You are here: Orthoped » Physical Therapy Questions » Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Ruptured Achilles Tendon


Ruptured my achilles tendon doing back lunges at a keep fit class. No previous problems.
I was put in full leg cast for 4 weeks, then a cast to my knee for 4 weeks, am going back to hospital next week for yet another cast for a further 4 weeks.
Spoke to the doctor re surgery but he maintains immobilisation is the best method. After 12 weeks I am told that I will need physiotherapy for some unspecified time. Can you tell me what are the chances of full recovery and how long will this take? Have heard various things and am concerned.


  1. I have just rupture my Achilles Tendon 4-days ago, and have spent countless hours researching what my be the best treatment for me.I am curious about those whom opted for open surgery, how it went. I am very concerned about post-op infection and weighing the pros and cons of open vs. non-surgical treatment…I have recently read about a technique “Limited Open Repair of Achilles Tendon Ruptures” that uses a devise called the “Achillon” which is a suture guide techniques that does not require huge cut into the leg…Anyone here used this technique? or can comment on their open surgery experiences?

  2. Ruptured my achilles tendon a week ago. This is the second time I’ve had the injury. First time was on my left leg and was fixed by having 3 plaster-castes. The first plaster was a full length and one which positioned with foot sitting at 180 degrees and knee at 45 degrees. The second plaster was again full length and for 4 weeks with foot postioned around 135 degrees and knee still postioned at 45 degrees.The third plaster was half plaster with foot positioned at 45 degrees, again for 4 weeks.After this I went through 3 weeks of physio. This was eight years ago and I’ve not had no problems since and continued to enjoy sports until a week ago when I had the same problem with my right foot.As soon as it happened I knew it was gone. I couldn’t belive it. It was like reliving the whole nightmare experience again. I could not face the 3-4 months of plaster and inactivity again. I was relieved when the doctor advised surgery even though I did not know how succesful it would be. I’ve been put in half length plaster for 2 weeks and then I’ll be wearing a knee lenght boot for 3 weeks. I’m a bit sceptical considering my previous experience but my doctor has assured me that this will be succesful and will be healed in much quicker timeframe than before. I hoping and praying he is correct.I will let you know of the outcome.Regards

  3. It is really strange the wide range of recovery protocols that I have encountered. I ruptured my Achilles tendon on 12/23/03 (on day after anther person that posted). I was able to get surgery on 12/30. My doctor says that the cast can be removed the cast after 6 weeks. After that there is 6 weeks of increasing limited use. After that, healing without walking aids for up to one year from injury. Oddly, unlike almost every other story I can find, I was in a cast at almost 90 degrees immediately. I was fitted with a new cast today and I am at a full 90 degrees already. My impression is that this protocol is working well. There is a light tension when my calf is straight that indicates every thing is still connected. The doctor seems to think that this is the best program because the tendon will not be atrophied as much when I can bear weight. This does seem to be in contradiction to almost every other treatment protocol I have seen.I have read about allowed weight bearing as soon as 3 weeks, and as long as 3 months. I have asked my doctor repeatedly about any programs that will allow earlier weight bearing. He states that more aggressive programs exist, but introduce more risk of re-injury. I own my own business that requires physical work, and the lack of mobility is financially devastating. However, re-injury obviously would make the situation much worse. Contrary to my initial line of thought, the doctor is more inclined to keep me in a hard cast. If I were casually loading my foot there would much less risk than trying to use it for demanding work. With all the differences in protocol I found I guessed that each individual patient might get a different program. Surprisingly, the doctor indicated that nearly all of his patients that elect for a surgical repair use the same system unless there are other complications (like a late diagnosis and treatment). He claims to have an almost non-existent rate of re-injury with a reasonable recovery time.

  4. I ruptured my achilles in October 2003, spent a total of 6 weeks in plaster at angles approaching a neutral foot position. I then bought a ‘walk-about boot’ (advised by the dr) which enabled me to weight bear a bit. I needed crutches for a total of 9 weeks – some of the time when I was back in two shoes.I am now 12 weeks post op and started physio 3 weeks ago.It is the hardest thing that I have had to deal with, the recovery is likely to be long – I have been told that I will be unlikely to be able to play sports for at least 6 months.I can’t imagine why you would need a full length cast.I was advised to have the operation as the chance of it re-rupturing is hugely decreased. Get a second opinion

  5. : I’ve been in cast now 5 days, came off pain killers 2 days ago — but need to keep leg elevated to avoid swelling. I’m hopeful I get this cast off in 3 to 4 weeks, but have no idea if that is possible. I hope I can get some sort of boot. Angle of foot is pointed down at max and I wish it wasn’t that angle. Good luck, with your recovery, my injury was Christmas Eve and I couldn’t get surgery until 5 days later. Surgeons were on vacation.

  6. Surgery might be easier. I had a completerupture 4 weeks ago and am starting physical therapy. I can put 50% weight on it, drive my Jeep and come and go fairly easily. In 4 weeks I will shed my Cam Walker.

  7. I had torn my tendon 3 yrs ago and did nothing ( I thought it was a torn calf muscle…) I completely ruptured it 3 weeks ago and had surgery… my dr says cast for 2 months and then therapy for 4 _ 6 I bike and run alot and he says its a slow recovery I asked him about cast time and it should only be 3 months at most so your dr may be just trying to slow ya down… Dont over do it or you will screw up every thing the surgery fixed.. I have a triatalon in June and found out I cant even think about doing it… Im so bummed.. by the way biking is excellent for your achillies you will get full ROM faster…

  8. I’m now at week 10 and not using crutches any more and hopefully next week I can finally wear my regular shoe. Rehab will probably assume in the next few weeks but all in all, the progress has been very speedy.

  9. Was it a full or partial rupture? I had surgery 10/30 for a full rupture (basketball). Partial rupture may be handled differently. I am healthy, 41 and active. My doctor recommended surgery for someone with my profile. Go into Google and type rutured achilles tendon and you can gain some valuable info. I have been told I should recover full but it will take 6 months (lon time to wait)with therapy. May want to consider a 2nd opinion if you feel it is necessary.Good luck and keep me posted.Eric S

  10. Had surgery on my achilles 2 months after rupture and now in cast after 4 weeks, my foot has been slowly positioned in to 90 degrees and hopefully will be in a walking cast by week 6. My doctor states that I must have a cast on for at least 6 months and then start proper stair climbing by the ninth month. By one year of the surgery, I should be able to have full weight on the foot meaning able to hop on the one foot.