Protocols to Follow After Achilles Tendon Surgery:
Following Achilles tendon surgery, weight must be introduced to the ankle gradually. This is done in order to prevent injury to the newly repaired or reconstructed tendon. If weight is applied too quickly, it may cause damage to the injured/surgical site in addition to the potential of creating new problems.
- Bathroom scale
- Protective boot or shoe
- Standard crutches (in some cases a walker may be used).
- **Patient’s that have used a knee scooter will need to use crutches for this transition.
Weight bearing typically happens over 2, 4 or 6 week period or sooner in some cases. This is determined by your physician, based on your injury and healing status. You should follow the protocols as closely as possible and notify our staff if you are having difficulty or if the pain worsens.
It is natural to have slight increase in discomfort between stages as well as small increase in swelling. (In the event you were provided with 2 protocols, we recommend attempting the faster progression if you feel comfortable. If this protocol feels too fast the slower protocol may be used to avoid increases in pain.)
Use a bathroom scale to calculate your total weight. Then reference the percentage of body weight to be placed on the injured leg as per your protocol. As you walk, the protective boot and crutches will work together striking the ground. Your arms and crutches will take the remaining load of the body that you are not placing through the injured leg at your current stage. We generally recommend becoming full weight-bearing in the boot prior to any of our boot weaning protocols.
Generally, when patients are placing between 50 and 75% of the weight on the injured leg they are able to transition to using 1 crutch or cane on the opposite side. It is often helpful for patient’s to mark the days on her calendar to help them follow progression accordingly.
How to Walk on Crutches