13.5 weeks post-op: becoming almost normal

It’s been 3.5 weeks since my last post, it seems that once we begin to return to normal and are not obsessing over our tendons we forget about this wonderful institution, achillesblog.com.  I have a new PT who is a heck of a nice guy, he used to be a trainer for a professional football team.  This guy has treated hundreds of achilles injuries over the years and gotten the boys back on the field.   He’s hooked me up with the ERP machine a couple of times which makes my atrophied calf contract rather severely for a few seconds, then a few seconds of rest, then the cycle repeats for 10 minutes or so. Wow this thing really makes my calf contract!   Whether doing this once every 10 days to 2 weeks is better than old-fashioned calf raises I’m not sure, and will probably never know.   I do my calf raises every day, up on two, then slowly lower myself on my injured calf, which still has a very long way to go.   I’ve got an elastic and 4 ankle exercises sitting down every night until it is fatigued.   No running allowed until I can do a single calf raise on my injured leg, or asymmetry will be introduced in my running stride leading to hip issues, etc.  The PT thought I might be able to do my one-legged calf raise as early as 16 weeks, but I just can’t imagine it with my current progress, we’ll see.   He has me walking slowly backwards up a 10 degree incline on a treadmill for 5 minutes.  Very long strides simultaneously help with stretching and strength building of the calf.   Then I drop the treadmill to zero degrees and walk forwards for 10 minutes at a faster pace, focusing on heel-to and symmetry.  He feels this technique will help get rid of my limp and speed recovery.

I started golfing at 12 weeks, and the key I believe is to be extra careful in the rough replenishing one’s supply of golf balls.  The doctor and PT have no concerns that I can re-rupture by swinging a golf club in a relatively normal fashion.   If I were Happy Gilmore I think I’d still be on the bench.  I seem to have lost 10 yards on most of my clubs from last year, not sure if this is due to my weak leg pushing off in the downswing or that I’m a year older.  It’s been great to get out to the links, the course I play is a great walking course so I don’s need a power cart, the 12,000 steps per round are great physiotherapy.

All in all things are going very well, I’m off to the gym to do my 15 minutes of arm cycle and 35 minutes of stationary bike, then my treadmill exercises, golfing in the afternoon and I should be ready for a cold beer for dinner.

I’ve also run into more and more people who have had this injury, some operated, but most non-op.   The non-op guys have turned out just fine that haven’t suffered the re-rupture, it amazes me that the tendon can grow back together, nature is a wonderful thing.

Good luck to all in your recoveries, the first weeks are not fun but do what you can in a safe manner.  Try and do things you haven’t had time for in the past.  The early weeks will soon become a distant memory.

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