Hello to all, I have been a frequent reader and replier to this site over the last several weeks. I have learned so much from reading everybody’s posts. My story is very similar to many of the ones I have read. I was one of the unfortunate re-injuries while I was healing. The original injury occurred in February while playing volleyball. I had surgery Mar. 3rd and was recovering nicely. Surgeon and therapist both thought everything was doing great. When at 13 weeks I pushed off the bad ankle while in water that was at about my waist level. I felt the immediate pop and back to square one I went.

MRI showed a retear through the old scar with an approximate 2 cm gap in the tendon. However, the surgeon felt that the stitches he had put in the tendon were still in the region and that by doing a conservative immobilization trial I had a good chance of healing completely. The stitches can’t break they say, just pull out of their anchors?

This is where the site has helped me immensely. Since I was getting little direction from my doctor after re injury. I spent several days studying all the information available here. And tweaked it as Norm would call it to give myself the best chance for healing. There is little information on a conservative approach on retorn tendon that is not surgically repaired so I am a bit of a test case for my surgeon and myself.

I have done boot,heel lifts and PWB 2 wks then started ROM in Plantar flex progress to FWB by 6 wks.

So far I am at seven weeks after the re-injury and have had one follow-up appointment with the surgeon. It appears the 2 cm gap is down to less than half cm and is filling in nicely. Thompson test is still positive but you can see movement at the calcaneous bone. I have used the hinged boot from week 4. I have progressed from locked boot to plantar flexion and now today slowly reduceing heel lifts.

I know that I have several weeks left of tendon healing to fully see if I will be able to heal without surgery this time around. I am encouraged that the body will heal itself well, time will tell.

4 Responses to “ATR and re-ATR”
  1. mikek753 says:


    Sorry to hear about re rapture.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

    How do you know about the gap in tendon?
    MRI? Did you see it yourself?
    I didn’t get any MRI or etc for my tear and I don’t know what was my gap.
    However, based on my doctor and my “finger test” tendon gap was closed even at 2 - 3 weeks after I was out of cast. No Thomson test was done that time. And at 6 weeks Thomson test was Ok - foot was moved and “finger test” wasn’t found any gap.
    How you can do plantarflex while you have .5 cm tendon gap? how do you walk with this gap?
    Ether I misunderstood it or you don’t have any gap.
    Do you feel gap when you press your finger to tendon?

    Wish you fast recovery.

  2. daviduk says:


    Really sorry to hear about your re-rupture. the saga of my rupture and re-rupture is detailed on my own blog. Interesting that my treatment has been the reverse of yours - originally non-surgical approach and then surgical (no question / discussion) after the re-rupture.

    I re-ruptured at about the same stage of recovery as you - maybe the 3 month point is one where our mental recovery runs ahead of our physical recovery and we take (maybe unconscious) risks.

    Anyway, best of luck. I am now c.14 weeks after surgery for the re-rupture and recovery is going well.


  3. normofthenorth says:

    Good luck, Scott, and congrats on setting up the blog. I think we’ve already discussed many of these details elsewhere in the site, before you set this up. (Maybe you could copy them and paste them here as comments from you?)

  4. Scott says:

    Mike, yes I had an MRI on the tendon after the 2nd injury. I also had an
    US, both came up with the 2 cm gap. i’m lucky from the stand point of
    information. I’m a chiropractor and have access to my test results quickly.
    The injury is very visable on MR. The “gap” is the missing tendon
    connection, it still has the sheath or peri-tendon sheath as it is called
    intact. I could always plantar flex my foot both times I ruptured the AT
    and I could walk, not very well though. There are I think 5 muscles that P Flex so
    you can be fooled. Feeling the tendon for a gap and Thompson test are the
    Orthopedic standards. MR confirms size and location high, low, etc. Yes,
    if there is a gap slide your finger along the tendon and you can feel it.
    Always compare it to the other, normal side.

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