Achilles Tendon Rupture, complications after surgery, numbness in foot and toes

by Al Pellagrino
(Morganville, NJ)

Hi all,

I'm 20 weeks post op. My surgery to repair a completely ruptured achilles was on March 12, 2012.

I was in a cast for 2 weeks, then the stitches were removed.

At that point I was placed in a boot for 8 weeks using crutches with no weight bearing. After a total of 8-10 weeks I began partial weight bearing still with crutches and therapy started at the 8 week mark. After 12 weeks I got rid of the crutches and was walking with a slight limp.

At the 16 week mark is where I noticed no more limping except when I first wake up and take my first steps. Through all this I did't mention that I have numbness in the bottom of my foot that goes to the tips of my toes. It's driving me crazy! wearing shoes and even sneakers is uncomfortable.

I have weakness in my calf muscle which i'm attributing to the numbness. Things are not coming along the way I had hoped. I have followed all orders from Doctor and Therapist. Went to a neurologist yesterday for the numbness. Waiting for results of an EMG test. This is really getting to me. Doctors and Therapist all say this is normal. Recovery can take up to a year.

This is very hard to accept when it does not feel any better day to day. I can only compare how I feel, month to month. This is a long process but I'm afraid the numbness may not come back. Is there anyone out there that had this similar situation and then got better? please respond.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Al.

Achilles Tendon Rupture is a far cry worse than Achilles Tendonitis.

But Tendonitis is a -dynamic- made up of multiple factors, some of which create the rupture scenario.

All those factors are still in place after Achilles Tendon Surgery.

So a year for recovery is unfortunately, incredibly common. And that's not even for 'back to 100% recovery'.

Plus, you have some kind of nerve issue. You're either very nutritionally deficient (likely and entirely possible), or the already tight muscles got tighter and are compressing a nerve (possible and incredibly likely), or worst case scenario, the surgery nicked or cut or severed a nerve or two (let's hope not).

A nicked or cut nerve is going to cause long term problems.

Tight muscles compressing nerve will continue to compress nerve until you make the tight muscles not tight.

Nerve issue from nutritional insufficiency/deficiency will continue to cause nerve issue until you increase how much your body has access to.

Is time and Rest going to fix this? Maybe. Unlikely.

Are you doing anything to combat the Process of Inflammation that's active in there?

Are you supplementing nutritionally at all?

See: Pain Causing Dynamic

See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Achilles Tendon Rupture, complications after surgery, numbness in foot and toes

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Sep 08, 2016
Irene neuroma after achilles reconstruction surgery
by: Irene M

In OCT 2014 I had an achillies reconstruction surgery. I was in a cast for 2 weeks then the boot for 8 and start rehab but I was battling with the pain so I went back to my doc and he suggested Plasmapheresis so he did that.

The pain started to get worse but carried on with life , where the scar is ut was very sensentive and had a burning feeling. so in Jan 2016 I went 4 a 2nd opinion 2nd doc suggested re surgery and also to tell my doc to do Xrays and MRI's.

So I went back to my doc in Feb 2016 he check me and said he thinks it is a neuroma . He gave me meds and MRI was done in March . He said it is a neuroma and sugery was done . He removed the nerves.

I went back to doc he put me on pain killers and said I must get myself a foot arch support. I am still battling with my leg I cannot sit or stand for long. I was in so much pain I went 4 phsyio , tried a few session she suggested I go see a BIO so currently I am doing dat.

She did notice that my foot is gone into an angle. I am so tired now as this is effecting my work and home.


See Related: 1 Week PostOp Achilles Tendon Tear Repair Pain Increasing

See Related: Achilles Tendonitis Surgery Two Years Ago Still Healing

Jun 14, 2016
Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
by: Samantha

I'm a 35 year old female. I have enjoyed long distance running for several years now. I love the mental release from a long run and the physical benefits. It's great for setting and achieving goals.

In the Spring of 2015, I completed three half marathons. I've never been a fast runner, I run for me. I took a two month break before starting training for my final half marathon of the year. I had a good training run and was feeling on top of the world.

I ended up working a night shift followed by an early morning shift. That morning I was so exhausted, I missed the handle for my truck door, stumbled and ended up with an inversion sprain of my ankle. I felt a tug on the bottom of my foot.

This was not the first sprain to my ankle, maybe the 20th. A complication of being hypermobile.

I took a three week break from running, did the usual strengthening and rehab. Set out for a run and had this horrible sense of instability in the arch. Stopped at a mile and went home.

Severe heel pain developed and walking long distances was impossible. I tried all of the self treatment therapies for plantar faciitis with no success after 2 months.

Saw a podiatrist and was officially diagnosed with plantar faciitis. Given a script for PT.

PTs threw everything at it. Ultrasound, Graston, e-stim, tens, edema control, icing, heat, cupping, it taping, rigid taping you name it. Did the night splint, everything. Addressed muscle imbalances as well. Got prescribed rigid orthotics, which, through a series of snafus by the lab, took 3 months to receive.

At my wit's end and went to an orthopedic surgeon. Tried Tenex. Pain worsened 3 weeks post op as I became more weight bearing. Tried semi rigid orthotics designed by am fit and tekscan.

Orthotics did not relieve the heel pain. 4 months post op and the pain has worsened. Continued PT treatment trying to keep calf muscles limber.

Cannot tolerate walking barefoot or single leg calf raises or balancing. Rigid taping has helped me be comfortably mobile for about 4-5 hours a day. Started Bowen treatment to help cope with the stresses of 11 months of chronic pain.

Finally demanded an MRI. Have a plantar fascia rupture that failed to show clearly on 4 previous ultrasound scans. Now I am scared of how much longer further treatment is going to take. I am slowly losing the mental war.

Running was my coping mechanism for stress, I don't even have walking for that now. There are days the inflammation and pain are so bad, riding a stationary bike is not possible.

I'm down to immobilization with full release and possibly a gastroc release. Has anyone successfully recovered from this and still has the ability to run?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Samantha.

So.... you had surgery for plantar fasciitis:

A. What exactly did they cut on?

B. They did PF surgery WHILE you had a rupture..and didn't know about the rupture?

Is that accurate?

If that's accurate...ouch.

No treatment is going to help a ruptured plantar fascia, short of reattachment surgery.

Then it would be smart to deal with the factors that led up to the rupture.

Hypermobility doesn't help anything, so that's a constant downside.

How hypermobile are you? All over or just in some joints?

See Related: Ruptured Plantar Fasciitis After Years Of Doing What The Doctor Said

Mar 09, 2016
I also have numb foot after lacerated achilles
by: Jill

I can totally relate to your situation. I too have a totally numb sole of my foot - since I had my surgery weeks ago.

However my pain has increased and my foot looks half dead at times... my doctor advised it is a complication from surgery known as "complex regional pain syndrome", and affects to nerves and nervous system. Google this and see if you have the same symptoms.

Good luck!

Jan 27, 2016
by: Nancys

I am a 59 year old female who is admittedly obese with borderline non-insulin controlled diabetes. With a high-normal vitamin B12 level I have had chronic foot problems with with plantar fasciitis that required a fasciaotomy in the 80's.

This was relatively successful for several years as long as I wore custom made orthotics. I developed chronic Achilles tendinitis approximately 10 years ago which waxed and waned until about 2 years ago when the pain became constant and debilitating.

An MRI showed significant thickening and chronic tearing with calcification of the Achilles. With the exception of the heel and ankle pain associated with the Achilles tendinitis, I had no other symptoms or complaint in my foot.

I underwent an Achilles tendon reconstruction on May 6 of 2016. I awoke from surgery and was comfortable until the popliteal nerve block wore off. I was left with numbness and burning across the ball of my foot and all of my toes, especially the bottom.

This has persisted through recovery and physical therapy. It get worse with walking or standing and inhibits activity. I have seen an rehab medicine DR who told me it was nerve related so he sent me to a neurologist.

I under went an EMG and nerve conduction study feeling sure my problem would be explained, The study was reported as normal.

A follow up MRI revealed only minimal fluid in the tarsal tunnel, so I was told it is not tarsal tunnel syndrome.

The surgeon told me he has no idea what it could be and he doesn't think it is related to the surgery. Again it was not there until I had surgery.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Joshua Comments:

It is entirely unsurprising that a surgeon is going to think/say that post-surgery pain isn't related to surgery.

Surgery ignores all the causes of pain/problem/tendon tearing/calcification/etc.

So regardless of what or how surgery might help, all the causative factors are still in place.

The extra weight doesn't help at all, the diabetes doesn't help at all (and depending on where you're at, is contributing to the overall dynamic.

Dealing with nutritional intake will help everything work better (weight loss, reverse the diabetes, help muscle/connective tissue fuction more optimally.)

Processed foods lack nutrition.
Sugar lacks nutrition.
Gluten from wheat/wheat products/msg/etc is an inflammatory agent. Inflammation causes the body to put on weight. It also damages the gut, which causes inflammation, nutritional insufficiency, and auto-immune issues, and....diabetes!

I'm making some assumptions in your scenario, but I essentially say this to anyone with health problems:
Eat only real food. No processed food.
Cut out most/all sugar.
Cut out ALL gluten.

I would of course suggest my Reversing Achilles Tendonitis program. It covers nutrition you VERY much need, and describes self care to lower pain and get things in there working better.

Having said that, if a nerve was cut/nicked during surgery, that's bad news, and there's really not a lot one can do about that.

Inflammation/swelling from the insult of surgery could be compressing nerve.

Inflammation process dumps pain enhancing chemical into the tissue, so that is surely playing a role.

More questions, more answers.

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