I live in the Bronx and I partially ruptured my achilles tendon about 4 weeks ago, I was in plaster for a week and now the boot, my pain seems to be worse now than before. I also still have swelling and still a lot of bruising, is it possible they misdiagnosed?
Thanks for your question Samantha P from the Bronx. I obviously won’t be able to diagnose your injury over the internet, but I can tell you a few things. If you injured yourself while falling back onto a dorsiflexed foot or tried to push off hard and an MRI showed a partial tear of your Achilles Tendon, then there’s a good chance that your diagnosis is accurate. After being in a plaster cast for 4 weeks, it’s not uncommon to have pain, swelling, and bruising. Your circulation has been compromised for 4 weeks. This may seem counter-intuitive, but immobilization of an Achilles tear tends to be very effective. Now that you’re out of the cast, your leg has the opportunity to swell, which will also cause pain. If you’re cleared by your physician to do so, it’s a good idea to do ankle pumps and mobilize your ankle without putting any weight on it.
If you are suffering from edema, physical therapy can be an effective way to treat it. One technique is to massage the affected leg. A physical therapist will first elevate your leg above your heart so gravity can remove some fluid that is in the foot. The next step entails firmly but gently applying pressure, gradually moving up to the heart. If swelling is the issue, your physical therapist will focus on ways to relieve the pain. The implementation of methods such as iontophoresis, putting the leg in a brace, or ice, have been successful. Ultimately, a physical therapist can help you reduce the swelling/edema and progress your healing to your tolerance.
If you think you could benefit from physical therapy, consider Westchester Square Physical Therapy. With two locations in the Bronx, we can help you resume your daily routine pain-free. Our physical therapists have the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat your condition.
Ask your physician if that’s something they would recommend and have them give you a prescription for physical therapy.
Thanks for asking,
Daniel Seidler, PT