Hello, my name is Brian and I am a 42 year old lover of outdoor adventure. I enjoy hiking, biking, running, and a variety of sports, including but not limited to skiing, basketball, volleyball, football, and tennis. I exercise 4-5 times per week and my routine consists of a self-discovered combination of weight-lifting, cardio, P90X, crossfit, and yoga. Despite being reasonably fit and capable, I’m far from being a true athlete, though I’m certainly above the average activity level of my peers….
I ruptured my Achilles on June 6th playing kickball in league play! It was a double-header and it occurred early in the second game, as I was running toward first base, following a good kick. About the third or fourth step, I heard it “pop” and thought that someone threw a 90mph fastball into my calf, and it lodged in there! While enroute to the base, I looked down and saw nothing only to experience the inability to run anymore, but somehow managed to fall onto my base and roll. In agony, I crawled off the field to the dismay of both mine and the opposing teams. The pain lasted for a good 15 minutes, and then just tenderness. I had another player take my spot and cheered the team on from the sidelines, then limped to my car afterwards. That night, I attempted the “tough-guy” routine and tried to sleep it off, hoping I just strained my calf with all the swelling associated with my limb and ankle. When I woke, there was no change and I got a ride to the ER only to confirm my suspicions of a tendon tear!
Surgery was performed on June 11th and I wore a partial cast for 17 days, with instructions to elevate, take meds, and no weight-bearing. The meds and the elevating lasted about 5 days only and soon I was crutching around quite well. I realized that I cannot sit still very well, and actually went on a 3/4 mile crutch with my niece! On June 28th, I got the stitches out and was fitted for the “boot”, which I currently still wear. Instructions were to still avoid weight-bearing, elevate as needed, and don’t get site wet. I bought waterproof tape and cover my unbooted leg while in the shower, and I placed a lawn chair in there to sit on. I still crutch around and even drive my car when needed. During this process, I’ve noticed muscle atrophy in my calf, and tenderness/tightness in my ankle, likely due to non-use! It’s funny, that while my tendon heals, my entire leg is weakening, and I understand the need for rehab. In my own time, I have actually wiggled my toes and moved my ankle around somewhat, even performing some light weight-bearing, plantar flexion, and upper-body exercises. The tendon feels tight, but not sore! Still, I maintain minimal movements that don’t produce aggravated swelling, although none are encouraged at this time. I’m on my last removable wedge to slowly stretch the tendon, and this last one will certainly be felt! The next visit is Wednesday, June 24 and I will know more about my progress and the start of rehab…
My hope is to be back to normal or better, and skiing in January. However, I have to recognize and be prepared that this may not occur! My rehab progress and return of strength will determine all my hopes as I look forward to physical therapy with both trepidation and excitement!