Questions About Recovering From Achilles Tendonitis Surgery

by paula

Hi I am 5 days post op. from Achilles Tendonitis surgery. I have some questions about foot elevation, sitting, and walking casts.

1. How long do I have to keep my foot elevated.

2. Can I sit and let my feet dangle??

3. How long before you get a walking cast?



Joshua Answers:

Hello Paula.

Good questions.

I'm curious, what self care protocol did your surgeon give you?

And how bad was your Achilles Tendonitis?

Regardless of the type of Tendonitis one is going to have surgery for, one would think that it's IMPORTANT to leave surgery knowing exactly how to recover from surgery quickly and fully.

Hopefully your surgeon gave you all the information you needed

1. The time you need to spend with your foot/leg elevated depends on how much damage the surgery did. The cutting and tearing done my surgery causes swelling and increases the already present Process of Inflammation.

Elevating the foot is one of just three ways to get all that extra fluid out of your lower leg. Gravity pulls fluid, so elevating the foot has the extra fluid flow downhill, so to speak.

The general answer to your question is 'The more the merrier'. The more you can keep excess fluid from pooling, the better.

The added benefit is that when you stop elevating your foot, new blood rushes to the area.

You may also want to learn How To Reduce Inflammation.

Massaging the lower leg also help to push fluid back up the leg.

2. Yes, you can sit and let your feet dangle. While you're at it, you might
as well keep the foot/feet moving, just small movements to create some lengthening and shortening of the tissue.

This is good for a huge variety of reasons, including increased mobility, increased blood flow, and increased nervous system activity.

3. I don't know how long it will be before you get a walking cast. You weren't sent home with one?

Really it depends on your surgery. Did they get in there and cut a lot? Cut a little? What exactly DID they do in there?

You may not even need a walking cast. It's really up to your surgeon.

Having said that, the more mobile you can get your muscles, connective tissue, and tendon, the better.

Keeping it immobilized is going to make everything shorten. Which may be a fair trade off while it heals.

But sooner or later you're going to be walking on it again, and you'll need to lengthen and loosen everything.

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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Dec 23, 2017
by: Paula g

Achilles tendon lengthening surgery came home with a boot no weight bearing for 2 weeks.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Paula.

1. What exactly did they do during the surgery?

2. What was their explanation for the (cause of the) 'short' tendon?

Mar 27, 2016
Achilles Surgery 5 weeks and Counting
by: Dean

I ruptured my Achilles playing a sport,,,surgery required to repair (sewn back together as it was a clean break).

I had no previous knowledge of this surgery prior to this event, so making a quick decision for surgery was a little unnerving at first.

However Found a great surgeon, repaired my Achilles, now in process of healing...Minimal scaring, minimal pain except for first night after surgery, which was a little uncomfortable but very tolerable. Took pain medicine for only first 3-4 days,, Week one was in a splint,,,week two in a cast- end of week two cast cut off and stitches removed...Week 3&4 back in cast-end of week 4 cast removed and placed in walking boot,,During splint and cast, used a medical scooter which gave me back my mobility and was a GREAT device for getting around without using crutches....

Experienced swelling from beginning of injury, and even up to week 5 although swelling is much better after final cast removed. Now in physical therapy which is helping tremendously...

In short, to date at week 5, the process has gone better than I expected..

Try to keep you posted of progress.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Dean.

How's things?

Dec 13, 2014
43 year old male weekend warrior with full achilles rupture
by: Chris

Recovery post-surgery advice:

July 4 Playing competitive ball hockey casually running to the net heard a loud pop thought someone had slashed my ankle went down like a ton of bricks. 15min to get up and limped off rink and drove home. In so much pain and foot swelling went to emerge spent 8 1/2hrs there with my daughter.

Finally see dr he says I have a full Achilles rupture right calf with a 1"space above my ankle. Puts me in airboot with crutches then Sets me up to see orthopedic surgeon for the 10th. Put on standby for surgery for 11..12..13..finally on 14th have surgery. Put in a 1/2cast.

Have 1hr surgery with spinal anesthesia recovery takes noon out at 1 leave at 6 pm. Everything wore off and pain was an atrocious 30out of 10.
Percs 2every 4hrs but they only helped for the first 1and1/2hrs contine with 2every 4hrs for first 16 hrs then 1 every 4 hrs. After 26hrs post op pain is bearable no more perks. See surgeon on 30th 16days post op ....19staples removed steri strips applied he is very happy with surgery says I should be good in boot with 1wedge and told to put as much weight as I can tolerate without overdoing it and listen to my body. Tendon should be fully healed in 2months set up for physio on Aug 6.

July 31 full weight bearing using crutches.Aug 1 using cane with boot. Swelling galore first day black and blue. Using icepack and elevating above heart.better on second day. Burning and numbness pins and needles all expected as foot starts to get used.have lost 20-25%calf muscle. Leg looks like a twig in comparison to other leg.

Things to help you.

Slide bum first down stairs and pull yourself up from sitting on stairs back up.this prevents unnecessary falls.

Set up a chair near counter to assist you with eating. Have someone make you sandwiches and leave in fridge for yourself.utilize plastic bags to carry things from fridge with your crutches.

Important low dose aspirin every day to assist you with blood clots from day of post surgery to at least a year.

You will want to shower. Don't for first 5-7days. Then use a chair in tub with a bag garbage or recycling bag to cover cast and tape securely to not allow water in. Have someone help you in or out of tub or rent an extended seat that comes out over the careful.

When brushing my teeth I found kneeling on a pillow in front of sink the best as your feet are already flexed downward so no injury to you.same with shaving your beard.

This is my first serious surgical injury. Stay positive.look up videos of surgery needed to acquaint yourself with it and write down any questions you may have for surgeon.don't be afraid to ask for help and remember to always say Thank You and as hard as it is on you remember its also hard on your family. Let them know this is an acute injury and you will heal. Do not take them for granted.

Yes you will get frustrated being in bed all day with your foot elevated but do it and realize its part of the healing process. Use your watch t.v. whatever it takes for you to not leave your bed except to eat is the best thing for you. Remember this is only temporary.put things in perspective and realize you are not paralyzed and you will get better.

As for the washroom if you can and do use one with a lot of space in front of you.and rent a toilet seat riser to give you better height.

If you have dogs please make sure their toys are cleared from your pathway. Make sure there is nothing obstructing your path.don't be a hero move it or ask someone to remove it from your path .you don't need a fall.

Remember be kind to everyone stay positive say please and thank you and know you will get better.

Hope this helps everyone.

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