Achilles tendon repair reconnects the ends of the broken tendon so that you can use your foot again in a normal way. You may have had one of two types of surgery. In open surgery, the doctor makes a cut (incision) at the back of your leg. In percutaneous (say "per-kyoo-TAY-nee-us") surgery, the doctor uses several smaller cuts. Tools for fixing the tendon are inserted through the cuts.
You will feel tired for several days. Your lower leg and ankle will be swollen. You may have numbness around the cut (incision) on the back of your leg. Your ankle and shin may be bruised. You can put ice on the area to reduce swelling. It should be better in a few days.
Your tendon will slowly get stronger as you recover. You will need to wear a cast or walking boot for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery. At first, it may be set to keep your foot pointed downward as the tendon heals. You may be able to put weight on your affected leg after a few weeks. But it will be several months before you have complete use of your leg and ankle. You will need to build your strength with rehabilitation (rehab) exercises.
How soon you can return to sports or other exercise depends on how well you follow your rehab program and how well your tendon heals. Your doctor or physiotherapist will give you an idea of when you can return to your activities. You may be able to return to your regular sports in about 4 to 6 months.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter S501 in the search box to learn more about "Achilles Tendon Repair: What to Expect at Home."
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.