recovery complete!

wow, it took longer than i expected, but finally i am back playing competitive beach-volleyball!  the calf muscle is still a bit smaller in my injured leg, but then again i haven’t been exactly diligent on the rehab exercises either ;) i’ve done a lot of walking and beach-volleyball drills though, and that also helped getting the muscle back. jumping and sprinting is working fine, no pain in the tendon. even played in a couple of  local beach tournaments, and the tendon held up just fine. golfing has been going great for about 5 months already. i’ll stay away from basketball though, absolutely no intention to spend another summer on crutches :) best wishes to everybody who’s going through this right now!

walking, playing, running

hey all, just got my first nine holes in - without pain! absolutely amazing the progress i’ve made in the last month, i went from barely able to walk 10 minutes to 2 hours of playing golf, couldn’t have imagined it coming so quickly! even attemped a little running the other day, and while it felt pretty awkward (left calf still really weak), i didn’t have any pain doing it. one legged toe stand is going quite smoothly also, so i think it’s safe to say that i’m back to normal. i can even image myself playing beach-volleyball again and even though i had sworn to myself never to touch a basketball again, i caught myself dribbling through the living room the other day ;) to everbody that just started rehab, there definitely is light at the end of the tunnel, just take it slow and easy!

it’s all good - four months post rupture

just a quick update - saw the doc last week and he said it’s all good, no new rupure and the tendon is looking good on sono. he said i probably developed a mild inflammation to the tendon sheath. i had made a couple more attemps at the nine holes before, and while it still hurts after a couple of holes, it is manageable by now and i don’t feel like a cripple the day after, so there’s improvement ;) i got prescription for a bandage and some anti-inflammatory stuff which really helps loads. took two of them over the last two days and today i was even able to do a small toe stand on the injured foot (even if just for a second or so), something i couldn’t have imagined a week ago. however the doc also cautioned me not to overdo it, so no surfing and no 18 holes until next year (at least on foot)….still i’m pretty happy with the current status!

nine holes and a damn near re-rupture

ok guys here’s a quick update on my golfing ambitions….i managed to walk and play nine holes last weekend which in itself is pretty good i guess, but i also managed to almost re-rupture my tendon after i hit a pretty big drive. and i thought golf was a safe sport! just kind of slipped and twisted my left foot really awkwardly and heard that familiar “plop”. started swelling and hurting almost immediatly and it was quite a shock. fortunately the tendon is still there, but i’m going to see the doc anyways next week to make sure it’s all good. it still hurts a bit so i can only caution everybody not to overdo it in the first month after the boot comes off…i basically lost two weeks as i would say now i am back to where i started two weeks ago in terms of flexibilty and swelling.

13th week post rupture

got my first couple of shots out on the driving range this weekend, and it went surprisingly well. i still have some pain in the tendon when i put weight on my toes, but it is bearable. flexibility has increased also, i’d say i am at about 95 % upward and 90 % downward. apart from some balance and light strenghtening i haven’t really done much except walk some longer distances. i still have a slight limp and the ankle still tends to swell up after longer walk. i also noticed that the tendon has build up quite a bit of scar tissue, but hey what do i care as long as it holds togehter. plan for next weekend is to play nine holes, hope that’s not overdoing it. i am really itching to get out there though (especially after watching tom watson ripping it at age 59 - and with an artificial hip!).

9th week post-rupture

had my last visit with the doc two days ago and he said i’m good to go, great! he was actually surprised that my tendon had healed so well, he even said that it looked better than most operated achilles tendons. here’s hoping i’ll be up and running again some time this year. my goal is to take up golf again next month, and a surf trip in november, we’ll see how it goes!  i’ve taken a couple of steps around my flat without the brace on, and it feels just fine, except the fact that i’ve no muscles left in my lower leg :( will continue to wear the brace when i’m outside though for a week or so, just to be on the save side.

can’t wait to start rehabbing and actually using my left leg again! will report back how i’m progessing with sports in the near future.

5th week post rupture

Had another check with the Ortho today and he confirmed the tear is healing very well. It feels good as well, and so we decided to reduce the angle on the brace to 13 degrees. Now I am back on crutches for two days, but the new angle is feeling good and the doc said I could continue putting weight on it after that. The swelling is almost gone now and I hope that the more I walk the quicker my calf is going to build up again (basically reduced to zero right now ;).

Plan is to go to zero degrees in three weeks from now.

conservative - 3rd week post-rupture

I ruptured my left AT three weeks ago while playing basketball. Didn’t get a proper diagnosis at the hospital, so I went to see a couple more doctors to determine the proper treatment. I opted for the conservative method even though I’m still young and would like to stay active in sports. Maybe not basketball, since this was my third major injury in the same leg, all basketball-related (tore my ACL two years ago and near-ruptured a ligament in my foot five years ago), but I would like to continue surfing, beach-volleyball and golf. My surgeon (Prof. Wenda in Wiesbaden, Germany) is quite confident that I would be able to continue these sports (after 6 months of rehab, yuck!), so we’ll see how it goes! His approach is to treat as many patients conservatively as possible, even if they are young athletes like me. I wanted to avoid a surgery because I made some bad experiences with my surgically repaired ACL (numbness, really annoying scar tissue), so I was quite happy that I ended up with him.

His method of treament consists of one week of immobilisation post rupture and mobilisation under full weight with a special brace for 8 weeks. After that they’ll take the brace off, but I’ll have to do specific rehab program for at least four months before I can start playing sports again.

In the second week post rupture I was given the special brace which locks the foot in a 23 degree angle and thus permits full weight bearing without putting any strain on the AT. The plan is to reduce the angle in my foot to 13 degrees after 4 weeks and to zero after 7 weeks.

The first week with the brace I was only allowed to sort of limp around on crutches and mimick a walking motion with my injured foot.  I started walking short distances without crutches in the second week and it’s working out so far, no pain or instability. Permanent ultra-sound checks are key for conservative treaments, I’ve had two up until now and it seems to heal nicely.

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