JD2016’s AchillesBlog

Just another AchillesBlog.com weblog

My Achilles Journey

Filed under: Uncategorized — JD2016 at 10:58 pm on Monday, March 21, 2016

Hey Everyone. This is my first time blogging about anything….so here it goes. Like many of you, my life has been extremely affected by this experience, and I worry that it will never be quite the same by the time this all over with. I was a division one college athlete who never missed a practice, workout, or match. I had never had a surgery or really any major illnesses or health issues. When I was 28, I started experiencing locking and popping in my right knee. Assuming I was just getting old, I pushed through it and continued to play adult league volleyball, basketball, and any other sport that came available to me. Eventually, I had to have microfracture surgery, from which I developed a blood clot and was on blood thinners for six months. After a long stint in physical therapy, I finally began to regain my athleticism. I was running and playing basketball, tennis, jumping rope, everything. I told my old team that I was ready to play volleyball again. I played my first volleyball set with confidence and pure joy. I could play again! Everything was great! The second set began, and I took one step off the net and felt like someone had kicked me in the back of the ankle. I hit the ground hard and was instantly surrounded by concerned teammates. I continuously asked them what happened and who had kicked me. They replied that nobody was even near me. Most everyone was worried about my knee, but as I evaluated where the pain was coming from, I came to a horrible realization that I had just blown out my Achilles’ tendon.

I was lucky enough to have surgery the very next day, and I was relieved to learn that mine had not “rolled up” into my calf like the horror stories I had heard from other athletes who had experienced this debilitating injury. The outlook was good, but I started questioning why this had happened to me. I was probably in the best shape I’d been in since my early post-college days. In the hospital, my mom began Googling causes of Achilles’ tendon ruptures. It was then that we learned the frustrating and despicable information. The antibiotic Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) causes weakness and tearing of the tendons, particularly the Achilles’ tendon. I could not believe my ears. I had been on Cipro for two weeks before I tore my Achilles and had probably taken Cipro at least 5 times throughout my life. My doctor never warned me about this side effect. My pharmacist never warned me about this side effect. There is no warning on the bottle. I had never heard of an antibiotic causing anything like this. We frantically checked the informational packet that I received from the pharmacy when picking up the pills. Yep, there it was. The NUMBER ONE side effect. The first sentence. Why didn’t I read the packet? Why is this drug even prescribed?? Who knew that a common antibiotic could cause such a horrific, life-altering injury??? I was so angry. Angry with myself, angry with my doctor, angry with my pharmacist, but mostly angry with the drug company, Bayer, who as I further investigated, has begrudgingly added two black box warnings to the drug. My packet didn’t have any black boxes. It just had a list of side effects in tiny print that I should have read, but I had figured my doctor would tell me about any side effects more serious than an unalarming headache, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Research “floxies” and read their stories if you want to learn more.

After accepting the fact that I faced yet another 6-8 month long recovery after just rehabilitating my knee, I focused all of my energy on getting better. I took magnesium and collatrim and did leg lifts and iced like crazy. I was in a soft cast, so it was nice to be able to take that off occasionally to shower and shave. I got a knee scooter, which has been awesome. I highly recommend that if your doctor approves. I did everything I was supposed to do. I kept most of my routines and stayed as social as possible, mostly for the sake of my sanity, while making sure not to overdo it. The big day finally came for me to get my boot and begin walking. I was put in a boot that restricted my full flexion. I had to continue to use the crutches because it was a little awkward to walk with my foot at that angle. I was in the boot for three days and was looking forward to ditching the crutches completely.

Then….I fell. I was on a tile floor, and for some reason, it was wet. I didn’t notice and slipped and slammed down my boot to try to prevent face planting into the wall. I don’t remember everything that happened, but I felt a pop and extreme pain in my Achilles and my ankle. I assumed I had ruptured again and would need surgery. I was devastated. That pretty much leads me to where I am today. I had to get x-rays and an MRI. My doctor does not believe I completely re-ruptured because I passed the Thompson test every time he did it. I’ve seen the MRI and struggle to believe it is not at least partially re-ruptured. The x-ray technician saw a small fracture in my ankle bone, but my doctor said he does not see a fracture at all. My doctor put me in a hard cast to allow any disruptions I’ve caused to heal, and I’m back to nwb for three weeks. I have some extreme pain in my heel and arch of my foot. I don’t really know what to think except that I feel like I ruined everything! Reading everyone’s blogs has been therapeutic to me because I know that I will recover some day. Trying to stay positive is harder than ever, but I think I can do this. Thanks for letting me vent my feelings.



Comment by lunchlady

March 27, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

I am so grateful that I came across your blog. I had Achilles surgery, haglunds deformity(spur) and heel spur removed March 22. Before I even made it to the door of my home after surgery I fell. I felt so very stupid. Went to the Dr the next day and he took essays said every thing was okay. Get home, feeling pretty good, I decided to wash up and change clothes. Lost my balance and stepped on my surgery got really hard. I am really worried. I have an appointment tomorrow. Will let you know…


Comment by lunchlady

March 27, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

X rays not essays damn auto correct. Although he could write essays on all of my stupid mistakes. Another blog site perhaps.


Comment by JD2016

March 27, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that. Best of luck with your appointment tomorrow. I hope everything turns out okay. How did you know you had a heel spur? Did it show up on the x-ray or an MRI?


Comment by metonia

April 1, 2016 @ 2:50 pm

Jilld. Everyone vents at one time or other. It’s good for the soul. The first few weeks always seem the hardest and longest, then recovery just seems looonnngggg. Finding a distraction helps pass the down time. I don’t know how we survived without computers and internet lol.

Hang in there and keep us posted. Best Wishes on your recovery.


Comment by metonia

April 1, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

Jilld, also keep a watch on that possible heel fracture. I had one years ago that also went un-diagnosed and it eventually became the cause of my own haglands spur and need for surgery.


Comment by Kevin

April 3, 2016 @ 11:40 am

Jilld, wishing you the best with phase 2 of your recovery. Hopefully one thing that may help you through this is perspective. As difficult as it may be, try to remember that this is temporary. Definitely not ahort, but also not permanent. You will recover and will be fully able to enjoy your active lifestyle once again. All the best.


Comment by pozaicer

April 3, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

Jilld, keep the spirits up. your story is hard, just like the rest of ours. i think i can see myself in you, what my consultant said was that we are the victims of our own athleticism in our younger years…

irrespective of the cause, good luck with bayer if you decide to take them on, this is difficult, frustrating and life changing, so try to harness the opportunity to find that newer and more complete self that can come out of this.




Comment by JD2016

April 3, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

Thank you so much for your support! I’m so glad you mentioned the Hagland’s spur because after researching it thoroughly, I think I can rule it out as the cause of my pain. I think my issue may have more to do with the plantar fascia. I see my doctor April 13th, and I am nwb in the cast anyway, so I guess I’ll just wait to see what the doc says. I’m so glad you are able to climb stairs now! Achieving those milestones is so exciting!

[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.


Comment by JD2016

April 3, 2016 @ 2:32 pm

Thanks! It really helps to read uplifting comments like yours!

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Comment by JD2016

April 3, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

I explored the idea of a lawsuit, but my lawyer stated that we would lose for a variety of reasons, so I’ve decided to deal with my fate and try to spread the word about Cipro to as many people as I can. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m actually having a difficult time finding your blog to read. Is there an easy way to search people who comment on your page? Thanks!

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Comment by pozaicer

April 3, 2016 @ 3:44 pm


indeed, it’s a bit of a nightmare to even contemplate such challenges with big pharma. so sorry to hear that, but glad you are positive with the rest!

i’ve been a terrible ATR fellow tribe member (as manny calls us) and not set up my blog. i’ve had several posts detailing my story under ‘pozaicer’ in the following page http://achillesblog.com/about/ (if this doesn’t take you to it then try the ‘third link down from the left hand side menu entitled ‘Your Achilles Tendon Rupture (ATR) and Recovery’). the other way of searching for people is by using the name in the search box, that will allow you to bring all instances where a contribution under such name has been made. i’ve posted venting opinions, some success stories and a bit of random stuff.

that’s the ‘easiest’ way to find it! sorry! i have promised myself i will pull it all together once i have some time over the summer.


Comment by Sallie

April 7, 2016 @ 3:19 pm

Your comments about your anger upon discovering Cipro caused your tendon blowout really resonated with me. My experience was like yours . . . Cipro was prescribed to me 3 times in 2015. I was (am) absolutely furious that this med is prescribed so often and so carelessly.

I had surgery 6 weeks ago and am still in the boot. No one could understand how this old lady had been able to blow out an achilles tendon. It’s an athlete’s injury. But, since I was in rehab at the time recovering from knee replacement surgery for both knees, thought that was the cause. My new PT was certain I couldn’t have exercised enough to injure the achilles and told me to check if I’d taken Cipro. You can imagine how frustrated I’ve been to go through the knee replacements so that I would be able to walk again, then discover I’d need surgery for the achilles with its even longer recovery period.

But the good news is that we will get better and walk again although patience is really necessary to get through it all. Hang in!


Comment by JD2016

April 26, 2016 @ 8:55 pm


I’m so sorry to hear that you were “floxed” by Cipro as well. All we can do is spread the word. How is your recovery? If you knee replacement recovery affected by your Achilles? If you’re like me, therapy is now your social life. Best of luck. Keep your head up and stay positive.


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Comment by Billie Harman

July 4, 2017 @ 1:52 am

So sorry you have had to go through all of this. What caught my eye was your use of Cipro before this happened. I had pneumonia and was given a drug called levofloxacin (it’s part of a group of drugs called fluoroquinolons, examples are Levaquin, Cipro). Shortly after starting the anabiotic I developed some severe pain over my Achilles tendon and up into my calf. I thought maybe I had developed a blood clot and was seen in the emergency room where the ER doc knew exactly what it was saying did you know that that drug you’re on can cause a rupture of the Achilles tendon. Oh I thought that was pretty crazy but she immediately put me in a boot had me at that my primary care doctors the next morning followed by an MRI and it turned out I had 50% tear of my Achilles tendon. I am lucky but I do hobble around in my boot wondering what I should be doing. My service specialist ankle/Achilles tendon surgeon thinks it’s best if my case to use non-surgical approach. But already the effect it’s had in my life is tremendous. Re-with people above that it’s not worth a lawsuit for a number of reasons but besides giving my doctor the feedback I reported it to the FDA They are keeping records of these things and want to know about cases that in particular are directly related to the anabiotic’s and that could have a long reaching effects and affect how they label and handle that drug in the future. - wraps in the future affect legal situations. So one of my big goals is to get that news out there too And to start learning more about the Achilles tendon and treatment so I can have more informed decisions about how to best treat it and prevent a rupture. So any suggestions for a beginner here would be appreciated. I’m so glad to find you and to learn and share whateverybody else is going through

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