Physiotherapy can be started after approval by the orthopedist, which normally happens about 3 weeks after surgery. At this stage, the person must still be immobilized, but techniques can be used to accelerate healing, such as ultrasound and massage to reorganize the tendon's collagen fibers, preventing the formation of fibrosis points.
After the orthopedist is released to remove the immobilization, stretching and strengthening exercises can definitely be started, which can happen between 6 and 8 weeks after the surgery.
The treatment must be divided into phases:
While you are wearing an immobilization splint
Some resources that can be used are Tens, Ultrasound, use of ice, massage and stretching exercises and passive mobilization to release all ankle movements, but still without putting the weight of the body completely on the foot.
After treatment, the splint should be put back on and the person should still not put their weight on the affected foot, using crutches to walk.
After removing the immobilization splint
In addition to resources such as ice with tens, if you are still in pain, ultrasound and massage, you can start calf stretching exercises and active movement of the foot up and down in a sitting position. Picking up marbles with your toes and wrinkling a towel also helps improve toe movement.
At this stage, after the orthopedist releases the person, the person can put the weight of the body on the foot and start using only 1 crutch to walk, serving only as support.
To start strengthening your muscles
After removing the crutches and being able to put the weight completely on the feet, it is normal that there is still restriction of movement in the ankle and the person feels insecure to return to their activities.
At this stage, some exercises that can be indicated are putting a tennis ball under the foot and rolling under the soles of the feet, from front to back. Resistance exercises with elastic bands are also indicated.
When ankle movement allows, you can stay on the stationary bike for 20 minutes, as long as there is no pain. Squat exercises, going up and down stairs can also be indicated.
Each person recovers in a way and therefore the treatment may vary from one person to another. Placing ice and having an ultrasound after exercise may be indicated to reduce pain and discomfort at the end of each session.