The story so far

So like many others on this site, I was caught by total surprise when the injury occurred.  On 21st April,playing squash like normal - in fact moving better than I had for some time.  30 minutes in and then I suddenly thought I had been kicked. I started to turn around to tell my playing partner off and realised he was a few meters from me - at which point - my brain went ‘oh shit’ and I crumbled into a heap.

Went to emergency that night but given we were heading into a long weekend was told that surgery may have to wait until Wednesday. I was also keen to go to a Wedding on the sat.  In the end the Surgeon was fully booked up on the Saturday. I got to go to the wedding (and learnt how to use crutches prior to surgery) and was operated on Sunday.

The message that stays with me - no tennis for 12 months - I am having trouble getting my head around this.

Operation went all right but was told that I had ripped the achilles off the bone so operation was a little harder than expected.  I hope (and still do) that the surgeon knew what he was doing.  I didn’t feel anything for another 24 hours due to the block.  On Monday afternoon with pain returning but manageable I was able to be checked out.

I slept the first few nights on the couch downstairs - still in shock and bumbling around on crutches.  After that I used a bum crawl to get upstairs to bed.  Nothing is easy and showering was twice a week with plastic bags over the cast.

Two weeks after surgery, the cast was removed and the wound looks ok.  I was put in a moon boot and told not to put any weight on this until the end of 8 weeks after surgery.  (having read many of the blogs I wonder if this is the right approach but I am not inclined to push my luck with the surgeon).

So all is going as well as can be expected but I am as bored as you can be.  Having generally played tennis and squash 3 times a week, sitting on the couch is incredibly frustrating.   I am lucky I have been able to take sick leave from work.  And I hope to be fit enough to enjoy a planned holiday in Vietnam at the start of July.

The best thing I can recommend is to get a scooter which does allow you to move around faster (and seems to be much safer than crutches).  I also have been lucky to have a supportive family.

4 Responses to “The story so far”

  1. I think you should check with your surgeon about the NWB length of time. He or she should not have any issue with you bringing up questions. It may be due to the rip off the bone that you’re NWB so long. If the sheath is not intact then you have to give everything time to grow back. That was why I was NWB for longer than those with an ATR. I regularly asked my doctor questions - wanted to know what things I could/couldn’t do. When he gave me some ROM exercises I sent him some others to see what else I could do (and I was able to do a few more :) ). You might question him/her as to why 8 weeks. I was NWB for 6 weeks, then PWB in a boot for 2 more weeks.

    But I do see that healing protocols differ and usually it’s because of what happened in the injury. My doc detached mine at the heel and anchored it there in order to remove my large bone spur. Yours may have ripped off elsewhere and thus require a different, and longer, healing time frame. Or other things may have been damaged when the ATR happened. It never hurts to ask why things are taking so long - I did that regularly and my doc was always able to explain why. As long as I understand why I’m very happy to do as I’m told - LOL!

    If your doc hasn’t given you a time frame for everything ask her/her for one. At least ask when it is safe to start doing ROM exercises and which ones you can do. I started doing ROM at 3.5 weeks.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I think its partially due to the sheath but also the conservative nature of this surgeon. I will reach back out to him to confirm - I like the idea of the ROM exercises.

  3. Hi adrianhillier! I was going to say the same thing as cserpent about the long NWB, perhaps because of the detachment. But doesn’t hurt to ask.
    I hear ya on the boredom front. I was bored, but also too exhausted to do much of anything for the first several weeks. I’m about a month ahead of you on the timeline (but I had a Haglund’s Deformity removal and Achilles repair) and it does get better! Hang in there. Heal well!

  4. Sorry it was your turn to join this exclusive club. I’m also trying to accept the “no tennis for 9-12 months” part of the equation. Or, more broadly, no explosive movements or anything beyond practicing walking for the foreseeable future. I still can’t believe how long the recovery will take. I’m at 10 weeks and that’s the tip of the iceberg, it seems. But this is a really good community and I hope seeing the other stories helps!

    Regarding timelines, I’m kind of in between, I guess. PWB around 6 weeks, FWB at 7 weeks. There’s such a wide range of protocols that it wouldn’t hurt to ask about ROM or PWB in your boot a little earlier, like others said.

    In my case the overall timeline has felt about right. I wanted to do things earlier but had to admit that my leg didn’t feel ready. Seems like a lot of people end up building their own protocol with input from doctors, PT, and most importantly, their body and their response to recovery.

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