How long (realistically) will the whole process take and how long off work.

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I had a achilies repair op just over 2 weeks ago and at this time I'm (pain free) in plaster,

Due to a slip while taking my stitches out the nurse ended up cutting me (I had no feeling so wasnt aware) so had to have a slight repair done. I now have to go back on the 1st March for my plaster changed again for 2 more weeks (6 in total) prior to moving to a air boot.

How many stages is there to the boot with the wedges etc?

Do you FWB right from the start using crutches?

Any idea how long I will be off work- I guess 12 weeks?

At work I have to climb 2flight of stairs several times a day so I need to be fully able/healed.

I work for a excellent firm and the sick pay etc is really good so I do not need to worry on that front.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Denise

    ?I'm now 4 months post repair.  I had the cast on for 2 weeks and then into a boot for 4 weeks, starting with 4 wedges and reducing one wedge each week.  I was told I could FWB from day 1 in the boot, but the first 2-3 days, it was simply too painful as there had been no weight on the leg for the previous 5 weeks (I had to wait 3 weeks for an op post injury). After a few days it was a lot better and I was able to get around using a knee scooter and crutches.  The crutches were slow and cumbersome, hence getting the scooter.

    ?Four months after the repair I am finally walking with an almost 'normal' gait.  The leg is finally strengthing and loosening up but I still don't do any impact work.  I could get up and down stairs carefully and slowly once the boot came off but I wouldn't want to do it several times a day until you've lost the crutches.  I still can't bend the leg sufficiently to take the weight on a normal step down - I do an 'old lady' half step.

    ?The worst thing you could do is try to take it too quickly and end up with a re-rupture.  My recovery is slow and frustrating and I do my exercises every day.  I'm finally seeing some real progress and I'm now strengthening the calf on a trampette (still no running or jumping). 

    You sound English so I assume you will be offered NHS physio.  They don't treat you, they just assess you and give you exercises.  You must do them.  I also decided to see a private physio who massaged and stretched my leg twice a week the first few weeks.  And gave me more exercises.  It was expensive but really helped. 

    Stay positive and patient.  It's a long road but you will get there!

    Cibby x

    • Posted

      Hi Cibby. Thank you very much for you reply. Yes I'm under the NHS but what a good idea paying for extra PT/massage.

      I WILL do as I'm told and be a good girl as I really want this to work.

      It has been a very very long road to get this far.

      I tore my achilies on the 1st March 16 and it snapped completly in May and it took till 31st Jan 17 to get the op.

      I was more or less imobile before my op due to pain (left leg has 2 tears) etc I have gained over 2st.

      I also have a knee scooter and cannot praise it enough. Due to my size and having torn tendons on my other leg I cannot use the none operated leg really SO me and my scooter are inseperable.  Happy Healing. 

  • Posted

    My timeline since my surgery on Dec 30 of 2016...

    2 weeks in fiberglass cast

    then stiches were removed and I was put in a boot (non weight bearing for two weeks)

    after those two weeks I started using the crutches and put weight on boot until I could walk in the boot without crutches.  I was this way for another 10 days and then started wearing a shoe one hour a day til I worked up to shoes only

    PT started 3 weeks after surgery  3 times a week

    I'm 48 days post op walking with a small limp for now and still going to PT.

    Foot still swells if I'm on my feet for a while and I three toes are a bit numb.  All normal.

    That's where I am at this point.  Feeling pretty good.cheesygrin

  • Posted

    Hi Denise . Sorry to hear about your accident.I have a rupture of the Achilles' tendon,been in a cast for 6 weeks.I went to hospital this morning where my cast was removed.The nurses said I was getting my foot positioned at a different angle and put in another cast for 3 weeks.I rejected this straight away,I asked to see my consultant and told him I had done my research and would like to be put in a boot with weight bearing.He said that's what he intended.I told him the nurses were going to put me in a cast again,in which they claimed they never said that.My wife and I just looked at each other in disbelief at their denial.Anyway I was put in a boot for 6 weeks with 2 wedges,I've to take one of the wedges out after 3 weeks and the the other a couple of days before I go back.I will weight bear gradually and carefully.Its a bit delicate and sensitive.I reckon a couple of weeks then rehab and working with normal shoes.I reckon all in about 14 weeks for me hopefully. I'm 54 a joiner and don't get paid when off. B.t.w. In non surgery. Hope this helps .Take care.

  • Posted

    Hello Denise,

    Sorry to hear about the injury. I had achilles surgery on August 2 last year after rupturing on July 29th.

    I had the plaster/splint removed one week after the surgery and was in a boot. I was cleared to go back to work the day I got the boot. I borrowed a scooter and some awesome crutches (they are called mobilegs and are way more compfortable than conventional crutches. I was non-weight bearing for about 5 weeks, then started 25%, 50%, and 75% for the next three weeks in boot. Each of those weeks the protocol called for removing one of the three wedges. One week after the last wedge was out I was back in shoes. That was a challenge because my foot shape and size changed a bit (swelling at the heel as well as some residual tenderness and numbness). So I had to get a couple pair of other shoes that were comfortable and functional.

    Stairs are tough. Fortunately there is an elevator at work and I was able to use crutches for short walkis and scooter for longer distances. Physical therapist told me to ditch the scooter to make sure my injured leg was getting exercised. I used it sparingly at home.

    Started physical therapy as soon as the hard splint was off.

    I am now 6 and a half months after surgery. I go to PT once a week and mostly focus on regaining the calf and foot strength--almost there. I am able to do most things I did before injury still not cleared to run (which is how I injured it) but I am skiing, walking distance, up and down steps. A little discomfort still in the heel, and the strength deficit has some adverse effect on my gait.

    If you research pro athletes (which I am not!) and achilles rupture, you will find that it takes them 8-12 months to get back to world-class athletic performance. I suspect it will take us mortals a good 8-12 months to approximate pre-injury status--depending on the injury, treatment plan, and overall health status.

    In any event, best wishes for a complete and smooth recovery!



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