Burning Pain After Achilles Tendon Surgery

Share this article:

It’s expected to have some burning pain after Achilles tendon surgery. If your current prescribed medication isn’t helping, you can discuss adjusting your medication for comfort with your doctor. You can also practice some physical therapy at home to reduce the pain or use an ice pack. Applying an ice pack to the heel for 15-20 mins should bring relief. Although the surgery is quick and you can go home after the operation, you still can’t start walking immediately. It takes about 8-10 weeks to walk, depending on the person.

Burning of the Achilles tendon can also be called tendonitis or tendinopathy in medical circles. It is a process of tissue relapse resulting from an inciting focus or tissue damage.

The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord on the back of the leg. It is the largest tendon in the body, and it helps connect the calf muscles to the heel. This tendon’s connection makes it possible for you to walk, run, and jump.

A doctor performs Achilles tendon repair surgery to correct a damaged Achilles tendon. The damage can be a tear or break from a sudden (acute) injury. It can also be due to overuse, wear, tear, or other conditions. This long-term injury or inflammation is also known as tendonitis or tendinopathy.

Does achilles tendon surgery causes pain afterward

You may feel pain after Achilles surgery, especially in the first few days. Your doctor will give you medicine (pain relievers) to help with pain relief with medication like ibuprofen.

It would help if you kept your leg elevated as much as possible after the surgery. That can help ease inflammation and pain. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a high fever or chills or if your ankle or calf pain worsens.

Your surgeon can replace your splint with a cast. If that happens, follow all instructions for keeping the cast dry. Your surgeon may give you a special boot instead of the cast, which you can put on or take off for hygiene purposes.

A woman is getting help using crutches for the first time after her recent Achilles tendon surgery

You will probably have to use crutches. The crutches help you move without putting weight on the affected leg while the tendon heals. You may need help at home during your recovery.

Make sure you go to see your surgeon after the surgery. Typically, about 10 to 14 days after your surgery. You will need to return to see the surgeon and let him help you remove the stitches.

Surgery aftercare

If a non-dissolving thread were the initial thread used for the surgery, the doctor would remove it. But until the removal, you have to change the bandage every 3-4 days; that is, you change the plaster. The doctor will inform you if you need to check between the wounds.

So as not to get the bandage wet, you can shower from the 3rd postop. Doing this means you should raise your leg above your heart level. You can also extend it horizontally while sitting on a chair, but you need to be sure it is high enough.

You can only make the operated leg take a light load of about 20kg at most when wearing the orthosis. In the first 6 weeks, the orthosis is in a heel wedge lift and thus relieves the suture of the tendon.

The orthosis is then removed 8 weeks after the surgery. But until then, you should use anti-thrombosis injections. An example of the one you can use is the Clexane 40, and you use it at least once a day.

In the 3rd and 8th weeks after the surgery, you will have to meet your orthopedic surgeon for a check-up. This check-up will tell if you can resume independent driving.

It is possible to continue driving 8-10 weeks after removing the bandage shoe. You can also start trying to work, but that depends on your occupation, and it varies with each type.

If you are working in the office, you can resume 2 weeks after the check-up shows your Achilles is okay. But if you have to stand and walk a lot during work, the duration of resumption extends to 10-12 weeks.

In cases where your work has to do with heavy physical activities like carpentry, bricklaying, and many more, you stay till 16 weeks after the check-up.

Physical therapy after surgery

The doctor can also tell you to engage in physical therapy after the surgery. This therapy also helps you to reduce burning pains after Achilles tendon surgery. The routine of the physical treatment is in weeks schedule, and we list the procedure below:

Week 1-3:

  • Gait training on forearm crutches (20kg partial load in the 30° pointed foot orthosis)
  • Mobilization of the adjacent joints, loosening of the shoulder and arm
  • If necessary, lymphatic drainage
  • Ice treatments

Week 4-6:

  • Foot in the 15° Equinus foot position, load half bodyweight with the orthosis
  • Mobilization of the adjacent joints, loosening of the shoulder and arm
  • Ice treatments
  • If necessary, lymphatic drainage

Week 6-8:

  • Foot in 0° position, full load with the orthosis
  • Active assistive movement exercise of the foot out of the orthosis
  • Isometric muscle strengthening of the calf muscle
  • If necessary, lymphatic drainage

Week 8 and above:

  • Full load without the orthosis
  • Increasingly demanding training of the calf and foot stabilizing muscles
  • Instructions for self-exercise
  • Increasingly more demanding training of the proprioception
  • Start stretching exercises

What is Haglund’s syndrome

Haglund syndrome is the painful presentation of insertional calcification of the Achilles tendon. It is a disease characterized by an exostosis (abnormal bone growth) in the Achilles tendon insertion at the back of the heel.

The impact continued on the ground while running or other sports practice increases the stress on the Achilles tendon.

This stress, together with the continuous friction of the shoe and not performing the correct stretches, can cause a shortening in the back muscles of the leg. It also increases the incidence of this pathology.

The predisposing factors to this pathology are:

  • When shoes are too tight with a rigid buttress increases friction in the heel area
  • An increased plantar arch (typical of cavus feet) that favors the tension of the posterior chain
  • Shortening of the posterior muscles

What happens if the Achilles tendonitis goes untreated?

You are at risk for an Achilles tendon rupture when you have tendonitis. You can help prevent further problems and keep the day with stretching and strengthening exercises; these exercises help your foot stay flexible and strong.

If you still feel a lot of pain after the activities or the tendonitis does not heal. Surgery may be necessary in your case because it may mean that your Achilles tendon has torn and separated.

It would help if you had the Achilles tendon to extend your toes and push off as you walk. If your Achilles tendon is not corrected, you may have trouble climbing stairs or standing on the balls of your feet.

FAQs

Why does my Achilles have a burning sensation?

The burning pain behind the heel is Achilles tendonitis. It can also affect the inside or outside of the heel and foot. Often, the pain is not due to injury.

It’s usually soft at first, but it can become painful and sometimes disabling with time. It usually goes away without treatment, but sometimes it can persist and become chronic.

Does Achilles tendonitis appear in all?

Achilles tendonitis appears mainly in Athletics. But, a child, a model, and an older adult, whose connective and ligamentous tissue has lost its former elasticity, can get the pathology.

There can be various causes, such as a sudden increase in duration or intensity of training, not stretching the area, training harsh surfaces or steep slopes, or wearing inappropriate shoes.

How long should you elevate your leg after Achilles surgery?

It is recommended to use a 2 cm rise on both feet to relax the Achilles tendon. The primary aim is to make sure the leg goes beyond your heart level. It makes it heal quickly because the heel won’t feel much load pressure on it.

The surgeon will allow you to race if the evolution is good, about 8 or 10 weeks after the surgery.

How long will I have the pain after Achilles surgery?

During the first 4-8 weeks, it is expected that there may be pain. This pain occurs in the back area with inflammation and certain redness.

Weakness and lameness are also common when you walk after removing the orthosis. In many cases, recovery after an Achilles tendon surgery can take about 8-12 weeks.

If you want to reduce the pain after the surgery, the doctor can give you a pain reliever. You can also apply an ice pack on the surface area of the leg for 10 minutes to decrease the swelling and pain.

Conclusion

You might be wondering how a surgery that took 1 hour and didn’t make you feel anything during the process has a burning pain afterward. This painless feeling was because the surgeon gave you anesthesia.

It could be general or spinal anesthesia, but you will sleep regardless of the one you were given. The spinal anesthesia will not only sleep but also feel no pain.

However, burning pain after the surgery is normal. The pain will relieve you if you keep to your after-surgery physical therapy.

Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.
Read more
The Heart & Brain

We’re proud to be a team of writers who are truly passionate about all things health.

Coming together from all parts of the world, we share a common goal of helping serve many with our comprehensive research and clear writing style. Learn more.

About us

About us

Contact Us