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Getting Active Again After an Achilles Tendon Injury

Have you suffered from an ankle injury lately — particularly to your Achilles tendon? Are you afraid of resuming your normal activities, for fear of injuring yourself again? It’s always good to be cautious, but you can learn for sure whether or not you’re ready if you have your injury evaluated by an experienced podiatrist. 

Dr. Gary Kazmer at Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers, with two locations in Illinois, can create a customized treatment plan for you based on your symptoms and the extent of your injury.

Common reasons people injure their Achilles tendons

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It connects your heel bone to the back of your foot and lower leg muscles, enabling you to rotate and flex your ankles and feet. This makes the Achilles tendon pretty important — you wouldn’t be mobile without it! Many people injure it playing sports or wearing uncomfortable shoes. It’s also common to injure the Achilles tendon from bone spurs, arthritis, and even having an odd foot shape.

Becoming active after injury

Before resuming your normal physical activities, you’ll want to get clearance from Dr. Kazmer that your healed ankle can handle it. Generally speaking, however, patients who have surgery to heal an injured tendon follow this recovery process: 

2 weeks post-surgery

The stitches and splint will be removed, and you will be given a medical boot. Still, you should avoid putting any weight on the foot, so you’ll need crutches to get around. 

4 weeks post-surgery

A physical therapist will help you re-learn how to move your ankle without the boot. You will also learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles in your leg. 

6-8 weeks post-surgery

You may be able to start standing on the injured foot again, but only for short amounts of time. You may be approved for some light activities such as short bike rides or swimming. 

4-6 months post-surgery

If your healing process is going well, then you should be able to return with caution to your normal life. However, Dr. Kazmer may not consider you completely healed until one year post-surgery.

Getting active without surgery

You may require a boot or other medical device on your foot even if you don’t have surgery. Some devices can even be worn inside your normal shoes. It helps to reduce stress on the recovering tendon by keeping your heel elevated and by practicing any rehabilitative exercises recommended by Dr. Kazmer or a physical therapist.

Learn more about getting active post-injury

If you are recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and want to make sure you’re receiving proper care, you can schedule an appointment at Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers. For the Elgin location, call 847-250-1602. For the Barrington location, call 847-250-1611. You can also book an appointment at both locations online.

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