Achilles Rupture Rehab — A Closer Look

 

 

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that being injured or sick is the worst. It leaves us feeling uncomfortable, uncertain about the future, and—if you’re anything like me—the idle time is enough to drive you up the wall. So how do we cope?

We look for other people going through the same thing.

Sure, authoritative clinical content helps educate us about these injuries and ailments; but little of this content communicates the experiences real patients have during the recovery and rehabilitation phases of their injuries.

That’s what makes the following use case so compelling. Watch the video below for a real-world example of the way advanced physical therapy techniques like unloading can accelerate recovery from severe injuries like a ruptured Achilles tendon:

As with many injuries, this man’s Achilles tear was the result of an accident: he slipped and fell. The ¾ tear required surgery, and after a week of recovery time the patient was put into a boot, and was unable to walk on the injured foot as he arrived at his rehab facility.

Then he jumped on the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™.

HOW DOES UNWEIGHTING HELP AFTER ACHILLES TENDON REPAIRS?

So, what is it about AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill technology that allows patients suffering from severe injuries like Achilles tears to accelerate their rehab cycle? The answer is unweighting.

This innovative approach offers a few key advantages for rehabilitation programs:

  • Precise reduction of body-weight impact during walking exercises
  • Close monitoring of pain levels
  • Improve balance control
  • Reduce risk of pain and joint degeneration from overuse in the unaffected leg
  • Incremental reintroduction of bodyweight load
  • Normalize gait patterns

Unweighting also requires the right tool. Many turn to the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which uses NASA-developed Differential Air Pressure (DAP) and Stride Smart technology to deliver the advantages listed above. The AlterG has been shown to improve and accelerate recovery time in a variety of use cases, from Achilles tendon ruptures and sports injuries, to ankle and ACL reconstruction.

Just look at our good friend from the video above: by the second week of his Achilles tendon injury, he was walking with 100% body weight. At seven weeks removed, he was walking around without a walking boot and could return to activities, all thanks to power of unweighting.

Of course, unweighting is no miracle cure; but applied correctly, using the right technology, unweighting can be a powerful way to rehab smart and accelerate recovery.

For further information, check out our Achilles tendon rehabilitation protocol and general guidelines for patient care with the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.