Those were the words of the orthopedic surgeon two days after my June 7 "attempt" at playing tennis.  I was 3 days shy of my 41st birthday in reasonable cardio condition but had not stepped onto a tennis court in a maybe 5 years.  I did not stretch nor warm up…I just started to rally.  About 45 minutes into the back and forth, I went for a fore-hand…I recall lunging  hard for it (though my partner recalls, "You were barely moving fast.").

The *snap* was so very audible.  I thought I had somehow struck the back of my leg with my tennis racquet.  Then I could not support any weight on right foot.  Then it just hurt.  I reached down and could no longer feel the taut resistance that my Achilles is supposed to provide.

I limped back to the car and immediately began googling what to do with an Achilles tendon injury.  My Rogers serviced Blackberry (I am from Vancouver, Canada) was dreadfully slow at providing me anything useful that night so to be on the safe side I drove myself to the nearest hospital ER.  I managed to gas and brake with my left foot.

I can only recall being in an ER once before and I must say, I felt like I did not belong.  There were so many other people who appeared in much worse shape than I (e.g. lying on gurneys, moaning and groaning in pain, etc.).  After the triage nurse examined my foot…she assured me I needed to be there.  Three hours later, a few x-rays and a splint that kept my foot pointed down like a ballerina (plantar flexion right?).  I was on my way back home.  The ER doctor confirmed I had completely ruptured my Achilles, he felt that surgery was a necessity, but that I should review this with the orthopedic surgeon.

On June 9 I visited the orthopedic surgeon who examined my Achilles to re-confirm it was a complete rupture.  He explained that I would not be playing racquet sports for one year (sad) and that I would not ski in the winter (very sad).  That is what he meant by, "This is a devastating injury.", it is devastating for the active person.  He quickly followed this up with, "The good news is, most people recover enough to enjoy everything they did before the injury.".

So began my ATR journey.  I am so glad I found this site.  I have been a lurker for several weeks and finally decided to contribute.

Here’s to road to recovery!


Comments

1 Comment so far

  1. normofthenorth on July 11, 2010 3:16 pm

    Welcome to our tricky nuisance journey! As you may have read, I didn’t go to an ER in Toronto, but when I found a fancy sports-med surgeon to repair my ATR, he talked me out of the surgery instead, based on the latest scientific studies. And so began my NON-surgical road to recovery! (I’d torn the other side 8 yrs earlier, and had it repaired surgically, quite successfully.)

    Your “Glossary” is a great idea, if there isn’t already a good one on this site. But I can’t find a way to comment on that page, so we can’t turn it into a collaborative “Wiki”.

    “Neutral” comes to mind as one more term that should be there, and also “Equinus” as a +/-synonym for plantarflexion.

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