Achilles Surgery to remove scar tissue caused from tendonitis

by Marem

Eight months ago I developed severe ankle pain while walking on the beach. It came on gradually and within twenty minutes I could barely walk. the side of my foot and the doctor basically told me to ice and massage and take over the counter pain medicine. Because I was on vacation for a month at the beach i just followed his orders and the pain would come and go.

When I got back home I went to an orthopedic doctor, X-rays were taken and I began physical therapy. By this time my pain had shifted from the side of my foot to the back (achilles tendon area).

I had pt twice a week for four months, did the exercises and icing at home and slowly began my walking routine of 4 miles a day. Then i started to have strange episodes where my foot would just collapse and I couldn't walk. Another time after sitting when I went to walk it felt like a stake was ramped up my foot. This lasted about 12 hours and just went away. Went back to the dr and had an MRI.

The results were I had a moderate amount of scar tissue around the achilles tendon, no tears. It was recommended to have surgery to remove the scar tissue with the possible of a tendon transfer if too much scar tissue was removed.

I was in/out of surgery in 45 minutes with only removing scar tissue.

I'm in a wrapped splint for three weeks (non weight bearing) then go to a walking boot for 4 weeks. My doctor is a man of very few words and unless I ask, he absolutely says nothing. My questions are: What kind of exercises can I do to help me strengthen my leg, while sitting?

When I get the walking boot will it be difficult to begin walking again? I'm only using a knee scooter so will I need that after I get a boot?

What did I do wrong to get this scar tissue and how can I prevent this from happening again?

Thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Marem.

1. Knee scooters are GOOD things post-surgery. Good choice.

2. "What kind of exercises can I do to help me strengthen my leg, while sitting?"

Post-surgery, when the foot/ankle is immobilized in a cast or splint, you're pretty limited as far as what can be done exercise-wise.

The good news is, it doesn't take much.

Mostly when people are immobilized, they don't move.

But you (and everyone else) want to keep things moving. This looks like:
A. wiggle toes
B. wiggle ankle

Take the toes through their range of motion to the extent that you can.

Same with the ankle, which will have much less room
to move.

The key is, keep things moving. That keeps signals being fired to the brain. That keeps muscles and nervous system active.

Compared to inactive, low-signal muscles. Bad for the muscles, bad for the brain.

3. "When I get the walking boot will it be difficult to begin walking again?"

Probably. Awkward, at best.

4. "I'm only using a knee scooter so will I need that after I get a boot?"

I would keep it around, absolutely.

You're going to want to slowly build into walking/putting weight on the boot more and more. Don't go crazy on day one.

Wean yourself off the walker slowly as you slowly put more and more time with weight on the boot.

5. "What did I do wrong to get this scar tissue and how can I prevent this from happening again?'

I don't know, but I can theorize.

A. You had (and still have) Achilles Tendonitis.

That means you had (and still have) a progressively worsening Pain Causing Dynamic.

Tendonitis, no matter where it is, is a predictable dynamic with specific factors involved, all working together to cause pain and problem.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

In your particular scenario, for whatever reason, you had a focus on scar tissue development on your achilles tendon.

So you had tiny tiny microtear wear and tear on the tendon, the brain thought it was an injury so it laid down scar tissue, a few of those fibers tore off, the brain triggered more scar tissue to lay down right there. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Did your surgeon mention anything about seeing Tendonosis on the achilles tendon? That would explain a lot.

The question is, was the spot of scar tissue causing the pain etc? Or were all the other factors causing it? Those factors definitely resulted in the scar tissue build up.

Once you get into the boot (that you can take on and off), you'll definitely want to learn How To Reduce Inflammation. More circulation means new blood and nutrition in and waste product and pain enhancing chemical out.

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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Jun 12, 2016
I had something similar
by: Kerry Fountain

My issues came out of no where just like yours. I had one surgery by a doctor who apparently didn't really know what he was doing. Had the same problems after surgery and had to find a new doctor. Had second surgery to remove scar tissue and I did have a tendon transfer.

As for exercises after surgery, your tendon needs to heal, only move it as much as your doctor allows, as moving it excessively could cause more problems.

I found that when I went into the boot and could walk that crutches were helpful. Then you didn't have to put all of your weight on it at first and could gradually start walking.

How to keep this from happening again-- stretch, stretch, stretch. I sadly have very tight achilles and my other foot is having issues now. I will eventually have to deal with that one too probably. I wasn't told to stretch when I was younger.

Good luck! Hopefully this works well and you won't have any issues in the future!

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