Day 42 - Off to the OT

Oh my gosh - I have never felt pain like this.

The OT worked on my calf for 20 mins. The ankle is still quite swollen so he is pushing the fluid (which is like a thick paste) from my ankle up thru channels in the back of my calf and into a little drain that sits just behin the knee cap.

It was amazing watching him move this fluid (called oedema) about. If I wasnt seeing this guy, this fluid would just be sitting there no doubt extending the period of my recovery.

I have booked in to see him twice a week.


(now click on "older posts" to read the rest of my recovery over the last 12 months)


markstahlka said...


I ruptured mine a week ago, had surgery three days later and now in a hard cast. Want to get the boot you describe but my surgeon wants me in hard cast for 6 weeks. I like you was very athletic before the injury and although I am 40 I compete more like a 30 yr old. Please continue your blog, it is really helping me in this first week get through it. Mark from Buffalo, NY

Domino Marie said...

Hey David... ruptured mine 2 years ago, had surgery but zero rehab... now, I have to catch up and I found your blog and video, thanks... I'm training to be in Australia next December as part of the London-Sydney by PWC team... check us out, and I'll see you there. domino marie -

Annie said...

It was realling interesting listening to your blog. I ruptured my achilles 3 weeks ago and in a plaster for another 3 and then the boot. I feel as if the other tenden is about to go so it was good to hear thats how you felt. I guess its getting over worked but its a really scarey feeling. This is a bigger deal than I ever felt. I hope I will be able to run around with my kids again. Feeling flat but good to hear your blog. please continue it gives me hope. Cheers Annie, Port Macquarie, Australia

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog! I ruptured my left playing soccer on June 13, had surgery June 15 (this seems so routine for the Docs!). My experience with pain etc was very similar to yours. I Just got my first cast changed to one I can swim in so I will be doing lap swimming and my pilates at home and at the gym. Started back with Pilates 4 days after surgery with no issues, though my left leg gets more of a workout with the additional weight. Will get a boot in 2 weeks and start PT. My Dr. says earlier activity is better whenever possible. Keep blogging!

fflutterffly said...

Loved the blog except for the edit of the actual surgery. Would have been interesting. Damaged my Achilles when I was a competitive runner, sprinter, at age 27 I am now 58 and can hardly make 1 mile of walking. I am very athletic and this is a downer. Worst of all I can't ride my bikes (road or mountain). Your blog is very helpful and informative. Thanks for the emails as well. Stay tune! said...

Hi David
I ruptured my Achilles 9 days ago, dancing. IN a cast waiting to see specialist in 2 days witha view to possible surgery. I am worrying whether it is best to go for the surgery or try conservative and stay in cast.
Pauline West Midlands UK

stevie82_ said...

Hi David,

I too had ruptured my Achilies playing Badminton about 10 days ago, I have already had surgery and now in a cast. I've chickened out of my Holiday for this year amongst things. But I'm really glad your writing this blog, I feel I can be better prepared when I hear the news from the Hosiptal tomorrow.

Stevie, London UK said...

Going for surgery on Friday, a percuateous appraoch not open. Then a bi-valve cast - apparently my Consultant pioneers a different approach. HOpefully successfully!!

Pauline Wolverhampton, UK

Anonymous said...

Hello David,
Your blogg is very funny. I thought I was crazy for wanting to begin activities sooner. I ruptured my Achilles playing football. This is day 31 post surgery. I was fitted with a soft removable black boot with wedges. Doc says I have three more weeks before he removes the boot and proceed with rehab. I feel ready to begin light activities, but I am reluctant to do so.
Wil from New York, NY

Keep us updated

shelley said...

i'd like to ask you anonymous how things are going, and if at day 31 you were able to do light weight bearing. it sounds like i am on the exact same timing and boot schedule as you.

thank you,

obiwan said...

Yup, I too just ruptured mine. Scoring the winning touchdown in a co-ed flag football game. Surgery is in 3 days. I'm in a splint now and already I'm pissed off at the crutches. I have never felt so immobile. I pride myself in pretty toned physique. I'm sure 8 weeks of sitting and pizza will change that. Thanks for your blog and I would follow docs orders.

Anonymous said...

Hi David:

Iñaki from Spain. I broke my Achilles playing Squash in Oxford in July.

My cast was removed last week and I am starting to do some exercices in the swimming pool.

I can't find what happened after day 42....I am curious. Are you back on court?


Anonymous said...

Just click on "older posts"

lisa said...

hello david i ruptured mine 2 and half weeks ago and the hospital sent me home with a tubigrip and said rest for a week. When i went back they plastered me up to my hip? I then had to wait to see a orth doctor which was another week. Its now to late for an op and i feel let down. I am a swimming teacher and have kids and a two year old whose not happy. Thanks for sharing your story it cheered me up. I feel like the doctors let me down and am scared of reruptre.

Jaggerdude said...

Had a great opportunity to play flag football with the Men's Club and some kids (my child is 11) on a new turf in a brand new stadium in New Orleans. Great game, two touchdowns, 1 interception, 1 touchdown throw, great game. My old self. My son must have been happy, until one of those younger dudes(25ish) kneed me in my already tender achilles. Pop! 32 days now. Feels good, a little down, hope to throw the ball in the future with my son, no more games. what's with the cycling already. I must be the oldest on the blog, 48. Sal

kserp said...

Hey David,

I ruptured mine 4 days ago playing basketball and just had surgery last night...I'm back at home now with the leg elevated - cuz, when I put it down it freakin kills. I recently turned 37, and very active...playing tennis, golf, basketball...whatever someone wants to compete at. Anyway, I think I'll need to slow it down and I'll be very hesitant to get back into Bball and Tennis - or sports where I need to explode/jump. Don't want to go through this again. Thanks for the info on your blog...
Kev - from Melbourne, Australia

David said...

This blog helped me more than all the specialist / friends / relatives / wannabe doctors who willingly gave their prognosis.

Briefly, I partially ruptured my tendon 5 weeks ago playing touch rugby but was given the same gloomy outlook as a full rupture - bar the op! After 4 weeks in a thankfully waterproof cast I am now in a boot. David is correct - get moving as much as possible - I stopped using crutches before the last cast came off and I only use the boot if I am doing something active that may cause damage and his tip about the sandshoe - a lifesaver!

Leanne 1979 said...

Hi David,

I severed my achilles tendon in a RTA in November today my cast was removed after 13 long weeks, what do I do now, I waiting for an appointment to see a Physiotherapist but I want to help myself.

Any ideas?

David said...

Hi Leanne, gosh I was skiing by then !!
I suggest you jump on a bike and start to get some strength back in your legs and get the blood circulating.
Let me know how you go.

Anonymous said...


Excellent blog!!

It's a ray of light in amongst the doom and gloom of the internet.

I am virtually similar to you in most aspects of age, fitness, outlook etc and ruptured mine 4 weeks ago - playing squash. I have had many minor injuries in the past and this is no worse than a torn calf muscle, other than the cast and crutches. I have continued to exercise since day 2 post rupture - press ups, sit ups, weights. I am stronger now than before the accident.

I have some wedges on order and am going to use them with training shoes ASAP. Cycling in the UK is tricky in winter, so you have an advantage in Aust.

I am seeing the specialist in two days time and my main question relates to when the tendon will be strong enough to start to stretch and exercise it without fear of re-rupture. The pain does not bother me, just the fear of going back to "square one."

What do you think?


David said...

Hi Jeff, in the words of my surgeon "the tendon at the point of rupture will be stronger than what it was originally because I used the thread that is the same that u use in venitian blinds and have you ever tried to snap a venitian blind cord?" He also went on to say that long after I die that piece of cord will still be in the ground while the rest of me will be dust !!! I am half pom so i know how difficult it can be cycling but i really think this is the key to keeping the leg muscles strong (with no impact) so they dont atrophie whilst u are waiting for repairs. It also keeps the blood circulating.
Best of luck - u will be back on the squash courts in no time playing as good as when you left :)
Keep in contact .


Anonymous said...


Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

As mentioned, I am seeing the Specialist tomorrow - 24 days post rupture. I am hoping to go to a boot, but was intrigued by your quick transition to a sand shoe and heel wedges. Maybe I am being over-optimistic, but I feel that I could do that myself - now. My only concern is the possibility of re-rupturing the tendon by pulling the stitches apart on a tendon that has not yet built up enough stregnth.

Did your Surgeon mention when he felt that walking, stretching was OK?


David said...

Hi Jeff, I didnt go back to the surgeon after day 34 if i remember rightly so I didnt have a chance to ask him that. I guess I operated under the theory "if it didnt hurt too much it was probably ok what I was doing". Obviously take it easy but for me the secret was to stay mobile and probably push things along a little faster that a conservative surgeon would advise.
Lets us know how you go.

Gary D said...

Hi David,

I would like to thank you for posting video's relating to your rehab...... I ruptured my Achilles on 5th December 2009 playing football, I had surgery on the on the 9th, I am leaving this message as I have more of less recovered and would like to share my own tips with people.

1. Buy a good electrode pulse machine, slip the pads down your cast put the machine on as high as you can stand and this really does stop muscle wastage (i had none at all I swear)and keep as active as much as possible,try to do things for yourself, but for the first 2 weeks get your leg up and take it easy.

2. when the cast comes off (6 weeks) do not go in a boot, this will only prelong your recovery.

3. Ice 20 mins.... massage whilst cold 20 mins.... Heat 20 mins.... then do your stretching excercises..... then deep heat 10 mins, this is very inportant as it will get rid of that horrible scar tissue around your tendon.... buy a good point massager or really dig in with your thumbs and fingers. (trust me it works)

4. exercise, excercise.... I did and still do 20 mins of step ups everyday, 100 sit ups 100 press up plus dips and pull ups, also buy a bike if you can afford it, but do not forget point 3 it is very very important.

5. After a couple of weeks you will see a huge change, so start to do balance excercises, buy a balance board, failing that stand on one leg (your bad one) for as long as you can 10 times a day.

6. by following the above I am about 85% 10 weeks post opp

David said...

Hi Gary, I think there is some goodm advice there. Especially about keeping active, stretching and massage. Truely, if u dont use it you lose it (muscle mass that is).

Alistair said...

Got married in South Australia 25th January 2010. Trained on my bike through much of holiday (but not honeymoon - never push a maiden's love too far!) in your gorgeous Aussie sunshine and returned home fit as as the proverbial butcher's dog on Sunday 7th February. On Monday couldn't move / start my car as snow/salt/slush combination had rusted the brake shoes solid to pads, and battery (like mine with jet lag) was a bit flat. In trying to push the car into action, my left Achilles was in competition with a stubborn Honda and the Honda won. Being a 58 year old competitive cyclist I went straight into denial ("only a calf sprain") but I'm also a GP with (unusually) specialist training in Accident and Emergency and my brain kicked in on Saturday morning (Day 6) and I went to A&E with my ruptured Achilles. There was initial reluctance to offer me an operative repair ("bit too old - don't usually operate on over 50s!)but I pleasantly stood my one-legged ground and had op on Day 8. Now in a "back slab" impersonating Long John Silver and will be seeing specialist for review on 1st March. My professional opinion is that you have been intuitively correct in your management and the evidence to support the "lie around in a plaster cast and do nothing" approach is a recipe for athletic misery and poor clinical outcomes.... The evidence base to support the latter is as scanty as the hair on both our heads so "Good on yer, you Aussie RATBAG!!" (Ruptured Achilles Tendon But Astonishingly Gutsy) and I might just be cycling a little bit in Majorca on April 4th to 14th. As a Scot I'm too mean to give up on that trip / goal yet. PS My family comes from Perth too but the one that's very,very cold at the moment.

David said...

Hi Alistair, a great story :). Yep, you gotta watch that slippery ice. Not that we see much in Perth. Right in the middle of a heat wave with 42 degrees tomorrow !! Yikes.
Lets us know if you make the bike ride. Personally I think you will go very close. You wont be any Lance Armstrong but you may be able to do a leisurey pace :)
Best of luck

Pauline said...

Hi David,

I am a 46 year old very fit female who is in my 30th year of playing competitive badminton. In a final singles match on Feb. 7th, I heard that pop sound and down I went like a ton of bricks! Knew right away the damage done! The orthopedic surgeon put surgery this way "3 month recovery without, l month with" no brainer! Had the surgery 4 days later and am still off work recovering. Go back to see him next Tues., and the leg is feeling great! Worry about muscle atrophy as well, but even considering what has happened, my legs are very strong and muscular!

I also took twice daily blood thinners as there are reports of people with achilles tendon ruptures being stricken with blood clots!

Hoping for good news when I meet with the surgeon next Tues. I haven't gone three weeks without exercising (walk everyday, two big dogs to exercise) since I was pregnant 11 years ago!

Thanks for your blog and it was as humerous and it was informative.

Prince Edward Island

Eva said...

Hi David,

I damaged my achillies but have not undergone surgery but have been in plaster for 4 weeks. I am due to see my consultant on Mon who advised me that he would reset my foot for a further 3 weeks, I really don't know what to think as far as I am aware my achillies has not snapped completely. I want to be back on my feet so I can dance and do a host of things that are not possible at the moment. I was hoping that my recovery time would be quick due to partial rupture but it seems just as long. Any advice would be appreciated. Eva from the UK

David said...

Hi Eva, I have been off the squash court for almost 3 months now with a small tear in one of my hamstring tendons. It looks like I maybe off the court for another 12 more months !! In the words of my sports doctor "sometimes the recovery is longer with a tear than an actual snap which can be repaired with surgery !!!" eg my achilles is fine but it makes me wonder if I just had of had a partial tear would I have recovered as quick??? I actually dont think so :( I think in you case you find a good physio or OT, listen to your doctors and try some of the massage techniques I posted. Good luck

Mike Ask........... said...


Hi Dave as everyone else feels I to appreiciate the blog you put up about your recovery from your ruputured achillies. I to ruptured my achillies playing basketball and had surgery 5 days after. It is now day 8 and I literally have no pain in my tendon. I hit my foot hopping down stairs to do laundry and I pray to god I didn't mess anything up. My question to you is at what point did the pain post op stop?

David said...

Hi Mike, I really didnt have any pain post op. Of course I couldnt walk on the achilles and if i had of tried it would have been very painfull. Good luck.

Anonymous said...


I just had pain for the first night, them nothing more. Like you, I fell on the stairs after a couple of days and thought that I might have done some damage. I was told that as long as the cast/boot is not damaged then the chances are vitually none.

After about a week you will feel like you want to move the foot within the cast as things start to heal. As time passes you do more movements and I started to put some weight on the foot while in the cast at c14 days.

Jeff UK

Alistair said...

Hi David! I've now reached 42 days post op and will be going to Majorca in 6 days time for my cycle training holiday. I am now walking almost normally (but quite slowly) and abandoned the boot I was given at Day 28 a few days ago although I have rarely used it since Day 35.
My orthopaedic consultant (who is a well respected surgeon in the UK with regard to Foot and Ankle Surgery) wanted me to stay in the boot until I see him at Day 70 but my own research (I am a GP with A+E experience)shows there is no evidence to support the "no early mobilisation" approach. (See Emergency Medicine Journal August 2009 Vol 26 No 8 pages 614-616 Clinical bottom line is "Early weight bearing and ankle motion should be encouraged.") The "take it very slowly" approach stems, I think, from the fear that some patients will be recklessor careless and possibly reflects a fear of litigation if they consequently re-rupture. The latter is, of course, the thing we probably all fear the most at first but the stakes are quite high if you are a keen amateur sportsman even at my age of 58. At Day 36 I was able to get on my stationary bike trainer and cycle 5 miles. Today I will be doing 20 miles over 75 mins and know that I will have moderate ankle swelling and some discomfort at the end of this. Then its ice for 30 mins, progressive effleurage (look it up!) then deeper massage, then heat and some dorsiflexion stretching whilst lying on my back with my feet on a wall so I can compare what progress I am making against my normal right ankle. As an athlete of sorts and as a doctor, I happily feed back to David that his blog has been extraordinarily useful as has reading all the other comments.
(The article I've referenced is entitled "Does early mobilisation following Achilles tendon repair speed up recovery and improve functional outcome?".)

Stephen said...

Hi all and especially David
Have found reading the blog and all these comments very helpful and heartning. My Achilles was originally misdiagnosed as a tear rather than snap, so did not have surgery until nearly 5 weeks after the injury. I am now 3 weeks after the op, the plaster was on for 14 days and in a boot for 4 weeks (3 weeks to go). My aim is to be playing golf again by the end of July, but unfortunately my squash days are over. As many have said, I too do not want to go through this again. The inactivating is killing though the boot has helped with my mobility. Will be very interested to see what the pyhsio has in mind. Stephen from Melbourne Australia.

Alistair said...

Further to my earlier posts... a short update probably of most interest to any cyclists out there. I returned to competitive cycle road racing ten days ago and had no problems over an undulating 50 mile course and am back in full training. So that was 3 months after the repair of a fully ruptured Achiiles.In total I spent 2 weeks post op in an "equinus" back slab with 2 crutches, then 2 weeks in a below knee half equinus plaster with one crutch, a few days in a boot and then full weight bearing. My scar is now fully healed at 14 weeks post op and life has returned to normal. It would have been a lot harder had I been a runner or a squash player but I have been lucky that cycling is my passion. Dave's blog was invaluable in motivating me to disregard overly negative medical advice.

David said...

Wow Alistair, I thought I did well skiing for a week just 12 weeks after rupturing it. I think your cycling tops it off :)
I keep on meaning to do everyone an update on where I am now 2 years after I first started posting. Believe it or not I am back into running and actually enjoying it !! The ruptured achilles I think is tougher than steel and is the least of my injury worries. Its this nagging abductor strain I cant shake :(

Thom Graham said...

I ruptured my achilles tendon a month ago. Had surgery. then had the stitches out 2 weeks after that which is when they put me in a removable cast which I am using now. I am determined to be walking in the next week or so. I used to be a dancer and I know my body. My specialist is also saying 4 more weeks in this removable cast. But I have been able to stand with no pain at this point. The only thing that worries me is that the outside of my foot is numb.

Anonymous said...

I have been in my cast for 5 weeks now, and am going into the doctor next week to get another cast for 2 more weeks. One thing that I will stress to everyone watching this is listen to the instructions of your doctor! As much as I want to get out there, and start re-living my life, my doctor is right. I'd much prefer to listen and not re-injure the tendon, than not listen to the doctor and it happen again in another year.

Mad Cow said...

Ruptured mine on Saturday pushing a car. Bad experience doing it worse experience at the hospital I went to will keep you posted on my recovery (Speedy I hope)

simon said...

Thanks for an inspiring blog. All the others I have read are doom and gloom!
I reptured my achilles playing 5-a-side football, but didnt go to hospital for a week as I only thought I had twisted my ankle. Had the op 3 days laster, saw the rupture on the scan it measured 7mm.
Got cut out of my cast yesterday after 3 1/2 wks and walking on it! feels so much better to be out of the cast.
The doctor is allowing me to adjust the angle on my boot every 2 weeks and go back in 6 wks when it should be 0 i.e. foot at 90o's.
Thanks again

Michael said...

Hey David,
I just got surgery to repair mine. I tore it playing hockey. An opposing player cut the back of my ankle with his skate blade. Your blog has helped a lot. I wanna try to get back on the ice as soon as possible. How are you feeling now? Has your Achilles shrunk in size yet, or is it still 3 times bigger then the other one? Do you have any pain in the Achilles to this day?

David said...

Hi Michael, the achilles is still about 3 times as fat but i am playing sport as per normal.
Best of luck

Alistair said...

Like David's my tendon is about three times thicker. Doesn't worry me as I've been back cycling competitively for more than 6 months having ruptured my tendon in February this year. Pain free too.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful source of ideas for rehab and encouragement!
Fell from my pony, thought I had a sprain, and had surgery 6 weeks after the rupture, when the gap was 10cm. My doc was able to re-attach the tendon without a bridge because my muscle tissue extended down to the rupture point 1 cm from the heel attachment.

The PA at my U of M ortho clinic thought that 3 days of cipro, a
fluoroquinolone like Levaquin, 11 months before my injury did not cause the rupture.
I did really hyperflex my left foot severely when I fell.
And I am 63, definitely a risk factor.
Many people write about tendon soreness leading up to a rupture, I remember having my calves ache after 6-8 hours hiking in the mountains.
But I have arthritis, and everything aches most days.
I am definitely in the 'crock' category, but pretty active, I have more worries about my other leg.
My 22 stitches were taken out 2 weeks after surgery, which was very poke-y, I wish I had taken a little valium. The stitches at the heel had grown in a little, but the calf stitches were *very* ouchy
Now on the 3rd progressive cast to bring my gradually ankle to 90 degrees, 80 degrees last Wednesday.
I hope Monday it will stretch, because then i can start weight bearing in either another cast or my air-cast.
There is a position statement on the orthopedist website promoting early weight bearing for this injury, and I am glad Dr Holmes' clinic follows that recommendation.
And I rode my pony yesterday, for the first time in a month, my older
daughter brought me and got him ready, and primed him by giving 4 children
lead-line rides for an hour before i got on, what a relief that my horse muscles were not too weak. Bless her,and thank all you who contributed to this blog!

Anonymous said...

I ruptured my achilles tendon playing basketball more than a month ago but never went to the doctor until last week. I thought it was only a sprain or something and as a former U.S. infantry marine, I figured I could just tough this one out. Well the doctor said it was to late to get surgery and put me in a cast for the next 3 weeks. Does anyone here have a similar situation in which surgery was not done for the rupture? What are our chances of re-rupture? Is there anything I can do to not lose the muscle mass in my immobile leg?

SusanPeru said...

Hi David,

Thank you for sharing such a positive and inspiring blog! I ruptured my Achilles the day after Christmas with surgery 3 days later. I am hoping to have my stitches removed this Friday (10 days post-op)and hoping to be fitted into a walking boot so I can begin ROM exercises and partial weightbearing. You were so intuitive to begin early mobilization and agressive rehabilitation. I have done some research of the current medical literature and it appears that your recovery protocol was the right one. Thanks for giving all of us who are healing from ATR hope for a complete recovery!
Susan from Atlanta

Tyrone D. said...

Hi David,

Thank you for sharing your experience through this event. I too am very athletic and feel limited to my injury. I partially ruptured my tendon the weekend before Thanksgiving (11/21/10) and had surgery on the 14th of December, 2010.

The soft cast was removed on 1/4/11 and I am now in a hard cast. The doctor said I will be put in another cast on the 18th. The suspense is killing me because my leg looks like a dehydrated bamboo stick and I can't put any pressure on it (doctor's orders).

What can I do to rebuild the muscle in my leg? I am eager to be out of the cast and back in the water swimming. I am going to ask if I can be put into a waterproof cast so I can start swimming. Based off of the reading I've been doing, a slight rupture is worse than a complete rupture.

Did you (David) or anyone have a slight rupture and is 90 percent or more back in operation or are you still feeling restricted from the tear?

I applaud all of you in your strengths during these events. You all are 10 times more inspiring than the doctors office.

My sports are swimming, basketball, table tennis, gymnastics and Capoeira.

Duluth, GA

Jan said...

Hey David,
Think I've read every Achilles blog out there, it's a virtual obsession!
I ruptured my tendon dancing in an Irish bar in Lanzarote - should leave Irish dancing to the Irish. Walked around on it for 3 weeks and had surgery 29/12 - Happy New Year.
The wound is healing nicely, I'm managing on the crutches, my other leg is becoming more shapely by the day. I'm not a natural athlete, but not a total couch potato.
The only problem I've had is when I had a cast change (at 2 weeks) I was so scared of re-rupture, I just couldn't relax it - plus it really hurt! It took 2 nurses to push it, and it is less equine(?) than before. I've got a weekly push and replaster until it's at a right angle - anybody else having this same wimpy reaction?
It just feels as if it's going to snap all over again.

Alistair said...

Markstahlka: Fear is making you tenser than you need to be. Relax into it all and stop worrying about re-rupture - you'll be fine!

David said...

Hi Jan, the materail in the stitches in your ruptured tendon is practically unbreakable. In the words of my specialist they will still be in my coffin long after the rest of me has decayed away !! Provided u dont do anything entireley silly you should not be concerned. Best of luck.

Jan said...

Thanks for that Dave, I had read that further back in your blog but it is reassuring to hear it reiterated.
I'll just have to grit my teeth and be braver next week, it's going to have to stretch sooner or later.
Maybe wash the cocodemol down with a glass of red might do the job :-)

David said...

Yes Jan, I am a big beleiver that the red wine will certainly lubricate the tendon well :)
Not sure if u have clicked on "older posts" but if you do you will see the rest of my recovery up to the past 2 years.

David said...

Yes Jan, I am a big beleiver that the red wine will certainly lubricate the tendon well :)
Not sure if u have clicked on "older posts" but if you do you will see the rest of my recovery up to the past 2 years.

Anonymous said...

David, at what point were you able to stand tip-toed on your recovering foot? Any exercises you would recomend to acheive this goal?

Thank you!


David said...

Hi Susanperu, not sure about the tippy toe question as i didnt really pay attention to that. Obviously the best exercise for working towards the above would be calf raises on a step - buy u probably knew that already.

Rett said...

Hi David
Great blog - it is not an injury that I would wish on anyone, but it is nice to learn about other people's experiences and know that you are not alone. My injury has been my obsession since it happened on 3 November 2010. Full rupture, surgery, plaster, boot etc etc. I was very active and fit before it happened and have suffered quite a lot of muscle atrophy - so I am still working on my leg strength. I went back to the gym about a month ago and found cycling to be a great exercise for getting the heart rate up without hurting your leg. I am now doing more strength training and looking forward to the challenge of being able to raise myself up onto my toes on the injured leg. Doing lots of flexibility and balance exercises as well. I am also doing hydrotherapy once per week (with a physio). This is great for the injury - highly recommended! My aim is to be fully fit to go hiking again as soon as possible. Good luck to all fellow sufferers.

Fred said...

I was also of to the Physio and went through the “swelling pushed up the leg” although I didn’t find it overly painful. I was given a few exercises and had the angle increased on my boot. I went home and jumped on a stationary bike for 20 minutes then went through the ice/stretch/ice/exercise routine that seems to make up most of my day. I think I pushed my Achilles a little to far because I went back to my physio on day 44 and the heel was too inflamed to work on. I also got a bullocking from him about my bike riding.

Shawn said...


I am going through this for the second time. Ruptured my left 5 years ago and ruptured my right about 4 1/2 weeks ago. It is a little easier the second time around as I know what to expect during the process. Hoping to get my cast off next week and move into the boot, so I can start PT.

Already having my left repaired, I have been careful about hopping and have stuck to the crutches.

My left has recovered quite well over the years and I have stayed active in sports, although I gave up basketball. I wish this blog would have been out there for my first experience as it is very informative.

For all of you out there in recovery mode, it does get better and put in the hard work during PT. Shawn from California

David said...

Gosh Shawn, you have really had it rough !!! All the best for your second recovery !!

Steve Hepworth said...

I have just snapped mine any boy I am worried. I have a back slap on untill Wednesday and I worry that it's a bit tto long. snapped mine running up some steps at home and it just wen, boiom, was shocked what I had done but knew instantly from whatching football what I had done. Your blog is great, keep it up, please.

David said...

Steve, if you click on "older posts" you can read about the rest of my recovery. (sorry i know that sounds like it is in reverse)

Jean-Luc said...

I originally had a full ruptured my achilles over 2 months ago playing basketball. I had a removeable cast for 6 weeks. I started to put pressure slowly by standing on slowly for the first day. then walking with a walker for another 2 days. After that I was limp walking for another days. when I tripped going into my bathroom that has about an 1" lift. I was falling instinctively I went to put my leg down, unfortunately it was my bad leg. I didn't fall but I felt a tear. Went to the doc and he scheduled explorative surgery. He found I did tear the inner stitches however, the outer stitches were intact. Back on the cast for another 4 weeks. Did 2 weeks already. Throughout this injury. I haven't had any pain. except for when I first injured it I put ice on my calf that hurt it was intolerable. But that was it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to leave my story because it helped me to hear positive stories. I had a full rupture playing squash in mid November and had a non surgical approach due to a high infection chance as I have lower limb eczema. I was in plaster for 4 weeks, after that I was in an airboot for two weeks during which time I started physio. Jan was mostly light band exercises but by feb I was cross training and hopping on one leg in the pool. By the end of feb I was jogging on the treadmill for ten minutes and was snowboarding early march. I went again a week ago and in two weeks I'm boarding in Alaska! Yay!

Anonymous said...

injured my leg 8 weeks ago on my return to netball after a break of a couple of years. Although I thought i had injured my achilles physio said it was muscle so 8 weeks later finally go to Doctor and ultrasound and yes looks like i need surgery. Not looking forward to it. If i had gone straight to the Doc i would be well on the way to recovery. I am also worried that the repair will be harder to achieve due to the 8 week delay in treatment. Apparently i have been limping on a thread of tendon! Your blog has helped me understand what I am in for. Sue from Hervey Bay

Rachel said...

Hi David,

Thank you for sharing your recovery.
I have just recently torn mine and I am from Perth.
Had surgery a week ago. I am an elite athlete and would like to start my own blog. How do you show older posts first? I want people to read it from day one like yours.
Your is inspirational. I'm hoping to be back playing basketball before 6 months


TeeGee said...

Hi there

This blog is great. I ruptured my achilles playing rounders on 12th May 2011, I had stretched, fielded and was well on with my batting innings and had hit the ball and set off running when I heard a loud "POP" and it felt like an elastic band pinging at the back of my ankle - not the best experience!. I had to sit through the 2nd half with my leg up and ice on it until the game finished and someone could drive my car back. I eventually got to A&E and was told it was completely torn. They plastered me up and tnen I got an appointment for 13 days later.

At this appointment I was given very little advice, he just highlighted the dangers of the surgery and highlighted the benefits of the non surgery route. Being a bit of a wimp when it comes to this type of stuff and not wanting to be away from the family (my husband works away a lot)I opted for the non surgical route. I was then put in a new plaster and told to return in 2 weeks. I am used to playing netball & rounders a couple of times each week and am finding this sudden cease of all activity really hard work. It is so frustrating not being able to move about freely. Thank goodness I have got a supportive family!

I went back yesterday and was given a boot yesterday and 3 wedges. Getting my foot into the boot and lie flat was a real challenge and not pleasant. It was really painful all night - has anyone else found that? I am struggling at the moment to get it to sit properly flat inside the boot and my foot feels very crammed and pressured - is this normal and my foot will just need to adjust to this new boot? Has anyone any advise on using the boot? I am gingerly starting to walk with the tip of my boot together with my crutches today and hope to progress to a flat foot soon.

Can anyone advise on how long it took them? I am also wondering how long it is likely to be before I am able to attempt to drive?

The tips and advice thus far on the blog have been great. I look forward to hearing from some of you. Cheers Tracy , Chorley.

Anonymous said...

The boot was worse than the cast for me in many ways. Very uncomfortable and difficult to walk in. I had surgery and had the cast off at 3 1/2 weeks. After that, I only wore the boot to walk in. At night, I took it off. However, you have opted for the non-surgical route. A friend of mine was in the same position as you and it takes much longer to heal and also to build up strength. If you read the blog, very few people recover quicker than David. I reckon that you will be 6 weeks behind him - but after that, you will make quick progress.

In terms of driving, if it's your left foot that is ruptured, you could drive an automatic now. If it's your right foot, you need to be able to walk without the boot, so it will be c12 weeks for you.

The positive part of your surgery is that you won't have a scar. Because you did't have the surgery, you need to give the tendon much longer to heal properly.

Hope that some of this helps.

Jeff -UK

4hopenjoy said...

Hi David,
I live in the U.S and used a boot cast called VACOcast. It was very comfortable so I took it off very little. I swam in it and I actually carried equipment for work with it on. I would highly recommend it as you can swim with it and take a shower too. I tried taking a shower without the boot and stepped wrong and almost killed myself. I am a runner, so I was so anxious to get back to life. 4hopenjoy

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Just wanted to leave a quick message to say thank you for the effort you have put into your blog. I found it interesting and reassuring to read stories of others who are going through or have gone through this pain in the butt of an injury. It is Saturday July 9th today and i am 10 days post op for a completely ruptured left achilies tendon. I was playing basketball when it happened. I am 30 years old and have been an athelete all my life. Played college ball and have been weight trainning for years. My legs are actually my strong point and that is why this injury was so surprising. I will say this though, I probably would not have injured myself had i not been crashed into by another player from the back. Anyways, I should be getting my stitches out by this upcoming friday and will be very interested to see what my doctor has to say about my healing process. After 10 days i have to say that it is starting to feel a lot better. The first day after the operation i wanted to die.... It was incredibly painful, i kept telling the nurses at the hospital where they kept me over night that that i was positive that the half cast they put on was way too tight but they kept telling me that they were not allowed to touch the cast and had to wait for the doctor to give them the ok to do anything. By the next day when the doctor came to see me my toes where practically turning blue and he gave the nurses the ok to losen up my cast. Once that was done i felt a million times better. Kind of like when a brain freeze goes away after eating ice cream too quickly. Anyways just a word to tell those of you who might think that your cast is too tight to not hesitate to get it loosened. It is not just in your head and should not be hurting like crazy! Good luck to all who are recovering.

Omar said...

David, I just completely ruptured my achilles on Sunday and am having surgery tomorrow afternoon. I have been reading your blog since the injury and it is wonderful and has inspired me to blog my own progress. I am 33 and play squash, basketball, soccer, and exercise 7 days a weeks. I ruptured it playing basketball. Thank you for your diligent posts, honesty, and hard work during recovery. You have helped me to keep my spirits up and not let this get me down and to stay as active and healthy as possible. Thanks again!

TeeGee said...

Hi David

Just been reading through your blogs. I injured mine on 12th may and went non op route only to eventually find it had not healed and there was still a 2-3cm gap(as at 12 July) now waiting for op which is scheduled for 16th Aug. Cannot believe had to wait so long - but that is the NHS for you!So back to square one. Am due to go to Florida on 21 Oct so panicking as to where I will be up to by then. Can anyone advise? Lets hope this time the treatment works.


TeeGee said...

Hi David

Just been reading through your blogs. I injured mine on 12th may and went non op route only to eventually find it had not healed and there was still a 2-3cm gap(as at 12 July) now waiting for op which is scheduled for 16th Aug. Cannot believe had to wait so long - but that is the NHS for you!So back to square one. Am due to go to Florida on 21 Oct so panicking as to where I will be up to by then. Can anyone advise? Lets hope this time the treatment works.


*EAV15 said...

Last Post: March 6, 2011 5:24 AM - Just snapped my left Achilles Tendon.

Hi David,

Your Day 60 blog is much like my day 110, bearing in mind I only came out of cast on my day 80 therefore had lost a lot of strength in my left calf and basically had to begin from when the cast was removed. I never was operated on and was unable to get a boot as I have 26inch calves from lots of cycling and weight lifting.
It took a month or so for the pain to subside and my limp to disappear but going well.

It is now nearly 7months since I ran up my steps and 'BOOM' it went but I can say one thing getting mobile early in my mind too has helped the recovery. And against doc's advice I played pool every Tuesday throughout, difficult on wood floors but it was just nice to get out.

I am now 20st8lb or for the metric people 132.5kg and about 5ft8inch, but not unfit, few extra pounds from being imprisoned at home whilst recovering though which I'm trying to work off at the moment.

Anyway...I am now riding bikes comfortably, or be it a downhill bike I bought before the above, for over 20miles/32km. I am at the gym full time and have no pain or limp at all. I am still struggling for full strength and I'm work on declined dips to strengthen up.
I must say that I have only just braved it to run because of the fear of doing some injury with the impact, but =) all was good and I'm probably better now with the conditioning I've had to do to get leaner. I had a fitness test with a PT and she couldn't get over how I appeared compared to my fitness levels especially after explaining my injury. I managed 15minutes at full friction and a hard pace on the cross trainer. I will drop you a quick update some time to let everybody know how it's going

Once again thanks for the blog, much help and has helped to drive me on. A bloke at the gym has just done his so I told him to have a look.

*EAV15 said...

Last Post: March 6, 2011 5:24 AM - Just snapped my left Achilles Tendon.

Hi David,

Your Day 60 blog is much like my day 110, bearing in mind I only came out of cast on my day 80 therefore had lost a lot of strength in my left calf and basically had to begin from when the cast was removed. I never was operated on and was unable to get a boot as I have 26inch calves from lots of cycling and weight lifting.
It took a month or so for the pain to subside and my limp to disappear but going well.

It is now nearly 7months since I ran up my steps and 'BOOM' it went but I can say one thing getting mobile early in my mind too has helped the recovery. And against doc's advice I played pool every Tuesday throughout, difficult on wood floors but it was just nice to get out.

I am now 20st8lb or for the metric people 132.5kg and about 5ft8inch, but not unfit, few extra pounds from being imprisoned at home whilst recovering though which I'm trying to work off at the moment.

Anyway...I am now riding bikes comfortably, or be it a downhill bike I bought before the above, for over 20miles/32km. I am at the gym full time and have no pain or limp at all. I am still struggling for full strength and I'm work on declined dips to strengthen up.
I must say that I have only just braved it to run because of the fear of doing some injury with the impact, but =) all was good and I'm probably better now with the conditioning I've had to do to get leaner. I had a fitness test with a PT and she couldn't get over how I appeared compared to my fitness levels especially after explaining my injury. I managed 15minutes at full friction and a hard pace on the cross trainer.

Once again thanks for the blog, much help and has helped to drive me on. A bloke at the gym has just done his so I told him to have a look.

I will drop an update in a month or so to let everybody know how I'm ding

Tracey said...

Hi David,
Thanks for your blog.
Very frustrating injury when you are an active person. Mine ruptured while playing volleyball 8 weeks ago. Im 47. I also play touch footy . Mr Dr told me there is only a 1% chance of re rupturing the tendon when you have the surgery, as opposed to a 15% chance with out the surgery. Of course I chose the surgery. I had the cast changed two weeks after surgery to bring the foot up a little. Then at 4 weeks they put it in the cast at a 10% angle. I hobbled with the cast on from the 5th week , trying not to put too much pressure on it but also wanting to get a little weight on it. The boot went on at 6 weeks without a wedge in it. Although I dont like it, it does make me feel the ankle is more secure. I have been in it for 2 weeks and go back to Dr tomorrow. I take the boot off when I am sitting and in bed and do circular motions with my foot. I think its not going too bad but know I still have a long way to go. I also had to self inject for 28 days after surgery with medication to stop my blood clotting. The Dr told me a patient had died from blood clots after surgery and recommended it. Not fun, but you do what you are told.
Cant wait to get back on a push bike and walk properly again. Im not an athlete but dont like being idle. My other leg worries me now as I am more aware of what can happen... would not like to go through this from scratch again. Interesting to read how others have dealt with their injury too.

Wolfman said...

Hello from the far north
First of all; what a great blog!
I am a 44 yo man from Norway with powder/freeskiing and endurocykling as my two obsessions in life. Although I am not "training" you can say that I am in relatively good shape.
The 7 of jan I was out in the backcountry of a local skicentre and had a very sudden stop when I (intendently) cougth some air and (not intendently)landed in a ditch. This of course puts a lot of stress on the AT and despite that the bindings did release me from the skis my right AT ruptured. At that moment due to the distinct hot and numb feeling I was not in the slightest doubt and told my friends that I thought it was a ATR. A few minutes later things did not feel as bad as earlyer on and I skied down (most of my wheigt on the left ski of course)and was as Alistair in a state of denial and I think I would have stayed in this state if it was`nt for the fact that I had to get out of a pair of alpine boots...hehe. Anyway when the boot got off we drove to the local EA and was lucky to be put up for a operation the day after. No I am on my 5th week post op (today actually)
My first two weeks I had a hard cast on 95 deg, after that my stiches was taken and i was put over in a walker ROM with full plantar flex and 90/0 deg dorsi flexion. I`ve been blessed with little or no pain and no obstacles on the way. I have followed youre example and have been down at the local studio cycling and lifting wheigts from a few days after the cast was off. After a few weeks I even joined a few spinning classes, just sitting with my walker on and moderate resistance of course.
A couple of days ago my FT was giving me a programme for abandoning the walker(1 to 2 weeks) I am now on 15 deg dorsi flex and thonk I will reach 20 within a week or so.Yesterday I was spinning without the walker.
My first impression after that rehearsal is that Alistairs icing,massage,stretching advice will come in handy :)and that blisters will be a hot topic for a long time to come.
Both my operator and FT thinks it will be a good idea to take a trip to a warmer place for some lowintenicity roadcycling in a 2 to 3 weeks time, so this is a part of my recoveryplan right now. When I return from southern europe in a 4 weeks time i guess I will be ready for some skiing again or at least I hope so!
Thanks again for youre blog it has been very helpful and informative.

Achillies tendon rupture said...


I ruptured my a week ago, surgery done 4 days ago and start of streching and excercising foot and tendon two days after operation!! All done in Nemec clinic Croatia, the one for fast recovery of famous footbalers. Profesor Nemec says, no plaster since day one, only upper side, removal of it 3 times per day and streching it up and down. No pain killers to be used as pain protect tendon and show me the limit of streching. He is confident and done on a few footbal players which were start walking after three weeks and full running or jumping after 3 months.I am a little sceptic abouth it as most people had diferent experience. Also some injections in stomach once per day. Will provide update if any interested.

Glen said...

David, great blog mate.
I ruptured my achilles snowboarding in Austria a few days ago and am currently awaiting surgery back in the UK.
Thought I'd cheer myself up by doing some research about consequences of this unpleasant injury and found your youtube videos and link for your blog, which have been really positive and informative.
Glad to see you have made a rapid and full recovery.
Many thanks Glen.
Northampton, UK.

Woodsie said...

Well Skills... I snapped my Achilles on the 5th June playing squash a day before my 40th.
It wasn't that painful, nowhere near as painful as cramp in the unattached calf at 3 in the morning .
I had the op on the 7th to rejoin the tendon.
A slab of plaster was put on.
I had quite sever calf pain for about a week but just assumed it was fromthe exploration around the nerve in my leg.
It turns out it is a dvt, so I'm on warfarin for the next 3-6 months.
Because i begged the surgeon, I had the cast removed on the 3rd July,almost 4 weeks from the injury and was given a rom boot.
I've had this on for 2 days now and have started walking with full weight bearing and without crutches.
I can also walk without the boot after a bit of gentle stretching and exercise.
I'll take it easy though and use a 10mm wedge in the boot during the day.
Physio 2-3 times a week and see how it goes.

Donna Kilby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna Kilby said...

hi my name is Donna, I've had both tendons rupture ,had my op on Thursday last week and no one has really given me any idea about my recovery .the only thing i know is its really rare to do both at once any information you can give me about recovery will be gratefully received i'm not a sports person but i am very active and ride motorcycles and before you ask no i didnt do on my bike ,and i live in england .thank in advance

Francesca said...

Hi, I tore my right tendon October 12th while skiing. I badly sprained my left ankle at the same time. Surgery was not an option within NZ's public health system. I was put in a plaster at the ski fields medical centre (well two actually as they thought the left may be partially torn). One week later I had a new cast put on my right, with a heel peg (like the bottom of a crutch) coming out for walking on. Because of my sprained left foot crutches is hard but I can put a bit of weight on the right.
January 6th I am due to go to Japan to ski. I do not know whether to stay home and let my family go or try to ski too.
I have read almost all the posts as I am desperate to ski in 12 weeks. Not sure If I am as much of an athlete as David to achieve this!

Anonymous said...

David, thanks for your blog. It is surely very informative and even better now with all the stories around the globe.

I ruptured achilles on 18, Oct, 12 playing basketball. Had surgery on 23, Oct and ~1 week post op now. Actually had a bursitis on this foot for ages (~10 years). Was able to cure it by Shock Wave Therapy but then it reappeared and certainly has contributed to the rupture. Doctor said the tendon was inflamed.

Francesca, just one week behind you.

Thanks to all,
Perth, WA.

simon uk said...

Hi all
Great blog ,as with everyone else on here i too have ruptured my achilles playing squash against my 22 year old nephew,im 49.No severe pain im up to week 4 now in plaster,but my problem was crutches,cant even carry a cup of tea from kitchen to lounge so i bought an iwalk 2.0 off tinternet,cant recommend it enough cost about £170 but worth every penny ,can carry shopping ,tea for me and the missus to the lounge but the nurses who plastered me wernt happy i was using it,wondered if anyone else had any experience or advice on these,thinking of booking a return match using my prosthetic....he wasnt that quick around the court :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,,,I had a surgery a week ago...i am 30 years old...i have plaster and doc said i will ride of it in 6 i want to know when i will be able to work and walk like a normal person...i need to go to work in 50 days so will i be able to do that???When will i start to work out a little wit my leg..i still feel pain in my leg,i am so scared to barely move a fingers i think it will snapped again,but it wont happend???Sorry for my bad english :)

igorulic said...


nice blog, there is a similar in Croatia. guy was encouraged with your blog so he started his own.

well, i am 36 years old male which liked to play football. but as many people around, 10 days ago i heard that nice sound and felt that nice "hitïn the back of my left knee. "lucky me" a friend of mine had 2 years ago same "feeling" thus i knew immediately what happened to me.
i have a partial rupture of my AT, about 1.2cm wide.i have a Longuette for next 12 days then we will see what will happen... :)

Mark Pickering said...

i'm so happy i came across this blog when i did. i am very active. in my early 50s i was playing basketball when my achilles snapped. it was at the very beginning of the summer and just before i do a lot of golfing. i was seriously depressed. reading this blog and using my own good judgment, i was encouraged to have massages designed specifically for moving fluid and shaping the scar tissue that comes whether one has surgery or not. as a result, i healed quite a bit faster than others that i've talked to who had the same circumstance. this blog was inspirational!! that was two years ago and though every single morning my first two steps remind me that i had the injury, stiffness, i've never really had pain per say and certainly no lingering effects in regards to what i can do now.


Day 7 after my surgery. Torn my left achilles tendon playing futsal. Feeling silly but just have to deal with it. Am anxious about coming back like rest of you here and this blog is useful. My next review in another 1 week time. Am wondering if I should request to put on boot for early mobilisation recovery. Any advice? So far not much pain and have stopped any painkiller. Only swell management.
Thanks in advance

Hanna Hilton said...

The best post ever.. How can you make it awesome like this? Thank you for sharing ;)
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Alistair said...

An update written five years after I flast posted on Dave's blog after a complete Achilles rupture in 2010 .... Earlier this week I won a bronze medal in the 65+ age group category Team Pursuit Race at the 2016 World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Manchester. Never give up... And thanks again for this inspiring blog.