One of the most painful and challenging injuries for an active person from their thirties to fifties is an Achilles tendon rupture. Most patients end up undergoing surgery, but it can take a long time for the tendon to feel normal. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss recovery and return to exercise like jogging after you tear your Achilles tendon.

Nola asks:
I am a 40-year-old female who ruptured my Achilles playing basketball 6 months ago. Will it ever feel the same as my other foot again? Running is still difficult and there is pain.

An Achilles tendon rupture is a traumatic tear of the Achilles tendon that connects the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle complex in the calf to the calcaneus (heel bone) in the foot. While surgical and nonsurgical treatments are debated in the general population, surgeons generally repair the Achilles tendon in high-level athletes.

Illustration showing injuries of the Achilles tendon

Regardless of whether you have surgery or choose to treat the tear without surgery, wearing a boot or using a cast, you have to get the tendon to heal before you can start aggressive physical activities. Often physical therapy can help you get ankle range of motion and calf strength back in the months after you tear your Achilles tendon.

As I discuss in the video above, though, it can take a long time for the tendon to feel normal. Weakness on the injured side can persist for months, making activities like jogging difficult. Often it can take a year or more for the legs to feel equal.

Also read:
Return to sports after Achilles tendon rupture
How to know if you need surgery for an injury

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.