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achilles rupture/ no surgery healing

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  • achilles rupture/ no surgery healing

    Hi All,

    First of all I would like to say that this site is excellent.

    I've been reading for days and wow it reallys sucks to be AT rupture victim.
    I shed many tears reading your threads. However they say its good therapy!

    Any how there is not alot of conservative methods at this site, so all the info I can get is great. I do wonder if I made the right choice.

    Here I go, It all started August 18/07 playing baseball. It was the simple push off movement.1hour later I was seen by the specialist. The big dicision was made, with the help of my husband. I have had many injuries but this was scary. Surgery is a big fear of mine and probably others.2 weeks later the dr. seen me and said i was healing nicely. Ends were back together. Next was to see a physio for a walking cast(boot)whatever. Its all depressing.At 3 Weeks we got the boot that took some getting used to. At first it felt like 1oo pounds.At 5 weeks he changed the angle of boot. So Its now been just over 8 weeks. Saw the dr. today and he changed the angle again. Now is the time to start weight bearing and little at a time.I feel so very nervous, can't hear that dreadful bang again. Even thinking of it makes me cry. So if you know of any solutions to this kind of recovery,please feel free to drop me a line.


  • #2
    It seems we must have posted at the same time. i am desperate to hear from other non surgery AT ruptures. Do you use crutches with the boot? i am in two minds about the boot. It is full on probably the most full on thing that has ever happened to me. Good luck.


    • #3

      Oh, yes I use my crutches, tried this morning to put some weight down. Big chicken alright.
      Must tell ya the boot took some getting used to. First thought is was 1000 lbs. Do you wear it at night.



      • #4

        I had total rupture on August 17 2007.

        Also had conservative treatment but VERY unconventional!

        Bascially was put in plaster cast for 3 days then saw a specialist who put me straight into the boot cast!

        Was in boot cast, foot pointing downwards, non weight bearing for seven weeks (wore the boot at night all the time), with two crutches, did not even have foot position adjusted.

        On october 8th 2007 told I could take of boot cast and start to weightbear and walk! (which frightened the hell out of me)

        Was bit dissapointed as there was no foot changing positions or wedges/heel lifts etc but thankfully I am now walking in normal shoes, no pain, although do have a limp and there is stiffness/tightness at back of leg which is probably scar tissue.

        I started physio on October 18 2007 and now doing exercises at home.

        So just to say that I had probably same concerns as you regarding if it was the right choice not to have surgery but at present fingers crossed I am ok with progress, but gosh these exercises are hard!


        • #5
          hi guys
          I'm also having my ATR treated conservatively and you're dead right about the lack of good information about it compared to that about surgical treatment. If you read the achilles surgery thread there are actually a few contributors who are undergoing conservative treatment but its still alot to wade through. Perhaps we could keep this thread going?

          Briefly I'm 7 weeks into my treatment, 4 weeks cast in an equinus position then 3 with the foot midway towards flat. At four weeks my tendon had rejoined and I was able to flex my ankle slightly, I can now do this much more positively so hope for good news in a weeks time when the cast comes off. At this point I'm told either a boot or a walking cast so I'm hoping for a boot so I can start some mobility exercises early.

          Really interesting to hear others stories and treatments, there's such a variation of practices but I'm hoping this works out for all of us.
          Last edited by Jomoj; 21-10-2007, 02:59 AM.


          • #6
            Hi Blade,

            It's different comparing recoveries. But sersourly its the road to be on,9nine week today for me. It's better than 2.
            So your boot was at a down point for 7weeks. No angle change at all. Then at 8weeks you started to weightbear. I'm so jealous. I'm tring like hell to but little weight. Holly cow its so tight. Very scared of re-_____, can't even say it. So can you share what excercises you do.
            What can I do to help speed the process
            Also the heel tends to tingle.Is that the norm.

            Thanks Wild


            • #7
              Boot or walking cast

              Well HELLO AND WELCOME,

              I hope you find this site as interesting as I do. Sometimes I don't even know if I'm using it correctly.You said next week you get your boot or cast. Really I'm not sure the difference between the two. All I know is mine is black with velcro straps and gets ajusted.
              It's is time for me to so called stretch and try to weightbear a bit. Im normally not this whimpy but its tight and tough so hang in there and keep in touch.

              Wild 3


              • #8
                Hi wild3
                sounds like you have what I'd call a boot as opposed to a cast which is wrapped fibreglass and can't be taken on and off. This is my current one...

                is yours more like this?


                • #9
                  Hi Jomoj,

                  Thanks for the pics. I guess the confusion comes in the term walking cast. Just can't visual walking with a fiberglass cast. Do they actually weightbear. Feeling frustrated today like mad. Having a hard time with putting weight down and standing. There is such tightness in the back and all around the ankle. Triing hard to excercise,but hopefully it'll come.



                  • #10

                    love to keep this thread going on conservative treatment. It is a confidence thing to beleive we are getting the best not just the povo style. The thing I am happiest about is I am not missing work and not having to worry about infections which are rife in our hospitals with superbugs taking over. I find it hard to imagine how the tendon repairs itself but it must if it's gets strong enough to pop in rerupture I guess. Sorry to say the naughty "rr" word.


                    • #11
                      wild3 - with a walking cast you wear a kind of strap on sandal on the bottom of the cast. They are pretty tough - just as well when you're getting the train to work and people bang into it all the time, despite being bright green.

                      hi Bronte - As I understand it, when the tendon is sutured the stitches don't add much strength, they are just there to make sure the end of the tendons are together. With conservative treatment you're relying on the pointed foot position closing the gap in the tendon. It might sound like they are just flapping around in the back of your leg but they're encased in a sheath which, providing it hasn't ruptured as well, should contain the ends and hold them together. This is how the Doctors and a physio have explained it to me so apologies if it's incorrect - it's certainly a simplified version...

                      The tendon itself is living tissue like skin and bone and heals in the same way, from the initial blood clot post injury it builds scar tissue which is then replaced by tendon tissue over time. Clever stuff. I'm hoping to get a successful recovery from this (obviously) and be proud that my body has fixed itself.

                      Bronte - how long since your rupture and what stage of treatment are you at?


                      • #12
                        Hi Jomoj

                        wow, love your rave about the tendon mechanics of repair. it gives me hope for sure. i ruptured on 30/9/07. I was on the second day of beach holiday with daughter and grandaughter. We had a lovely morning at beach then went to a rugby grand final get together where the attraction was lawn tennis. I had served one game then was receiving and thought someone had hit me from behind. People were standing around with drinks chatting about what they knew and I heard "hospital" and said to my sister to go and get some warm clothes on as our emergency dept. can be a long wait. Saw a young ortho surgeon who recommended conservative, said he wouldn't have the op so i agreed. But when he first asked me what I wanted to do I was shocked. I wanted him to tell me. so they put me in a front pointed cast. I have returned to the city and went to public hospital (16 days later) where they gave me ultrasound and full cast. they said the rupture was messy and the tendon was degenerated anyway and that if they operated it was a high chance for rerupture and that I'd probably be sorry. I am going today to the orthopedic supply to get a ROM boot fitted. I have been religiously taking glucosamine, arnica and fish oil caps. I use a wheelchair at work and crutches at home, plus computer chair for kitchen duties. i am swinging mood wise between happy and really down wondering where all my friends are.


                        • #13
                          funny... the orthopedic surgeon I saw also said he would have a rupture treated conservatively. I'm still not entirely sure I believe him but I guess you have to. He also said that a re-rupture after surgery can be more catastrophic than RR after conservative treatment but that there is a higher risk of RR with conservative in the first 3 months. This is the caveat that seems to be left out when discussing the 2 treatment options, long term I've been told that recovery and strength is more dependent on the individual.
                          6 days to go until cast off fingers crossed its looking good.


                          • #14
                            hey Jomoj

                            Thanks. Maybe the young docs are told to say that! If rerupture is more prevalent in first three months I am going to be really careful. I got the ROM boot and am a bit freaked out> It is so big and unweildy and hot. I feel great getting some more circulation in my leg generally. I am becoming a junkie on this site and get the support I need from strangers. Thanks to everyone on the Damien site for stories, it makes great reading when your a cripple.


                            • #15
                              Hey Gang

                              How is recovery going?
                              Bronte 7 congrats on the new boot!
                              My first boot was so big and heavy,my legs killed for 2 days. Called the doc who gave me the boot and cried the blues. Went back on the third day. He could'nt believe how big it was. Managed to a get a small. Did the doc tell you to where it to bed. I believe that this is the solution to a quicker recovery. I was previously not wearing my boot to bed. Yes, I was very careful. However when I wake up I have a hard time getting it back on. Now I sleep with it on. Before I get out of bed I massage the foot and cafe.It's no problem or pain putting the boot on. The last few days it has been easier for me two apply some weight. SLOW SLOW SLOW RECOVERY.

                              Keep positive all!
                              Wild 3