My Intial ATR and Healing Protocol

Hi Everyone,

I never actually blogged before so forgive me for any deviations from blogging protocol if there is such a thing.  Anyways I had my intial ATR back in May of this year. It was during rugby training while we were doing some sprints/suicides for conditioning. I already completed 3 or 4 sets so I was warmed up at the time and was feeling fine.  Just so happens during the next set on the last rep of the sprints I hear a loud pop or bang as I transition from stop to go.

I know a lot of people describe it this way but it really felt like someone kicked me from behind! At least that is what I was hoping but as soon as I turned around and looked behind myself, only to see nobody, it dawned on me that I probably had an ATR.  A few of my teammates helped me out and drove me to the nearest hospital. I sat around the ER for about four or five hours before a doctor finally got to me and put me into a splint for the meantime.

Next morning I went to the same hospital’s fracture clinic where the doctor essentially provided me with two options surgery or the “conservative” method.  This being my first major injury ever, I deferred to the experts and did not ask to many questions.  The head orthopaedic doctor there at the time suggested that I go with the “conservative” method due to the location of the ATR. So I did.

I was put into a cast in “plantar flexion” for about 2 weeks and then had my foot raised closer to 90 where I was casted once again. The second cast was on for five weeks. At the end of those five weeks the doctor put me into a walking boot and said that I could begin physio instructing I work on “Gentle ROM - Dorsiflexion and Calf Strengthening”.  A week later I started my physio since that was the earliest date I could get at the time but I’ll talk more about my physio process in the next post.

2 Responses to “My Intial ATR and Healing Protocol”

  1. Your “conservative” treatment was quite old-fashioned slow in the length of your casting/immobilization, in the delay before PT, and the length of NWB. But it was quite aggressive — I’d say TOO aggressive — in changing your foot angle!

    I’m also in Toronto, so I’m curious WHICH hospital follows this odd-ball protocol, and what (if anything) it’s based on.

    If there’s one thing that emerges from following the stories here, it’s simply that “deferring to the experts” for ATR treatment is NOT a great idea! Unless by “experts” you mean the authors of the best and latest studies, of course! (But nobody ever means that, alas!)

  2. I went to Sunnybrook since its near where I live. It really seems like a lottery to me on which doctor you get. If you read my new post in my blog I explain the differences between my new and old doctor.

    Definitely agree with the whole not deferring to the experts thing now but at the same time you have use your judgement of the situation. Obviously tough to do if your not experienced.

    Seems some doctors make an effort to update themselves on new studies while some don’t. I guess they just get into patterns. Actually read an article about this recently in a Reader’s Digest while I was waiting to get my wisdom teeth removed.

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