Wow, how can a year have gone by already?
From the initial shock to the early frustration to the community of support here, its been an interesting year
I did NON-SURGICAL, which I would recommend to anyone: The rehab is the same, the recovery/prognosis is the same, but no surgical risk, no pain, no scars, no adhesion etc.
Status: Achilles/calf still smaller than the right. Most noticeable when running **faster** than normal pace. This make sense: faster means longer stride means the center of mass gets farther ahead of the foot. Not painful, but definitely noticeable.
Also notice stiffness in the AM, or when driving long periods without intentionally moving my foot.
What did I learn: life goes on, knee scooters are infinitely better than crutches, rehab goes quickly, optimism beats pessimism, and achillesblog is a pretty special place
I still skied my usual 30-40 days, and ran a half marathon in May.
Looking forward, I will run another half on August 21, a half on Sept 17th and, at 15 months post injury, the best marathon in the world, NYC, on November 6th
What I would do different: more dedication to one leg ONLY exercises. Walking and other daily activities will not (or only very slowly) get your affected achilles and calf to match the good one.
Thanks for reading
Brad in Ann Arbor MI
At 15 weeks, two shoes the last 4-6
walking about 90% normal
Not yet able to do a legitimate one-legged heal raise, so using arms and other leg to lessen the load.
Plan to use the seated gym equipment where the weight is across both knees and the lower leg rises straight up, ie heel raise from a seated position.
Want to make sure I can fully “open” the ankle under, as with the good foot.
so far so good..
So I am around 11 weeks and officially my last week was “two shoes, heel lifts in both shoes”
At todays appt the doc says he wants 10-12 weeks in two shoes with heel lifts.
Is this typical?
Also wondering what rehab/pt exercises people have done to slowly and safely get calf strength back?
If I concentrate, it would be hard to spot my current limp.
He is NOT a big fan of physical therapy appointments, with the concern over what they might do, as in over-do something.
This seems rather extreme (and dont see myself adhering all that closely) but just curious what others think
ps - as for my achilles, it feels better every day (it really does) and my limp is less apparent all the time
Monday will be 12 weeks and I have in two shoes since ~ 10 weeks, sometimes going back to the cast for long days and crowded events, like football tailgating
cant believe how good it feels. i have a limp unless i really focus on walking “correctly” and calf size is already coming back
biggest thing now is trust: trust that i can lift my heel off the ground.
100% sold on non-operative, so spread the work
- 62 days post injury, non operative, NO pain of any kind since day 3 or 4
- healing is going unbelievably well
- FWB aircast at 4 week (two wedges)
- Down to single wedge at 45 day
Plan: Two more week in aircast NO wedge
One week in shoe with single wedge
Followup in three weeks (83 days total), PT AFTER that visit, although current activity without the boot is doing some amount of work on ankle / calf / tendon.
Dr knows I have not used the aircast 100 of the time but wants to stick with this plan, being conservative (by his own words).
In reality I will do a mixture of shoes around the house and short trips, aircast for longer days / more walking, and air travel.
I think my docs viewpoint is this: the aircast is not hurting the recovery, but is providing much greater strength and protection, particularly against a miss-step or severe strain on the ankle/tendon complex.
So, frustrating in the short run..
Thanks for reading
Well, 8 weeks tommorow
Officially I am FWB, aircast with a single wedge. (next appt in one week)
But I’m spending *some* time with street shoes, single wedge. Actually I have a single wedge in each shoe for better height alignment.
Tendon feels great and my thinking is
- Many people are in shoes at 8 weeks
- I am being extremely careful, slow and cautious in my movements
- I want to get some resistance and effort to my calf muscle
But I have the boot and will wear it most of the time until my next appt. But sooo nice to see both shoes on again
Weeks dont go fast enough, so I started counting days. Actually, the recovery (non-operative) is going so well, I’m feeling like I want to be in street shoes, ie tendon feels good and connected.
- 45 days after injury, full weight bearing with aircast (started that at ~ 4 weeks)
- aircast with *single* heel wedge for the next two weeks (most likely remove ~ 60 day mark)
- motion exercises below neutral: inversion, eversion, its all good
- toes to neutral only: with knee bent (easier), with leg straight (harder)
Doctor thinks that over time the NON-operative route will become the standard, surgical will be the exception. Every time I see him I think he is genuinely and pleasantly surprised at the progress. I also suspect he had not had many non-operative patients (but I keep forgetting to ask)
I wanted to get in street shoes sooner but he wants to be cautious. My guess is the healing wont be any different but the rehab will start 1-2 weeks later than others, along with the increased loss in calf muscle.
so far so good
- I’m five weeks and two days from my rupture. I went NON-operative,
- Aircast with two wedges for 5 days, crutches, knee scooter (Non weight bearing)
- fiberlass cast at 20 degrees plantar flexion for two weeks (Non weight bearing)
- cast cut in two, with velcro for another week (remove for showers) (Non weight bearing)
- Aircast with two heal wedges, WBAT
So far I have been very fortunate - no pain at all (unless i somehow dorsiflex too far, like stepping in hole)
With the aircast I can get around quite well. The first day my heel bone felt a bit sore but i suspect that was simply from lack on any pressure over the past month.
I can stand on two feet. I can lift both feet to approximately the same angle, albeit more effort required on the ATR’d one. If I slowly and carefully dorsiflex, I feel tension but not pain. Inversion and eversion below neutral take some focus, but no resistance is felt
Next appointment is a week from tommorow, where i suspect some of the heel wedges will come out.
Did anyone "wean themselves down"? I have two wedges, but each of those is three layers, so I could step it down in much smaller steps.
Thanks for reading