Some Minor Discomfort

13 Weeks 1 Day Post OP

I’ve experienced a bit of discomfort in my heel over the last week since I ditched the boot in favor of two shoes.  Not necessarily painful, just tender.  It is very localized in the area where the tendon joins into the calcaneus.  Longer periods of walking seem to elevate the level of discomfort, but it does dissipate a bit with massage, ice, and rest.

While at my appointment this morning I spoke with my physical therapist about the tenderness and he did not seem too concerned.  He felt it was pretty normal to have some discomfort at this stage.  It is most likely a bit of inflammation or just the tendon adjusting to increased activity.  Sounds like there is no reason to make any changes to my exercises at this point, but I need to make sure I continue to ice the tendon and take a day off after strengthening exercises.

Other than the minor discomfort I feel like I am healing well up to this point.  I’ve progressed past the basic range of motion exercises and into balance and strengthening.  I’m currently working on single leg balance (with eyes closed or on a piece of foam for an additional challenge), resistance strengthening with Therabands, and shallow squats (both double and single leg).  I’m also riding the stationary bike and walking several times a week.  I look forward to taking longer walks and increasing the intensity on the bike once the tenderness subsides.  Cheers!

11 Responses to “Some Minor Discomfort”

  1. Glad to hear you are doing well Tom. That’s probably the hardest stage, when you are out of all the splints, casts, and boots, but just getting started in the PT. Always look for your updates.


  2. How do you know, when you start walking a little without support except the boot, what is discomfort and to be expected and what are signs you’re overdoing it or have done it again?

  3. Linda - That is a bit of a difficult question to answer, but I’ll give it a shot based on my experience with this injury. I think it is to be expected that you will feel a bit of discomfort as you start walk again. Some of the discomfort may be a pins & needles sensation as the nerve endings begin to re-stimulate, dull soreness from slowly stretching the tendon back to it’s pre-injury length, and general fatigue as you begin to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your leg and foot. Generally, this type of soreness or discomfort will dissipate with rest, elevation, and/or ice. More intense pain, stabbing type of pain, or pain that doesn’t dissipate after applying the “R.I.C.E.” principals are probably indications that you’re overdoing it or have done further damage to the tendon. Inflammation is another sign of overdoing it. The tendon may be inflamed if your ankle is warm to the touch or reddish in color. I hope this helps to answer your question.

  4. Thanks TomTom
    No theres no stabbing pain on weightbearing, treating with rest, elevation and ice. There’s no bruising I can see, looks a bot swollen around the heal area and the colour not as good. But there was no pop. It has less movement but then it would if swollen. Will treat like this until Mn and then call my excellent physio.
    Thanks, bless you for answering, i was so pleased with my baby steps too….

  5. ‘tendon joins into the calcaneus.’

    Where is this please?

  6. Linda - The calcaneus is also referred to as the heel bone. The place I was describing is where the achilles connects to the heel bone.

  7. Is it possible to (re) rupture it here then?

  8. Please has anyone re-ruptured and not really known it?

  9. I can tell you I definitely knew when I re-ruptured it. I made a wrong step, it hurt, I fell to the floor and I felt the gap in the tendon. Also I felt like I could not really move it anymore. It got more swollen after that.

  10. Linda - It sounds like you should contact your doctor. Like I mentioned earlier, some discomfort is to be expected, but if you’re feeling pain while resting, there could be something more going on. I would think you’d have a pretty good idea if you reruptured, as 2ndtimer mentioned, but not knowing the specifics of your situation makes it difficult to speculate. My hunch is that your ankle and tendon are just adjusting to carrying weight again, but a doctor’s opinion would be much better than my hunch.

  11. The swelling and pain have subsided but am seeing doc at 3 today. Have booked myself in to the Sports Injury clinic for some more frequent physio, with the emphasis on advice, not aggressive approach. Thank you, I’m a born worrier. Hopefully will be no reason in the end but its just getting to know whats normal discomfort and what isn’t.

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