Achilles Tendon Rupture Website c.2016

A quick reference all text, mobile friendly resource for people or persons recovering from a Achilles Tendon Rupture Injury

  • Week 0 to 2

  • Immediately After the Operation

    Weeks 0 -2 (post operation) are the worst time, in terms of immobility. Be prepared to watch lots of TV, although if you work at a computer you may be able to get some work done, provided you can get to work and can keep your leg elevated.

    It is important to keep you bad leg elevated, that is propped up on something. Aim to keep you foot above the level of your heart. You will probably want some cushioning on the chair or stool you are using. Whilst sitting on a sofa for example a dining chair is a good height. Other wise you may need to stack some cushions on a foot stool to get to the correct height. If you do not keep the wound elevated then your foot will swell, and this may put pressure on the wound. Unlike before the operation you are unlikely to be able to spend 30 minutes making coq au vin, as the pain will increase for the longer you stay standing up. Factor on 2 - 3 minutes trips between getting your foot up, at least for the first few days. This regime will likely continue for 3 - 10 days.

    Choice of Pain Killers

    There are some studies, based on animals, that show that healing is slowed down by taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs such as aspirin. So you may want to think about sticking to paracetamol if you can. If the pain is too much perhaps ask for some opiate based painkillers such a codeine. But these have other problems such as making you constipated.

    Your 2 Weeks in a Cast

    This is much like the time you spent pre-operation, although you may be in a little more pain, and you will know have a wound on the back of your heal. Depending on the system used for rejoining you tendon, there may also be some puncture marks where the stiches were passed through the tendon from the outside (i.e. through your skin). Of course you will be able to see any of this as your leg will be wrapped up in bandages.

    Please see section on "Before the Operation" with regards to keeping clean, mobile and useful.

    Be Careful!

    But know your tendon has been rejoined you will have to be very careful. When healed your Achilles tendon will be a strong as a steel cable, but right now it is stitched together with thin surgical stitches, which are very week by comparison.

    Try to rehearse in your minds eye what you will do if you trip . . . you can not put that leg out to stop you! Is is better to fall on you knees or shoulder? That is a decision you will have to make.

    Do not rush. Even if you have a lot to do. Do not rush. Any time saved by rushing will be paid for 100 fold if you trip or slip, and have to go back in for another operation. My surgeon said that sometimes when they repair a re-rupture (when you break the repaired tendon again) they have to take a tendon from your big toe to make the repair. So again if you would like to maintain full function of your big toe, then do not rush.

    In a study conducted at Exeter Hospital UK, out of 243 patients in a study, 4 people re-ruptured their tendon, all from slipping in the shower! So that is the time to be extra careful.

    Staying Sane

    If you are normally out and about and doing all kinds of busy then you better aim to keep your self busy whilst not having the use of you leg.


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