Weekend warriors, athletes, and non-athletes can all experience an achilles tendon tear or rupture.  This classic sign that the tendon is completely torn is a feeling of getting hit with a baseball bat on the back of your leg.  From this point, it is very difficult to flex the foot in a downward position or plantar flex because the Achilles tendon is no longer attached and functional.  But surprisingly, most of my patients say that there is not a lot of pain with this injury after the initial jolt. 

This injury requires surgery.  No getting around it.  If it is treated within 1 week of the injury, a simple repair of the torn ends can be done.  We basically suture the ends of the tendon back together with very strong suture.  If it is over 1 week, the ends of the torn tendon start to die and get mushy and stringy.  Think horse tail.  This repair may require more imaginative thinking using your good tendon as a graft over the bad tendon area.  I have encountered some tendons with severe degeneration that required complete replacement with a cadaver tendon. 

Recovery is 6 weeks non-weightbearing in a cast, then 3-4 weeks in a walking boot with physical therapy for several weeks to regain strength and gait confidence.  Returning to non-weightbearing exercise can start when you are out of the boot.  But running takes much longer.

Get Help Now

Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you within 1 business day.