Ruptured Achillies

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Hi there,

I'm wondering whether my recovery from a full ruptured Achilles tendon with a 6 cm Garp is normal?

I was placed in a half cast for six weeks, nonsurgical and have been in a boot for five days. I am barely able to weight bear. I'm still heavily reliant on crutches and experience calf pain and pain in the heel as well as the front of the foot and of course the Achillies.

I guess my question is should I be weight-bearing more than I already am is this pain normal. Has anyone opted for surgery this late in the recovery.

Feeling uncertain

Thanks

Cassie

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi,

    I am into week 7 of a fully achillies rupture.  Non surgical and been in the boot since day 1.  Though my rupture was only 2cm.  Apart from swelling I have no pain and been working without crutches since week 4.  I was told that I was right on the border line between being having surgery or not.  I would get this checked out as also told often with fully rupture there is no pain. 

    Good Luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi cassie, it sounds like the doctor had you on nwb the entire 6 weeks. I'm just starting on this awful journey and I'm reading a lot about weight bearing earlier. I ruptured mine on Jan 2nd and have been in a splint since then. I start a boot tomorrow. I believe my doctor is going to say no weight bearing for 4 more weeks. It's so difficult to know which way to go.
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    • Posted

      Yes Karren nwb the entire time. To be honest I don't feel I could have put any weight on prior. I'm thinking surgery may have been the better option for me.

      Good luck with your recovery

      Cheers,

      Cassie

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  • Posted

    Hi Cassie. I understand your concerns, I had a gap of 2.2cms and was worried how that gap would close! When I asked my consultant he said gaps much larger than mine can still heal normally but everything I've read seems to say accelerated rehab is the way to go. I will be 4 weeks in tomorrow and I've been in the boot for 3 weeks and have had the first of 4 wedges removed today and I'm now partially weight bearing with no pain as long as my foot is toe down. I would definitely be asking some questions about your case but it might be that you have had longer due to the size of your gap which seems huge! I would be gutted if I were in your shoes and having to go down the surgery route so late in the day. Good luck with your recovery and keep sharing your experiences, it really helps others make sense of their treatment. Chris
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    • Posted

      Thanks Chris,

      My surgeon is away until Monday. I actually think my calf muscle is so weak it is useless. I'm pretty devastated at the moment.

      I'm glad your recovery is on track.

      Cheers

      Cassie

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  • Posted

    Hi cassie

    i have been non weight bearing since 30 Dec.  I have been in a cast then moot boot with slow increase to ankle of the boot. I have two partial tears of the tendon and partial tear of the muscle. I was just advised by an orthopaedic consultant that  i can start walking this week and go to physio. Tried to walk and cant fully weight bear and i am also feeling pain across the front of ankle, back of leg, bottom of foot/heal and calf muscle - cramping.  Tried to put my weight on the foot and couldnt but have been doing exercises four times a day just wiggle toes and bending my toes towards me as far as possible so it gives the tendon a small stretch.  This was on advice of consultant.  I asked him if what i was feeling was normal and the answer was yes.  I had lots of issues with swelling and apparently thats a part of the ankle pain as lots of fluid in the joints.  Each person is apparently a little different depending on the extent of damage, age and weight etc.  but your issues sure sound familiar to me.  Im in NZ by the way.

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    • Posted

      Its hard to believe that people with full ruptures are up and walking around well before me :-(  but i think they were  concerned they would fully rupture.  My tears were on differenct sides of the tendon and  a possible mid thickness tear but they werent sure due to fluid blurring the ultrasound.  I never realised what people went through with this  and what long haul the process can be.  I was wondering if it was all normal or was i just being a big baby pointing out my swollen bits and pain winging but they said not at all very normal.  It hasnt been walked on for weeks so its going to take a bit to get the movement back and help stop the swelling. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Have you experienced a full feeling then pain in your foot?

      I'm supposed to be fwb at 3 weeks and I'm slowley figuring it out.

      The problem I have is this awful feeling and it's getting worse not better. Anyone????

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    • Posted

      Morning Karren

      I have had aching leg and foot due to swelling.  Pain on both  sides and on across the top of my ankle where it bends, heel and of course leg.  I was told that this pain was from fluid in the joints  from being non weight bearing for so long.  When you walk it pushes fluid around your body.  Every time i stood up i felt the blood rush to my foot and it would go purple and ache.  This  happened within minutes of being upright.  I was told four times a day to take the boot off and have my leg supported but not the foot and gently lift/bend the foot up towards me but stop if it was too painful and to keep wiggling my toes. They noted that my ankle was very stiff.  I injured this ankle in the 90s and have a plate and pins in it so it wasnt perfect anyway.  last week the consultant said ok you can start weight bearing and walking now... tried and felt like a big baby because i couldnt do it - it was that sore... however i have persisted to put a bit of weight on it each day and its slightly better still cant fully weight bear.   The pain around the ankle has reduced in general and i can have my foot down for longer with out the blood rush and ache.  It does get sore up the back of the leg and i get cramping from the calf tear and down the side of my leg but def not as bad as it was. I have physio tomorrow so hope to do more exercises and get moving.  The archilles on my good leg has been a bit sore with the hopping so im going to work on that as well in case its heading in the same direction.  Imagine doing them both at the same time.  Any way with this injury one week makes a diifference i def feel its better this week.  If you are in a cast get it checked as i had to get my split down the side part way ie foot area and part way up due to swelling in the cast and it really helped.  If you are in a moon boot ask you doc what gentle exercise you can do to help. :-) from dr denise lol.

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    • Posted

      Thanks denise,

      Your rupture was declared 30th? So we're close if so. Mine was January 2nd. The last 2 days I'm having that awful swelling feeling constantly. It's hard to describe almost feels like it's numb or cold but aches like crazy. I sure hope it will pass, just trying to see if I should keep trying to bear weight through the pain or am I making it worse. Seems to me the more you move the better it should be. Getting the blood flowing.

      When did you start physical therapy?

      My doctor doesn't want to do it until the 8th week!

      What kind of boot are you in?

      Thanks so much it feels nice to talk to someone.

      Karren

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    • Posted

      oops sorry 30 of nov i should say lol so i have been non weight bearing since then.  I had a ballerina cast then a moon boot that they slowly changed the angle each two weeks until now its back to normal position.  Last week told to go forth and walk lol..   They said no physio until this week as tendon and muscle tear needed time to heal first.   I was told  due to stiffness etc i will have hands on physio tomorrow and not sure for how long then strengthening programme and that it may be painful /uncomfortable - will let you know.  You are four weeks behind me and i was told def not to weight bear as it could re rupture.  Moon boot is good as you can take it off for a shower and do the exercise.  I have been in the moon boot the last four weeks.  I would be concerned if you foot is numb is sounds like a real loss of circulation.  I had that when i was in a cast and they took it off and changed it because it was too tight around the foot.  RE did the cast then later is was swelling again and the split it down the side partially to give me room to swell.

      Are you in a cast ?  if yes i would go to A&E and tell them your foot feels numb.  The entire bottom of my foot was numb when i went in -its not good !!!  I put up with it three days before going in and it was really painful and i couldnt sleep.  I got instant relief when i came out of that cast.  They said people often have to come back due to the swelling so dont be afraid to go in and get it checked. 

      I wished i found this site earlier to talk about it too.

      I think my husband feels im winging when its sore and yep i am lol.  You dont know what its like until you walk in someone elses shoes and each person and injury can be a slighty dif experience.

      Denise

       

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    • Posted

      sorry about spelling typing quickly in between working from home.

      Please get that numbness checked and let  me know how you get on.  I will let you know what happens with physio tomorrow.  

      Think i might take panadol before going ....

      Diary of a wimpy lady lol

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen

      Did you take you numb foot to gp  to be seen?

      physio was great heat pads,gentle manipulation and massage. Bit sore but not too bad and felt freed up afterwards but then achy overnite. lots of exercises to do get joints moving.  After a few sessions of this i then move on to strengthening program which is basically gym work that is closely supervised.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Called doctor and let her know how much pain I was in, her response was to ice and elevate. But that doesn't really help. I'm so frustrated,if I didn't have this swelling and pain my days would be so much easier.

      I dont see her again until Feb 5th. There has to be an answer for this pain. I can usually stand a lot of pain. Iv'e had migraines for 20 years and this seems to be taking me down!

      Sorry I really hate to complain but this site helps more than doctor's.

      I'm happy to hear PT went fairly smoothly for you. It should get better every day!

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    • Posted

      Hi

      It sounds like a normal initial response from a GP but they have not clamped eyes on you ie advise over the phone and may not probably aware of just how much pain you are in.

      My non clinical trained thoughts are to do as the  doc suggests along with taking panadol every four hours (if you dont have any liver issues) or other pain relief meds you know you can take.  Plus with the  elevation try to have it  above the heart if possible ie lie on the couch or bed with cushions/pillows under your leg and ensure its not cutting across the leg ie supported down the entire length as high as possible.

      However if you have no relief and pain levels continue to be high then i would go to the emergency department to be checked and state that you followed the gp advice above and have continued with very high pain levels and are concerned.  Especially if its high enough to impact on your being able to sleep.  

      i was told yesterday that partial tears can be more painful than a full rupture as its partially attached and pulling etc.

      Any way you have nothing to loose by going in....if in doubt get that second opinion.  Depending on where you live  the emg dpt should have access to an othopaedic on call person who is more specialised knowledge. 

      If the gp advice is not working then better to be safe and sure all is ok.  If you turn up and they check it and say sorry love it is what it is well the least you have done is ease your mind.  Or there may be another underlying issue. Boot not set correctly eg is there a metal strip down each side of the leg?  it may not be angled quite correctly ?

      Hope that helps.

      Denise

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