Posted by: annieh | December 15, 2009

After 18 MONTHS, my first single calf raise, important please read!!

Well as the title says, it is 18 months since my surgery and I have just managed my first single calf raise!!   


The main reason for this post is to warn others not to do as I did and accept what I was told by so called specialists i.e.


  • At my age (60) - 18 months is not a long time to wait to do a single calf raise and I must learn to be patient.


  • My surgeon told me in November that muscle wastage was not due to the Achilles but due to damage to my S1 Nerve (prolapsed disc).  I disagreed, but he suggested I see a back surgeon with the view to back surgery, which was rarely successful; all this was very depressing after such a long time.


  • The physio I received was fairly passive massage and ultrasound; no progress was made at all.


What I did:


I decided  to seek another physiotherapist.  This time I went to a specialist sports injury clinic.


What they found:


The muscles in my lower leg were non-existent, the thigh muscles were weak and the muscles in my buttock was also weak, all this explained why I was finding it so difficult to walk any distance, walking with a pronounced limp and difficulty going up and down stairs and not being able to push off with my Achilles leg.  Instead of improving I was actually getting worse.  The main cause of the problem was scar tissue, obvious really, but when I asked my surgeon if that could be the cause he said ‘NO’.


The Treatment:


I have been attending my new clinic twice a week for 3 weeks, having extremely painful deep massage (and if it wasn’t for the fact that they are so chatty and tell such funny stories I’m sure I would cry with the pain), continual assessment, and serious exercises.  Yesterday I actually managed to do 5 single calf raises by placing the palms of my hands on the palms of my physio’s hands.  Not right up on my toes but enough to make me realise that I can do this over a period of time.  Maybe it doesn’t sound much but to me it was a dramatic improvement, three weeks ago we tried this and my leg stayed firmly planted on the floor.  As I progress I will receive help with re-training my walking as I have damaged my hips and knees because I could only ‘swing’ my leg to walk.



It is early days still but I am so much more confident in walking already, it is still very painful but I will get there, I have to prove my surgeon wrong and walk into his office one day and show him how wrong he was, that will give me the greatest pleasure.


Sorry this is so long winded but it helps, my advice to all of you now is to make sure that you get the right treatment, don’t wait as long as I did before getting a second opinion (I only did this because TomTom and Smish insisted I did, so special thanks to them).


My extra-special thanks go to my new physiotherapists and I wish them and everyone else a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


All of us in the ATR family have to look out for each other. I am so happy that you are getting good results. Happy Healing!


Just got back from the doc who removed my cast after 6 weeks. I asked him for a boot and he said it was not needed. I had my first PT and he mentioned that to have been in a cast for 6 weeks was as good as having a boot. He showed me how to slowly get back to walking after some very painful massages and shock treatment. Only two more weeks on the crutches.
Man 8 weeks and you are done with them, lucky fish, I can not wait.

I am so happy for you that finally you got some satisfying results.
Unfortunately publicly funded health care system is over stressed and we do not get the care we need. I found that in the Canadian system, too, physio therapy that is free at the hospital is very inferior to the private one. One should not accept to be satisfied to just be able to get around after such an injury. To gain back the strength of the calf muscle is very difficult. It takes a lot of exercise with specific guidance. I am not accepting that just because I can walk without a limp I am healed. I feel when doing the heel lifts, that the strength of my calf is only 50% of the good one still. With a weak leg one is prone to slip and trip more and injure other parts of the body again. So I am aiming to work until I feel 100% comfortable on my feet.
Supposedly building calf muscle is very difficult for even body builders. Some have implants… I heard even Tiger Woods is not proud of his calves :-)
So keep challenging yourself (I strongly recommend heel raises in the pool) and Merry Christmas!

Hi 2ndtimer

The problem was my operation and the physiotherapy was not NHS funded but paid for by my private health insurance, that is why I was so disappointed with the treatment I got and the lack of aftercare and also angry with myself for not being ascertive enough.


So pleased for you Annie - never give up. I’m sure things will continue to improve for you now.
Merry Christmas to you and Best Wishes for an excellent 2010,

Annie - This is great news! I am so happy your persistence is paying off. You’ve definitely earned it! Keep up the good work and hopefully the new year will continue to bring progress.


Congratulations on your big milestone!

Such a progress in 3 weeks looks really promising especially considering the history of your recovery. I am sure you will move even quicker from here. All because you did not give up and kept on fighting. Good for you!!!


annieh - congratulations on your progress with the calf raises! I am glad that you went to see another physiotherapist. I’ve encountered my fair share of physical therapists and doctors that I didn’t feel comfortable getting care from, and the best thing to do is just look for another. Glad to see that you’ve found a place that you are happy with.
Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

So happy for you Annie! What an accomplishment that I hope will lead to more recovery and strength . . . slow and steady wins the race . . . it seems that you’ve turned the corner.
Merry Christmas to you!

Annie - CONGRATS! So happy for you - keep up the great work!


Hang in there Annie. Sounds like some good progress recently. Great job!

Nice to see some familiar names from back in the day in 2008! LOL

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