Caring for Yourself after Repair for Achilles Tendon Rupture
You may remove the surgical dressing in 2 days. You will have removable sutures and steri strips (thin white tapes) on the incision. You should reapply a covering, e.g. large Band-Aids to the incision area as desired for comfort and reapply the ace wrap. Also, reapply the Bledsoe Boot.
Over the next two weeks remove the ace wrap and covering over the incision daily to inspect for signs of infection. Keep the incision clean and dry for two weeks. It is best that you keep the Bledsoe Boot on at all other times.
In two days you may shower with a plastic covering over your foot and the Bledsoe Boot. Tape the edges of the plastic wrap or bag securely. Do not let water run under the plastic to the boot or incision.
No swimming or water sports and no tub baths or whirlpools for four (4) weeks.
Keep your leg elevated as much as possible for at least of the first 72 hours (3 days) to reduce discomfort and swelling. Your leg should be elevated at least 2 to 3 inches higher than your heart level by using pillows for support. Avoid letting your leg dangle.
You may use ice also to reduce discomfort and swelling. With your leg elevated and secure you may release the Bledsoe Boot straps and place an ice pack within the boot and then rest the foot (with ace on) onto the ice pack for 20 minutes and then remove for at least one (1) hour—repeat as needed. An easy ice pack is bags of frozen peas or corn.
When up: continuous use of the Bledsoe Boot in locked plantar flexion at 20° to 30°, using crutches and touch down weight bearing for two (2) weeks.
Limit exercises to wiggling toes, flexing/extending at the knee, and quad sets for the first two (2) weeks. You will begin physical therapy as directed in two (2) weeks.
You will be given prescriptions for medications to reduce pain and swelling. Please use the medications as directed. If you receive a ‘nerve block’ anesthesia you will receive more instructions regarding your care before going home.
When to call the Doctor
Call if you have any of the symptoms listed:
- Red, hot incision
- Pus-like foul smelling drainage from incision
- Temperature above 100.4°F for 2 readings that are taken 4 hours apart
- Bleeding which increases over an hours’ time
- Calf tenderness or swelling, or warm reddened area noted to the calf of either leg
Follow up care and phone numbers
You will be scheduled for a follow –up clinic visit with your doctor for 2 weeks.
Please call if you have any questions or problems.
Dr. Keene, Dr. Graf, Dr. Baer and Dr. Orwin’s patients call:
Sports Medicine Clinic (608) 263-8850, Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm
Evenings, weekends and holidays: Call (608) 262-0486. This will give you the paging operator. Ask for the orthopedic resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with area code and the doctor will call you back.
If you are calling from out of the area, please call: 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/09/2009
Copyright © 08/25/2009 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6940
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