How do I treat my Achilles tendon after surgery?
Have you had surgery on your Achilles tendon and want to know how this rehabilitation continues? Then you have come to the right place.
If your Achilles tendon is torn, for example, you can choose between two treatment options: conservative treatment and surgical treatment.
Conservative treatment does not require surgery on the tendon. Here, the tendon is kept continuously stretched by, for example, a splint or tape. When the tendon is stretched, the torn tendon ends touch each other, causing them to heal on their own.
In surgical treatment, the tendon ends are simply sutured. In the weeks after surgery, however, you must continue to treat the tendon properly. It is normal if you have post-operative pain. It is best to take paracetamol or another painkiller.
In both cases, it is important that you try to put as little strain on the Achilles tendon as possible. So, this means you should rest as much as possible and keep your foot stretched. After surgery, you will receive a plaster cast. Again, it is important that the tendon is stretched.
This can be done with (flexible) plaster or sports tape. During this treatment, the tendon is slowly brought back towards the '90 degree position'. You can have the tape applied by a physiotherapist, but it is also easy to do this yourself. Read how here:
- Measure the tape from the centre of the lower foot to the centre of the calf muscle and cut the ends around.
- Place one end in the middle of the lower foot, towards the heel, without stretching the tape.
- Now stretch the toes towards you and bring the tape from the heel over the Achilles tendon with a strong stretch to about the middle of the calf. Do not apply the last piece of tape yet.
- From the middle of the calf, reduce the stretch and stick the last piece without stretching.
- Finally, make sure the tape sticks by rubbing it well.
Moreover, after surgery, it is important that, in addition to the plaster cast or tape, you continue to walk on crutches to relieve the leg. This applies for the first six weeks. After these six weeks, the plaster or tape may come off. You may now start moving the leg again gently by doing exercises. If this goes well, you can gradually increase the weight of the exercises. Usually, after 12 weeks, the tendon has healed completely, and you can resume exercising. Make sure you build it up gradually and do not start heavy training straight away. If you are still experiencing pain, you can also choose to wear an Achilles tendon support.