Patient Information

Bones and joints leaflets

Plaster Room
Outpatients Department
Colchester Hospital
Tel: 01206 742 199


Treatment advice following a rupture of the Achilles tendon


A full cast is applied in the Emergency Department. This is strictly non-weight bearing, for a period of two weeks.

After two weeks, an orthopaedic specialist will examine your foot in the Outpatient Department.

Photograph of an Aircast boot

An Aircast boot will then be fitted, with three or four heel wedges to keep your foot in the desired position. This boot will be fully weight bearing with crutches, as comfort allows. It must be worn at all times, including at night, and removed only to change your sock and to allow careful skincare in the toes pointed position.

You should remove a single wedge every two weeks. The bottom wedge is the one to be removed. This should be done gradually over the course of the day because there will be soreness and stiffness. Do not force your foot onto the wedge but take your time because the ankle could be stiff.

You will have an outpatient follow-up appointment for two weeks after all the wedges have been removed (10–12 weeks after the boot fitting). The boot can then be replaced by a normal shoe with a heel raise insert to help prevent stress on the Achilles tendon. You will be referred to the Physiotherapy Department, where staff will guide you through the rehabilitation process.

During treatment you should ensure you bend and straighten your knee to prevent stiffness, as well as elevating the limb with your foot at heart height, or higher, to prevent swelling. If at any time it becomes very painful, stop weight bearing and rest the limb, because you may be doing too much on it.

If the pain does not subside, contact the Outpatient Department for an urgent appointment with your orthopaedic consultant or, if out of normal working hours, attend the Emergency Department.

If there are any technical difficulties with the boot, contact the Plaster Room.

If you need elbow crutches and have not been provided with any already, ask your GP to refer you to the Physiotherapy Department.


Useful numbers at Colchester Hospital

Plaster Room, Outpatient Department 01206 742 199
Physiotherapy Department 01206 742 550


Your NHS number

When you attend hospital you will be asked for your NHS number and other information, such as your address. Please be patient with this procedure – it is to ensure our records are kept up to date and to protect your safety. If you do not know your NHS number, please don’t worry, you will still receive care.


Comments, compliments or complaints about your care

Please raise any concerns in the ward or department you are in. Ask to speak with the ward sister, matron or department manager. If your concerns cannot be resolved or you wish to make a formal complaint, please look at the PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) page, call PALS on 0800 783 7328 or pick up a PALS leaflet at the hospital.


Your views

If you or a family member has recently been in Colchester Hospital, you can tell us about your experience by searching for ‘Colchester’ on the NHS Choices website, by writing to us or by filling in a ‘Friends & Family Test’ questionnaire.




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