An Achilles tear is a serious and painful injury to endure.
On Monday Night Football, fans witnessed Jets star quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffer the injury in his team debut against the Buffalo Bills. An MRI later confirmed the worst for the 39-year-old quarterback, putting an end to his 2023 season.
Here, we break down Achilles injuries and how long they take to heal:
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How long can an Achilles injury take to heal?
If the injury is treated properly, an Achilles injury can take 4 to 6 months to heal before people can return to normal activity.
Can athletes fully recover from torn Achilles?
Before going back to professional sports, it can take a year or more for athletes to be back in full form.
Additionally, the risk of a recurrent rupture increases. The returning athlete may have reduced strength and endurance by as much as 30% compared to uninjured players.
There have been a handful of Achilles tears in the NFL over the years. A recent example is Bears' running back Tarik Cohen during the 2022 offseason.
The 28-year-old announced he was attempting an NFL comeback after being cleared to play in August 2023.
Other examples include Giants' James Robinson and Ravens' Justice Hill both in 2021. Each made it back on the field.
While these athletes suffered the injury early in their careers, NBA legend Kobe Bryant sustained a torn Achilles tendon at the age of 34 and was sidelined a little under 8 months.
How do you know if your Achilles is damaged?
An injury to the Achilles tendon is caused when it's stretched too far.
Oftentimes, a snapping, cracking, or popping sound is heard and the person will feel a sharp pain along the back of the ankle or leg.
Other indicators of injury to the area include difficulty walking up stairs or standing on your toes. There could also be bruising and swelling in the area,
Can you still walk with Achilles tear?
People with the injury can typically still walk.
Other movements, like walking up stairs, will likely cause discomfort.
How do you treat an Achilles injury?
Doctors oftentimes recommend those who suffer an Achilles injury be immobilized for two or three weeks after the diagnosis, along with icing and leg elevation.
A walking boot is also recommended to keep pressure off the injury for normal walking along with crutches.
Eventually, physical therapy is recommended to strengthen the calf muscles and work on low-impact exercise alternatives. Shockwave therapy can also be used by professionals to stimulate the healing process of damaged tendon tissue.
Is Aaron Rodgers out for the season?
Rodgers is out for the remainder of the Jets' season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon against the Bills.