Weeks 8-9 of Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery

As the recovery weeks go on, I find myself taking less Advil. In fact, there are were days where I only took 1 pill of a 400 mg of Advil gel. The last 2 weeks were also where I started running basketball practice without the use of a wheelchair; just used my crutches and a fold-up, fabric lawn chair to sit on as the benches were a little low for easy sitting.

Week 7 of my recovery was my second appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. This was the day that the first wedge was removed from my Össur Rebound Air Walker boot. After the wedge removal, I felt tenderness on both sides of ankle and a lot of stretching in the tendon area. Now at Week 9, 2 weeks after the first wedge removal, I was given the ok to remove the second wedge from the boot. As the ortho tech taught me how to remove the wedge properly, I did not need another appointment at the surgeon’s office. I just removed the wedge myself and re-applied the double-sided sticky tape to hold the third and final wedge in place. Removing wedges lowers your heel to the ground and begins to stretch and lengthen the Achilles tendon.

Once again, the first 2 – 3 days after removing the wedge, I felt tenderness on the inside and outside of my ankle. There wasn’t much pain in the Achilles tendon itself so the most discomfort was felt in the ankle area. So it ‘s back to slow walking and consciously remembering to be gentle when my heel strikes the ground.

Doing some things became easier. While showering, I noticed I can use my hand to bend my toes up much to a much higher degree as my toe joints are less painful from being in the boot. Maybe the change of the heel height made a difference since wedges have been removed. I also found it easier to sit up and wash my foot since the tendon is now longer after removing the heel wedges. This means it’s also easier to lift my entire leg up to wash the sole of my foot.

As the weather got nicer, I am now heading out of the house without crutches if I know my destination does not require a lengthy walk. For those, my wife still insists she pushes me in a wheelchair. Did I mention I am one lucky dude? 🙂

For basketball practice and games, I am still using crutches for faster movement and greater mobility. Here I am at a TCYBA coach clinic before the start of the 2016 Spring season.

When I look down and see a fragile looking calf (if that is even possible), it makes me want to get active rehab started right away. My injured calf, at the widest circumference, is 1 inch less than my normal calf! That seems like a massive difference just because of a few weeks of minimal use. It’s been a slow road to recovery. Hopefully, the toughest part, the first 6 weeks of non-surgical recovery after an achilles rupture, is over. Can’t wait to get back on rehab for strengthening; just cannot wait.

Ian Lee
Work from home dad, marketer and photographer. Fallen in love with basketball all over again as I coach my daughter's team.

5 thoughts on “Weeks 8-9 of Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery”

  1. Ian, The detailed description of your ruptured Achilles tendon recovery process has been the best information I have been able to find so far. It has helped me understand what likely lies ahead, as I enter week 6 of the process. Thank you for taking the time to document your experiences in so much detail, and for including a link to the 2015 version of the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program of Rubinger and Glazebrook, which is a modification of the protocol described in a document of Willits et al (full citation not given).

    • Hi Richard, sorry to hear about the injury. I wish you all the best in your recovery. Glad you found my posts helpful. Be mindful that it’s time to heal your body as well your mind. It is a tough injury. But lots of rehab, rest and good nutrition will ensure a smoother road to recovery. All the best!

  2. Hi Ian
    Just found your summaries. I am on day 1!
    How did your first week go?
    The doctor at the emergency put me in the air cast and gave me crutches. He told me that I would be 2 to 3 weeks on them.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Hi Bill,

      Sorry to hear about your injury. Try and find a surgeon / specialist who you feel comfortable discussing your injury with. The first few weeks are mostly learning how to do go about day-to-day things with this injury. Take things slow and be sure to rehab properly. So use this time to find a physiotherapist for when you are ready to go through rehab. The better the rehab, the better your long-term recovery usually.

      Good luck with your journey to recovery and do let us know how things are going from time to time. All the best!

  3. Hey everyone. I stumbled upon this article because I suffered a very severe Achilles tendon rupture, which required surgery. The surgeon had to sew in 8″ of cadaver tendon. Next week I start day #1 of PT. The podiatrist has been vague on my recovery time and return to work, (I teach JROTC and am on my feet all day). Does anyone have a best guess or relatable injury/recovery story? Just anxious to start but don’t want to over work and return to work too soon.


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