Squash? No thanks!

What a difference a 45 minute game of squash has made to my 2013! 44 minutes into the game I could have sworn that my opponent had kicked me in the back of my of my left calf. I tried to pick myself up off the floor and realised that he was nowhere near me!

I was pretty sure I had just torn a muscle in the back of my left calf so I tried to carry on as normal. I live in Devon but work as a consultant for clients who tend to be London based. Hence I went to work from Monday to Wednesday which was a round trip of 500 miles driving a manual car and staying in a hotel. I found myself feeling feint when I took a shower but things seemed to be getting more bearable as each day passed.

On Thursday I went to see a physio who told me that it was my achilles and organised for me to go to A&E. They pre booked me to see a doctor which meant I only had to wait in the A&E ward for 10 minutes before seeing someone. The doctor in A&E checked my calf and ankle and diagnosed a rupture just below my calf. He advised me to go down the non surgical route and told me about a Canadian study that showed very similar results to having surgery. I was then put in a soft cast with my foot pointing down (not sure what the technical term for this is!). That was on Thursday 16th of May and I have an appointment to have a new cast in 2 weeks time when my foot will be moved to a different angle. Finding this site has been very inspiring and useful and I am now hoping to get into an VacoCast\VacoPed boot at my next hospital visit.
Paws for thought
I still can’t believe how long it will take me to get back to normal but I am determined to be as productive as possible whilst recuperating. I do have private medical care which I plan to use to get myself a lot of physio during the healing process. I would also like to keep my upper body and partial lower body in shape whilst I am recovering.

12 Responses to “Squash? No thanks!”

  1. Hi Andrew, sorry to hear about your injury and welcome to the club. You have your foot in the equinous positon. Although I was in the aircast boot which is what our hospital use, from reading on here it does seem that the vacocast is better (its the adjustable one isn’t it?)
    I am 9 weeks non op, had 3 weeks in the cast( should have been 2 but easter got in the way), 4 weeks in athe aircast boot and then 2 shoes. 2 weeks after 2 shoes I am now walking around the house fairly ok other than when I am tired, and using 1 crutch when out walking, doing about half a mile each day this week. So, There is light at the end of that tunnel and it sounds like you are in good hands with the up to date protocols.
    Keep blogging and best wishes

  2. Thanks for feedback Micah and I am glad that you are making such good progress.
    I am interested in the options that you get for a boot with the NHS. I have read good things about the Vacocast boot but I guess it is down to what is available in the hospital on the day they treat me in 1.5 weeks time.

  3. Hi all, I have not posted in a while, this is Robina, I am coming up to 7 weeks post op tomorrow. I went two shoes last thursday, week 6, after 2 weeks fwb in the boot…let me tell you that was scary..did not tell me anything about what to do, stretch, type of shoes nothing! Just scheduled me for rehab starting tomorrow, so thank goodness for this Blog,,which taught me proper stretching and proper walking techniques. First day in two shoes, my foot felt FROZEN! i was so scared to walk on it without the boot and found myself using terrible posture and club foot walking to compensate, so THANK YOU @normofthenorth for comments you made to someone else for doing just that..i did put on my boot to get into the garden and pull radishes and onions..it has now been 5 days in two shes..still very stiff in the morning so i take it slow and bought a compression sock yesterday and it feels good, especially at night, when i swell a little and my tendon tends to get REALLY tight in the evening after being on it all day. I do alternate between different tennis shoes throughout the day, depending on comfort, and use the boot when i get into the garden, due to the uneven ground. i also just ordered the achilles foot strap from amazon to keep my foot more secure when moving around…flexibility is returning slowly and I can not wait for my pt evaluation tomorrow and a routine, also I cant wait till the pool opens so i can do water exercises. What I want to know is how long does it typically take to walk”normal” at a good clip in 2 shoes?!

  4. Hi Andrew
    Working your core is important
    However I’ve now got arms like Popeye but leg like olive oil
    Went to physio today She is very impressed with my strength build up In the calf I’ve been working on it the last 2 weeks, just got sort a niggling nerve issue I’m getting which is v painful, but tendon good
    Re the boot I think your right it’s a lottery what you get , I went private got one called breg doesn’t appear to be as good as vaco, it had wedges not hinged but it did the job , good recovery

  5. Hi Ripraproar
    Glad to hear you are making good progress. My Physio told me that there have been studies (I don’t have any references!) that show that exercising one leg actually improves the muscle tone in the other. I can’t honestly see how this would happen but I might well try some right leg exercises when I am able to get back into the gym.
    I have private health care but NHS seems to be good for me at the moment. At what point did you decide to go down the private route? Do you think it has given you more control of your treatment and recovery?

  6. Hi Andrew on NHS v private in my case, I had a theory before I started pt it went like this, think I remember ATR happen one in 5000 people , meaning there’s 3 of us in the small town I live, combined with this maybe 50 percent have gone non op, meaning the 4 private pt in town probably haven’t rehabbed a ATR non op, I rang each one and I was right, they had re hab surgical atr done premiership footballers and rugby players who tend to go for surgery- however the borough I live look after 250,000 NHS patience who where I live promote non op , so my guess is that they have more knowledge of non ops and re hab, that being said I selected private only because I could dictate commencing pt earlier, however I am going to combine this pt with NHS which I’m hoping to begin next week, ill keep you posted , but I think the cheaper pt option is going to be best suited to me . Re the actual boot and protocol, I chose private simply because A&E said to me on the Monday I could see the doc on thurs, I asked can I go private , and how quickly could I see the doc, was told the day after, get this so it was the same doc, but 2 days earlier, so the only difference for me is to a degree I see the doc more often more quickly

  7. RRR, FWIW, I ‘m guessing that the 1-in-5000 ATR rate is an ANNUAL rate
    Not a LIFETIME rate. My ~130-member sailing club has three of us (4 if you count both my ATRs separately)… Admittedly an active group, but still…

  8. Hi Norm
    The figs igot of an NHS site and also a site if I recall correctly called med care, they relate to annual, my awareness of others since having my ATR goes as follows
    I work with 700 colleagues, 2 of them have ATR one through sprinting , one squash the former 10 years ago the latter 3 , fwiw both strongly state I’m crazy going none op, guess surgery worked for them , on vacation for two weeks last week , went to the gym 5 times , the gym was extremley quiet, In fact I only came across one person in the gym, get this, also ATR victim playing rugby he had he had surgery 3 years ago, he was interested to hear about non op. outside of work I only have around 6 friends I’m in touch with I on a regular basis, one had an ATR , playing tennis he had surgery adviced me to do the same, 3 months ago I finally give in and joined face book, an old mate who I haven’t hung around with for twenty years, I moved location tells me his wife had ATR and opted non op. don’t know what this tells me I just find it interesting. I’m also hoping that in a year time I will be doing the reverse of what the majority of my ATR acquaintances have been driving me mad with, being so passionate about telling me surgery is the way to go

  9. I hope so, too, RRR. Before ~2005-07 you would be semi-crazy to go non-op if you had the choice, because the results were clearly worse. Now the new studies have changed the balance of evidence, though many haven’t heard, and some won’t change their minds, and others are arguing over this and that.

  10. Hi norm
    Ironically looks like I got a sural issue, normally the risk with op, you wouldn’t want to be on a cruise with me as your captain. But it isn’t to bad,the last two days I’ve had a 9 out of ten , been doing the boring jobs around the house and garden, jet washing, getting pool read for summer, moving plant pots, it’s great to be boring. Just got a excercise bike delivered, I just think I may be turning a big corner.
    Bit miffed I am behind trin and jonttari, we have similar time lines, but they are stair walking without the cheating, my at just feels to tight, I mentioned this to pt but she wants to push with the strength before the stretch, so I’m doing equally balanced toe lifts two feet, walking. Standing on one leg 30 seconds x 12 reps , only stretching with the green pt bands, but what IVe not told her is I’m copying brady browne 12 weeks vid strength routine, I’m about 7 cm from touching the wall with me knee but she isnt concerned.
    to this end miffed to be behind trin and Jon but delighted for them , they are my benchmark. Apologies for rambling on and lack of good grammar, I’m rushing back to do some of the boring garden tiding up , I’m so excited

  11. Hey RRR - I wouldn’t be too miffed - you can never tell with injuries - you may overtake us yet! Had a massive weekend of walking in Edinburgh this weekend - and have pulled up pretty well, although I am sure my heels are bruised! Andrew - sorry you had to join this club- but this is the right place to be to get information. Definitely being productive goes a long way to aiding your recovery. We tend to feel so out of control with this injury - and having something to control with your rehab I reckon made me feel heaps better, and makes the time move faster! Good luck!

  12. Hi Trin
    I say miffed light heartedly , if I’m a couple of weeks behind I’m cool with that, couple of months may be would be too jealous, I love Edinburgh , not been there for a few years though, been out and about in the garden for over 10 hours, just finished with a very small walk with the dog at , a bit tired slightly hurting , bt it’s much much better than last week, less swelling not much pain, turned the pool heater on today but just looked at weather forecast , it’s gonna rain argh .
    Take care trin keep improving.

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