I haven’t posted for a while so my apologies. I’m now at 43 weeks and life seems 95% normal. The other 5% is the mental scar of not wanting to re-rupture which still remains in the back of my mind. To recap I opted for the non-operative method of recovery. Conservative no, as I was quite aggressive in the AirCast boot in terms of discarding the crutches after a couple of weeks and walking round in the boot. Sometimes this was for a few miles walking the dogs. In my view, it didn’t really hurt walking therefore couldn’t be doing any damage.
Yesterday I arrived back from 3 days mountain bike riding in Devon. I was really apprehensive before I went as although I had ridden my road bike for miles these past 2 months, riding up and down hills applies different pressures to the Achilles. Day 1 was 22 miles and 8 hours in the saddle, day 2 was 20 miles and 7 hours riding and the final day of 5 hours involved 16 miles. The last day included an over the handle bars fall, complete with superman dive, and ended up with my feet in a stream I think you get the picture; thousands of feet of uphill covered and lots of punishing ‘granny’ ring pedaling up steep inclines. At the end of it all, sore thighs, stiff back, and a jarred neck, but not a peep out of my calf or achilles. Yippeee!
The 3 day adventure has started to dilute the mental side of the recovery. No surgery doesn’t necessarily mean a weak achilles repair, well not in my mind after my bike trip. I honestly didn’t think I’d get on a road bike again never mind my mountain bike in less than 12 months from my ATR. I went through those same days/months of despair that everyone goes through. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can only offer advice on my own experience of recovery. My main points would be;
- Think carefully about surgery/non-surgery. I haven’t gone through half the problems I read on this BLOG from other ATR sufferers especially those choosing surgery. If it’s an option for you then have faith non-surgery does work.
- Be aggressive as early as possible in the Aircast boot It helps the recovery process. Walk everywhere in the boot and once comfortable discard the crutches.
- Once in 2 shoes get on the static bike even with little/no resistance. Every bit helps towards the end goal.
- Keep doing those heel raises (I didn’t do enough - lazy!!)
- Get to the gym and do sessions such as ‘Body Pump’ - I did even with the Boot on. Looks daft but fine to build core strength - don’t overdo it though.
- Use a road bike - make sure you don’t damage the leg when dismounting.
- Gentle jogging is fine - I started at about 28 weeks.
- Above all remember the key word - Patience.
I hope this post cheers up those in the same predicament. I am still amazed how the body heals itself. I didn’t think I would be in this position all those weeks ago. Not out of the woods yet but definitely on the way. Happy days
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