12 week dr visit … Onwards and the shanks.

May 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Successful 12 week post op visit now in mirror. Basically, a brief inspection and lecture on not being too aggressive.  Tendon looks good, all signs pointing to appropriate pace of recovery. He is still saying 26 weeks to jogging, 52 weeks to reactive sports. My tennis racquet can be found on eBay :)

Moving to much more aggressive strengthening of the calf. I was under impression that my calf had not atrophied all that much, all things considered. Once asked to do my first standing calf raises, I’m realizing I have got some real work ahead of me. The site has a small bump where the reattach point is, doc said will probably be permanent, but his only option would have been to cut away good tendon to shape the outcome…and his policy (thank goodness) is to never cut good tendon. So my career as a heel model has come to a screeching halt.

Positive news was clears to hit golf balls, go paddleboarding, and bicycle as long as I avoid real inclines. Bad news, the tightness in my calf and weakness apparently leads to the shanks, so I am backing off that for a while.

Swimming and working out aggressively at this point - to improve strength but also manage weight while overall activity reduced. Swelling has become far less persistent and I’m very pleased, though humble, about where we have come to so far.

daunted by how many new participants have come on the blog since I got involved! This site has been awesome for putting boundaries around my fears and uncertainties. Thanks to all…

11 weeks - Inching forward.

May 16, 2015 at 11:33 pm | In Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Just a couple things to note at 11weeks post op…

  • PT amping up meaningfully - shift from ROM and light cycling to deadlifts, kettleball squats, etc whole new ballgame. Coupled with the mysterious disappearance of my normal therapist and subsequent switch to new one, this has been an adjustment. Handling it all well, I feel, but it’s a new ballgame.
  • Strictly 2 shoes with heel pads at this point. Enjoy briefs spells of normalcy in stride and gait. Then the hitch comes as I fatigue or try something new. Big win was descending stairs like a grown up. I try to tell people, I can do everything, just slowly.
  • Airports are a problem. Flew to SF from NYC return and the long walks and extended periods crammed in a plane were tough on me. Pretty extreme swelling around the ankle (lasted days and laughed at ice), though not much pain.
  • Swimming is  back on the table. It’s tough, but has to be one of the best asymmetric ROM regimes for the injury. Highly recommended once your doc clears. Combination of breast and freestyle seems to balance the workout with the demands on the injury.
  • The surgery area still feels vaguely like its sunburned in places. Not active psi but tender to the touch. Is this common at this stage?
  • Have begun to do a little chipping and putting at the golf club. Slow and conservative only  but it’s nice to be directly progressing towards a goal. Wouldn’t even think of pressing recovery by playing at all this early. Doc still pointing towards 20 weeks as reasonable goal for 9 holes in a cart, stay out of bunkers, etc. I can live with that.
  • Week 12 visit with doc next week and we’ll see if paddle boarding and outside cycling are on the horizon!

New to 2 shoes - New Balance 990v3

April 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm | In Uncategorized | 4 Comments

For future treasure hunters on the blog, new to 2 shoes and looking for advice…

I just picked up a pair of New Balance 990v3 sneakers - basically a backless running shoe, with just enough lip around the heel to hold your foot in place.
I had been wearing my K-Swiss tennis sneakers, feeling the higher ankle support was beneficial. But the pressing around the site of the surgery and the swelling around the ankle was definitely impacting the area negatively. My PT suggested I take an old pair of sneakers and physically cut out the back of the heel where the contact was being made. Unfortunate timing of cleaning out my closet weeks before rupture made this impossible! They were about $100, but some previous versions were available around the web in limited sizes.

NB 990v3

Two Shoes! Week 7…

April 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm | In Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Just back from vacation and took plunge to two shoes, consistent with my doc’s advice. Meandered around the house slowly mostly. No pain and some sensations, but handled it well.

but… Took sock off at end of night and my foot looked like an orange on a toothpick. It was the first real swelling I’ve observed during the whole recovery. Centered around my ankle, both sides were puffed out. Time for some RICE.

Im happy to be moving forward, but certainly realize that this whole process is far from linear.

6 week visit with OS

April 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Uneventful session with OS -

progress made:

  • Inspected site and thankfully observed tendon strong and healing appropriately. ROM ahead of curve.
  • removed one wedge, said take last wedge out in 3 days (since done)
  • Noted some inflammation around one of the incision marks, this has flared up with excess walking and stresses.
  • Said keep boot for at least another week, then transition to sneakers indoors at least (7 week point).
  • Swimming ok, stationary cycling in boot. Basic message was use your head and listen to your body wrt intensity.
  • Maintain PT 2x/week.

I had to ask about golf - he indicated possible to hit balls as early as July (4 1/2 months or so), maybe 9 holes in a cart soon after. ALL contingent on progress, etc. Basically consistent with my expectations and a great thing to look forward to.

promptly have taken the family for April break down to Annapolis and now Philly. Lots of walking and shuffling around cobblestones and colonial houses etc. using my cane, but the heel is where it hurts. Nice swelling and rice needed a couple times a day. Rolling the heel on a tennis ball is very helpful with the pain. Keeping after the theraband work and leg lifts as well as can be expected.

back to doc at 12 week point, so an extended period of self reliance and judgement needed…hoping to maintain conservative approach and get through this. More to come.

5 Weeks - FWB, aches pains, and golf ache

April 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm | In Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Heading into 6 week follow up next week. Have dropped the crutches fully and using a cane outside the house for stability on uneven surfaces. Really sensing forward momentum - nice connection and calf flexing. PT is ongoing,now in the fighting phase with insurance company to extend sessions. Have made executive decision to carry the full freight if they cut me off, it’s too important and effective with the right therapist. Last session was interesting - new task to simply lift my heel - mechanically couldn’t do it at first. Feels like ice breaking around the joints, but once established it improved. Introduced Therabands as well, so I have some new homework to get after.

the plan is to lose the boot after this week’s appointment. I’m apprehensive about that prospect, but also excited to see the progress. Doc indicated swimming was on the table at this point, which will be huge step. Fingers’ crossed on that one.

aches and pains in the heel/ankle of my ATR leg have increased as direct usage has been upped. Took the family to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx yesterday and ended up embedded in my phone on a bench due to over estimating my stamina. Humbling. Great dinner around the corner on Arthur Avenue softened the pain.

surgical tape is falling off now, incisions and scar are really tidy and no complications. Very fortunate that it seems my surgeon knew his way around a needle and thread.

Our golf course opened today, coincident with a big Easter brunch. It is tough to know the place is off limits for months and receive the sympathies of your friends (over and over…). And he awful puns, enough!

so nothing really impactful - just steady improvement - just wanted to contribute that no drama is no bad thing.

4 weeks - weaning off crutches

March 28, 2015 at 10:07 am | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

4 weeks post op and now moving around the house FWB mostly, with a cane or single crutch on stairs/outside. Feels good and improved mobility but more random aches and pains, especially on the base of my heel. PT assigned rolling foot on a tennis ball (oh the irony of that) to manage. It does relieve the pains without preventing it from coming back.

Ive had a couple instances of almost tripping over door jams, balance issues on stairs, etc. really need to maintain discipline and take things slowly. A couple tugs here and there always throw that fear that you’ve reinjured, despite the low odds in the boot.

i think importantly getting a little looser movement in the ankle and some sensations that my calf muscle is still there once in a while.

the best part of this transition is that I’ve become somewhat useful around the house again. Cooking for kids and tidying up all the nests of convenience I’d established while really laid up. Relieving some of the natural tension that had been building around my convolenscence.  Might come out of this ordeal still married after all!

First Post - 3 weeks post surgery

March 21, 2015 at 8:08 am | In Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Greetings fellow travelers …

I incurred a fill tear of my left achilles playing tennis. Planted for a backhand, same motion I’d completed thousands of times and WHACK!  One time too many. Strangely little pain, just the firm sense that something was really wrong. Got myself to the Dr for quick look and the the ortho the next day. Surgery to repair 3 days later. Never really a debate that surgery was the right route for my situation.

Surgery was routine and successful. In at 10, home by 4. Nerve block wore off at 5 am the next day and that’s when the games began. Kept on the pain meds for 4 days. In a splint, NWB for two weeks. First time ever on crutches, that was a drag and still is.

During first follow up (14d), all looked good and stitches came out. Very clean incision and healing looks fine. So far, so good. Switched to air cast, PWB. Great to back in the shower, etc. Dr has me sleeping w/o the boot, so he is quite permissive. None of the random pain or pins/needles that so many here describe … Yet! Plan is 2 weeks pwb in boot, then fwb with boot for 2 weeks.

I started PT this week as well. Just light massage, 10 minutes on bike with boot on, leg lifts, toe curls, etc. very low key but nice to begin the process and feel like moving beyond pure couch time. 2x/week for the time being. She gave me some homework as well to structure my activities. Shocked to be on bike so quickly.

the leg is already demonstrating atrophy, which has me spooked.  I’m quite paranoid about any aches and pains in my right tendon. Irrationally so, but up stairs etc worries me. I did purchase the evenup cleat to improve my bio mechanics, which has helped. Highly recommended device for 25$ on Amazon.

My goal is for a fully successful recovery, but also to see the golf course during this season up here in the northeast. My PT is tamping down expectations for a rapid return to the links, but I’m holding out hope!

More later, and look forward to continuing to rely upon our collective experiences to move this process along.


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