The Achilles tendon is a thick tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel. While this tendon is very strong, it is possible for it to tear and rupture. In some cases, an Achilles tendon rupture can be treated non-surgically with just a cast, but more serious Achilles tendon ruptures require a surgery where the two ends of the tendon are sewn together with thick stitches. If you have to have Achilles tendon repair surgery, use the following tips to help with your recovery:
Caring for Your Cast
After your Achilles tendon repair surgery is performed, a full or half cast will be put on your foot. This cast is important, as it stabilizes your foot and prevents it from moving while your repaired tendon recovers and strengthens. It is very important to keep your cast completely dry—if your cast gets wet, make sure you contact your foot doctor.
Immediately after surgery, you will not be able to put any weight on the foot that was operated on. It is imperative that you use the crutches provided for a few weeks after surgery or until your foot doctor tells you otherwise. In most cases, you will be able to put weight on your foot when you are fitted for a walking cast. While you may not be able to place any weight on your foot, it is a good idea to frequently move your toes and knee to help prevent joint stiffness.
You may experience pain or discomfort in your foot in the days following surgery. Take the pain medication prescribed by your doctor as directed to help keep discomfort to a minimum. In most cases, you probably won't need to take pain medication for more than a few days.
It is not uncommon for the entire foot to be swollen after an Achilles tendon repair surgery. An easy way to help with the swelling is by keeping the foot at the same level as your heart as much as possible. When sitting or lying down, make sure you prop up your foot with pillows.
Start Physical Therapy
As your Achilles tendon begins to heal, your foot doctor will prescribe physical therapy. It is important to attend all physical therapy sessions so your repaired tendon can regain flexibility and elasticity. Your physical therapist may also ask you to do specific stretches and exercises at home to further promote healing of your Achilles tendon.
For more information, contact a podiatrist at a location such as Hartford Podiatry Group.