July 2, 2014
I did not post at 1 year post ATR and surgery. This was about 2 weeks ago. Things were amazing with Achilles. Was back to touch football league. No swelling or pain after hard played games by end
Today was first very hot day and I was walking (including a few steep hills) much of the day with plenty of rest between in good running shoes. At end of day I happened to notice swelling all around one ankle and up achilles area to just below calf muscle. Only on ATR side and not into foot or toes. I don’t have any history of swelling without injury in that area. Not warm to touch or red. I googled ankle edema, although my swelling is obvious, it is nothing as bad as most google images.
I have had ankle ligament issues but always pain associated and in that case and swelling is not really up leg or at achilles. No pain in ankle or achilles and swelling after a great recovery just on one side has me puzzled.
(Now one day later swelling around ankle has decreased but behind ankle at Achilles remains).
Anyone have similar experiences at this stage (1 year or more post ATR)? Any ideas what might cause this? I was loving my new stitched Achilles. Am I still rehabbing?
April 28, 2014
I use to jog at young age but had medial meniscus scoped out in early 20s so stopped running. But never stopped pounding away with many other sports. I’ve only known one speed in my sports and that’s all out. ATR mid June 2013. Now back to playing touch football hard and hockey. Some ankle issues and knee issues (had them pre ATR) after each outing, but the bright side is Achilles lets me push hard enough to have those issues.
Long ways to go in building calf up and still room for some leg muscle and getting weight a few pounds down to pre-surgeryweight but despite all that sprinting past young kids again!!
Not sure how long I have left with this in mid 40s but thrilled. I recall reading and hearing about the devastation of achilles injury. Recall the slow slow slow recovery. Loving this now while it lasts!! Stay positive and take it in stride.
February 4, 2014
Ok I’ve read about healing long. If anything I believe I might have heeled short. I think that’s a good thing as I think I can stretch. When I go down and up stairs, I can feel my surgical achilles stretching to the limit. Feels tight.
I’m taking a few weeks off a brief return to sports. Just with walking I had some pain on inside of my ankle. With sports it increased to cause slight limp. The pain is just above the "medial malleollus" or the top of ankle joint on inside of foot. I can press there and feel it is tender.
A while ago I chalked it up to weakened ankle ligaments or weak propioreceptors. I’ve worked on that a bit. However, now I am starting to wonder if it has something to do with new alignment of my step. I appear to be stepping normally, but I wonder if each step is just slightly off causing this pain. Does the achilles get sewn back 100% vertically or tugging together ends as they can be tugged?
Anyone had pain in or around ankle months (in my case now 7.5) after achilles surgery. The pain is not too severe but it feels like a slight sprain type of pain telling me to approach physical activity with caution and does make me limp after activity and a bit at other random times.
January 26, 2014
I’m 7 months post-op. Was in vacocast right upto about 11-12 weeks. Went to rehab if I recall a month or two. At about 6 months tried a game of ball hockey and limped for a couple of weeks afterward…due to sore ankle mostly (due to achilles limped for a day or so). Rested another 4 weeks.
In last couple of weeks played ice hockey twice and ball hockey once. Feel great as keeping up, even though a bit weak. Trouble with hard skate stop on one side and favouring a bit in both in pivoting in gym and on skates. Able to go 100% but maybe 80% when direct pressure on ankle/achilles in pivoting, turning, stopping.
Finding big deficit is ankle propioreceptor/ligament strength and general leg strength (which is good as i can do something about those things).That is the lesson on my part. REHAB ankle propioreceptors and entire leg strength and hip early and often….not just calf.
Complete rupture June 2013 during flag football. Season starts in April (10 months post-op). That involves all out sprinting at times and lots of quick turns and movements.I’m not sure if I’ll be ready for that physically and a bit of mental hesitation also with injury fear (rolling atrophied ankle and thereby damaging achilles perhaps). Will look at brace for that.
Also last year at 44 was more than able to keep up with those in 20s on the field. I look forward to grey hair and wrinkles. I think most of the world is mentally ill in that regard. However, with Achilles and 45 not sure how I will deal with mentally not being as fast and competitive if that turns out to be the case.
Sounds odd, but always had to be ready to compete in sports and learned (and never grew out of) needing to always ready to run and/or fight in my world, like an altruistic caveman. Cavemen/women would be dying on top of their physical game in 40s, as well not living to tell about the lion s/he could not outrun. But i likely will have to deal with age. Would be going through that sometime regardless of the Achilles. I guess this is what they refer to as ‘first world problems’.
Thanks for listening and if anyone has been through similar mental/physical processes with aging and/or physical competitive ability changing with or without Achilles, be interested in hearing.
October 12, 2013
I had surgery almost 4 months ago. I went through the limp phase where I could feel a really tight tendon. To get rid of the limp I walk a bit slower and focus on my walk pushing through the entire ROM on my ATR foot.
As I’ve been doing this lately the tendon does not feel as tight and the limp is getting better. However, my calf muscle (not lower down where tendon is but right in the thickest part of the muscle) is getting very sore. This has been going on for about 3 days and coincides with making an effort to get rid of the limp. Tendon does not feel as tight as it use to but calf is sore to the point of almost being painful with every step.
Anyone else experience anything similar? Can’t tell if calf is just weak, stretching to compensate for what is now shortened tendon, should i slow down on calf raises and exercises, or is this pain with every step a good phase? normal phase? common phase?
September 8, 2013
The way I play my sports, I’ve been wondering if I would be coming back closer to the 9-12 months mark than 6 months so I don’t re-injure. I haven’t really got that far ahead seriously as only at 12 weeks, but I’ve been mentally preparing myself for being out longer. I did wonder if I could come back to ice hockey sooner because of the security offered by the skate boot. (I’ve been rotating sports and haven’t played weekly ice hockey for about a year plus pre ATR).
I had no intention to get on the ice till maybe several months down the road. Today, my daughter wanted to skate before her lessons so my family did the same. I have a significant limp still and took my skates along. I was telling myself ‘maybe I should not do this’. I googled to find out if achilles damage can happen in a skate boot. Saw that it is common in freestyle. Not sure what freestyle. I guess if you hurt yourself it’s always freestyle.
Thought maybe I’ll glide and last 30 seconds on the ice and was prepared for that. I was very tentative at the start and first few steps even off the ice and on the ice, I was unprepared for. Realized even skate walking is unfamiliar for new achilles. The first few steps on the ice were oddly foreign and scary…I did not think that was where the hurdle would be, but the brain had to figure out those steps. Then started gliding a bit. Went slow, no crossovers and no hockey stops. Really noticed weakness in entire leg right away despite having worked out upper leg muscles with machine weights early on in injury.
Went for a few minutes and off the ice for quite a while. Went back for a couple of more spins, a bit faster. Finally went back and limiting myself quite a bit but picking up some speed. Great feeling! Maybe skated 5-10 minutes during the entire hour. Found that it was not only my achilles but leg strength and sense of balance that I needed to get back after moving slow for 3 months. Not sure I would recommend for everyone. I was afraid at times. Flexed my calf numerous time to ensure everything attached. Wondering if this was very wrong. I got more dorsiflexion than I thought the skate boot would allow but it did limit.
Even putting on and taking off the skate boot had to be a very careful process so I don’t tug on my foot. Here’s the kicker… I put on my shoes and took my first few steps. Right away I noticed a bit better and smoother motion with my ankle. My limp was a bit less also! I’ve rolled ankles numerous times in the past. The sprain gets better but there is a bit of ‘lock’ where the front of shin meets foot and i have to work to get that ROM back. I was wondering if this was going to be a problem with foot in boot for weeks but I would not be able to tell cause of achilles as well. Anyway it seems ankle ‘unlocked’ a bit with the skate.
Feeling really good about this. I don’t want others getting hurt so I’m not sure I would recommend this early. But at some right time (probably later than post 12 weeks ATR) if there is an activity that you want to get back to and you skate, that might be one activity to consider sooner.
September 6, 2013
I’m at about 12 weeks post ATR. Only out of the boot a short time ago in public. Otherwise spent time out of it at home. The only heel lift I can do is sitting heel lift. When I stand my brain does not seem connected to my "heel lift muscles" at all. There is nothing. I’m guessing that is normal.
I also notice I am able to contract my ATR calf muscle far more rapidly and far easier than my more developed good leg calf. It’s a strange feeling cause without looking at it, it feels the bad calf has ability to flex like body builder calf. It’s like having fine motor control over the rapid contraction of the bad calf muscle in most positions.With the good calf which is decently developed and far larger than the bad, I have to think flexing and it’s far less rapid contractions.
I am wondering if this new found muscle contraction ability is because when the achilles is stitched together the muscle becomes shorter and therefore easier to contract. when standing facing the wall and toes touching wall, knee on my bad side has long ways to go to get to the wall. Dorsiflexion is not there at all. People seem to say you don’t want to heel long cause you can always stretch it out if you heel short. Any insight or experiences from those who’ve gone through this stage as to how to know whether achilles is being stretched enough or not? My rapid fire calf is making me think it’s really short. I am returning to physio next week….will be my third physio and hoping next week I’m provided with more insight also.
August 1, 2013
What degrees to to fix or hinge for ROM vaco? …And at how many weeks?
My hospital and PT shrug at the vacocast. They are not familiar with it. To me, it’s my best friend.
They know wedges. They know you go from 4 wedges to 0 (25 deg to 0 fixed in Vaco).
I have been fixed at 0 degrees in vaco since week 5 post surgery. I am almost at week 7. The doc plan is to stay in cast till week 12.
It seems logical to me that if vaco allows for some controlled plantar/dorsi ROM then that would be ideal transition to 2 shoes. That is before trying to have brain and sleepy propioreceptors fight between fear and rehab in two shoes.
My docs don’t know vaco so I stay fixed at 0 till the end. I want to know what Kobe’s docs did? If you don’t know that, please let me know any thoughts. I don’t want to be experimenting in the dark.
July 23, 2013
I am pretty sure that I should start my own rehab. What and when did people start Rehab? I am especially interested in when surgery people started with scar massage and what that looks like and when started on exercise bike? Other most helpful Rehab tips? What time did you start that exercise/rehab and are you surg or non-surg?
My background for this query:
At week 4 when i was essentially FWB I was told to get to 0 degrees at week 5, stay in boot that way and come back at week 11. I asked about physio and was told nothing till after 11-12 weeks. That means no scar tissue massage, no biking recommended, no AROM!! Essentially had a student doc look and say "looks good". I tried asking questions but he seemed quite disinterested. Waste of time attending appt.
July 14, 2013
This is posted with due respect for people who are struggling with more than just straightforward ATR rupture/surgery. Some of those stories are quite humbling and inspirational. They too will get there.
My ATR was a huge blow as I was rehabbing for other injuries knee/ankle, not getting younger, yet really at a great place with sports in my life with access to multiple pickup/rec league sports and loving every minute of sports….my music, my art. Did not realize how being fast, quick and agile on my feet was such a huge part of my life. I was told pretty much immediately that I was looking at 6 months out and started to realize maybe a year and some doubt as to whether I would come back with the same ability. Although 6 years away, I imagined doing backflips for my 50th.
When people see the cast and sympathize, I automatically come up with an optimistic response. That was what I had left for a competitive sport spirit. There are so many silver linings as life happens. I thought it might be nice to share the positive’s arising from ATR. I have a few but will start with one. Be serious or even state a humerous brighter side, or share a story expanding on something positive someone else has posted.
In case you need a hobbling start….. "I don’t recommend and ATR but if it wasn’t for my ATR…._________________________(something positive)…