Achilles Rupture Rehab: Returning After the Injury

James W. Rust
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Even more agonizing than hearing that pop and feeling that sharp pain behind your ankle is the thought that your tendon injury means you won’t be participating in the Remarkable River Racing Series. You may have been planning to run the races in Port Orange, FL, in March, June, and September to help fight domestic and family violence—and enjoy great food from Aunt Catfish’s on the River. Unfortunately, even with Achilles rupture rehab, that probably won’t happen.

A ruptured tendon is a serious injury, and you don’t want to play around with your recovery or you’ll increase your chances of recurring problems. As soon as it happens, follow the PRICE regimen: protect the ankle, rest from activity, ice the area, compress with an elastic wrap, and elevate your foot. Then call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates. We address acute injuries within 24 hours (48 on weekends) to save you a trip to the ER, and then follow through with the best treatment and follow-up care.

Surgical repair of the tendon is preferred, especially if you are still young and active. After surgery you will wear a cast or protective boot for several weeks. A small tear may be treated conservatively with just a cast or boot. 

After the tear has healed, the real work starts. It takes months of physical therapy to regain full use of your leg. The initial phase may include massage, ultrasound treatments, and actively stretching your toes up. When you can do this without pain, passive stretches with resistance can begin.

Once full range of motion is achieved, you begin exercises to strengthen the leg. This is a tricky time—you don’t want to re-injure the tendon by doing too much too soon. You may have a little pain at first, but stop if it’s severe. Increase the exercises gradually, until you can do the regimen without pain for a week.

At this point, you can begin training—slow and easy. Warm up, stretch, alternate walking with brief jogging, and rest a day in between. Each exercise day you can increase the jogging time slightly. Don’t plan on racing for 6 – 9 months after surgery, or 9 – 12 after conservative treatment.

For Achilles rupture rehab, go to the experts. Call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Port Orange, FL at (386) 788-6333, or check our website for our other offices near you. 

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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