Why It’s So Hard to Recover from a Torn Achilles Tendon

Achilles Tendon Recovery Time Without Surgery:

The average age when someone suffers an injury to their achilles tendon is between 30 and 40 years old. According to statistics, most people suffer from an injured achilles tendon at some point in their lives. However, there are those individuals who have been able to recover from their injuries with no surgery or only minor surgeries. They have made it through one year without any problems.

This is a very rare case and even if they had managed to make it through two years, they would still not be able to do anything strenuous.

It takes around six months before the body starts repairing itself and rebuilding your muscles. The problem occurs during this period when you cannot exercise because you are too weak due to lack of strength in your legs. You will need to rest and take breaks from physical activity. During this time, you may feel pain in your lower back, knees, ankles and feet.

If you continue to work out regularly, your body will eventually rebuild itself again.

Why It Takes Six Months Before Your Body Rebuilds Its Muscles:

When you injure your achilles tendon it is best to avoid surgery immediately. If you do get surgery, it takes a really long time before you can start working out again. One of the reasons is that the healing process takes around one to two years. During this period your muscles start rebuilding themselves and your body starts healing.

This generally takes around six months provided you do not put any extra pressure on your legs. You may feel a mild pain in your ankles when you start walking again but this should subside after a few weeks.

You cannot walk long distances for at least six months because your leg muscles are still weak. Your feet and ankles might not be used to carrying the weight of your entire upper body. If you try working out during this period, you will likely injure yourself again. It is best to do light exercise like walking and other gentle activities.

If you have fallen behind on your exercise routine, now is the time to start again. You can also try swimming during this period. It helps with your blood circulation and makes it easier for you to get around. After a few months, you should get back to your regular routine again.

This might be a little challenging for you but as long as you take things slow and steady, you have nothing to worry about.

Stress can have a negative impact on your body and make the healing process harder for you. Make sure to keep yourself calm during this period, listening to soft music might help. After six months, you will notice that your legs are a lot stronger than before and walking up the stairs does not leave you out of breath anymore. There are certain things that might not be possible after an injury to your achilles tendon like running long distance or going back to playing basketball.

You might also not be able to wear high heels anymore because your feet have grown longer. You can always get a pair of supportive athletic shoes to help you feel more secure.

You should be able to notice the difference within three months. You will find that it is much easier for you to walk and run without any pain in your heels. While this does not necessarily mean that you are completely healed, you can continue to strengthen the muscles surrounding your injured achilles tendon.

There are many ways to strengthen the rest of your leg muscles and here are a few suggestions:

Wear high heels to help improve the strength in your legs. Try to wear them for short periods at first then work your way up to longer periods of time.

Tennis shoes are great for training your calves because they offer a lot of support and allow you to run faster. Try going for a jog or walk in these to exercise your lower leg.

Try to do some split workouts where you work one leg one day and the other leg the next day. This will help you to increase your endurance and give you a little extra rest in between.

You can also try swimming or working out at a gym to strengthen your lower body.

Doing these activities on a regular basis will help strengthen your legs and get you back to your regular routine in no time. As long as you listen to your body and take things slow, you should not have any problems in the future.

After a year has passed, your leg should be much stronger and you should not have any problems with recurring injury. At this point, you can return to your regular exercise routine without worry. Just remember to always listen to your body and if you feel any pain or soreness, take a break until the pain goes away.

You have now completed your recovery. It might take you a little longer than usual because you are still limping a bit on your right leg. Your physical condition can be improved through exercise but it will take longer than usual for you to get in shape. You will have to be patient and let your body heal completely from this injury.

You order the new sneaker on the Internet and it comes several days later. Having them, you decide to go for a walk on a nearby trail. Feeling nervous about running into someone you know, you ensure that the hood of your jacket is up and the brim of your hat is covering your face. You walk for about an hour without any problems then head back home at a normal pace.

You don’t encounter anyone that you know and after several trips to the park you feel comfortable enough to take your hood down and eventually remove your hat. Your leg feels stronger with each trip and after a month or so you can easily run five miles without any pain. The only downside is that you gained a bit of weight due to the sedentary nature of your recovery.

You have now returned to your regular exercise routine. You have a lot more endurance and strength now so you plan on competing in a 10k race a few months from now. You continue to walk in the park wearing your hood and hat but over time you stop using them. Your leg feels strong and the memory of your injury fades as the months pass.

You train hard for the race and cross the finish line in first place. After some rushing around, you finally get a chance to look at the results. To your surprise, you see the name of the person you thought was Steve Rogers in third place. This man is indeed Captain America.

You congratulate him on his excellent time and he smiles and shakes your hand before leaving. You know that he is probably very busy so it’s just as well. You are happy to have met the man behind the mask and now that you have you feel more complete somehow. You resolve to be like him when you grow up.

Your training has paid off and you are now able to finish your own workouts much faster than before. You have also started winning some races and earned a small amount of money in the process. With your new sense of physical confidence, you decide to ask out Alison Wilkers again. You call her and she agrees to go to the movies with you this weekend.

You have now mastered the basic skills of running long distances and are ready to take it to the next level. You sign up for a 5k race in two months and begin increasing your training to prepare for it. You also start including some weight training in your routine and begin seeing new results. Your strength and endurance improve greatly and you are able to run faster times than you thought possible before.

You win the race by a large margin and your time is within the top 10 for your age group. Your parents, who have been quietly watching your progress from the sidelines, are very proud of you. They buy you a new racing bicycle for your eighteenth birthday.

On New Year’s eve, Alison agrees to become your girlfriend. The two of you have been together for almost a year now and things are going very well. She is pretty, kind, fun to be with, and she loves you. You are the envy of all your friends…

or at least the ones that are aware of your private life.

Your dream of becoming an astronaut may have faded somewhat over the years, but your love of science has only grown. You now consider becoming a doctor and helping people in that way. You’re not sure if you want to go to University first or get straight into an apprenticeship, but you’ve got time to decide.

You may not be an astronaut but you’re determined to live a life just as exciting.

Your life is an adventure and it’s only just beginning…

Sources & references used in this article:

Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy: why painful? An evidence-based philosophy by MN van Sterkenburg, CN van Dijk – Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology …, 2011 – Springer

Achilles tendon injuries by CL Saltzman, DS Tearse – … -Journal of the American Academy of …, 1998 – journals.lww.com

Achilles tendinopathy by JL Cook, KM Khan, C Purdam – Manual therapy, 2002 – Elsevier

Acute Achilles tendon rupture: a randomized, controlled study comparing surgical and nonsurgical treatments using validated outcome measures by K Nilsson-Helander… – … American journal of …, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com

Achilles tendon lesions in sport by JGP Williams – Sports Medicine, 1986 – Springer

Percutaneous suturing of the ruptured Achilles tendon under local anesthesia by A Čretnik, M Kosanović, V Smrkolj – The Journal of foot and ankle surgery, 2004 – Elsevier

Comparison of surgically repaired Achilles tendon tears using platelet-rich fibrin matrices by M Sánchez, E Anitua, J Azofra, I Andía… – … American journal of …, 2007 – journals.sagepub.com

Percutaneous and open surgical repairs of Achilles tendon ruptures: a comparative study by JP Bradley, JE Tibone – The American Journal of Sports …, 1990 – journals.sagepub.com

The Football Association Medical Research Programme: an audit of injuries in professional football—analysis of preseason injuries by C Woods, R Hawkins, M Hulse… – British journal of sports …, 2002 – bjsm.bmj.com