What to Expect When Recovering From Achilles Tendon Surgery

What to Expect When Recovering From Achilles Tendon Surgery

Achilles tendon surgery restores a damaged or torn tendon. After surgery, you’ll need to take time to heal. What can you expect from your post-surgery recovery? Read to learn more.

Your Achilles tendon is the largest in your entire body and is essential for walking, jumping, and moving your feet. If your Achilles tendon is damaged or torn, you may need surgery to fully restore function, especially if you’re a young athlete.

At Hansen Foot & Ankle of Mill Creek, Washington, we provide expert Achilles tendon repair and foot surgery. A former athlete himself, foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Nathan Hansen can surgically reconstruct your Achilles tendon.

And, since you’re probably eager to get back to full function as soon as possible, Dr. Hansen helps you understand your post-surgery recovery process. Here’s what you need to know about what to expect from your recovery.

The first few days after surgery

Your Achilles tendon surgery at Hansen Foot & Ankle will likely take no longer than an hour. After surgery, most patients go home the same day. A cast that runs from your knee to your toes keeps your foot in a pointed position, which is necessary for proper healing. It’s best to keep the affected leg elevated as much as possible during this healing process.

You're likely to deal with notable pain in the first few days following your procedure. Talk to your Hansen Foot & Ankle provider about your pain management plan.

The next few weeks

For a few weeks following your surgery, plan on using crutches, a knee scooter, or a walker. You’ll need to avoid putting any weight on the treated leg.

When it’s time for your cast to be removed, as healing progresses, we may recommend you use a walking boot that includes a heel lift to prop your foot and ankle into the right position. And you should continue to use crutches whenever you need to bear weight on your foot.

1-2 months into your recovery

About a month after Achilles tendon surgery, it’s time to start physical therapy and mild rehabilitation exercises. Your rehab program gets more aggressive as you heal, developing your ankle mobility and strengthening your calf muscles. The heel lifts on your walking boot can be lowered to put your foot in a more neutral position.

At 6-8 weeks post-surgery, your ability to stand on the affected leg should slowly improve. You might be able to lose the boot or lessen your rehab activity and get back to more of your normal life activities instead. High-impact exercise is still off-limits in your recovery, but swimming or bicycling might be allowable.

Getting back to full activity

It takes about 4-6 months after your surgery to return to full activity. And full recovery after Achilles tendon surgery can take as long as a year. While it’s understandable that you want to be back at full strength as soon as possible, it’s crucial to accept limitations and not push yourself too hard as you recover.

With the support of Dr. Hansen and the team at Hansen Foot & Ankle, you can make the best possible recovery after Achilles tendon repair surgery. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling us today, or request an appointment online now.