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Brokenbride’s AchillesBlog

Some Balance

I’m now at 11 weeks and I feel this past week is the first time I’ve experienced some minor setbacks. I think to many Christmas parties and not enough therapy is to blame. Standing and socializing at Paul’s company Christmas party for just a few hours wiped me out last weekend. I’ve also been doing [...]

I’m now at 11 weeks and I feel this past week is the first time I’ve experienced some minor setbacks. I think to many Christmas parties and not enough therapy is to blame. Standing and socializing at Paul’s company Christmas party for just a few hours wiped me out last weekend. I’ve also been doing more with my personal trainer and my body is feeling it. I’m embarrassed at how stiff my hips and and inner thighs are from some simple “Jane Fondas”. I’ve also experienced a lot more swelling this week. And with all the pre-holiday prep, I haven’t been to the pool as mush as I would like.

Perhaps the swelling and discomfort simply come with more mobility. I do notice it more after the bike rides.

My knee is about 2cm from the wall which is a improvement. And I’ve noticed the numbness on the back of my foot is fading. But the heel pain I’m having is probably the most pain I’ve experienced throughout the entire recovery. The Crocs are very helpful - an achillesblog tip I picked up.

The fear of re-rupture is on my mind all the time. I was walking with a client yesterday and she slipped twice on the icy sidewalks. I can’t tell you how much this freaks me out.

Out of curiosity I tried on my ski boot. I was pleasantly surprised that my leg could flex with the boot but I can’t say the ankle area was very comfortable.

I’ve been watching Brady Browne’s physical therapy on Youtube. I’m on par with all his exercises at 11 weeks, but I’m blown away by his balance. It’s an area I definitely need some improvement on.

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Interesting stuff. It also sounds more positive to me than you feel. While I was healing from my recent (2nd) ATR, I was weirdly cheered up by every non-ATR discomfort, stiffness, and pain! Even a nasty bone bruise on my OTHER shin (that made THAT ankle swell and feel like it was post-ATR) had a positive mental aspect to it, because it seemed like a return to “normal” after my ATR detour. So try reframing that hip and thigh stiffness into a Good Thing — you’re getting back in shape after a forced layoff!

The heel pain is different. (I assume you’re hurting on the bottom of your heel, not the back.) Although it’s almost universal in this crowd, it shouldn’t be abused. I think it can turn into a heel spur =~ plantar fasciitis if you push it like a guy, “no pain no gain”. Rolling your foot over a ball while seated seems to help most of us, along with rest (while you’re elevating the leg) and Crocs.

I too found my ski boot remarkably comfy, reassuring, and protective. A week or so before a scheduled trip to a Whistler timeshare, I tried on my boots AND snapped into — and out of — my bindings, with “that” heel binding set down from DIN 6.5-7 to 1, snap out, then 2, snap out, then 3. Once I realized I could snap out of it at 3 without pain, discomfort, or fear, I phoned SkiCan and added the 6-day lift ticket to my package. I left it tuned down to 3 for the whole ski week. Yes, it released a few times, but so did the other one when I lost it on the Whistler steeps and deeps! :-) As I’ve reported here a few times, my AT felt much safer on the slopes (even during my “yard sales”!) than it felt while I was walking around in shoes.

1 normofthenorth December 14, 2012 11:15 am

I think (like Norm) that it sounds like you are doing better than you feel. The more I walk the more swelling and pain I have (although most of mine in on the top of my foot and ankle, some on the bottom of the heel though). I think all of this is just rehab pains and each day feels better than the last (Most of the time). I hope your recovery keeps progressing positively.

2 kkirk December 14, 2012 12:40 pm

It’s all part of the process and sounds like you are right on track, enjoy it :)

Regards the heel pain, I have more discomfort in that area than any other part of my foot/ankle/calf - moreso when I wear flat, unsupported shoes.

Good running shoes and cheap orthotic insoles helped me no end - only now (at wk28) am I without any discomfort except after I have really pushed myself…. so just manage it, support it and keep doing what you are doing, it’s working :)

Happy healing :)

3 andrew1971 December 14, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks guys. I think I’m feeling some what guilty for spending more time socializing than “rehabing”. I’ve been fortunate that my recovery has been fairly text book and the weekly progress has always pleasantly surprised me. I realize the “small gains” in the past week are still a move in the right direction.

The pain on the bottom of my heel is something I was experiencing before the ATR - it’s just much more intense now. I was suffering from plantar faciitis (with the awareness and fear of a bone spur developing) and, in hindsight, I was also suffering from tendonitis. I hadn’t run in months because of the pain. My first run after several weeks of low impact exercise was five days before the rupture - hmmm.

I was getting PT for the plantar faciitis before the ATR and I guess this problem is something I’ll have to factor in during my recovery and rehab.

My PT has lots of interesting thoughts on the brain’s role in all of this. I’m probably bastardizing his words, but he says pain has a memory and it’s not surprising that the only pain I’ve experienced is in the old pain area. Interesting.

4 brokenbride December 15, 2012 1:43 pm

Very interesting. I’ve always had issues with my ankles on longer backpacking trips, soreness/stiffness, and similar to the pain I feel now, although during and after my excursion the pain was less intense than what I’ve been experiencing now. I wonder how much validity there is to pain memory. Possibly like my uncle who has suffered for a couple years with Phantom pains after a amputation of his right leg. Honestly, I don’t know, but I find it very fascinating and I sure the brain plays a major role in everyone’s experience of pain.

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