Achilles Tendon Rupture - Recovery

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What is the recovery time for an Achilles tendon rupture?

Once the cast is removed, the initial therapy is passive exercises to regain mobility in the ankle joint. After several weeks, more strenuous resistance exercises are incorporated. This is then followed by gait training exercises after about two to three months following the initial treatment. Return to routine activities usually occurs at four to six months. The recovery phase is dependent on the patient's motivation, desired activity levels, and the quality of the physical therapy program.

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Comment from: JR, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 14

I ruptured my left Achilles tendon in a freak accident at golf driving range. I didn't know what I had done. I actually went to Disney World and walked 5 to 10 miles every day on a ruptured Achilles the next week. I limped, but not much pain. I decided on non-surgery protocol after MRI, but waited 2 months before being put on cast. Again I didn't know what I had done. I was back to normal activities within 6 months. Now 3 years later back to 90 to 95 percent strength. Although most people told me to have surgery, I found a specialist that said the conservative treatment was an option and I am happy with my results.

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Comment from: Jazzzy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

First let me say I am no athlete. Although I have been very athletic in my lifetime, not now. So to have this injury is a mystery. I do have a demanding job that requires walking 90 percent for the last 12 years. My Achilles tendon injury was diagnosed several years ago as partial tears. After 6 weeks in a soft cast and no weight bearing to let it heal, I kept going on with my normal activities (5 years). This was a really bad decision. The pain and swelling was horrible most times and I was constantly guarded with every movement. I began taking naproxen here and there just to get by. Well, eventually I had run into a wall. The swelling would not go down and the pain became burning and aching constantly. To make matters worse, I also had a very large bone spur aggravating the exact location. Finally, after much suffering, I couldn't take it anymore. Just like any normal working person, you just don't want to go through the long recovery. Well, I had surgery on January 8. On January 14, surgical dressing was removed and hard cast applied. On January 28, sutures removed and another hard cast. February 23, cast to be removed. I understand that I will now be booted and set my first appointment for physical therapy to get me mobile. It's been a really trying experience. You will need assistance at home. Bathing with a cast, using the rest room, being immobile and getting around when necessary has been difficult. Excessive strain on the opposite leg is causing knee pain and muscle aches in that leg. Age and previous physical condition plays a large role in recovery also. I am looking forward to the next step. I will not take mobility for granted ever again. Bring on the physical therapy, let's get moving.

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