I tragically ruptured my left Achilles on March 8, 2012, playing basketball in a local men’s league championship game. I’m 26, healthy, and active. This injury came as very big surprise and as a freak accident to me. I stumbled across this website searching for others who’ve experienced the same type of injury. I am glad there’s a large support community, and I hope to join and contribute to it to help others. I aim to use this blog as an outlet to share my story, my recovery, interesting tidbits I discover about recovery and the injury, and the importance (or lack thereof) of the location of my rupture (just below the calf - I’m told by my surgeon this is an odd place to rupture and could impact my future).
After the injury, a few days passed before I accepted this wasn’t just another high ankle sprain or twisted ankle. When the injury occurred, I was shuffling lightly to gain position before play resumed, and I suddenly heard and felt the all-too-familiar “snap” or “slap,” and I turned around to confront the joker who thought it’d be funny to slap my calf right before play resumed, verbalizing an obscenity in the process. To my surprise, no one was there. I took another step, and that, as they say, is all she wrote. I felt pain rivaling a severely rolled ankle. Walking off the court, I couldn’t use my left leg, which felt as if something was missing. I had to be carried. Upon pressing on various points of my tendon on the sideline, I noticed a large gap in my Achilles.
I purchased an ankle brace from CVS and limped around for a few days. I saw a podiatrist five days after the injury. He ordered an MRI for me and placed me in a walking boot, which was rather uncomfortable and daunting. Eight days after the injury, I saw my orthopedic surgeon, who examined the MRI. He confirmed an Achilles rupture along with stating jokingly I was “another Weekend Warrior” and that “it looks like my NBA career is on hold.” (I do wonder how many one liners these doctors create and how long they have to wait until situations like these arise to say them.) The doctor examined my legs and had his resident video tape the examination because of the odd location of the injury. He discussed options with me. He stressed since I am 26, young, active, and hope to regain my athleticism, then surgery existed as the best option for a 100-percent recovery. I could, of course, neglecting surgery and place the leg in a cast for a few months and let it heal on its own. However, re-rupture with surgery is much lower than simply placing the injury in a cast for a few weeks.
Naturally, since I hope to regain my men’s league championship form one day, I chose surgery. Eleven days after the injury, the surgery occurred on a Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh.