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.

7 Responses to “7 Months post-op, Lesson and Caveman Issues”

  1. kellygirl Says:

    Your post is reminding me to stick with the balance exercises that I find so easy to skip. I think my leg/hip strength was back to “normal” (for my non-competitive athletic self) at 7/8 months or so. I never got around to in-line skating but I can see how that might be a better indicator of whether or not I’m back to normal. The pushing and stopping makes me nervous just thinking about it. WIll have to try it one of these days. I’ve got nothing regarding the mental aspect of aging. I’ve got the greying hair and wrinkles but they don’t bother me too much. As for the athletics–that kind of took a back seat after kids and I never really looked back.

    Nice thought provoking post!

  2. anne Says:

    Hey Bionic -

    Great to hear from you. You know me under my previous name (superjewgrl). I had my 6 month post op anniversary yesterday.

    Your post made me think of an interview with Dominique Wilkins (former pro NBA player) discussing Kobe. Dominque came back from an ATR and he said when he first came back, he was scared of re-injury and held himself back from playing his full potential, and then he flipped a mental switch and said to himself, if it happens it happens.

    Regardless if you will be at the same level as before, showing up and getting back on the field after what you’ve been through is an achievement (mentally and physically) that no one can take from you.

    Good luck!!!

  3. bionic Says:

    Hey kellygirl and anne nice hearing from you! You and others, pretty special support during the height of my achilles experience, oxycontin, doubt, progress and all.

    kellygirl I see your blog. It could be a textbook optimism on recovery. So much sunshine in all your pictures too. In my next life I want to rupture my achilles in California.

    Keep in mind with inline skating that your foot and ankle are kind of locked in the boot, so that might help the confidence. The stopping would be interesting cause most outdoor inline it’s stretching your Achilles with the brake on the back (place it on your non ruptured side? some are interchangable).

    Many people here are runners and I admire runners. I stopped running at 21 due to meniscus tear and removal. Decided to never dwell on it as a loss, as lucky to be very active in so many other sports. But I recall the meditative rhythm, runners high, so fondly, and after a long run energy to sprint in at the end. That was the closest I’ve ever been to flying. I am very odd, I think of runners as semi-holy people making the world a better place by running. I love reading about their stories re running on this blog.

    Anne, I could not find your blog content. Where is it? Nonetheless, I do recall you toughed it out through so much, the re-rupture due to the wedges mess up at the docs etc.

    With that experience you certainly are an authority on pushing past obstacles. Thank you for the Wilkins words, they are an absolute perfect dose of what I need. There is quite a bit that goes on mentally in recovery stages, that one forgets they can control that.

  4. micah1 Says:

    Bionic, I’m loving your “runners are like holy people” analogy. I’ll be smiling tomorrow when I see the local runners with their meditative pace. It will remind me of all of us on here, young and old alike.

  5. flavster Says:

    Hi Bionic and everyone , i am almost 8 months post op now, and i am still feeling pain when i stand up from bed and walk when i wake up, which is specially hard since this makes my start of the day feel heavy and also frustrating since i am getting close to a year after surgery. Is this normal? I am also a runner and can already run 5K but feeling some pain

  6. bionic Says:

    Hi flavster.

    I have tightness in the mornings as well. It lasts a short time. It’s not painful and because of my sleepy state with first few steps, I almost forget that it happens. I’m not sure of the biology/physics behind this. That would be of interest so we might relax our minds if it means little and perhaps be able to do something about it. I imagine blood flow in the healed Achilles does not come as easy. No journals reading here, but I wonder if massage prior to sleep nightly would help.

    If you’re running 5k that is awesome. I am no expert, but you say you are feeling some pain. It’s quite possible that you’re still on the road to recovery. I believe I certainly am going to get better with time. I recall reading on this blog that some people say about a full year, some longer perhaps before reaching a plateau.

    I think we lose cast, crutches, cane, limp, rehab and then we feel that given all the symbols of rehab are gone, we are no longer recovering or rehabbing. We may be functioning for the most part but I believe our body/achilles/calf/ankle/foot/achillesmind are still healing.

    I had knee surgery some 20+ years ago and my knee circumference remained a tad smaller for a long long time. Revisited and discovered 2 decades later when meniscus pain lasted a while. That’s a positive. It means much room and time to improve. I should have been doing rehab a bit longer, but who did that at age of 19 when you had AC/DC and Metallica to make you strong.

  7. anne Says:

    Hi Flavster (and bionic),

    I am close to 7 months post op and I get stiff in the morning. After I run on the AlterG sometimes I have a twinge of pain and then my foot sometimes locks up. (I’m gonna also blame the snow and cold weather.)

    I started going to a neuromuscular therapist (sports massage) and his work on my scar tissue has helped tremendously. He also works on the muscle and tendon and although I feel like screaming on the top of my lungs while he works it, afterwards (day 2 or 3) it feels great and my sports performance is usually better.

    Also bionic - Led Zeppelin is getting me through my workouts now.

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