How long to recover from an Achilles Tendon Rupture (ATR)

August 17, 2012 — 58 Comments

The following is a public service announcement. You probably won’t care about it unless you’ve ruptured your Achilles, you plan to rupture your Achilles in the future, or you like seeing me in pain (sicko).

Here’s the story of the recovery period of an Achilles tendon – your results may vary.

April 25, 2012: D Day

It was a mild New Orleans evening as we looked to keep our winning kickball season going; I was excited to get back on the field to participate in a sport that requires little talent. Little did I know this would be my last time to walk normally for a long time… ok, I already walk with a swagger, but you know that. Pre-injury picture:

How long does it take to recover from an Achilles tendon rupture?

If you haven’t read the story before, here’s how I ruptured my Achilles tendon. Oh ya, I broke my hand five weeks previously as well so I had my hand in a splint. Things were going well.

April 30, 2012 (5 days post ATR): Surgery

To make a long story longer, here I go. The ATR surgery requires a five inch incision on the back of your leg from your heel up your calf in about a one hour procedure. It was a complete rupture (tear) so the doctor literally found both ends, overlapped them, and stitched them back together. I’ll spare you the nasty post-surgery picture; if you really want to see it, email me and I can send it to you (but just know I’ll think you’re weird).

I came out of surgery around 10:30am and felt no pain because of the “block” and anesthesia. At that point, I thought I could get myself into the wheelchair and proceeded to flash everyone in the waiting room. I’m not used to wearing gowns.

The pain didn’t hit until about 8pm that night. I didn’t start taking the pain pills because I wanted to see what it felt like before I took them. Worst idea ever. It hit me like a giant purple My Little Pony and the Percocet took quite a while to catch up. The horrible pain lasted for 1.5 days.

About a week after the surgery, my friends thought it’d be fun to take me to Whole Foods in a chair with wheels (it wasn’t a wheelchair).

Achilles Tendor Rupture ATR

May 11, 2012 (16 days post ATR)

The doctor removed my splint so he could check the wound and then put on a cast, all was healing as expected so far. This is when I saw the incision for the first time; it required 16 staples and looked as bad as you can imagine.

The next two weeks were terrible. I struggled to get around our house to do even the smallest of things. I have to go up three steps to even get to the kitchen, this was the worst! Sometimes I would lift my butt up on each step and then twist around when I got to the top.

May 27, 2012 (32 days post ATR)

My brother-in-law got married and was nice enough to ask me to be in the wedding party. You can read the full story on my guest post at Susan Cooper’s blog, but long story short, I still danced:

Dancing with a knee walker after Achilles Tendor Rupture ATR

I opted for the “knee walker” because it was a heck of a lot better than crutches. It was actually kinda fun to ride on once I got over the whole “pride” thing.

June 1, 2012 (5 weeks post ATR)

The cast was removed, and I could finally start working on recovering from the ruptured tendon. They put me in a boot which allowed some movement, but for the first week I was on crutches while I learned to put weight on my foot again. Then it was time to learn to walk again.

June 8, 2012 (6 weeks post ATR)

Time for physical therapy! The first few sessions were mostly to start gaining movement in the ankle. Since I hadn’t used it much in the last 8 weeks, the pain from the ankle tightness was only beat by the pain in the tendon. It’s weird how tight the tendon felt since they literally shortened it.

June 22, 2012 (8 weeks post ATR)

Off with the boot! I was so excited to finally be out of the cast, crutches, and boots… time to really start recovering! No more shower seat or anything… although it was kind of nice to sit down in the shower.

July 18, 2012 (12 weeks post ATR)

The moment of truth was here … could I run on my own again outside? My PT session included “anti-gravity” runs at this point where you dress up in stretch pants with a tutu like thing (see below) so you could run without all of your weight, but I hadn’t explored the great outdoors yet.

Zero gravity treadmill for ATR

I made it about 30 feet… and couldn’t have been more excited! No more fearing getting around the house, no more trapped inside all day… I could finally continue on with life.

August 1, 2012 (14 weeks post ATR)

The day we all dream of, physical therapy graduation. In total, I did about 8 weeks of physical therapy with two sessions per week. The staff was great and they helped to push me just fast enough to continue recovering without getting discouraged. I was also pretty motivated to get back to normal so that helped.

Physical Therapy Graduation

August 17, 2012 (16 weeks post ATR)

At this point, I’m one week away from the four month mark of when I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I can’t tell you how many times I asked the doctor or physical therapist what I could have done to prevent this. The only answer was… nothing, it was just bad luck.

Yesterday I ran 1.6 miles. I’m working my distance up each week and hope to run a 5k with my wife at the end of September. They say a full recovery takes 6-12 months, and I think I’m fully on my way to hitting the early end of that. Yay.

In the end, some things are out of our control, and the most important thing is how we react to them. I definitely got down at times, but overall I think I maintained a positive outlook which helped me recover faster. If you’re going through an ATR injury or something similar, know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. This concludes the public service announcement.

UPDATE:  Exactly one year after my Achilles tendon rupture, my wife and I hiked 11 km around Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Australia.  Even more exciting, three weeks before that, we trekked 18km in New Zealand on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  It was a little sore at times, but I’m happy to report that overall it felt great!

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58 responses to How long to recover from an Achilles Tendon Rupture (ATR)

  1. I just ruptured my achilles – around your same age. I go into surgery in a few days… not looking forward to going through all of this, but I’m glad to see there’s some hope at the end of the tunnel.

  2. My name is hannah pierson .

    i cut my achillies on glass and it was cut straight through. a straight cut.
    i had surgery and had a splint for two weeks, followed by a full cast for three – four weeks, then now i am in a moon boot, my surgery was on the 23rd of jan.

    i am now in the process of physio therapy , i had my third appointment today. i am told different things by all doctors, surgeons and p.ts . they all say one more month.. then two.. then three. i never get a straight answer.

    today she informed me i may never run again. this to me is heartbreaking.
    why am i not able to run again. i have the same injury as you , and you are running fine.

    i am so upset. this has been the hardest time in my life and i no its good to stay positive but this is pretty heartbreaking.

    how long did it take you just to walk somewhat normally again after your boot came off and did not need crutches anymore?

    i just want to at least be able to walk.

    thank you for sharing your story.


    • Hannah – really sorry to hear about your injury. I’m not certain why your injury would be different than other Achilles injuries, but I thought it was quite common for most people to return to a comparable physical state as where they were before the injury. I got past the crutches in a couple of weeks – although it was quite painful. Keep your spirits up as that’s one of the most important parts of the recovery process

  3. Hello Dan, I loved reading your story about your ATR….. reason why because I tore mine in April of this year and the timeline for surgery, cast, etc. is about the exact same as yours so its giving a little light at the end of the tunnel as far as when I can get back to normality. I tore mine completely while playing in an adult basketball league and I used a knee caddy and all. I just got my cast off at the 6wk mark and now in a walking boot and have started PT. I still have to use the crutches but I will be so happy when I can just walk in the boot without them. I hope I can recover as quick as you did and have a normal healthy life again!

  4. I tore my Achilles back in April of this year and had surgery 2 weeks later. My timeline is almost exactly like yours. I got my cast off on June 1st and now going through PT. I just want to be off the crutches and just have the freedom of walking and using my hands. I hope my recovery goes as good as yours did!

  5. June 10 my Achilles surgery repair , I suffer from chronic tendinitis , I had tear a lump of scar tissue build up , 4 weeks out of my splint cast into a moon boot , I’m trying to keep my spirit up some days I don’t know how I do it ,the pain is becoming less as days go by , once i’m healed I go into surgery for the right tendon ; stories like this encourage me to keep going and one day I be back to hiking myself .

    • Ana – it sounds like you’re progressing which is really all that matters. It also sounds like you’re right in the middle of one of the roughest times – you’ve been in it for a while and still have a long way to go. However, you’re progressing and that’s what matters.

  6. I did the “impossible” and fully snapped BOTH achilles 17 weeks ago playing badminton. 16 weeks post op now and walking about 80% of normal. Surgeon and physios never seen a bi lateral rupture and i cant find any mention in internet, so its been pretty much trial and see how things go on rehabilitation. Muscle wastage on calfs and shins has been huge – still no where near being able to do heel raises or even jog. Have taken a lot of heart reading achilles blogs and hearing positive progress.

  7. I had surgery on my Achilles June 12this year. From the nerve block, I received severe nerve damage from my knee through my toes. I have no feeling in my tibia and muscle around it, and my foot has jolting nerve pain all day long. I am 19 weeks today and walking 75%. I can only do 2 legged calf raises, because the nerve damage has restricted the straightening of my foot and calf muscles. It is getting about 1-2% better every month, but this has been a horrible experience. Hopefully I will be running again in June. Has anyone else received nerve damage from your surgery?

  8. I had surgery on June 30 for Achilles and haglunds deformity.
    My goal is to be back to running by Christmas. I have been working out at the gym in the morning before work (5am). Then I sneak to PT in the afternoon. Later I powerwalk 5k after work. I have not pushed too hard to recover but I am getting discouraged. I just can’t get strength back in the affected calf. It is a very stubborn muscle. Now it is time for me to push hard to meet my goal. Wish me luck. Thanks so much for the discussion. I hope all of you Achilles brothers and sisters get back to 100%!

  9. I tore my achilles in late September 2015. Surgery was Oct 22. 2 weeks in a soft cast then 4 weeks in a cast to where my foot was pointed down to help heal the tendon and the last 4 weeks in a walking cast to where I can walk around no crutches but I did use knee scooter for the 1st 6 weeks since doctor told me not to put any pressure on my foot. When I was m put in a walking cast I put my foot in the normal position which the cast tech said was a good sign. Had little pain in the ankle area through out the process but not bad enough to take pain meds. All together it’s not been that painful for me. Just being uncomfortable with the cast on. Hopefully I can get back to work soon. It’s only been about 13 weeks since the injury. I drive a semi for a living and I am ready to get back to work

  10. I saw some comments were recent so reaching out. I dont know of too many other people whi have been thru this except those who had to do it old school (20+yrs ago).

    I started pwb Monday about 6 weeks post op. I dont do it much becuz I mostly sit elevated and icing all day. But anyways, ive slipped three times on water and tile and landed on bad foot and had terrible pain (tho no rerupture). Guessing because I landed on toes!?! My question is regarding pwb. I use two crutches and go heel to toe with seriously maybe 15-20 lbs!?!? Is this ok!? I dont know what pwb looks like and dont want to rerupture.

    • You might want to ask your doctor or physical therapist if you’ve started yet. I had to look up pwb (partial weight bearing), but I basically listened to my body and didn’t try to take it too fast. It definitely hurt a lot more to go on the toes than the heel as the toes will stretch out your tendon. I found this post that talks about how this girl went from pwb to fwb.

    • My protocol was pwb as tolerable. I’m way behind. I ruptured my Achilles’ tendon thanksgiving. Had surgery the following Thursday. At first I was a week behind but it took two weeks to start partially weight bearing to full weight bear ditch crutches and in shoes. Depends how comfortable you are. I’m way behind now about 4 weeks because the office didn’t put in my referral to see pt and I lost a week and now it’s taking longer because the pt is all booked up until next week. But I am walking in two shoes and using a pedal exerciser and doing theraband work. It’s in my protocol so I am able to do it. As for the theraband I’ve done it last year when I had Achilles tendonits therefore I know what to do. But at same time if my ankle/foot tired I would let it rest. Hope all is well with you. My surgery went well. I didn’t have any pain after the anesthesia and nerve block wore off. So no pain killer for me but I had stitch abscess therefore there’s one spot that didn’t heal right but no infection but then my eczema flared so that is bad.

  11. I ruptured my Achilles a month ago. It is Feb 7th today. On the 10th will be 3 weeks post op. Getting my cast off this week. I can only hope this healing process goes fast because I drive for work and of course I ruptured it on my right side. Funny what you said about the pain after the block wore off because it was the same for me. The next day I was popping the pain killers like skittles. Omg the pain! Lol. Anyway I liked your article this really is a terrible Injury. Only thing that I’m depressed about it that I was training for a bodybuilding show in may. And well I cant go on stage with skinny legs lol. There’s always next year. 🙂

    • I’m replying to my own post lol. I’m 6 weeks post op now and already walking without crutches or a boot. .. OK listen I do not condone the use of anabolic steroids but I got a legal prescription for testosterone and I’ve been Injecting 600mgs a week. I can drive now and walk etc when I should still be on crutches for 3 more weeks. Just saying that the steroid heeled me that fast. . .I know what I’m doing so I don’t need a lecture just letting everyone know whats working for me.

  12. Hi. I ruptured my AT on the Jan 19th. MRI showed it to be an acute (90% approx’) and unusual rupture. It tore off the heel bone. I was in a cast for 10 days, then back slab for 3 days and finally into a boot with heel raised. I started my own rehab after much research and took the conservative non-surgical path. I am now only wearing boot when I leave the house mainly for protection and the fact I can walk quicker with it on. I went for a cycle with boot on 1 week ago and yesterday cycled with feet clipped in. I had to clip shoe cleat onto peddle first and then placed foot in. It was difficult to apply much power but after a sleep overnight the leg has pulled up good. No swelling and feels stronger. To date I have not tried to put to much stress on the newly forming tendon but have been very active with rehab and have been FWB for 2 weeks. I am not anywhere near a one leg heel raise yet. What I am getting to is that don’t be talked into the surgical option. If you have a good fitness base, eat, sleep and rehab correctly, the non-surgical option can be succesful and there is plenty of evidence around to support this.

    • Hi David, glad to hear that your recovery is getting well. You’re about a month ahead of me on the time scale (my rupture was on the 16th of feb) but I went for the surgery. Do you think you could walk on yours at the moment or is it still too painful to do so.

      • Hi Mick. Sorry reply is so late. I was walking full weight without boot after 6 weeks. Today I almost did a 1 leg heal raise so very happy with progress. Limp almost gone. Will not be doing any tennis type sports for a long time as I just don’t want to push my luck. Cycling is almost back to normal and able to get out of saddle. Best of luck with rehab.

        • Hi Dan, glad to hear your recovery is going well. I’m 10 weeks post op now.I got into a boot 4 weeks after op and spent more time out of it than i did in it. I walked around the house as much as i could in runners and i think that help me a lot. I went back to work 5 weeks post op as i could drive o.k and was sitting a lot in work anyway. I would recommend that getting into a boot asap and try walking without it on and not doing too much is the quickest root to recovery. My physio said walking is probably the best form of therapy for it. I’m still sore to go up on the ball of that foot on one leg but it’s improving week by week. Best of luck with your recovery.

        • Hi dave i also ruptured my achilles from the heel. I had my surgery Aug 12 2016. I still cannot put any weight on my foot. Im 54 years old recovery has been slow. Hoping to try weight on Monday. I have not been to pt yet. I have only been massaging for blood flow. Getting very discouraged.

    • I went to a trip to Panama and on my 2nd day playing around with my friends kids. We were at the mall in panama, they would not let us go in the mall. And all i did was sway side to side fast. I felt like electric voltage hit my leg, and someone had cut me with a knife. I couldn’t walk, so my friend tells me keep moving or your leg will get cold. OMG i wanted to faint, from there i had to drive. I couldn’t figure out what happened. So i am always on heels, she tells me try on your heels. I did and was able to walk. Well my blood pressure went up, pain, and fell on the same side. It was like a one thing after another. But i maintain my cool, and Vacation mode. Well finally got to miami and my doctor sends me hospital. Achilles Heal Rupture. Waiting next week for MRI. I think it will take 6- 8 month . These is so draining of your mine, and worring wow can’t wait to get my leg well again. Like they say you never know what you had till you lose it. PS seems every were i go there is no special effort for handicap assistance. WOW Thank you.

  13. Hi Dan, thanks for all the information regarding ATR and recovery.
    I tore mine 8 days ago playing five-a-side football. I had surgery the following morning and was put into a cast. I’ve to go back to get my stitches out next week which will be 2 weeks post op. Luckily for me I’ve had very little pain so far only when it happened. The surgeon said i’ll be in a cast for 6 weeks then a boot for 2, but from what i’ve read getting into the boot asap is an advantage because of the bit of movement that can be achieved will speed up the recovery, so i’ll ask to be put into a boot. I was just wondering how soon can I walk even around 100 meters or so. I have a decent degree of fitness as i did a lot of long distant running before it happened.

  14. I had an ATR last Mar 8,2016 at work. I tripped on a cord and loss balance and fell.Work comp doctor misdiagnosed me as an ankle sprain only giving me crutches and told me I can return to work in a couple of days inspite of me telling him I might have injured my tendon but did nothing about it. After almost 3 weeks and 4 doctor’s follow up visits where everything he said was the same, I decided to get second opinion with another doctor and he said absolutely ATR and had to have surgery next day March25. Had a nerve block but didn’t work that well so I have to deal with the excruciating pain starting in recovery and just got worst the next 3 days. It’s postop day #4 and glad pain is bearable. I just want to get to walk back again and give that idiot doctor who misdiagnosed me a piece of my mind. Better, I ‘ll try to sue him so he’ll learn his lesson. I hope I can find an “honest” lawyer to take my case…if there is one.

    • I had an ATR on February 26, 2016, while playing volleyball. I had surgery a week later and had my cast removed on March 28th and put into a boot. My first PT session was today and doing some simple ROM exercises with my ankle. I can do PWB but definitely need crutches to walk. I can’t imagine walking without crutches so hopefully in a week my mindset will be different. I am sleeping with a boot which is uncomfortable, my Physical Therapist thinks I can try and sleep with it off, but I am not sure I’m ready for that yet.

  15. I just had Achilles repair surgery on March 29th. Thank goodness for those of you documenting your journey, it has kept me positive and looking forward to my recovery. Just as everyone said those first three days was the worst pain ever. Picking up my knee caddy tomorrow and getting my cast off in 1 week. I am eager to move around the house more but I notice if my leg is not elevated is becomes uncomfortable. I can’t wait to get back in the gym, my injury occurred working out with my personal trainer which sucks!!!

  16. Thanks for taking the time to share your recovery experience. It’s encouraging to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel (smile).
    I ruptured my Achilles April 18th and had surgery one week later. I wore a splint for two weeks, and then was given the option of either a cast or boot. Both required that I not place any weight on the leg for 6 weeks. I chose the boot.
    I’m now starting my 5th week in the boot, anxiously awaiting the start of rehab. I like being able to take it off for bathing, which also affords me the opportunity to clean it and change my sock. However, trying to sleep in this blasted thing has been quite a challenge.
    I think having a leg scooter and being able to quickly go back to work (I was out 3 days) have helped a great deal with my attitude, because daytime TV and crutches suck (smile)!

  17. Great examples! I have ruptured my Achilles on 7th March 2016 and had surgery a week later (14th March 2016). I spend 2 weeks in a splint with my foot pointed down and another 2 weeks in a splint with a different angle. After that (up to date, 5 weeks) I’m in a 90 degrees boot and just three days ago (almost 9 weeks post op) I started using one crutch only (still with a boot on).
    I hope to rid of the boot and crutches on 10.5 weeks post op.
    Good luck everyone and be patient!

    • Sounds like you’re staying positive, that’s the most important thing. I’m almost four years out now and while I notice it every once in a while when stretching, I don’t feel any limitations from it. Just keep battling through!

  18. I tore my Achilles last Thursday and ortho recommended no surgery for a “weekend warrior”. I’ve run marathons and play softball and basketball regularly. It seems most on here opted for surgery. Is it due to the decreased risk of re-rupture, or were you told surgery was required? I just want to make the right decision for me to have the best quality of life moving forward, but nothing online seems conclusive. Any advice is much appreciated.

    • I’d probably get a second opinion. I’m pretty active and it was never even in question for my doc if I should have surgery or not. Was it a complete rupture or just a tear? Mine was complete, so maybe the difference.

      • Supposedly complete, yet he didn’t get an MRI. Could tell just by feeling. I’m liking the idea of a second opinion, cause I want this treatment to go right. Really liked reading the progress on here.Thank you!

        • Mick Finnegan June 5, 2016 at 8:59 pm

          Hi Chris, I’m 15 weeks post op now after going the surgery root. I got in a boot after 4 weeks after been in a cast and as soon as I was home I have to say I spent more time in trainers than I did in the boot. I went back to work after 5 weeks post op which included driving 30 minutes to and from work. I’ve had about 4 sessions of physio and I can feel improvements each visit. It’s still stiff when I get up in the mornings or if I’ve been sitting for a while but I can walk a few miles without a limp for the last few weeks and I hope to go back running in the next week or two. I met a guy who hadn’t had the surgery and he was still in a cast after 6 weeks without any improvement. I think surgery or not getting into a boot and walking is the quickest form of recovery, not sure if you’ll get the boot if you don’t have surgery. Best of luck.

    • Hi Chris. I had a severe rupture (read my post above) in January. I am an ex basketball player but have not played for 20 years. Although still active & fit, I do not play hard court sports anymore and the rupture occurred after a social weekend of tennis & basketball with younger family members. Let that be a lesson to any former hard courters who have not participated in these activities for a while. For the past few years I have just cycled. I went the non surgical option. The MRI confirmed the outer tendon sheath was still intact but most of the tendon had torn off the heel bone. I rehabbed aggressively and today I am riding 50km plus with clip in pedals, I can do sets of one leg heel raises and walk without a limp. I am 52 so won’t build strength as quickly as someone younger. That being said I try to make up for that with discipline. I am very happy to have taken the non surgical option for my rupture. I think rehab is the key. Best wishes for recovery.

    • Hi Chris. I can relate to your situation. I too am a weeking warrior. I’m 33 years old and on June 14th, 2016 I partially tore my achillees tendon. I’ve been in a boot since. I did not have surgery; ortho surgeon said conservative route. However, I feel my progress is slower than what most on this forum have suggested. I was told on Aug 15 I could remove the final of three wedges in about two weeks. I was also told then I could get rid of crutches. However I’m not comfortable at all without crutches. I don’t walk but hop. My situation is different in that my opposite leg has issues (i actually was getting them looked into – possible osteoarthritis in the hip and osgood schlotters when the tear happened on the other side). Anyhow, I hurt bad on both sides. I can walk with a hop without crutches. My physio guy says I need to do exercises with ankle weights and try to stand up with bad leg on a higher stair and work out my dorsal muscle. Anyhow, I’m not over 10 weeks in and I have progessed but I’m very afraid to put too much weight on torn side. I’ve tripped a couple times and put too much weight on it and the brain sends shivers through my whole body, like a tingling pain suggesting the body can’t tolerate that. I’m flustered and tried to stay positive, but this process is so slow. I try to walk without crutches but it’s a hobble limp. I’m not sure if its due to issues on the other leg or not – I thought the ortho surg was investigating both issues, as I had MRIs and xrays done on the other leg, but he didn’t read them (long story) and now I have to wait to mid October to have those results looked at even though I had them scheduled before this injury took place. Ridiculous. Anyhow, I’m glad others seem to be recovering faster with surgery. My recovery seems to be much slower. Just my story.

  19. Thanks for all the feedback. I guess I never realized (and still have a hard time wrapping my head around it) the long recovery time needed for this injury. I got a second opinion and have surgery scheduled for this upcoming Thursday. I guess my road to recovery begins Friday morning. Thanks again all!

    • Chris – good luck with surgery. It’s definitely a slow recovery process so stay patient and positive. I’m four years out now and don’t feel I have any limitations due to the injury. I do notice it still as I do a lot of yoga and feel some tightness in it, but I don’t feel it limits me.

  20. I just ruptured my achilles tendon on 6/23 in muy thai class. All I did was step back and “pop!” And I felt like someone kicked me really hard in the ankle. I turned around to see if someone in fact did kick me, was shocked when I realized it was my achilles. I am waiting for an MRI and then surgery hopefully soon, I’m reasy to start woring towards recovery. It really sucks, but your story gives me hope. I’m a new RN who was just beginning my orientation at my first nursing job when this happened. I can’t wait to recover and be back at work and the gym, but I know it’s going to take some time.

    • Ugh, I feel for you Alexa. Good luck with the surgery. I’m 17 days post-op now myself and starting PT Monday. Hopefully, I’ll be walking without crutches in the next 4 weeks.

      • Thanks, I’m now 12 days post op and will be in a boot in a couple of days for 4 weeks. Then on to physical therapy. How are you coming along Chris?

        • I’m just past the 5th week post-op now. I’m partial weight bearing in boot, with a goal of full weight bearing and walking in boot in next 3 weeks. I’ve got all the wedges removed from boot and the only pain I really experience now is from swelling when my leg is down too long. Still a ways to go, but I see the light at the end.

  21. How long were you out of work?

    • I’m now 15 weeks post op and walking regularly. I still swell a bit after too much walking, but happy to have my independence for the last month or so.
      I only missed 2 days of work, however, I was working from home for the first 6 weeks. I was back in them office after that with little issues.

  22. I’m so glad that I found these posts! I tore it 90% it was a bit of a hassle but going though the ER I got the MRI done the next day. I wasn’t doing doing anything athletic, just twisted to swat a fly. The pain put me on the ground. I had a follow up appointment nine days after the accident and surgery was the plan. Took two days to get it done. I’m in Canada so wait lists are long. I’m in a back splint with my foot angled. Today is day three after the surgery and I can almost tolerate the discomfort. Being over sixty I think it will be a longer recovery. Hated the crutches so got the scooter. Just wish I could get up the stairs to my bed instead of being on the couch!

  23. So glad I’ve found these postings. I’ve ruptured my right achilles ina netball game on 29 Oct 2016. Went for surgery on 7 Nov 2016. First 3 days post op was the worst pain ever…. This is soooo frustrating and depressing! It seems like a really loooong road to recovery but I’ll hang in there….

  24. 10 months post ATR surgery. Still very very stiff. What should my next step be? Ice? Hot pack? I’m doing jumping jacks and tuck jump for a day and have to rest a week.

    Really worry I would tear it again or even injured others parts of my limps.

  25. I am 71 years old and had partial tear(50%) 3 weeks ago while playing pickleball. Ripping tear feeling up calf. Have not had any pain. Conservative Rx with no surgery. Cast for 2 weeks and then walking boot with full weight bearing No pain. Calf still normal size. Boot 20 degrees toe down. Boot off for showers. My Orthopaedist had same injury himself playing pickleball He is 8 months post with no op Rx. He now plays golf with normal heal raise. He truly believes “no op” is the way to go. I doubt I will play pickleball or racket sports again for fear of rerupture. He says rerupture probably =s surgery with tendon graft.

  26. I’m 38 and fully tore my Achilles playing basketball (3ft from the same spot on the same court where I tore my ACL!). Had surgery 1/31. Had two different nerve blocks as my ACL repair block didn’t work and the doctors didn’t want to take any chances. Surgery was successful. Pain blocks lasted almost 2 full days and I kept up with my meds. I was put into a soft cast with a splint with no weight bearing. I spent 99% of the time on the couch with my leg elevated (definitely a key to success!).

    Ten days post op, splint soft cast and stitches removed. Incision completely healed. Put in a boot with three heal wedges and was told I could do partial weight bearing (up to 50%). Have to sleep in boot.

    Went to Disney world with my family for 6 days (rented a scooter). The trip was a challenge but I went on every ride but one. The only time I tweaked something was my crutch slipping on some water in a bathroom and putting my bad foot down. But luckily was traveling with my sister in law who is a non surgical orthopedist and said it was just a tight muscle.

    23 days post op (2/23) saw doctor for second post op. All looks very good with little swelling. I’m down to one crutch and can go full weight bearing with the boot on 2/28. I can also ditch the boot at night (yay) that day, though I have to keep it on anytime I move.

    Next appt is 6 weeks post op and will be starting PT then. I feel like things are progressing. I’m unable to work as I am a corporate pilot. I have to be able to push 125lbs with my right leg before I’m back in the cockpit. Kind of scared how long that might take!

  27. I’m a 61yr old hiker from Australia totally ruptured my right archilles in mid January – the middle of the hiking season. I had surgery 6days after rupture. I have never felt so totally helpless in my life. Knowing it was going to be an obscenely long rehab I made it my fulk time job. 2 weeks in a cast followed by10 weeks in a CAM boot I exercised every day. Weights for upper body and pilates for core. I was fully weight bearing by the end of April. Started small – 6km hikes at the beginning of May and am now doing day hikes of up to 18km. In June i started adding weight to my pack so that i can be track fit by spring – September. I also swim 2x weekly and go to pilates 1x weekly. I have a massage ony repaired leg every 10days. My calf is gradually getting definition in the muscle but not being able to do single leg raisers is doing my head in. Its so hard to get that calf to be strong again. I’m determined its going to happen but not yet. It is 6mths since my surgery and I think I’m doing ok otherwise. Patience and persistence with mind numbing exercises is the key. Any other manic hikers out there had this happen?

  28. hi all. i am a fit 55 years old and six weeks post op as of today. full rupture – tennis – and had surgery two days later. stitches out after 10 days then into a new cast that came off a week later (total 17 days in cast). was given a boot with one insert and was told to walk with crutches and partial weight for a week or until it was comfortable without crutches. i ditched the crutches and the insert after a day and walked full weight with the boot on as it was only a bit uncomfortable. at home i walked without the boot in slippers without pushing off front of foot. went to first pt after three and a half weeks and the therapist said my wound/swelling looked like someone at 8 weeks. i was thrilled except that my doc insisted i not push things along. so i have stayed in my boot outside of my house and walk in the house without putting full weight on push off of front of foot.

    my sense is that it is worth pushing things a bit but not too much as re-rupture is not something you want a month after surgery. my advice regarding the wound is this: from the moment the cast comes off, apply triple antibiotic cream (petroleum based) and cover with a large band aid – yes, they sell ones that are big enough to cover the whole incision. i applied the cream 2 times a day. definitely moved things along. and keep that foot moving outside of the boot when you are sitting and lying down. stretch it constantly and you will be rewarded with less stiffness and pain. six weeks out my range of motion is about 95% of my good leg.

  29. Hi all. 62 returned to football after four years full rupture first game! Went for non surgical and five months in today. I found physio made it worse! Don’t know why but stopped two months ago and prefer pool walking and swimming. Can now walk with only a slight limp but stiff and sore icon it a lot. Doc said it will take twelve months to heal completely so for others it is a long process. I found it very stressful sitting on couch for three months! About eight/nine weeks in cast then two weeks in boot… no wedges… went to work and thought I had redone it as so very sore but no it is just a very slow healing injury.

  30. Melody Schierling Flores September 8, 2017 at 2:20 am

    This is a helpful thread to read through. I ruptured my right achilles about a month ago dancing at a Willie Nelson concert in the grass. (Yes, it’s true). I am a 43 year old female in decent physical shape. Initially mis-diagnosed as a sprain and then I hobbled around on it for a week, which didn’t help. Finally got in to an orthopedic surgeon who let me know i had i deed ruptured it. I am now 9 days post-op. Cast comes off next week, and I am completely horrified to see what the incision scar will look like. PT will be starting after that. I know the full revovery takes some time, but was happy to see that you were back at it hiking a year later. That’s encouraging. I am keeping a positive attitude and grateful I have a leg. My younger brother has an amputated leg (22 years ago). Now i feel his pain. Good reminder could always be worse. Thanks for the thread and info!

  31. Hi
    So good to read about other’s experiences but at the same time, difficult to make comparisons when I feel so far behind with recovery.

    I’m 12 wks since full ATR playing netball. Had 4 wks in a cast then 6 in a boot. No surgery.
    Towards end, I was walking around house without boot, on heel but that could become painful.
    Started physio with simple stretches, without and with a band/towel. Good flexibility up and down but worried that it’s so swollen all the time. This morning walked to shops and back(1.5k) but have to do that with crutches as walking without is slow and short steps. Calf muscle so withered and everything very tight. Spent last two hours with leg up trying to reduce the swelling and sharp pain in my heel.
    Everyone seems to talk of seeing improvements weekly but all I can do is walk about Fwb but with crutches for last push off . Is this normal? should discard them and try to walk without?
    Maybe today is just not a good day🙁


    • Whatever you do, don’t rush it. It’s good to push it to build strength and endurance, but listen to the pain. I had surgery so a bit different, but it would still be painful for over a year after I pushed it hard. It’s a really bad and painful injury…. but keep your head up and keep the progress!

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