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I had my last follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon this week (week 20, if you’re counting). It took all of three minutes and most of that was taking my shoe and sock off.

“Looks good,” he said, “Questions?” His bedside manner is too blunt for most, but I like to think that he knows I’m not one for small talk.

I only had two questions: When can I start running and what signs should I watch for that I’m pushing too hard? He said I can start running - light jogging to start - at week 26.  If I’m pushing too hard, I’ll either pull my calf muscle (because it’s still relatively weak) or experience soreness similar to the first month post-op.

I’m about a third of the way toward achieving my goal of 20 one-legged calf raises. I can do 9-10 reps now, but I’m not really getting all the way up on my toes. Nothing to do but keep working on it!

That’s the new goal. I flirted with the idea of running a mile (this after walking a mile at the 90-day mark), but I’m about to go on a long vacation and jogging isn’t my idea of a vacation. And so calf raises it is, 20 of them, on one leg.

At the moment, I can only do three. Kind of freaky how difficult it is! Part of it is getting over the fear that it’s going to rupture again with all of my weight on one leg. Part of it is getting stronger. Much stronger.

In other news, my handicapped parking pass expired just when I was getting used to rock star parking in front of every restaurant - damn! And I had another appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. It took him five minutes to say everything looks fine and to come back in another six weeks.

After seeing me twice a week for five weeks, Meghan dumped me. I knew it was trouble when she told me to sit down, “I need to talk to you.”

“I read through your chart,” she said, flipping through my chart as she said it, finding it easier than looking at me. “You’ve been making great progress and I think you’ve reached a point where I can’t really help you anymore. I could continue to see you, but I’d only be running you through exercises that you can easily do yourself now. It’s time for you to move on.”

My initial reaction was disappointment. I look forward to my PT sessions and associated my therapist with a rapidly improving Achilles tendon. We still had two more sessions to go?! And then I broke out laughing at the absurdity of my feelings - Meghan was in fact “breaking up” with me, but it was a good thing because it meant that I’d cleared another hurdle in my ATR recovery.

She was laughing too, and we laughed even harder when she said that I could still drop by any time if I needed another session. Yes, we can still be friends. ;)

I’m happy to report that my 90 day trick is a done deal! Just 90 days after my ATR surgery, I was able to walk a limp-free mile. There was no magic involved, just a lot of diligence in following doctor’s orders and doing the physical therapy.

I’ve got a treadmill in the basement, so here are the details. I walked for 30 minutes at 3.5 mph. That actually ends up being more than a mile - 1.6 to be exact - but I was feeling good and didn’t want to stop. For an added challenge, I threw in three small hills (3% grade). The first mile was easy, but my calf tired quickly after that and I was limping again near the end.

Now what? I think my next goal will be to run a couple of miles, but I’m not sure what a realistic timeframe would be. Another month or two I’d guess. Have to think about that.

In the meantime, I’m taking a more aggressive approach to therapy. I bought a couple of those rubber disks and am doing the balancing exercises daily. Both feet - Meghan says it’s common for people to rupture the other Achilles because they’re so focused on the recovery of the one that was repaired. Uh-uh, not me, no way!

One week from today, I’m going to get on a treadmill and walk a mile without limping. That was the goal I set for myself just before going into surgery, my “90 Day Trick.”

I’m going to need all 90 of those days. I’m not in any pain, but I’m still limping. My physical therapist likes to say that I’m walking with a weak calf, not limping in a traditional sense because of pain or joint issues. Pretty fine line if you ask me. Let’s just agree that I’m not walking normally.

Therapy is more focused on building strength these days. Toe raises, single- and double-leg, and balancing on one leg while standing on a rubber disk are the most challenging exercises. Just this week, I started light plyometric exercises. I’m “hopping” from leg to leg, but doing so on this machine that allows me to do so with a fraction of my full weight. It’s sort of an incline squat machine with a sliding seat; the steeper the incline, the more weight on your feet.

My wife talked me into a yoga class last weekend. It was a 90-minute, Bikram-style class called Power Yoga. For those who don’t know, the Bikram-style is also known as “hot yoga” where the room is heated to about 105 degrees. Having never done yoga before, let alone in a sauna, I found it incredibly challenging. Several of the exercises involved standing on one foot, so my injured leg got its most strenuous workout this year!

As sore as I am (still two days later, mostly my abs), I think it will help my ATR recovery. You need to stress the muscles to make them stronger and this is the time to push the limits a little. I’ll be ready, so I’m very much looking forward to next Tuesday!

I just passed the 10-week mark and my physical therapist gave me the thumbs up to go for a bike ride. The timing seems fortuitous because Lance Armstrong just fell and broke his collarbone. Not that I’m expecting a call from Team Astana, but it was good to get a vote of confidence from my therapist!

She’s had me doing a lot of balancing exercises lately. At first, it was tough just to balance on one foot for 30 seconds. Then I moved to a trampoline, then one of those inflatable rubber disks, then a balance board. Sometimes she has me close my eyes, sometimes she has me do lunges on to the disk. Calf raises, squats, warm ups on a treadmill walking forward and backward, side steps on to the disk, and more.

The scar is looking good, scar tissue is dissipating, range of motion still good, and strength is coming back. There are only 20 days left to perform my 90 day trick of walking a limp-free mile. I’m actually confident I’m going to make it. Shout out to Meghan Hamilton at Golden Physical Therapy. I thought she was taking it too slowly at first, but I can’t complain about where I’m at today!

I had my first physical therapy appointment today. The therapist said that my range of motion is nearly 100%, the supporting muscles in the injured leg are still strong, and I’m too impatient for my own good. She got two out of three!

The session started with a lot of questions about how I was feeling. She really wanted to know exactly how and where I was experiencing any pain or discomfort, even whether I was having trouble sleeping. In fact, I am having trouble sleeping - hadn’t even thought about it really, but she said it’s not surprising given that I was fairly active prior to the injury. You just don’t burn as much energy limping around and that can leave people feeling restless at night.

Anyway, I’m not feeling any pain or discomfort really, primarily because my surgeon prohibited me from anything other than simple range-of-motion exercises.

Next, she gave my calf a light massage to help loosen up the muscle and worked on the dime-sized lump of scar tissue near the bottom of the incision mark. Contrary to what I’ve read elsewhere, this wasn’t painful at all. Her touch was very light, maybe the deeper stuff comes later.

Next, two sets of 10 with an elastic band, in four different directions. Toes up and down, then down and up, then turning the foot from left to right, and finally right to left. Simple enough, told her I could do hundreds of these, but she gave me that same reprimanding look I got from the surgeon. I’m supposed to do these exercises twice a day.

Then she had me step on a box that was maybe 2″ high. She had me step off the box with the non-injured foot, leaving the injured foot flat on the box. Then I would roll the injured foot off the box, heel to toe. The idea here was to stretch the achilles and re-teach my foot to use a heel-to-toe rolling action, something that’s absent when you limp.

Then she had me walk very slowly, having me focus on heel-to-toe rolling action. Refreshingly, when I walked this slowly, my limp was nearly gone! She said this is good - it means my range of motion is fine, that we just need to focus on regaining strength.

She talked me through two stretching techniques. Basically, stretching the calf with a straight leg hits the gastrocnemius; stretching the calf with a bent knee hits the soleus.

And then we were done. Two times a week for six weeks. At the end, I’m sure I’ll be ready for a marathon. Seriously.

This picture was taken a few days ago and I’m just now getting around to posting. Roughly six weeks post-op and things are looking good. I’m pleasantly surprised with how nicely the scar is healing.
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr272/blueingolden/Achilles%20Tendon%20Rupture/AchillesRepairDay40.jpg

My one concern at this point is the “lumpiness” of the scar. You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a pea-sized lump at the bottom end of the scar. I’m guessing it is where the suture is located and therefore where scar tissue is building up on the tendon. It is just low enough to rub on the top edge of my shoes, so it’s a problem. Maybe this is the kind of thing that can be mitigated with massage?

I’m more or less out of the walking boot now. It’s still useful when I know I’m going to be in a crowd or some other place where my foot might get bumped or stepped on (e.g., the movie theater). Most of the time, however, I’m wearing a casual pair of shoes and limping along with a cane. Driving is a breeze.

I’m still reasonably good about ROM exercises every night. Thanks to Andy Metzger for the suggestion to do calf raises while at my desk. It was very difficult at first, but I can feel the strength coming back bit by bit. I’m still a couple of weeks from my next appointment with the surgeon. I’m determined to have him approve me for physical therapy at that time!

I’m four weeks post-op now and I had my second follow-up appointment with the surgeon yesterday. I was excited because I felt things were going very well and I was looking forward to hearing about how the repair was progressing ahead of schedule. The doc had other ideas.

Apparently, it doesn’t much matter that the scar is healing nicely or that I can walk in the boot without crutches or that I can actually pull my toes up past 90 degrees. Doc says the tendon takes 10 weeks to heal to the point where I can begin physical therapy regardless of how well I think I’m doing at the four week mark. Something about how there’s no blood circulating in the tendon so there’s no opportunity for even the most efficient body to heal an Achilles tendon any faster than 10 weeks. A torn muscle would be a different story, but this isn’t a muscle. Blah blah blah.

I asked if I could start swimming. He said maybe in week six. Sheesh. I asked if I could start neuromuscular therapy. He said week 10. Ugh. I asked why the tingling and numbness. He said I’m strapping my boot too tightly. Bull$#!%. I asked why my foot is still swollen even though I’m regularly elevating it. He said walking (not limping) provides the pumping action that keeps blood circulating through my foot, so it will remain slightly swollen for as long as I continue to walk on my heel. I guess that makes sense.

Despite the doctor’s irrefutable logic, I’m disappointed. If he won’t even let me begin physical therapy until day 70, my “90 Day Trick” will be a trick indeed!

Shrinkage, of course, became a household word because of an episode of Seinfeld in which George was complaining about the effect of swimming in cold water.

In this case, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m talking about the atrophy of my calf muscles. Here is a pic three weeks after surgery. I’m in the walking boot and am pretty good about light range-of-motion exercises every night, so I’m hoping this is about as small as my calf is going to get.
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr272/blueingolden/Achilles%20Tendon%20Rupture/AchillesRepairDay21.jpg

Surprised? Me too. My right leg is noticeably smaller than my left leg, but it’s not that bad! The circumference of my left calf is 15.75″; the right calf is 15.50″. I’m taking the measurement at the point where the circumference is at its max. I can live with a quarter inch of atrophy.

The circumference of my left ankle is 8.375″; the right ankle is 8.75″. I’m taking the measurement at the point where the circumference is at its min. Right now, the difference is attributable to swelling. Going forward, it could be due to the build-up of scar tissue, so I’ll be taking measurements regularly to monitor that. Hopefully, having read about how some have had to buy new shoes, this is something that can be managed by neuromuscular therapy.

By the way, those are steri-strips you see on my scar. Doc said to just let them fall off naturally, so I’m trying not to pick at them.

Yesterday, I went to the gym for the first time since the surgery - all upper body of course. Washed my car at one of those self-serve places. Scaled the stairs in my two-story home a few times. And all of this was done with the boot, without crutches.

Today, there aren’t any signs that I did too much yesterday, so I’m deciding for myself that I’ve transitioned into the partial weight-bearing stage. I searched the site for some criteria that people are using to declare themselves in the partial weight-bearing stage and couldn’t find any.

Crutches are still helpful for covering longer distances - I’ll probably use them when I go into the office tomorrow, for example. I’m also going to start using my walking stick again. Easier than crutches, but still gives me that added bit of security to prevent missteps. I’m not without some minor pain and swelling, but I quickly recover just by elevating my leg for 10 minutes.

This is a small but important step for me. I can actually get myself a glass of water when I’m thirsty, take a shower without help, and reheat something in the microwave without spilling it all over the kitchen hopping from the refrigerator. My wife has been treating me like a king, but I’m not a king and am very happy to be able to do some of the little things for myself again.

I’m now 17 days post-op and things are progressing well, but I wanted to mention two issues.

The first is the incredible amount of skin that is flaking off. This isn’t “leg dandruff.” It’s more like my lower leg is a snake shedding it’s skin. My wife got me a loofa pad, so I’ve been scrubbing for the past three showers and I think I’m finally done shedding. Part of it was just being in a splint for two weeks, part of it is because my calf is really shrinking.

The second issue is the tingling and numbness I’m experiencing. After searching through this site, I think these symptoms are typical of a disturbed sural nerve. Nothing to do about it - the tingling and numbness should decrease over time. Comments from those with the same symptoms?

I had my first post-op visit yesterday. Sorry for the delay in getting this posted, but I’ve been busy washing my foot. Out of respect for my wife, I won’t say it felt as good as sex, but it was close!

This first pic is of my ATR the morning of the surgery. It almost looks like nothing is wrong. Look closer at the definition of the tendon in my left heel, however, and then it’s more obvious that my right ankle is swollen and slightly discolored.
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr272/blueingolden/Achilles%20Tendon%20Rupture/AchillesRepairDay01.jpg

This pic was taken immediately after the splint was removed, just before the stitches were taken out, 13 days post-op. I thought it looked gruesome, but doc said it looked great - no sign of infection. Check out the red mark on my heel. That’s where my foot was rubbing against the splint and at times it actually hurt more than the site of the injury.
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr272/blueingolden/Achilles%20Tendon%20Rupture/AchillesRepairDay13.jpg

I left the doc’s office with another splint and a walking boot. I’m to regularly remove the splint and stretch my foot until it can flex to 90 degrees, at which point I’m allowed to switch to the boot. Doc said it would likely take 2-4 days. However, the splint was very uncomfortable, particularly on my heel, so I switched to the boot as soon as I got home.

My foot can’t yet flex to 90 degrees so I put some padding in the heel of the boot to compensate. As my flexibility improves, I’ll just reduce the padding. I can’t really put weight on my right foot yet, but I can “crutch walk.” That’s my term for still having to use crutches, but without swinging my foot in the air. Instead, I sort of walk with crutches, letting my injured foot take a step with the crutches bearing nearly all of the weight.

I asked the doc about starting physical therapy, but he said he never recommends that until 10 weeks post-op. He wants to see me in two weeks, at which time I hope to be able to show him that I’m going to be ready for PT long before the 10 week mark.

Just got back from an appointment with the massage therapist. My wife found one in town that has some experience in neuro-muscular treatments for various injuries. I quizzed her about some of the stuff I’ve been reading here and she seemed to know what to do even if she didn’t have a handle on the current terminology.

I’m still just nine days post surgery, so this was more of a regular massage. Between sitting on my ass 12 hours a day, butt humping it up the stairs, using crutches and doing a lot of balancing on one leg, my body is developing knots in all kinds of different places. The massage felt awesome, particularly my left calf (non-injured side) and right hamstring (injured side). The topper was the sole of my left foot. I could literally feel the tension release in my shoulders as she worked the arch.

She said to ask the doc when I’m cleared to start the neuro-muscular therapy. It might be a couple more weeks before things have healed enough for that kind of treatment. She said rose hip oil is good for minimizing the surgical scar - anyone else heard that?

Here’s a shout out to Suzie Fritz, CMT at Crystal Creek Therapeutics in Golden, CO. 303-279-9787

I’ve been watching a lot of bad TV lately. I’m a sci-fi fan, so I always check the SciFi channel to see what might be interesting. Anybody seen Special Unit 2? Gawd that’s horrible! Anyway, drivel like Special Unit 2 pushes me to try to find movies rather than series. My reasoning is that one bad two-hour movie is still better than two bad episodes of a series.

So I find that Troy is playing. It catches my eye because it’s 3-1/2 hours - that’s 3.5 episodes of Special Unit 2! After watching for a bit, I realize that Brad Pitt is playing Achilles. So not only is Achilles a bad-ass warrior, he’s also got the kind of looks that makes women swoon! Wow, he just killed a giant by flying sideways through the air and stabbing the dude in the heart… only he did it by going through the top of his shoulder. Cool.

In my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that my ATR entitles me to the attributes of Achilles, who happens to be played by Brad Pitt. I am a mighty Greek warrior, brutally slaying my enemies by the dozens, and beautiful women flock to me (also by the dozens). I’ll have to try my newfound confidence on my wife and see where it gets me.

Man, I’ve gotta get a Wii…

Well, I was in the process of weaning myself off the oxycodone because I’d read that other people had some withdrawal symptoms. Then I forgot to take a dose before I went to bed and I slept through the night just fine. So I stopped taking oxycodone entirely and switched to an occasional ibuprofen (one 200mg caplet) - it’s now 230p and I haven’t had any pain today, so I think I’m done with ibuprofen for now. I am six days post-surgery.

Getting past the oxycodone was key. I’m more physically energetic and mentally alert. My stomach feels better, appetite is back to normal - my wife says I must be feeling better because I’m back to being a smart-ass. This might be more than you want to know, but I had some constipation that I think was also due to the oxycodone (might have been the cephalexin, or both) and that too is gone. Easily treated with a couple of doses of Citrucel, actually.

Yesterday, I had some friends over to watch the NFL playoffs. We’re all in the same fantasy football league, so it was our end-of-season awards party. I hadn’t had a beer since the day of the injury over two weeks ago, so it tasted mighty good! Hey, maybe that’s why I didn’t need any pain killers yesterday!

My wife had to go back to work this week. Her employer was great about letting her work from home last week, but we didn’t want to abuse the privilege by having her stay home this week too. Since I’m still bedridden, my mom flew in to handle nursing duties this week. I’m so spoiled!

While my restored energy level is great, I’m now more prone to boredom and restlessness. I had my mom bring up some 5lb dumbells from the basement and now I make a point of doing some sort of upper body workout for about 20 minutes, twice a day. I’d prefer more weight, but I can’t bring myself to ask my mom to carry anything heavier up four flights of stairs! And so I do LOTS of reps. It falls into the category of better than nothing.

I’m now beginning my fourth post-surgery day, so I can honestly say that day three was really the turning point.

The anesthesia more or less worked its way out of my system by the end of the third day. No more dizzy spells or undue fatigue. I understand that chemically the drug is probably still in my body somewhere, but I’m not experiencing symptoms anymore.

Day three is also when I finished the course of cephalexin (the antibiotic). The pills consistently made me queasy, so this was a huge relief. Huge.

I was also able to start reducing the amount of oxycodone (pain killer) I’m taking. A pill every 6-8 hours now instead of every 3-4 hours. The pain probably peaked 48-60 hours after the surgery. Honestly, much of it had to do with lying in the same position for that long. The weight of my leg on the splint, even in an elevated position, was enough to pinch the blood circulation. I was able to cope by occasionally lying on my side or on my stomach to get the blood flowing again.

Finally, day three is also when I started sleeping in my bed again (rather than the lounge chair). I may have sacrificed something by not having my foot elevated above my heart, but it was worth getting a better night’s sleep. And having your foot at the same level as your heart isn’t exactly a bad thing.

I’m looking forward to my first shower today, maybe even a little exercise as I’m getting restless just sitting around all the time. Onward!

Well, I came out of surgery about 24 hours ago and am feeling well enough to write another post. The surgeon told my wife it went very well, a “textbook” Achilles tendon repair.

Shaking off the general anesthesia has been the most difficult. I was very groggy and even sitting up caused my head to spin. I slept and slept, then slept some more.

To handle the pain, I’ve been taking a 5mg capsule of oxycodone every four hours. It’s usually wearing off just before the four-hour mark, so I’ve had glimpses of the “real” pain. It is definitely worse than the injury, and it oddly is focused more on my heel - think that’s more because the splint rubs my heel as it forces my toes down into a pointed position. So where I rated the injury a 5 on my 10-point pain scale, it now rates a 7 or an 8.  I haven’t really tried not taking the oxycodone, so 8 is probably more accurate.

I’m also taking an antibiotic called cephalexin (generic for keflex) , a 500mg capsule every six hours. Makes me a little nauseous, so I’m not looking forward to the next dose.

Except for trips to the bathroom, I’ve kept my foot elevated the entire time. Been wiggling my toes a bit to make sure blood is circulating. More of the same for the next few days.

My pre-op meeting went well today. The surgeon did a nice job of explaining what’s going to happen and how he’s going to do the surgery. My wife and I were joking about how funny it wouldn’t be if he operated on the wrong foot, so it was great to hear that he confirms it with me just before the surgery, writes “yes” on the shin and calf of the leg that I point to (and “no” on the leg I didn’t point to), then writes his initials next to the “yes” for good measure.

The re-attachment will be handled with a suture that he drew for me, so it’s hard to explain in writing. It is one suture with two loops at each end of the tendon. Somehow, the suture is made on the inside of the tendon so that the only thing visible is the knot. The thread is made out of Dacron, I think he said, a polyethylene fiber that pretty much lasts a lifetime. Then, on the outside of the tendon, he will make several smaller sutures using an absorbable material.

To my slight disappointment, he did not give me the option of taking a regionalized anesthetic. He said it would be general anesthesia because many people don’t do well on their stomachs and get more squeamish as the surgery goes on. I was a little worried about how long it takes for people to “flush their systems” after general anesthesia, but he said I didn’t need to worry about it at my age and fitness level.

I signed the consent forms, including the one that allows a surgical assistant to be in the room. He won’t take part in the actual surgery, but is observing for learning purposes. Curiously, doc said my insurance will probably cover the surgical assistant, but even if it doesn’t, I’d only be billed for $100. I thought about asking why I’d pay $100 to have someone watch my surgery, but no point in smart-mouthing your surgeon the day before the surgery!

So I’m about as ready as I can be. Fasting now, surgery is at 3p tomorrow. I have to show up at 1p. The surgery should take about an hour and I should come out of the anesthesia an hour after that.

The time between the injury and the surgery is very interesting. It seems everyone knows someone who has had an ATR and people always comment on how painful it must be. It is painful, but I must say it isn’t as painful as one might think. I once rolled my ankle during a tennis tournament and that was more painful. On a scale from 1-10 where 1 is getting your finger pricked before donating blood and 10 is when the dentist pokes a nerve (oops, guess we need to numb you up a little more), the ATR might be a 5 while the sprained ankle was a 7. It’s just a tendon, after all; lots of muscle, nerve and tendon damage in a sprained ankle.

So far, it’s been more of a dull throb that is worst in the morning when I first start hobbling around. I think this is when the blood starts flowing again and it sort of “wakes up” the nerves. Ibuprofen is quick and effective, but so is rest and elevation.

It’s been over a week since the injury now and I’m finding that the area above the tendon hurts more than the tendon itself. This would of course be the gastrocnemius, but I can’t tell if it’s the medial or lateral - it’s right in the middle. There’s definitely some tightness, but it doesn’t exactly feel like a muscle cramp. I’ll have to ask the doc about this at my appointment tomorrow.

I’m getting around with the help of a cane. I bought it at REI so technically it’s a walking stick. Much cooler! Makes me feel like Dr. Gregory House from the TV show on Fox. Stairs are much easier handled going up than down, getting in and out of cars is slow but manageable. I can shower without a shower chair, just with my hands on the wall for balance.

I have three friends who are doctors. None are orthopedic surgeons, but it has been reassuring to pick their brains. All three recommend not going the route of general anesthesia - a route that most of the bloggers on this site seem to have chosen. I didn’t see any statistics on that, but it would be interesting to know. They say the recovery is faster and easier without general anesthesia, but doctors often suggest it because it’s easier for them. Thoughts?

I’m just about ready for the surgery. My wife made arrangements to work from home this week and I will be working from home through the end of the month. Our master bedroom has a small retreat area with a lounge-style chair, TV, small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, so we’re turning that into my recovery room. We’ll take care of an end table and crutches tomorrow afternoon.

My visit with the orthopedic surgeon was brief but informative. He took x-rays just to rule out any broken bones. Confirmed the ATR with both the Thompson test and by feel. I didn’t realize you can actually feel a depression where the tendon ruptured. Freaky. It’s about two inches above the top of my heel bone. The most common location for an ATR, according to the surgeon.

He gave me the pros and cons of each option, pretty much exactly what I’ve already read elsewhere on this site. The only thing that differed were the stats he cited for re-rupture rates. He said 8-9% for non-surgery compared to 1-2% for surgery. I already knew I was going to opt for surgery given my activity level, so there was no point in debating the percentages with him.

I was relieved to learn that I won’t have to wear a plaster cast. I guess that’s more for people who opt not to have surgery. Instead, I will be given a splint. My foot will still be immobilized, but a splint can be removed and put back on. In the early going, it would pretty much stay on for everything except showers. Later, it would be removed for physical therapy sessions as well.

He gave me a compression sock and told me to wear it 24/7 until the surgery. I have a pre-op meeting on Monday and the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, 1/13 (if you’re counting, that’s 11 days post ATR).

My injury occurred during a relatively harmless game of holiday flag football on January 2, 2009. The players were mostly weekend warriors in their late 30’s and early 40’s, but a couple of kids and a wife as well. I was playing WR and asked to run a route known in the holiday version of the game as “just get open.”

When the ball was snapped, my touchdown catch was preempted by a loud pop even before my first step, and followed by the grunt of my face hitting the turf. I was too busy scanning the horizon for the delinquent that had shot me in the leg to realize it was the sound of my Achilles tendon rupturing.

The pain was manageable and there was plenty of real NFL football to watch that weekend, so I didn’t seriously consider a visit to the emergency room. On Monday morning (1/5), I called to get the first available appointment with my regular doctor, which turned out to be 1/7.

In the time leading up to the appointment, I read as much as I could about the Achilles tendon and found this site. After reading the first few pages I was freaking out about whether my doctor would know to use the 2S2L Krackow Stitch and having to tackle stairs on my butt. After the next dozen pages I was beginning to calm down. A little.

My doc confirmed my e-diagnosis and referred me to an orthopedist - I checked, he’s board certified. The appointment is tomorrow morning (1/9).  Thoughts of the surgery (never mind that it hasn’t been scheduled yet) were making me nervous, so I poured a glass of scotch and started this blog. And now you’re all caught up!

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