May 16

Havnt posted since the 22 week mark, so time for an update regarding a massive milestone for me.

Last time I mentioned that the target was running, which I achieved around the 24/25 week mark and have been increasing it to the point of sprinting and more recently really going at it with interval training. Jogging for a minute then pelting full on for a minute, which I can keep up for a good 20 minutes (around the 5km mark).

Last month I went on a friends stag do, where we had a very mild kick about with a volleyball, was happy that I could strike the ball but nobody would come near me for a challenge! Last week the physio cleared me to begin football training, said to “get back on the grass” and to continue interval sprints, twists and turns to replicate playing in a match.

Today I rallied the lads for my first official kick about in the park. I think they were all really surprised to see me kick a ball and sprint around. I would say I was putting in around 80% effort (didnt wanna overdo the first session) and am now sat here pretty much pain free! Bit of stiffness but all of the training is paying off. Im glad I managed to keep up with everyone, scoring that first goal felt amazing.

My next target is to keep having the kick arounds, say 2 a week, continue gym work and then back into the 5-a-side pitches for a semi-competitve game!

I have felt massive improvement in the last few weeks, my injured leg actually feels stronger than the other, probably due to all the focused training around that leg and neglecting the uninjured leg!! Need to work to ensure both are on the same level of strength.

I have visited the site less frequently than the early days, where this site helped hugely and I thank everyone for advice and support. I am at the point that you think you’ll never get to when you’re sat there in a cast!Guys, it does get better, patience is key.

So, to sum up - Non Operative Treatment - 7 months and 20 days later - playing football again. Awesome.

Feb 28

Thought I would write a bit of an update as its been a while…

Im now into week 22 (to the day!) of my recovery and (*touches wood) everything is progressing well. I started driving around the 13/14 week mark and have now been driving long distances comfortably enough. My FULL range of motion is back 100% and having seen the physio this weekend, he confirmed that its even better than my other foot!! I think thats because I’ve been putting most of the emphasis of strecthing the injured foot.Having a sports therapist who understands my desire to get back to football helps greatly.

I am walking without a limp most of the time, unless the footwear in question is completely flat!! Even then it isn’t noticable. Gym work has increased significantly, good 45 minutes of mixed cardio. Walking upto the speed just before jogging and at a steep incline (stretches out the foot nicely), bike work and cross trainer. Resistance constantly increased and can pretty much go full pelt. I tried a steady jog in the gym which was manageble but didn’t want to try anything before consulting the physio.

The physio (this is the one who works with the professional footballers) has said the I could “probabaly get away with it but its that 10-20 percent risk”. As such he is happy that I am way ahead of schedule and has given me exercises that concentrate on the explosiveness and strength required to get back to running in approx 4 weeks. These excercises are things like jumping!! Jumping would you believe!! More specifically jumping from a squat position and landing on your toes back into the squat position. Also single calf raises from a squat position amonst other more advance stuff which I can’t describe very well!! Calf muscle is still smaller obviously but not far off and not massively noticeable. Oh I’ve been swimming once a week to mix it up too.

So, hopefully in a month I will be running (although I can jog now but am listening to the physio) which will feel fantastic Im sure. I think the most “pain” I get is when Im sat at my desk all day and don’t have the opportunity to walk and stretch as much much as I could. Also, days are better when Ive had my workout at the gym, always feels more comfortable (even normal) subsequent to a workout. Stiffness is at a minimum in the mornings now, just a few stretches and walking around making breakfast sorts it out!

I wanted to make another point here and that is regarding physio. The physio Ive had from the NHS has been not been hands on AT ALL. No massage, nothing. Just a check up every week to check progress and new excercises. Pretty useless to be honest. Private physio has been the same better as he measures, pushes, prods and really tests the tendon and I only see him between programme steps (the last one being 6 weeks and I wont see him for another 4). My lovely mother massaged my foot (with some homemade special oils!) every day in the early stages but now every few days. For me the physio has been a checkpoint for progress and to obtain advice and new excercises to keep pushing progress.

I really am starting to feel normal now, the only thing missing is the running which I will work hard to achieve. I now often stop and feel massive relief for being over the earlier days where I was so down. Guys, keep positive, it gets better every day. I will update once I start the next stage of my programme……..jogging/running….

Take care and good luck.

P.s. In prep for running Ive ordered a pair of Nike Free 5.0. Went to Nike store in London and tried them on and they are VERY comfortable!!

Jan 11

So this morning I finally attended my first physio “session” (will justify inverted commas later) that was “arranged” (these inverted commas are sarcastic and suggest that it was me chasing to get it arranged and not the NHS!) by the NHS.

Just a shade under four weeks have gone by since the boot was removed and I have got quite a decent range of motion back, nearly there. Today I was expecting pulling, massaging and challenging myself. Didnt really happen.

It was brief, she asked if I had any physio, I told her I had one private session, she was impressed with ROM and progress. As a result I was far down her checklist, further than she expected me to be. I think thats age on my side (I’m 24). I was asked to walk, do some heel raises, continue heel raises at home…….that was it. Build strength. See you next week…ok. She did mention an ankle class which she will put me on, sounds interesting.

I went straight to the gym, got on the bike for 30 mins to make up for lack of challenge! Maybe its protocol to start slow and to be totally honest after doing my sets of heel raises there is a new aching sensation which I needed to ice! Ive also booked in a private session as he was more keen on massage and actual treatment.

So until the next NHS physio I will continue heel raises and build that strength up because you really feel that lack of calf muscle! I also have a private session and will get myself to the pool for some swimming!!

Jan 08

So I have been FWB 2 shoes for 3.5 weeks, and much has happened. Walking of course being the main one!  The limp has improved and my range of motion is much better through just the excercises I was given to do at home. I have my first NHS physio on Monday and am really looking forward to pushing it a little more. The foot still takes some management, exercises, massage, elevate, ice massage etc but it all helps.

I decided to drive around the 13 week mark, just close distances, dont feel comfortable doing the 1 hour commute to the office just yet and will wait for the physio to clear me before I tackle that one. Its easier to drive than walk surprisingly! Its just fantastic to get that freedom back, brings back so much normality and independance.

One of the first places I drove myself…the gym. Straight on the bike, lets see what I can do. Its not too bad, the tendon pulls a tiny bit and I stop if it becomes uncomfortable, which it hasnt really. So for a week and half or so I have been at the gym most days, 20 mins on the bike everytime, wow its….sweat!! How I missed the burn!! I have realised however that the bike is painfully slow at burning any calories. Back on the weight training fairly comfortably, again great to have aching muscles.

A friend drove me to the office, my first day back (I have been working from home) was low in productivity but great to catch up with everyone!

All in all, Im starting to feel “normal” again. Certainly more positive and looking forward to the challenge of physio. Im so thankful to be over those earlier “why me!?” days.

Good luck in your recoveries!

Dec 30

So its been 2 weeks and 1 day since Ive been out of the boot. Since then Ive had one private (expensive) physio session and been continuing the excercises given to me by the hospital. The original hospital were referring me to a closer hospital to my home, said it would take around two weeks….

….So I chased it up. Rang Nottingham hospital who said it was referred on December 21st, “maybe its been delayed by the post?” said the lady. Rang Derby “nope we’ve recieved nothing yet”. Rang Nottingham etc etc. She will chase it in the morning.

Its so frustrating not being able to trust the NHS. Yes its free, for which Im eternally grateful for but is it a good service? Is it efficient? Ive had to chase every single one of my appointments, ive had to wait in so many pointless waiting rooms. Waiting for another waiting room.

So Im sitting here in the dark still waiting for an appointment for physio. Time to raid the piggy bank for another private session me thinks.

What are the usual turnaround times for the NHS on referrals? I had refrained from laying into the NHS up until now (theyve lasted 13 weeks to be fair!) but I needed a rant.

Dec 24

So Ive been in two shoes for a week and a half, had one physio, been doing my stretches etc. A bit of swelling which Ive managed with RICE. Im in week 12 day 2. So my two quick questions are…

1) When did you ditch the crutches? I have stopped using them as I feel better without. Im going to the pub tonight without them having ventured into town the other day with one crutch. Won’t be doing a great deal of walking, just to the bar! A big limp of course but the doesnt bother me.

2) What shoes are people wearing? At home Im wearing Nike Cross Trainers, high-ish heal, comfortable enough and stretches the tendon a little (good for strengthing I guess). However, for going out a pair of fat air max nike 90s, large heal much more comfortable to walk in. Link below…theyre ugle but comfortable believe me.,pwp,c-300/hf-791+4294967255/t-Nike_Trainers_iD#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-300/pid-280043/pgid-184501

Dec 22

So I have been out the boot for a week and a friend recommended a physio that specialises in sports injuries and had worked with premiership footballers. He worked for Derby County (now not in the premiership) so I was eager to see him, I want to get back to football.

The week out of the boot has been nice, great being able to shower and sleep with some normality again. Yesterday I walked around town with one crutch, has been pretty swollen since but have continued excercises and elevation. Just waiting on the NHS physio referral so went to this specialist.

He gave me a lot of advice. For example, to not use one crutch - use two if you need to use them, better posture/excercises, ice massages, the first targets etc. I need to work on stretching the foot back and get that range of movement back before we can start on strength. He said that it is based on my dedication to the excercises and usually takes around 4 weeks.  The physio also noticed that due to the manner in which I had been walking, one leg appeared slightly longer than the other, so he reset my back which seemed to do the trick!

I have been walking around without crutches with a big limp but have used crutches outdoors in the current icey conditions hitting the UK! So it has been swollen, I need to ice more, vital apparently.

Im more optimistic after the session, hes treated many professional players with the injury (he named some names, last player was Giles Barnes if anyone know their football…) and although professionals have to have surgery, that non professinal athletes having the conservative method breeds strong results but just requires more management than the surgical route.

My new big fat chunky air max nikes arrive in the post tomorrow, my foot craves more comfy trainers!

Dec 15

So 11 weeks and 2 days since that fateful day where I ruptred my achilles whilst playing football, I am finally back in a pair of trainers.

The last few days have been agony, waiting, unable to sleep. Should I take the boot off to sleep? Theres only one more night, just soldier it! The apprehension. Has it healed? Will they let me out of the boot? How will it feel?

Well as I waited in 2nd waiting area (is the first waiting area just to put you into the second waiting area!?) I was greeted by the third consultant Ive seen (flippin NHS!) in 3 visits. In pops a chirpy man, gives me the history of my surname (he was from India), tells me to take off the boot. Ok. Does the thompson test, I saw it move, thank God. Says its all fine. Now can you walk around please.

What!? Without the crutch? Yes. Okkkk. So I slipped on that right trainer that the left has missed so much and tried. It wernt too bad but was much more comfortable using the one crutch. He happily referred  me to the physio and told me to take it easy and not to play football until at least the 6 month mark. Like I was about to get up and go straight to the pitch!

The physio  was a lovely lady who walked me through the excercises which were fairly comfortable, only pulling it back is a stretch. I was also given a sheet with an excercise plan until the physios at my local hospital could see me. The leg has of course lost much muscle but Im not worried as I know it will come back with hard work.

So, predictably the first thing I did when I got home….washed the foot. Bathed it like never before, scrubbed it, massaged it, moved it around. Then I went through the first round of excercises (3/4 times a day!). As I sit here with my foot up I am full of a new optimism, I will complete the excercises religously, I will work hard at physio and I WILL get back to football. Not before the 6 month mark of course.

Bring on physio.

Dec 08

So today was the day that the final wedge was removed and I am now officially flat footed! Usual routine, in, clean foot, clean boot, exchange pleasantries with nurse Lucy, remove wedge, out. What was different this time was that it was hopefully the last time. I am due to see the consultant next week and am hoping (and praying!) that the boot comes off.

Over the last couple of weeks the skin on the ball of the foot has gotten pretty bad and as a result I had a dressing put on last visit (like a small ’special’ plaster) which worked wonders. The skin is better but how it craves a warm soak in the bath! Sleeping without a boot, wow, how will that feel?

Intrestingly as I approach the tailend of being in the boot, time has slowed down even more! Has it healed enough? Will it hurt going into two shoes? How long will I be limping? Can I risk having a drink over Crimbo and falling over? How long will I walk like Keyser Soze (movie buffs out there)? Anticipation.

These questions will be answered shortly…que a long 7 days…

Hope everyones recoveries are going well…blog soon.

P.s. I know some people are having difficulties commenting on my page, not sure what it is but will look into it!

Nov 24
Me after having the second wedge out today.

Me after having the second wedge out today.

So today was the day of wedge number tow being removed (3 in total) and down to 1 wedge in the boot.

To be completely honest there hasnt been much to report over the last two weeks, I seem to be used to the state Im in and just get on with it. I have spent a lot of time thinking of all the things I want to do and places I need to visit when I am able to walk on my own two feet. I also spend the few minutes after getting into bed staring at the calender on my phone (anyone else do that?), ticking off another day and reassuring myself of how near the next milestone is. In this case, 2 weeks untill there are no wedges left in the boot. I have been walking around wihtout the crutches which feels fine, is that FWB?

Oh Ive started a an excercise regime if anyones interested:

Every day - 20 min workout - 20 arm curls (10kg) on each arm, 20 sit ups, 20 press ups - 5 sets (or as many as you can manage.) Gets the blood rate going and is a good all round body cruncher! I call it the 20twenty! :)

So today I went to occupational therapy. Lucy cleaned the boot, I stared at whats left of the leg, had a look around the foot to see how bad the skin is (not particularly nice), out went a wedge, and back in the boot. Off ya go. Routine.

However, as I went outside to book another appointement I met Lucys next patient who also had a boot on. Couldnt help but ask …

“What ya done fella?”

- “Done me achilles playing football, you?”


- “How far are ya?”

“Just had the second wedge out, you?”

-”About to have the second wedge out too, you must have done it same time as me?”

“September 27th?”


Small world. So we got talking, had a good old moan about how boring it is, how messed up the skin gets and expressed concerns of whether it was healing ‘under there’. It just goes to show how common the injury is and how we all have the same concerns and fears going forward.

Im honestly at the point where I pray that its healing and with strength so I can resume normal life come the new year. Life has become easier (or have I just got used to it…) and so I begin another 2 week cycle ready for flat foot!

Bring on 8th Decemeber. Good luck on your recoveries. Blog soon.

ATR - To keep me sane…