2 Year Post Achilles Surgery, Weak Calf causing knee Pain Advice?

Hello everyone, I am writing this blog for my someone, who is feeling beyond defeated. He ruptured his achilles in December of 2012 during warmups at the gym. He had a great recovery, back at work after 6 months. And he is an electrician, so very active at work. After a year, he noticed his knee was bothering him. He couldn’t squat like he used to weight wise at the gym…he went back for therapy for his knee. We realized that was not helping…he went to a sports medicine doctor, who thinks his knee is compensating for his weak calf. After two years, he still can’t do an unassisted one leg calf raise on the achilles surgery leg, and does have quite a bit of scar tissue around his achilles scar (not sure if this matters). He can’t find answers, and I was praying someone on here had this experience and could guide us. So to sum it up, the achilles is healed, but now there are the calf/knee issues. I think it doesn’t help he is active all day at work, then tries to workout….but it’s the nature of the beast! Thanks all and so happy to find this site.

5 Responses to “2 Year Post Achilles Surgery, Weak Calf causing knee Pain Advice?”

  1. Unfortunately sometimes tendons can “heal long.” Your calf can only contract so far, so if the tendon is long you never really get full tension. Put tomtom in the search box for more information. You can start with the post on 7/8/2009. He may want to contact his original Dr or a specialist (i.e. podiatrist or orthopedic Dr.). Good luck.

  2. Would agree with Eric on this and add the only way to fix it is go back in and have it surgically shortened. It would mean a start over. Not the best of news but no sense beating around the bush.

  3. Hi folks,
    I ruptured my left Achilles 1 Dec 2014 and turned 50 the next month. I am hoping you folks will comment on if my Achilles healed long and or if my progress to date is reasonable. I weigh 185 lbs and exercise regularly, but no jogging or high impact training since injury.

    Non-operative treatment started night of injury…cast for two weeks. Then boot for 6 weeks.
    Seven months post injury and I can barely get my heal off the floor using injured leg only (keeping leg straight) Using momentum and bending leg, I can raise the heel an inch or more.

    The dorsiflexion is about the same in both, maybe a tiny bit more on injured left. There is Achilles scar tissue about 1.5 inches long at ankle height and a lump is noticeable during dorsiflexion. While standing up and pushing against both Achilles, the injured side has more movement. When not relaxed, both Achilles feel tight.
    The ortho called the ATR a full rupture and about a 5 mm divot was noticeable in the Achilles. Both dorsi and plantarflexion were possible right after ATR.

    I can walk a few miles without limping, but I feel the reduced push-off power on injured left. When I try jogging, a small limp is noticeable. The calf of injured leg is about .75 inches smaller than right…I am right handed in all activities. When road biking, the left is less stable. When standing on the Left pedal clip, the left is weak compared to the right, but has improved when I first returned to biking 8 weeks ago.

    Any and al comments appreciated! A frustrating injury!
    Brad

  4. Brad - some of what you have described could indicate you have healed long. You are only 8 months out so other things like the fatigue and push off could still be apparent and strength will coninture to return over the next 4 or more months. Flexion after the injury is possible with the use of other muscles. Increased dorsi flexion is an indicator of healing long but it is hard to tell without accurate measurement. I would not bother seeing a doc about it until you have past the 12 months and only then if it is a bother to you. A physiotherapist would also help and can measure. You could try some eccentric strengthening exercises. Go up on your good leg and then and then shift the weight onto the injured side and come down slowly. Do this straight knee and bent knee as they work different muscles. You can add weight as you improve with a small back pack and tins of food or you could pay money and use fancy machines in a gym. Healing long is common with the injury and it only takes a small amount to be noticeable. Visit Normofthenorth’s page (see left column on main page or Ctrl - F and search) and ask some questions there as well. He can’t get up on the heel but still plays competitive volleyball after 2 ATR’s.

  5. Hi Stuart - Thanks for the advise and feedback. I have been doing the 2 up one down straight knee 3 x 15 then bent knee 3 x 15 For say 3 weeks now and plan to continue. Prior to that, I was doing two heel raises and trying to do one leg raise by supporting some body weight on a bar. When not fatigued, I can walk a few steps on my toes, but injured side is very close to the floor with knee bent.

    The progress from week to week for lifting the injured heel seems unnoticeable and so it causes me to wonder if I will ever return to normal. Trying to be patient. It has been 7 mos 1 wk from injury. I have read TomTom’s blog start to finish and other comments about healing long and that has influenced me to think that only surgery will correct this. Would rather avoid surgery.

    First appointment with new PT 2 weeks ago. At my urging, he pushed against both feet and thought the dorsi was about the same in both. I road biked about 45 km today and came back fatigued.
    Any further comments would be appreciated.
    I plan to read more of Norm’s blog and look for advise there as well.
    Brad

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