoes. Back of my ankle has been swollen, irritated, and very tender. In April, wound still had not healed and hole had not closed. Another 1 inch of suture expelled itself. Various trips to OS and PS who basically told me to hang on for a while longer to see if the surgery site will eventually repair itself. These professionals insist the area is not infected. Nonetheless, here I am now in 6/15, over 9 months after surgery; my wound has not healed. I can barely wear closed heeled shoes. My wound area is still swollen and hurts. I have an appointment with OS this week to determine options. Also getting 2nd opinion. Have heard that sometimes body rejects the heavy sutures and that I may have to be opened up again and cleaned out. I’m kinda freaking out because of the troubles I have gone through. Has his happened to anyone? Can anyone help shed any light on this? Anyone had to be opened up a 2nd time and what were results? Thanks to anyone who can help me.

  39. My sympathy goes out to all the bloggers on here.
    I had a full rupture playing soccer and went the conservative route to avoid the complications of the op as I am notoriously bad at healing.
    I was 4 weeks in a cast then in a boot with wedges for 6 weeks with FWB from week 2 in the boot.
    I was out of boot at 12 weeks and had some PT from week 10. At week 16 the physio pushed me too hard and I believe I have a partial tear. Went back in the boot for 4 weeks and now at 20 weeks post original injury. Still have a bit of pain and a bruise at rerupture (on one side of leg). Thompson test is weak connection and Ultrasound says minimal threads connected. Physio has now referred me back tuma consultant whereas another physio told me to lose the boot and start walking…any advice would be gratefully recieved. Does anyone have a bruise 4 weeks post partial rerupture …not sure what to depressing.
    Wishing you all a swift recovery

  40. 11 days post surgery and having sharp pains shoot into the outside of my foot particularly if i try and straighten out the impacted leg. The pain is about midway between my ankle to the start of my pinky toe. Has anyone else experienced this?

  41. Tfunk, I’m non surgical but remember a similar pain at the end of the day when I started bearing weight in my boot… This could be a side effect of the days of immobilization, since I certainly hope it is not a neuropathy from the surgery (which i undertand can happen). Also, what do you mean “straighten out the leg”? If no weight is on the leg, the knee would be the affected joint, though all the muscles from the butt down are involved in moving the leg and foot.

    Good luck and happy healing!……. Manny

  42. I’m 4 months out from a haglund’s deformity repair; they had to do a total detachment of my achilles and use three anchors to re-attach it…I was NWB for 6 weeks, and at 12 weeks was supposed to transition into shoes, but I’m still in enormous pain…my surgeon had me go back in the boot for a week thinking it would help; it didn’t; he had me go back in it for another week and take prednisone; just finished that, and it literally didn’t help at all…I seriously can’t even be on my feet long enough to sweep our house without severe pain…any ideas? My x-rays are all normal; no swelling, neither the surgeon or the PT have any plausible reason for my pain…also my pain is mostly on the medal and posterior side of my heel, right at the attachment…

  43. My achilles story
    21st april full rupture of right leg put in backslab plaster as had to get from devon back to manchester via car. Rang doctors once home 25th told to go A&E to get fracture appiontment, none available but put on list had cast shortened because of bruising back of knee, asked about family history given anti coagulants to self inject.
    27th april rang 111 extreme pain (different to anything so far) ambulance attended convinced nothing wrong and to take more painkillers advised to ring hospital and beg them for appointment.
    28th april begged hospital for appointment pain was unbearable everytime i lowered my leg. Glad i begged!!! Doppler ultrasound showed massive dvt in calf peroneal vein. Put in cast given injection back next day for ambulatory care blood thinners etc
    29th april ambulatory care demanded cast taken off and given hinged boot at 30 degree angle sent home on rivoraxaban for just over 3 months, co codamol and tramadol, these caused seperate issues water infections and constipation, reduced from 24 tabs a day only took when needed mainly at night.
    4 weeks had appointment leg not looked at. Letter sent to gp said angle was @ 20 degrees.
    7 weeks another appointment bought up fact angle still 30 degree ortho got it changed to 20 and new boot given (very heavy more pain) 5 days later changed to 10 degrees
    10 weeks saw topdog ortho who felt tendon said seems good not going to 0 yet but want me weightbearing and PT following week. Been walking but hearing cracking sounds from leg, crack/pop doesnt hurt but throbbing pain in ankle/tendon area at night.
    Thats me so far! Put complaint in for original dr not giving anti coagulants and ambulance service for dismissing my pain. I am positive but annoyed that when u question the NHS they say u r depressed. I am not just frustrated at their indifference.

  44. My achilles story to date
    21st april full rupture of right leg put in backslab plaster as had to get from devon back to manchester via car. Rang doctors once home 25th told to go A&E to get fracture appiontment, none available but put on list had cast shortened because of bruising back of knee, asked about family history given anti coagulants to self inject.
    27th april rang 111 extreme pain (different to anything so far) ambulance attended convinced nothing wrong and to take more painkillers advised to ring hospital and beg them for appointment.
    28th april begged hospital for appointment pain was unbearable everytime i lowered my leg. Glad i begged!!! Doppler ultrasound showed massive dvt in calf peroneal vein. Put in cast given injection back next day for ambulatory care blood thinners etc
    29th april ambulatory care demanded cast taken off and given hinged boot at 30 degree angle sent home on rivoraxaban for just over 3 months, co codamol and tramadol, these caused seperate issues water infections and constipation, reduced from 24 tabs a day only took when needed mainly at night.
    4 weeks had appointment leg not looked at. Letter sent to gp said angle was @ 20 degrees.
    7 weeks another appointment bought up fact angle still 30 degree ortho got it changed to 20 and new boot given (very heavy more pain) 5 days later changed to 10 degrees
    10 weeks saw topdog ortho who felt tendon said seems good not going to 0 yet but want me weightbearing and PT following week. Been walking but hearing cracking sounds from leg, crack/pop doesnt hurt but throbbing pain in ankle/tendon area at night.
    Thats me so far! Put complaint in for original dr not giving anti coagulants and ambulance service for dismissing my pain. I am positive but annoyed that when u question the NHS they say u r depressed. I am not just frustrated at their indifference.

  45. I am almost 6 months post surgery and almost at my 3 month mark of PT. I had a partial rupture (75%) of my Achilles and severely torn muscle. I was in a cast for 3 weeks and 8 weeks in a boot non weight bearing. It’s been an up hill battle. At 3 months PT i still walk with a limp, i cant stand on my toes and all of the stuff you are supposed to be doing at 6 months. My PT and doctor have said that it looks like one of the muscles in my calf have not woken up since the surgery. I have had electric shock therapy on my calf and nothing…I’m at a stand still and look for advice on where to go from here… has this happened to anyone else?

  46. Had surgery 3 weeks ago..stitches out a week ago..notice a funny looking area , a little moist..a little pus, and an odor..and not closed like rest..noticed on Friday..couldn’t get ahold of surgeon or anyone in his office at 1:30..called my local dr..he put me in clindamycin.. anyone else have these issues? Thanks

  47. It was my first major surgery (I am a 44 yrs old male on the short and light side, ruptured my AT snowboarding 3 weeks ago). I had pretty strong reactions to the narcotics and anesthesia post-op, and had trouble emptying my bladder in the next 24+ hours. It was so bad that I ended up in ER for a catheterization the day after op, with 1 liter urine extracted. It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

    Anybody had similar experience? I was told that it usually happens to older patients but also people who don’t do well with narcotics. I have a pretty high level of pain tolerance so I don’t usually take painkillers. Two Avil pills were all I had since surgery.

    Now I am concerned the same thing may happen again if god forbid I will have another general anesthesia. Any suggestions to avoid that in the future?

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