Severed Achilles Tendon - no pain and can still walk with a limp - can I just not treat ?

by Mac
(Park City, Utah, USA)

I severed my Achilles tendon 6 weeks ago. An MRI only just revealed a 2cm gap between the two ends of my Achilles tendon There is no sign of any fibrous material, just a totally clean break.

It hurt at the time, but generally I have received little pain, to none at all. I have been wearing a boot for about half of the latter period of the past six weeks.

I am male and 62 and I own my own business, quite simply being out of service for the time expected for surgery will mean I will have no business left at the end of it.

On which basis I am trying to find out, what happens if I do nothing ?

I have been told a boot is unlikely to help because the two ends are too far apart and a boot cannot achieve the angle required to get those to knit, plus it's been 6 weeks since the injury occurred.

So as it doesn't hurt and I can walk on it with only a slight limp, I am very tempted to just do nothing. Surely now it's torn, it's torn and the situation can't worsen or become more painful by just leaving it alone.?

In this economy one has to survive and if I proceed with Surgery, I will lose my business and then my home.

Please give me you honest and unbiased views on this.

Many thanks,


Joshua Answers:

Hi Mac.

Tendonitis definitely isn't your immediate issue.

See: What Is Tendonitis

If you had not said that you "...can walk on it with just a limp...", this would be my response:

You have two options.

Achilles Tendon reattachment surgery, or The ARPwave System.

Surgery to reattach the achilles tendon, with a 6-12 month recovery.

The ARPwave System can very likely heal the separation with out surgery (you'd have to talk to the ARPwave guys to confirm your specific situation), and then jumping rope in 8ish weeks.

Or, post surgery, jumping rope in 8ish weeks.

Those are your two options.


But, you said you can walk on it with just a limp. That's a rare thing. That means associated connective tissue is holding you up.

Generally, if there is a complete Achilles Tendon Rupture, one can't stand or walk without collapsing, because there's literally nothing holding the foot/ankle in place in relation to the lower leg (plus the brain forces a collapse as an attempt to prevent more injury).

But you can stand and walk.

Can you get away without surgery and/or the ARPwave? Maybe. -Probably- not for very long though.

You'll either limp along, likely for the rest of your life, or you'll take a step one day and down you'll go and that'll be it. Back to square one of needing surgery for sure, and possibily the ARPwave to avoid surgery (depends).

Complete Achilles tears are bad news. One can generally get by with a torn ACL ligament, but rarely if ever a major tear to an Achilles tendon.

Plus there's the risk of blood poisoning/infection if those torn ends start to decay/rot. Admittedly I don't know much about that aspect.

If you want to have ARPwave give you a call, let me know here or on the form on the ARPwave System page the above link points to.

More questions, more answers.

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 Severed Achilles Tendon - no pain and can still walk with a limp - can I just not treat ?

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Jan 14, 2016
Complete tear in Achilles tendon but I can still stand up
by: Charles

I had a MRI and orthopedic says I have a complete tear and there is a gap between the tendon.

But I am able to stand and walk with a limp.

But I cannot raise the heel of my foot while standing, but if i'm sitting down I can raise my heel off the ground.

This injury happened on 12-30-15 so it been about 2 weeks. It feels like its getting better and better.

My pain level is like a 1 or 2 and its the calf muscle that feels sore after walking on it and some soreness around the ankle and just above it.

So is my tendon really a complete tear? The Mri only shows my ankle a little bit above it,

Doctor says he cannot see tendon above ankle because of view and want me to just have surgery on 1-16-16. What do you think.

I can almost stand on on the 1 injured foot alone, but get pain from trying to balance it.


Joshua Comments:

I think:

1. You can still stand on a complete tear, depending.

2. Other structures are still connected, that accounts for some available strength/stability/movement.

3. The MRI either shows a complete tear, or it doesn't. Or the MRI doesn't have a clear view of what needs to be visualized.

I haven't seen said MRI, so I don't know.

Get a second and/or third opinion from another doctor/surgeon. They'll at least let you know if the MRI has a good view of the tendon/ruptured tendon.

4. If there is a complete rupture, it's not going to reconnect itself by itself. Depending, maybe you can live/be movile with a ruptured tendon, but unless you're VERY sedentary, I wouldn't recommend it, as it sets you up for further damage in the future when you take a step and fall and/or rip something else.

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