Recovering From A Surgically Repaired Achilles Tendon
Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Program
Physical therapy plays an important role in regaining motion, strength, flexibility and normal function following a repair surgery. A personalised rehabilitation program will ensure low risk of tendon re-rupture and other complications. Your therapist will educate, instruct and supervise you facilitating quick recovery.
Stretching & Flexibility Exercise
The intensity and progression of exercises is decided by your physical therapist who will guide you through the vigorous regimen. The exercises can be later performed unsupervised.
- Exercise #1 Plantar fascia Stretch
Sit on a flat surface with your legs extended and your knees stretched straight. Take a resistance band (towel will work fine as well) and place it around your injured leg in such a way that it rests just under your toes. Now, grab both the ends of the towel with your hands positioned above your knee and gently pull your foot back. Keep on pulling it until you achieve a comfortable stretch and hold that position for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
- Exercise #2 Calf Stretch
The calf stretch will help in increasing the flexibility of the entire calf muscle with a few simple steps. To perform the stretch, stand opposite a strong surface (eg. wall, countertop or a tree) to lean on and place your hands shoulder length apart. Now, move your right leg backwards while your left leg still remains in neutral position. Press your right heel into the ground, move your hips forward while slightly bending the left knee. You can feel a stretch in your right calf muscle. Press your heel until a comfortable stretch is achieved. Hold the stretch for 8-10 seconds and repeat 4-6 times.
- Exercise #3 Toe Stretch
To perform the toe stretch, sit in a chair with your legs in an extended such that only the heel touches the floor. Now, try and move your toe towards your body and away from the ground with support from your hands. Hold this stretched position for 10-12 seconds and then relax. Repeat this stretch 8-10 times.
- Exercise #4 Stair Stretch
To perform the exercise you will have to stand on a staircase with only the frontal part of the feet on the stairs while your heels remain suspended mid-air. Hold on to the staircase railing for support. Now, let your heels hang down from the stairs until you feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this position for 10-12 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. The exercise is generally recommended for a stiff Achilles tendon.
Rehabilitation is necessary for recovery form Achilles tendon injury, regardless of surgery. Dedication to the recovery program will get you going in no amount of time and prevent future injury.