One of the most common questions that patients ask after a sports or exercise injury is whether they can return to that activity after the injury or surgery. In fact, it is largely why sports medicine exists as a field in the first place. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer that question and address the challenges of returning to sports after a particularly difficult ankle injury – an Achilles tendon rupture.

Mike Austin – Chicago, IL
Good evening Dr. Geier. I am a 28-year-old active male who sustained an Achilles rupture 1 year ago playing basketball. At 9 months post op, I was back to playing basketball when I tore my lateral meniscus in the same leg I had the Achilles surgery. Would you recommend removal of the damaged meniscus, and do you recommend staying away from basketball after these two types of injuries at my age? I would love to continue playing if my body would stay together. Any tips or input would be greatly appreciated.

I have discussed some of the challenges with return to sports after meniscus surgery previously, so I thought I would address the Achilles tendon rupture in this video.

An Achilles tendon rupture can be one of the most difficult injuries that an athlete can face. Very often it requires surgery to repair the tendon, followed by a period of immobilization. Then the athlete must regain ankle range of motion and leg strength, which can also be challenging. Return to the same level of sports or exercise that he experienced prior to the injury is possible, but it is not guaranteed. Many athletes feel that it takes up to a year or more before that leg feels normal or like the other side does.

In this video, I explain why these injuries can be so challenging.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Should an athlete retire to avoid another injury?
Sports medicine stats: Achilles tendon ruptures

Soccer player with Achilles tendon rupture

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