suthrnman’s AchillesBlog

February 23rd, 2011

non-op recovery

Posted by suthrnman in Journal

I just had a friend email who ruptured his left Achilles in the Navy.  He said it healed fine w/o surgery, but he was in a full leg cast for 7 months and it took a year to get to normal.  Wow! please someone tell me it can be done quicker and easier than this (I know it can).  Are the newer protocols really that much better?  I wonder why it took so long to figure out earlier mobility and weight bearing is so much better.

2 Responses to ' non-op recovery '

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  1. normofthenorth said,

    on February 23rd, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I think it just “makes sense” that if you want the tendon to heal and not re-rupture, you “lock it up” for a long time, and the longer, the better. Turns out it’s not true, but it “makes sense” — at least until somebody does a randomized trial that’s big enough and careful enough to test the theory and prove it’s backwards.

    Post-op patients were also immobilized (and kept NWB) for way too long, but usually not QUITE as long as “conservative” non-op patients — more “makes sense” errors! And my reading of the data is that the outcome for post-op patients isn’t harmed as much by excessive conservatism as the outcome for non-op patients. Again, the obvious logic seems to be backwards(!).

    Full leg casts should lead to big malpractice suits!! The only effects of immobilizing the KNEE joint are bad effects!

  2. Scott said,

    on February 28th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Suthrnman, don’t get discuraged about the non op route. I’m at 1 yr since 1st ATR, was operated on and at 3 mo retore it right thru the healing scar tissue, pulling out all the wire sutures. Was given option to just wear boot 6 wks with lifts and at 6 wks weened to neutral. So right now I’m 9 mo post non op and seem to be ok. I can do most anything right now. Snow skiing, mountain biking, road cycling and even light jogging. I did mine originally playing volleyball and have passed around but not tried a game yet. Dribbled BBall and shot around wo any problem.

    Just keep up with info on the site, new study posted is a great read. Get the doc to get you in the boot at 2 weeks with lifts, you’ll be walking in no time.

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