3 years

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are recovering well.  I am 3 years post surgery for a 95% torn right achilles tendon.  I have some both positives and negatives to share with everyone (mostly all positive with only 1 negative).

The positives are that I can do just about everything I did before I tore my achilles.  That is to say, play volleyball, softball, golf (not a huge challenge on that one), flag football, and I have run two 5Ks (I ran my 2nd 5K this past Sunday).  I never bothered to run 5Ks before the tear.  So far, the best strengthening I have experienced (aside from the formal physical therapy) has been jogging on pavement.  When I jog on pavement, as opposed to a soft surface or a treadmill, the weak calf gets a great workout.  I get a good sore feeling for the next few days (which I currently have).  So, those are the positives.

There is one glaring negative.  Despite 2 full cycles of physical therapy, as well as returning to full activity, I still cannot do a single leg calf raise on the bad leg.  I can obviously do it on 2 legs, and I can do seated calf raises.  However, I cannot do a single leg calf raise without the assistance of pressing down on a bar/surface with 1-2 fingers on each hand. From what I’m reading, I’m somewhat of an anomaly.  Most patients eventually do get to doing a single leg calf raise on the affected leg.

Any other long term stories about recovery and things that do/do not return to normal?

Best of luck everyone with your treatments.


1 year and 1 month; Single Leg Calf Raise

Greetings all,
It has been 1 year and 1 month since my ATR and surgery. While I can do most things I need to do (ellipse, stairclimber, yoga, light weights, golf, swim, etc.), I still can’t do a full single leg calf raise on my injured leg. While my tendon healed up nicely, the calf muscle is tiny compared to the healthy leg. Right now, my heal can get 20-30 degrees off the ground (compared to 90 degrees on the healthy leg). I have great ROM, flexibility, and balance, but the calf strength has really not come back the way I had hoped it would (and was told it would). It can get depressing sometimes, and seeing how it has already been a year without good results, I worry that this may never get better.

Has anyone been able to do 10 full single leg calf raises on their bad leg? If so, how long did it take you to do so? Did the strength in the bad calf get back to the same strength as in the healthy leg (or at least close to it)?
Would love to hear back from everyone, and my best wishes to everyone for a healthy recovery.

10 months out

Hey everyone,
I’m 10 months post surgery, and with a few exceptions, things are basically back to normal. The exception is doing a single leg heal raise. I can’t do one on the bad leg yet. My question is to everyone, and the question is if you were able to do a single leg heal raise, and if you were, how long after the surgery it took you to do so. My surgeon was very conservative, and didn’t let me put any weight on the leg for a full 8 weeks post-op. I finished PT, and am able to walk and jog, but still can’t do the dang heal raise. If anyone has any experiences, I’m all ears.

I also want to tell people that you can do pretty much most things in life without being able to do a heal raise, so if you’re afraid that you’ll be seriously challenged afterwards, don’t worry. The entire situation does get better.

6 months post ATR

Hi everyone, I’m 6 months post ATR and I can say it does get better. I walk around and work normally, and I work out approximately 3 times a week (elliptical for about 30-45 min. followed by weights). I also do some light jogging and yoga. I will probably move on to more jogging and spinning in the next few weeks. My one leg calf raise is still not completely normal, but it’s definitely better than it was when I first started physio. Most people have no idea that I ruptured my achilles from the way I walk (although a few notice a slight limp).
Anyhow, I’m writing because my PT ended in October, and I’ve been doing exercises on my own since then. Anybody have any ideas on how to stay motivated to do PT on your own?

Amount of time for physical therapy

Hey everyone,

I will no doubt get a huge range of answers here, but I was wondering how long people’s formal physical therapy lasted.  I have been going to my PT for a little over  2 weeks now, and she wants me to go for another 4 weeks for a total of 6 weeks for just PT (plus maybe even some more depending on her recommendation). It’s been 10 weeks since the surgery. How long has everybody else done this?  My life is completely on hold, as I don’t want to start rounding on the hospital floors until I’m fully ready.  My schedule is such that doing formal physical therapy and going to med school is out of the question.    Would love to get as much input as possible.


BTW, in case anyone is wondering, this is a little different from one of my previous posts which was asking everyone how long until they started PT, not how long their actual PT was

Has it been 2.5 months, or 2.5 decades??

Hi all,

It’s been 2.5 months (almost 10 weeks) post surgery.  I have only been walking on two shoes for about 10 days.  Yet, even though it’s only been 2.5 months, it feels much longer.  This past week I tried going to a yoga class.  It was in 105 degree heat, and I couldn’t do half the poses because of the leg.  Add that to the fact that I’m extremely out of shape from lying on my back for the last two months, and I almost passed out several times during the class. It was clear I’m out of shape.

While I maybe walking again, I certainly cannot run and have lost some "zest."  How has everyone gotten back into shape (and even back into life for that matter) after this injury?

A question for everyone

Hi all, this question is going to get a huge range of answers because everyone’s recovery is unique. I am wondering how long it took individuals to gain strength back in their calf. How long did it take until they were able to stand on their bad foot and be able to do a single leg calf raise?

Walking again

Hey everyone,

I have started physical therapy and walking again without the aircast.  Walking again with regular shoes takes some getting used to.  Since I have absolutely no strength in my calf, I can’t raise my heal off the ground while walking.  Consequently, every step I take puts a lot of pressure directly on the heal, leading it to get sore and painful.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Any possible solutions?


Time to physical therapy

Hi everyone. I’m wondering when everyone who has had a full rupture has began physical therapy, when they finished physical therapy, and when they were able to get back to jogging/running/leg squats/stairclimb/ellipse machine and any other good stuff. Let me know.

Athletes who have had this injury

Here’s a few athletes who have ruptured their achilles tendon (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Todd Pinkston, WR for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dan Marino, QB for the Miami Dolphins, Reggie Kelly, TE for the Cincinnati Bengals, Marlin Jackson, CB for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vinny Testaverde, QB for the New York Jets, Jerome James from the Chicago Bulls, Mehmet Okur from the Utah Jazz, Justin Williams from the Carolina Hurricanes, Kalin Lucas a point guard from Michigan State, and Misty May-Treanor from the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team. Most recently, David Beckham, an internationally known footballer and icon ruptured his achilles tendon, also ending his ability to play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup for England.
Elton Brand is another one who did so.
Most came back and had a full recovery. It’s doable.