Chronic Achilles Tendonitis with bone spur and lump, doctor wants to do surgery to slowly stretch the tendon

by Jan Tetzlaff
(Milwaukee, WI.)

I'm a 56 year old, overweight woman. I don't run nor have I ever been into sports. About 6 years ago I developed what were called bone spurs.

My orthopedic treated them with cortisone shots into the bottom of my foot. They helped for a bit. I then tried acupuncture. No help.

Long story short, I know have 'chronic Achilles tendonitis in both heels, the right one being more severe, with an actual lump on the back of my ankle.

I also tried "shock wave' therapy at the suggestion of my then podiatrist. That was horrid -- not covered by insurance and incredibly painful. After a week, my back ankle looked as if it had been hit by a baseball bat.

I went back to that podiatrist and was given a full refund and another cortisone shot directly in the painful area. All in all, I've had about 3 cortisone shots in the tendon's area.

I found a new podiatrist. He believes my tendon is paralytically torn and will require surgery. I have an MRI set for later this month. He told me that the surgery would last 1.5 hours, I would have to use crutches for 2 weeks (no weight on foot)and would have to wear a boot with wedges for 6 weeks. Each week a wedge would be removed, stretching the tendon slowly. But I could walk on it with the boot. I won't be able to drive though.

My question is, last summer I had a total knee replacement -- it was horrible and took me nearly a year to recover...I'm scared to have this surgery. I can only take off work (I work in a very small office)for 4 weeks max.

What do the folks with experience think? Is 4 weeks enough to be off work?

This new doctor also said the surgery may need to be repeated in 12 years or so. WTH?

I don't see an alternative to the surgery because the pain is intense at times. I've been told not to walk a lot or even stand for long periods of time, to avoid a total rupture.

Reading these stories makes me want to cry -- I so do NOT want to do this.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you all!


Joshua Answers:

Hi Jan.

Stories like yours make me grit my teeth.

Corticosteroid Injections don't fix tendonitis. They know that.

Rest doesn't fix anything.

I've never heard of a doctor's office giving money back. That's a first. Good on them.

The thing that REALLY makes me grit my teeth is this:

TENDONS DON"T STRETCH! Or at least, you don't want them to.

Muscles and their connective tissue is what the doctor SHOULD be trying to lengthen your Soleus and Gastrocnemius structures.

Bone Spur formation is a function of constantly too tight muscles and connective tissue. NOT because the tendon is too short, but because muscle is too tight 24/7.

The lump on your tendon is a symptom of a problem.

I wonder why the doctor believes you have a

Achilles Tendonitis is a function of the Pain Causing Dynamic

Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms are explained by following this link.

You aren't an athlete nor do you run, but if you're overweight, then there's extra load on your structures with every step and every moment you stand. And you're almost certainly nutrient insufficient/deficient.

Here's why you had a knee replacement:

1. Muscles in the lower leg aren't working properly.

2. Muscles are shock absorbers. When they're not working properly, they don't absorb force, yet all that force has to go somewhere. Knee replacements don't fix the muscles not working properly.

You had a hard recovery because of that, and because you don't heal fast (because you're almost certainly nutrient insufficient/deficient).

And as a general statement, if you're overweight, you don't eat 'healthily'.

And chances are you're gluten intolerant (which helps explain the extra weight and slow healing).

3. Since all that force had to go somewhere, your knee took the worst of it. I'm assuming you had a replacement because the joint lining was all torn up from grinding.

I know your muscles aren't working properly because A. You had a knee replacement and B. you're having Achilles Tendonitis issues. And if you do have a tear in the Achilles, again, that's because force has to go somewhere when muscles aren't doing their job.

Personally, I'd be afraid of another surgery too. it sounds good in theory, that it will fix things and make the pain go away, but that's definitely not a 100% kind of thing.

If you didn't heal fast with the knee, why would you heal fast from achilles surgery?

Still, if you can get to work, you can sit at work. It won't be pleasant though, having the boot on etc.

Assuming things go well, 4 weeks is not at all unreasonable timeframe to get back to a sitting down kind of job. If you have an on your feet job...not so much.

Who knows, maybe surgery will be awesome.

What are you doing for self care to reduce pain etc?

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 Chronic Achilles Tendonitis with bone spur and lump, doctor wants to do surgery to slowly stretch the tendon

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Oct 14, 2015
insertional achilles tendonitis and bone spur, I've tried everything
by: Jack

I have insertionnal achilles and a heel spur i tried all methods for clearing it and none has worked. I even tried shock wave therapy and acupuncture. please help.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jack.

1. I know what you meant, and for clarity, you haven't tried everything, you've only tried what you've tried.

And while a lot of things/options/techniques you've tried don't/won't/can't work, chances are, of the ones you have tried that can/might work/help, you didn't do enough.

Having said that, there are multiple factors working together to cause your symptoms etc, and if you don't effectively get them all....then as you're experiencing you're not going to get the results you're looking for.

2. One bone grows (bone spur), you're not going to be able to get rid of it without surgery.

Having said that, the bone spur may not be a problem. Lots of people have bone spurs and no pain/problem.

The main causes of your pain/problem/bone spur growth are the factors of the tendonitis dynamic: too much chronic tightness of muscle and connective tissue, chronic inflammation, and nutritional lack.

Effectively reverse those factors and you'll definitely have less symptoms, and then we can determine if the bone spur is in and of itself an issue.

See: Tendonitis

See: What Is Tendonitis?

3. Read all this thread, and follow the links in it and read those pages.

Come back with questions.

Ultimately, I'll point you to the Reversing Achilles Tendonitis program, as that's the complete plan of attack.

Aug 19, 2012
by: jan tetzlaff

Thanks for your comment. Yes, I probably am nutrient deficient, though I try to eat reasonably well. I take many supplements, probiotics, flax seed oil, fish oil....

I do not have a gluten intolerance: I was tested for that and was found to have pernicious anemia instead, which I give myself B12 shots for.

Ages ago, I injured my knee (the one that was replaced). Broke the kneecap unknowingly and walked around on it for weeks before going to a doctor (I was on vacation out of the country). That turned into bursitis, which ended in a total knee replacement some 30 years later. I also had a torn acl and torn meniscus (those I got my slipping on the ice a few times).

I am taking nothing for the pain. Dealing with it. I ice it when I can, use a cane etc. Ibuprofen does little...I need to take a lot to make the pain go away, even a little.

My MRI is next week. I still haven't decided what to do. I would like to be able to walk my dogs again. I can't get a jump on my weight loss by siting around like a lump all the time.

Thank you for you insights!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jan.

You're welcome.

FYI, B12 sublingual (pills) are just as effective as shots. So if you want to avoid the injections....

Also, make sure you're taking B12 methylcobalamin not cyanocobalamin.

There is no reliable test for gluten intolerance....other than going of it completely for a couple months, then having a pizza and seeing how you feel.

You can't get enough nutrients (magnesium, specifically) from food sources if you're short and your body is working in such a way that it has high requirements. After your years of pain, you have high magnesium needs.

Always more to say.....

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