Bilateral 6.5 weeks and going from NWB to FWB

Yes, ruptured both playing basketball July 12 and surgery July 16. 2 week folowup went good and Dr moved me to aircasts, allowed me to take off etc, this helped, couldnt imagine hard casts for 4 weeks. Went for 6 week followup this week and Dr flexes foot and thumps it, then taps tendon, and says looks good to me. Get up and start walking no crutches issued. So I decided to begin putting some weight on to feel it out and they removed 3 wedges from my aircasts. Doesnt feel too bad, other tendons and muscles in legs is what feels strange. They just have not been used for so long that they are feeling weird being used now. Have taken some steps and not bad, thought going FWB might be a little too much at this stage, but it seems ok so far. I think I will get a walker to help me really start moving around. Goal is to walk with no walker in next 3 weeks or less. Swelling hasnt been too bad, but havnt gotten up and stayed on them for extended time yet. Begin PT Tueaday 2-3 times per week for next 6 weeks. This place has a SwimEx for water therapy and cant wait to get started. Feels good to be able to standup again. Enjoy reading everyones stories and posts, this injury has to be one of the worst things an athlete can endure and want to go back to prior level most likely is not going to happen. I was retired from sports for 10 yrs and most likely will not return to any high intensity due to risk.

11 Responses to “Bilateral 6.5 weeks and going from NWB to FWB”

  1. OMG I haven’t read that before here! Take it easy don’t push too much. I have just re ruptured and am now waiting for surgery. I was non op though.

  2. I ruptured both of my achilles on xmas eve and had surgery on xmas day- Merry Xmas to me! I have been in casts for 4 weeks so far and have another 2 to go. Then I am in ‘moon boots’ for 4 weeks, I am pleased to have found your story as I can’t imagine (at this stage) weight bearing, or walking, and you give me hope. I have been given a wheelchair for 3 months and was told I’d need it for at least that long. The surgeon has said he is treating me as conservatively as possible (in all his 21 years of being a doctor, he has never seen a simultaneous bilateral rupture.
    After reading about re ruptures- I dont want to push it as I wouldn’t want to go through anything like this again. I hope your recovery is still continuing well. Good luck!

  3. Simultaneous Bilateral, when i heard that from my surgeon i was like what the heck???? i am in atlanta and saw a fairly young surgeon, good sports background and he claims to see one every few months, my main PT had never seen or treated a bilateral patient, but a trainer at same place had seen one other from a guy who jumped or fell off a roof. there was a guy named shep on here who ruptured both in motorcycle accident and shoulders too I was in splint first 2 weeks and moved to aircasts at 2 weeks and was in those to 12 weeks, so basically you need to know the timeline and know you are off your feet for first 6-7 weeks, then its a slow road from there due to the atrophy in legs. as someone recently mentioned you will rehab legs not just the tendon, you will rehab hips, legs and feet. my feet were extremely tight at 7 weeks when i began PT in water only for first few weeks, then started some bike and leg exercises on table and working range of motion using wobble board, lots of stretching and more stretching, today just passed 6 months and still stretch everyday

    for showers luckily i had warm weather and was able to transfer from wheelchair to a shower chair on back deck and used garden hose, felt great, had to cover feet to keep water off for first 4-5 weeks

    if you have access to some type of special public transportation, this was life saver, my county has mini buses that will come get you and take you anywhere in county so this was big help, i had to purchase ramps to get in/out of my home(not cheap)

    once you start PT you will really gain some mental confidence back and just have to work hard and know your limits, its not a 100 yd dash, its a marathon

    you will probably want to start researching some phys therapists in your area and their experience with achilles, etc. and location with access to water(mine had a swimex) or health club with pool, most are required to have a lift these days to get you in/out of pool

    know your limits and follow surgeon and therapists guidance and you will get there, feel free to ask any questions or info. How did you rupture both at same time? Mine was basketball

  4. Thanks so much for your reply. How did I do both?- would love to say something exciting like skydiving, but I was dancing at a concert. What i think happened was I was on my toes looking over the crowd and dancing, for an extended amount of time, and came down on my heels and ’snap’..’ no more dancing for me for some time..
    It seems there’s so many different treatment protocols out there, I am in Christchurch, NZ and with a fairly small population, we are limited to what few specialists we have available here. I will definately do my research for PT, but i believe our hospital has a hydrotherapy pool in it;s PT dept (of which I know nothing about at this stage). My local gym also has an instructor who is also a physio. I live in a split level home and cant access the bathroom, so a good plumber’ friend of mine plumbed in a shower outside for me- what a luxury! Any information is appreciated. Cheers

  5. Just read your 9 week post. I’d say I’ve got a similar treatment ahead of me (except for having fibreglass casts for the first 6 weeks). You say you stretch everyday now after 6 months- how would you rate your walking now? I’m planning a trip to vietnam later in the year but with walking confidently being such an unknown, I assume I should be right in 8 months or so?

  6. I did limited walking from about 13 weeks on in 2 shoes before pain set in from swelling. Very Limited!! In the aircasts I could do as much walking as needed without a problem. But you are going to get some looks like what is that person wearing??? At times am still battling swelling in tendons around ankle joint or just behind the Achilles. But am walking with pretty good gait when loose, still a little stiff in mornings and evening if was on feet alot that day. You will want to stretch hamstring and eventually do stretch with a towel where you pull ball of foot towards you, this stretch is very important to get the lower calf working again. Overall stretching is as important as working out when you begin therapy. I am working out every other day to build strenght back in calf. And plan to stay on this schedule through July or 1 Yr anniversary. I could jog right now, but have not tried any distance, just short jogs and eliptical machine. My workouts today: leg press, leg extensions, calf machine, treadmill(1 mile walks), eliptical machine, stationary bike, and doing what i call leg swings for hips(attach a collar or strap around ankle region and you swing each leg in 3 directions), hooked up to a cable with weight on a machine

    Keep both legs elevated as much as you can right now, I had mine elevated 24 hrs a day, even at night. You should be able to begin some leg lifts and what I call “scissors” with your legs/hips(laying on side do leg lift). Not sure how heavy your casts are, I was able to take boots off to do leg exercises described, with cast weight you may need to wait for those to come off to avoid any stress to tendon area or start with 2 reps a few times per day and go from there(dont want to give you bad advice)

    Sorry that dancing caused this for you, I think that the volleyball player from Dancing with the Stars also tore hers(1) in dance practice. I am most likely done with basketball also, am 41 and just not the same as it once was anyway. Bathroom thing was always a fun experience, never thought I would say damn its good to sit on a toilet again!!

    Definitely a life changing experience/challenge, just hang tough and know the timeline and stick to the 1Yr. plan. Be UP for the challenge mentally and you will be back

  7. Thanks for the info, I have been keeping them elevated as much as possible as my feet tend to swell when they’re down. I have been given some exercises to do for my upper legs , similar to the ones you suggest. As for walking unaided, at what stage did you feel you could walk confidently and strongly? Are you thinking a year?
    Cheers

  8. You will be able to walk as tolerable in boots at 6-7 weeks if Dr ok’s you and at 11-12 weeks in shoes, but it wount be far or long due to swelling and weakness. At 15-16 weeks you will really begin to advance with walking/strength, but again the swelling is going to get you, causing some pain. You will want to begin walking in the pool and do what you can to loosen up the feet/flexibility, they are going to be very tight. When in pool I would stay at side of pool and do kicking , I found this to really help with blood circulation(could feel swelling go down quickly) and loosening things up. Guessing you will have adhesions or tissues sticking together causing even more tightness. At 4-5.5 month mark is when I really started walking with more of a normal gait. The workouts will cause soreness and hold you back some, but keep the course. At 6 months now and am walking 1 mile or more on treadmill every other day, plus daily walking at work etc. At 5-6 month mark you will be walking but still fighting some swelling and weakness in tendons around ankle(my experience)

    I also had to do the injections due to risk of clots or DVT. I feel for you during these first 6-10 weeks, it gets better once you can get up on feet(mentally and physically)

  9. It is good to have a bit if a timeline, and to be realistic. I can imagine that I will be feeling way better once i am vertical, and know what I am up for. So far so good, but i get sore from sitting for so long. I try and change from bed to chair on a regular basis. I am so looking forward to getting the casts off in 10 or so days. Once again, I appreciate your responses which I think would help others besides myself. Thanks so much

  10. Great news, at 6 weeks 2 days i am in moonboots with a zimmerframe and it is so good to be vertical (briefly). It reassures me to read what you have experienced as it seems my course of treatment looks similar. I have also managed to get down 3 stairs (in a fashion), which means I can use a normal toilet again! I begin physio this week I think, but the doctors were suggesting I go into built up shoes already. This scares me as all of my other muscles are so weak I’d be fearful or a fall/ sprained ankle. I will continue with the moonboots for a while yet, but will have that clarified with the physio.. I have had so many firsts and am excited about getting on with it (slowly of course).

  11. Sure you are happy to be standing some!! I remember my laps where i walked next to the countertop approx 10ft back and forth. Did a few of these per day then was up more and more and became more and more mobile in the wheelchair. you will want to let your feet rest on floor sitting in chair or bedside. i thought rolling tennis ball on bottom of foot really helped me wake some nerves etc in my feet and it felt great. you should be ready for the pool soon, ahhh that always felt so good, i video’d my first walking and pool therapy, my 3 yr old is really fascinated with these, he was just watching these yesterday on the ipad. he was so excited when i stood up the first time, he was yelling daddy you are standing up!! get ready for your exercises and stretching 2-3x per day, remember the time line and take it one day at a time.

    I purchased some really good compression socks($45US) and highly recommend and wear as much as you can. These are made by 2XU and have helped me big time with swelling.

    Stay positive and things begin to move faster after 6 weeks, more going on with exercises and therapy.

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