Achilles Tendon Rupture Case Study – Part 2

This blog post is written in the style of a diary entry by athletic trainer Bobby Daigle. Bobby, a certified and licenced Athletic Trainer in the USA, recently ruputured his achilles tendon. Over a series of posts, Bobby will take you through his injury journey back to full functioning fitness.

3 weeks post surgery

Overall things have gone very well since the surgery.  The incision has healed as well as can be expected and I have not had any pain in over a well over a week.

The only issue I had was about 5 days after the surgery.  I had been back at work for two days and some swelling had concentrated around my heel. The pressure from that swelling was pressing on the perineal nerve and if I was stable for any more than an hour there was a very hot stabbing pain in my heel. Over the next few days I was more diligent about spending more than two hours a day with my foot elevated at a minimum of 15 minutes at a time. After two days of doing that I no longer and any pain in my heel.

My cast was removed this past Thursday. While in the cast my foot was kept in a plantar flexed position so that the achilles could heal in a shortened state. This is to help the achilles to be stronger after everything has fully healed. I’ve now been given a boot where my foot is in a dorsiflexed position. I have to wear this for the next three weeks. This change of position caused some issues… For the first two hours after getting the cast removed, I spent time trying to stretch out my achilles so I could comfortably get my foot into the boot. Finally, after the two hours of ankle pumps, I was able to get my foot into the boot. Everything felt very tight for that first hour in the boot but it finally loosened up and felt comfortable.

I am still non weight bearing until this coming Thursday so it’s still another few days on the scooter. One benefit is that now that I am out of the cast I’m able to finally wash off my foot. That was obviously a great feeling since my foot was rather gross as anyone could imagine it would be after stuck in a cast for three weeks!

achilles tendon rupture
Muscle atrophy following the achilles tendon rupture

As far as rehab goes, I am not allowed to do much until I am able to be weight bearing. However, there is still some things I am allowed to do.  I am able to do ankle pumps to keep the tendon mobile and more or less lubed up. However I am not allowed yet to get my foot past neutral, which is where is sits while standing. I can also lightly massage the scar from the incision, with the hope to start breaking down the scar tissue at the incision site so that the scar heals properly and that it is not as noticeable. I am also allowed to lightly massage the achilles tendon to help with the healing process and keep it loose.

Overall, things are still going very well in the healing process, and I can’t wait to start walking again, along with starting a more aggressive rehab programme.

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