I went to the doctor today for my follow-up check-up after having surgery three months ago for a torn Achilles tendon. I am still afraid to try and rise up on my toes to check the strength of the repair. How can I get over this fear?
The first thing to find out is whether your surgeon has given you the go-ahead to try supporting your weight on the operative side. The surgeon takes into consideration several factors when making this decision. There's your age, weight, and severity of the injury to consider. The surgeon also knows what type of surgery was done, how extensive the injury was, and the condition of the damaged tendon after repair.
If he or she thinks you have enough tensile strength to support the load of your weight, then it's safe to proceed ahead. Before attempting single-leg toe-raises, you can try double-leg toe raises. By rising up on the toes of both feet together at the same time, you off-load the surgical site by at least 50 per cent. Use a support to hold on to (e.g., chair or fixed surface like a kitchen counter top) when starting these exercises.
Start with one to three toe rises the first day. If you don't experience any problems or severe pain by the next day, repeat the experiment and increase the number of repetitions by two. A day later, add two more toe raises. Gradually reduce the amount of support you are giving yourself. By the time you can do 10 double-leg toe raises easily, you'll be ready to try a single-leg toe raises.
Now repeat the same sequence of performing one to three single-leg toe raises, first on the uninvolved leg and then on the involved side. Use your support at the start and gradually reduce your reliance on it. You'll probably be able to do many more repetitions on the good side. Add a few more single-leg toe rises every day until you can do at least 10 without pain, without difficulty, and without support.
Athletes in training will probably want to continue this exercise until they can do 20 unsupported double- and single-toe raises. Again, make sure your surgeon approves this plan before proceeding.
Tadahiko Yotsumoto, MD, PhD, et al. Novel Approach to Repair of Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. February 2010. Vol. 38. No. 2. Pp. 287-292.
*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.