Recovery Time for a Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Updated April 17, 2017

When the Achilles tendon ruptures, walking normally is virtually impossible. The Achilles tendon is the fibrous cord that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Recovery time varies depending on the type of treatment.

Symptoms of a Ruptured Achilles tendon

Ruptures of the Achilles tendon usually occur while playing sports or running. Symptoms of a ruptured Achilles tendon include pain and swelling above the heel bone, not being able to push your foot forward, difficulty walking, and not being able to stand on your toes.


If a ruptured Achilles tendon is suspected, you should seek prompt medical attention. Your doctor will feel for a gap in your tendon and they may order an MRI to see if it is a full or partial rupture.

Surgery Recovery Time

Usually surgery is recommended and the recovery time is six to eight weeks before being able to walk without a boot, cast or brace.

Non-surgical Recovery Time

Without surgery, the initial healing time varies on the person and on the completeness of the rupture, but it can take up to six months.

Complete Recovery

With both surgical and non-surgical treatment, after the initial healing period, it can take four to six months of physical therapy for complete recovery.

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About the Author

Rebecca Johnson has been a public-sector technical trainer since 1996. Along with creating training materials, she specializes in technical writing and how-to documentation for computer software. Johnson is a Microsoft-certified master instructor and holds a bachelor's degree in communicating technology.