Achilles Rupture - No Surgery

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Hello Everyone, 

I ruptured my achilles tendon playing basketball about 3 weeks ago. I went to the doctor got an MRI done and was told that it was a complete rupture and needed surgery ASAP. After doing some research and getting a second opinion I was told that it would heal without surgery. I was placed in a walking boot and wedges and given some crutches and told to come back to the doctor in 6 weeks. The doctor also told me to take Vitamin C (Good for tendon growth) and consume lots of protein. 

Being in the boot the last 3 weeks and taking my vitamins as directed I haved noticed a lot of progress in my range of motion. I have been showering and sleeping with the boot off and spend the entire day wearing my boot. At home I sit with my foot elevated and I try not to move my achilles. I do put a heating pad on it for 30 mins a night and move my foot up and down pain free just stiffness in the back of the achilles. 

Has anyone done the non surgical route? And what can I expect from here on out?

Thanks!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Victor

    I done mine over a year ago and also had full rupture. When it happened they also said they think it better to have non surgical repair (this was even before an MRI and them really knowing) so it seemed to me they (the NHS hospital I went to) wanted me in and out.

    They will personally felt they were taking short cuts so went private and had surgery.

    Although they say surgery could have complications (like any surgery) it offers better outcomes and reduces the risk of re-rupture plus you know 100% that the tendon is repaired.

    I would maybe push for a second opinion and ask to have surgery option but not sure if it is too late?

    I'm 34 and wanted best outcome and recovery to be able to be fully active. Ps just research info about surgical and non surgical repair pro/cons also.

    Hope that helps!

    Hope you get helps!

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  • Posted

    I did not rupture my achilles fully - 60-70% rupture.  Non surgical route. I was in an air cast/walking boot for a total of 8 weeks; After 4 weeks I did start to remove boot when I was sitting in my recliner and when I went to bed. I had muscle spasms that were quite painful, so ended up putting boot back on at night as I thought that would prevent the spasms. Which it did not. But encased in the boot, the spasm did not fully jerk.  After a week or so the spasms at night began to decrease, so took boot off again when sleeping. I still get the odd spasm and they are painful, but came to realise that it would not result in a re-rupture.  I began taking boot off and standing on both feet around weeks 6-8.  Took a few steps in my home, and at night if I had to get up to use the bathroom, I hobbled to the toilet and back.  Week 8 boot off for good.

    My injury was March 26th.

    -- So you might want to anticipate muscle spasm in the area.

    --I started physio right away. Got my scan and boot two days after, and had first physio appointment.  PT provided some gently ROM passive exercise - hold foot and gently move it arount with hands. Also given other exercises to keep back and leg muscles active during the recovery period.  So I recommend you start physio asap, even though it will only be some ROM and stretching at first. It will help in the long run.

    -- Depending on your age and prior physical fitness, your progress can be faster than some and slower than others. One thing I have found is that while the injury is the same, the way back is different for everyone. 

    --I have been taking higher dose of Vit. C and Glucosamine. It may be only a placebo affect, but I think it helps.

    Good luck !!

     

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    • Posted

      My research seems to indicate that either route - surgery or non surgery - at the end of 12 months the outcomes are the same. If given a choice, then follow your instincts. 

       

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    • Posted

      I've torn my Achilles' tendon in both legs. My right leg 13 years ago, and my left on March 27, 2017. Both times, by two different doctors in two different states, I was told that risk of re-injury is like 40-50% lower with surgery. Given how arduous and long the recovery is, I wouldn't want to take a short cut. My current doctor works for the Chicago Blackhawks and has a ton of of experience with sports injuries. He said that it's a complete no-brainer. To me, it seems the recovery taking the non-surgical route is just as long. So why not do the surgery and make sure that re-injury is considerably less likely?

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