Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery

Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery

Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery

Recovering from an Achilles injury is no walk in the park. The Achilles is the largest tendon in your body. It helps you walk, run, jump, and move your foot in every direction. So if you injure or tear it, you won’t be able to do much of anything for a while.

How long it takes for you to heal will depend on how bad your injury is. Tendinitis involves pain and discomfort but no damage to the tendon, so that might be just a few weeks of rest and ice packs. A complete rupture is a totally different story that could take up to a year to heal.

Some people have surgery for Achilles ruptures, and some don’t. In general, those who have surgery have a greater chance of complete healing and a lower risk of injuring it again. No matter which option you choose, here’s what you can expect during recovery.

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How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover. Sleep with your sore leg raised. Your doctor will tell you how to keep your leg and foot in the correct position. Keep your leg raised (such as on a pillow) as much as possible for the first few days.
  • You will need to wear a cast or walking boot that keeps your foot and ankle from moving for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.
  • You can use crutches to move around the house to do daily tasks. Do not put weight on your leg without these until your doctor says it is okay.
  • You may shower 24 to 48 hours after surgery, if your doctor okays it. When you shower, keep your bandage and incision dry by taping a sheet of plastic to cover them. It might be best to get a shower stool to sit on. If you have a brace, only take it off if your doctor says it is okay.
  • If your doctor does not want you to shower or remove your brace, you can take a sponge bath.
  • Do not take a bath, swim, use a hot tub, or soak your leg until your doctor says it is okay.
  • You can drive when you can move and control your foot and ankle, you are no longer using crutches, and you are no longer taking prescription pain medicine. This usually takes 4 to 6 weeks.
  • How soon you can return to your work depends on your job. If you sit at work, you may be able to go back in 1 to 2 weeks. But if you are on your feet at work, it may take 6 to 8 weeks. If you are very physically active in your job, it may take 3 to 6 months.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. You may want to take a fibre supplement every day. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, ask your doctor about taking a mild laxative.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.

Incision care

  • If you have a bandage over your incision, keep the bandage clean and dry. Follow your doctor's instructions. Your doctor will probably want you to leave the bandage on until you are seen in the office. If your doctor allows it, you may be able to remove the bandage 48 to 72 hours after your surgery.
  • If you have strips of tape on the incision, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off. Keep the area clean and dry.
  • If you have a splint or cast, follow your doctor's instructions. Keep it dry. Do not put anything, including powder, between the splint or cast and your skin.

Exercise

  • Exercise in a rehab program is an important part of your treatment. Your first exercises will help you regain flexibility. They may also keep scar tissue from forming around the tendon.

Ice and elevation

  • To reduce swelling and pain, put ice or a cold pack on your leg for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Do this every few hours. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Prop up the sore leg on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down for 3 days after surgery. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • If your doctor gave you support stockings, wear them as long as instructed. These help to prevent blood clots.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety.

Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

10 common questions about Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery

1How long after Achilles surgery can I walk?
And in most cases, you'll be back to walking normally between 3 and 4 months following surgery. For active individuals who have athletic goals, we'll ask you to wait to run until a few things are observed.
2How long is Achilles tendon surgery recovery?
In general, most patients return to walking in 4 to 6 weeks, strengthening after about 8 weeks, and exercising at 3 months. Most patients who are athletes do not return to their sport for about 6 months, and many can take longer to fully recover from Achilles surgery
3How long are you non weight bearing after Achilles tendon surgery?
Several studies have described the outcomes of patients who were made nonweight-bearing for six weeks after surgery.
4Is Achilles tendon surgery painful?
Achilles tendon surgery is often an outpatient procedure. This means you can go home the same day. You will have some pain after your surgery, especially in the first few days. Pain medicines will help relieve your pain.
5Do you sleep with a walking boot?
It is advised to sleep with one's walking boot on but with the straps loosened for optimal comfort. A helpful tip when sleeping with one's boot on is to surround the leg with pillows to make sure the injured foot is supported. This will also make it unlikely for one to displace their foot, leading to further injury.
6Does a walking boot help Achilles tendonitis?
Either a removable walking boot, or sometimes even a cast, can allow the inflamed tissue to cool down quickly. Wearing a walking boot keeps the calf muscle from pulling on the Achilles tendon. The boot prevents you from pushing off with the ball of your foot or pointing your toes downward.
7What kind of anesthesia is used for achilles tendon surgery?
At our institution, repair of ruptured Achilles tendon is typically performed under general anesthesia with the patient's airway secured using an endotracheal tube. Anesthesia is usually maintained with propofol infusion and oxygen/nitrous oxide gas mixture.
8How can I heal tendons faster?
As an immediate treatment for overuse tendinopathy, doctors and physical therapists often recommend the RICE program: rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the injured tendon. They may also suggest a short course of aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs to help inflammation and pain.
9What happens if Achilles tendonitis goes untreated?
Untreated Tendonitis May Lead to a Rupture Of The Tendon Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include: Pain and swelling in the heel that worsens after physical activity. Feeling of tightness in the heel and foot. Limited range of motion when flexing the foot.
10Are squats bad for Achilles tendonitis?
Also add in plenty of plyometric lower-body work like squats, multidirectional lunges and squat thrusts. Prevent it. The best way to prevent Achilles tendinitis in the first place is by building limber lower legs. An underlying lack of flexibility, especially in your calf muscles, can cause Achilles injuries.

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