Skip to content
in this discussion +25 following
jonathan28999 jonathan28999

Achilles rupture - some pain during healing

I had a complete ruptured Achilles during a game of football. Hospital put me in a cast for 4 weeks then a boot. After 1 week in boot, hospital removed a wedge. They did this without examining he Achilles at all. I am meant to remove a second wedge myself tomorrow. However, I have been having some pain in the area where the rupture happened and a little concerned. Is this normal? Should I still be feeling some pain there 6 weeks into the healing process? If anybody can help that would be great as struggling to get an appointment at the hospital

581 Replies

Next
  • Dez5228 Dez5228 jonathan28999

    On July 28th I had surgery for a tear in my Achilles that happened several months before after coming down some stairs and landing on my foot...hard.  I went 4 months in cast with no weight bearing and then 4 weeks in boot along with 3 months of physical therapy.  I am 9 months post op and still have a little pain in the area where I had surgery.  So, what I'm saying is, the pain never really goes away 100% but I can also say that most days it doesn't bother me unless its rainy and damp or very cold.  However, everyone is different and your pace of healing may be different. 

    Hope this helps!  Get better soon.

    • jonathan28999 jonathan28999 Dez5228

      Hi Dez5228, thanks for replying. I just worry that I've reinjured it, but I may just be being dramatic. You saying you still have pain makes me feel better in some ways, as strange as that sounds. How well were you able to walk after you came out of the boot? Also did physio start as soon as you came out of the boot?

    • Dez5228 Dez5228 jonathan28999

      Actually, I was doing physical therapy when I was in the boot!  I think I had been about 2 weeks in the boot when I started.  You definitely need physical therapy.  Make sure you talk to your doctor about that when you go back.

      Yes, I totally understand what you're saying - that means there's a good chance you didn't re-injure it.  One thing they kept telling me at the dr.'s office was that the Achilles tendon takes a longggggggggggg time to heal.  And they weren't kidding.  

    • jonathan28999 jonathan28999 Dez5228

      Thanks again.

      Annoying thing is, hospital are saying no appointments for next 3 weeks even though boot is due off in two. This also doesn't help me with trying to sort physio etc out. I'm tempted to go to local private sports physio in the interim.

  • Heck630 Heck630 jonathan28999

    Your surgeon needs to make sure Achilles still intact. If you feels knot it's okay and it'll feel thicker than the other. It's BS they are brushing you off like nothing hopefully you've started therapy. Goodluck

  • Rob9700 Rob9700 jonathan28999

    Jonathan,

    Everyone has a somewhat different experience. I was in splint for a week, then boot for about 8, with last three weeks removing one of three wedges each week. There was some pain throughout the process, including "shooters" that were associated with irritation to the sural nerve that enervates sensation at heel and toward the outside of the foot to two smallest toes.

    One of the early risks of this surgery, according to my surgeon,is the possibility of infection. If you have symptoms that "don't feel right," such as pain that seems concerning around the surgical area, I would contact surgeon to discuss--especially if there is any indication of redness or wariness near the incision. Better to call and not have needed to, than not call when you should have. 

    It has been 7 months since I ruptured my achilles, and I had surgery a couple days later. I have just this week been able to wear the shoes I wore before the injury. I still have some discomfort in the heel as well as minor numbness.  Not too much pain, but not zero either. My biggest challenge seems to be regaining full strength in the calf muscle, as judged by single-leg heel lifts. A few weeks ago I could do zero, now I can do a half dozen or so,but after a while I do feel some pain around the heel.  

    This is all very frustrating, I know. But as you wade through the posts here you will find that it takes quite a while to recover fully. I am back to all my previous activities, including alpine skiing, and I am running short distances very gingerly. REALLY do not want to start over.

    Probably unlikely you have infection this far into it, but I would err on the side of caution here and let the doc rule it out. Maybe if you said you were worried about it, that would move you up in the queue.

    Best wishes for a complete and speedy (for achilles) recovery!

  • Davie c Davie c jonathan28999

    Hi Jonathan.

    I would say pain would be normal as your tendon will be stretched more than it had been the last 4 weeks.

    Can you speak to the plaster techs at your hospital for advice as they see this injury a lot and generally know their stuff.

    I also fully ruptured mine playing football only a week a go. Cast for 10 weeks for me as they don't offer boots in my area. They also don't offer surgery. NHS for you!

    The plaster techs told me any issues to contact them so maybe worth a shot. I seen a specalist yesterday who told me exactly what the plaster guy told me the day I done it.

    All the best for your recovery. Looks like a long road for us all.

  • jonathan28999 jonathan28999

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I didn't have surgery. It was offered, but the doctor who saw me seemed to say very little difference in recovery either way and as I had surgery on ACL a few years ago, I decided I didn't want yet more surgery on my leg.

    So it was the cast and boot and self repair root. Which had been fine, but as I say just had a bit of a dull ache the last few days.

    Just spoken to the hospital again and they have changed the specialist I am under again and can't see me until a week after I was supposed to have the boot removed. So frustrating!!! I told them how unhappy o am with the service, but they didn't seem to get it at all and just said it's only one more week. I explained that this is one more week on crutches and until physio can start etc and they weren't at all bothered. I know the NHS is under pressure but the service I've had has been terrible.

    Thanks for updates about pain. It has helped me relax a little about it.

    Those who have started physio; what type of things did they have you doing to begin with as I may start myself during that week extra.

    • Rob9700 Rob9700 jonathan28999

      I just had my last physio session last week. Started with range of motion measurements and exercises; added in some flexibility, then strength moving from static to dynamic. Very slow going at first , but gets better and more obvious results after first few weeks. Only advice is be patient and do the exercises regularly.

      Best wishes for complete recovery.

    • jonathan28999 jonathan28999 Rob9700

      Thanks Rob. How many weeks of physio did you have? I think I'm going to use NHS and also pay for some specialist sports physiology on the side too.

      How was your walking to begin with?

      I took another wedge out yesterday so down to 2 in the boot now, but now Achilles feels a bit more achey. Does this sound normal? Is this just it stretching again do you think?

      How are you feeling now after completing physio?

    • Rob9700 Rob9700 jonathan28999

      I started PT one week after the surgery, so it was about 28 weeks, and I went twice a week. 

      I was non weight bearing about 5 weeks, in a boot, and did next 3 weeks of progressive weight bearing. Boot came off then and I was full weight bearing. My foot still had some swelling, and I had some pain (say 2-4 on a 10 scale) and I had quite a limp. Just didn't have the flexibility, range of motion, and strength for a normal walking gait. 

      When I started taking the wedges out, I did have some discomfort in the heel.  Felt a little like there was a marble in the boot!  Also the Achilles felt very stiff and my whole ankle felt like there was sand under my skin. Not as much painful as really wierd. 

      At this point, it generally feels pretty good and doesn't,t stop me from doing my previous activities. It does get a little sore after a long day, and I notice a slight limp. Most noticeable is some residual numbness in heel--feels wierd when my shoes and socks are off, but not bothersome at other times. Can still only eek out about 5-6 single leg heel raises before Achilles starts to ache a bit. So not yet back to normal strength. 

      Friends and colleagues who have gone through this say it was about a year before they felt completely "normal,". I would say I am about  95% functional, but don't quite feel "normal."

       

    • michael 80893 michael 80893 Rob9700

      Hello Rob,

      I partially tore my Achilles and chose not to do the surgery. Couldn’t help but notice we have the same symptoms with the slight limp, numbess, and feeling sore after a long day. Did your colleagues say how long the limp would last?

  • gopal1959 gopal1959 jonathan28999

    Hello Jonathan,

    I would like to share my experience. Towards end August 2016 while playing tennis I leaned forward to take a shot and fell as if someone hit hard at the back of my ankle.

    That day I was totally immobile on the foot but next day I was able to walk to work, though limping. Took me about 10 days to visit an Ortho, who immediately sensed something with the Achilles tendon. After another 1 week I did an MRI and results confirmed a complete Achilles rupture. I am 58 years and my Ortho physician immediately referred to the Surgeon in same facility. The Surgeon briefed me both ways - conventional way and surgical way and explained to me if I had to return to an active sporting life, best would be to have Surgery. The conventional way could only return me to my regular walk after considerable period of time. So, I opted for Surgery and next day I was operated at Oklahoma city. I am a Yoga and Meditation therapist as well.

    Post Surgery I was on a Cast for about 3 weeks (non weight bearing) and end of 3rd week I was into a boot and immediately started on PT. Within a week gradually removed all wedges in the Boot and end of week I discarded the boot and was able to drive.

    Factors that helped me besides having a good Surgeon and a good Physio - have a positive frame of mind through Meditation that very much helped the Healing process. After the first 3 weeks when I started the Physio I was very regular and commited to the PT sessions and even today I do all the stretches I learnt in PT sessions. I can now do a heel raise standing on the operated leg. So first focus on Healing and then build the Strength, both are important. I consider myself very lucky to spring back to sports before end of 7th month (was operated on 16th Sept 2016). I jog, play table tennis (though not lawn tennis yet), ride bike.

    The journey to recovery is arduous but be patient, for better healing be aligned to nature and then work on the strength. So both meditate and work out.

    Hope you recover well soon.

    • jonathan28999 jonathan28999 gopal1959

      Thanks for sharing your story. Very helpful, but also concerning with regards to what your surgeon told you. I fully intend to return to sport as I was very active prior to this (gym, football, cycling, running etc). I hope I haven't been given bad advice as I am not just aiming to walk I want to be active again. I know I have to be patient with this and must try to keep positive throughout. It's great that you got to start physio etc so soon after op. Worryingly my doctors secretary said yesterday that I would have to remind him to sort physio for me as he may overlook this. That was very worrying to hear 🙈

    • kristymichelle kristymichelle gopal1959

      Hello. I had surgery 5 weeks ago. I was in hard cast for 2 weeks and then into boot. I have been in boot for 3 weeks and walking for one week in boot. I don't see my or this again for 3 more weeks so I'll see him 8 weeks post op. He doesn't want me to do any PT until after seeing him. What are your thoughts on that? Should I be having pt already?

    • sandy29182 sandy29182 kristymichelle

      Hi Kristy. Each of us appears to be on a similar, yet different healing path.  Some begin physio right away, others not until our boots come off. My PT started me with passive ROM exercises when I had my boot off, no active physio until the boot was removed. I also had active exercises to strengthen my other leg muscles. However, each of us appears to have slightly different injury to the area. So, I would follow your PTs advice. In the long run, it does not hurt too wait until your PT starts you on physio. But I understand the urge to do so.  Anything to heal faster. Unfortuneately, there is no quick fix for a ruptured Achilles.

    • andrea1367 andrea1367 gopal1959

      Hi I’ve just read your feedback it’s so helpful that meditation and physcio can go hand in hand for healing

      I’ve got a double Achilles one complete the other has torn at the calf in boots 7 weeks on 

      Any advice from anyone would really help especially from anyone who has experience of a double

      Andi

    • JW11 JW11 andrea1367

      One's bad enough, but two? Poor you. I'm 8.5 months post rupture on my left Achilles (did it playing badminton) and I'm now power walking, but not running yet. My best advice for anyone is to listen to your body. It's a tough, long, and slow recovery and I wish you all the very best.

Next

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.