The Injury

On Crutches

My ATR injury happened playing basketball on the Friday night of Feb 8th, 2008.

I played about 3 games, with a break in between games. During the last game, since I had sat out the game before, I wasn’t as warmed up. It was in the middle of the game, and I was backpedaling towards the defensive end of the court. One of the guys on the other team made a jumpshot, and I was slowing down and changing momentum to run back to play offense. Then it happened while I was shifting my weight to change direction.

However, I don’t think my achilles tendon would have just snapped like that had I not had chronic achilles tendonitis. I think my achilles tendons were in pretty bad shape already, and they have been biding their time to snap, and it finally happened that night.
(But it looks like the motion of backpeddling and then shifting your weight in the opposite direction is one of the common ways of ATR. Here’s some info:

Surprisingly, the pain wasn’t as excruciating as I had envisioned for an achilles tendon tear. I felt the dull, numbing sensation of the after-effects of an ankle sprain, but no initial sharp floor-slapping pain that accompanies a severe sprain. There was a definite “pop” that felt like an explosion that reverbrated all the way to my calf muscle.. which makes complete sense. It’s like a rubber band snapping, and the thought of that still makes me cringe.

In contrast to the pain that I experienced, some people say that achilles tendon rupture (ATR) is the most painful injury that they’ve experienced. So it probably depends on exactly where the rupture is, and how many nerves you damage in the process.

After the pop, my left foot was out of commission for good, and I managed to limp to the sideline. The gravity of the situation hasn’t set in completely, and I sat there dumbfounded, watching my team win possibly my last game of pickup basketball.

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36 Responses to “The Injury”

  1. Good luck…you are way head of me.

    I’m 47 and ruptured my achilles skiing on Feb 14…hit a depression and tumbled forward and the ski didn’t release. I did stretch that day…and had skied several runs. I am a good skier and ski 20-25 days/year.

    The injury REALLY hurt…now I believe I might have a sense of the pain of child birth. I had surgery on Feb 16.

    I have not had other achilles issues. Could I work out and stretch more? Yes and that will be a focus long-term. I expect 100% recovery and will continue to ski and bike. I had already given up other high impact sports (running , basketball).

    The first week after surgery is really depressing. I feel much better after even a week…not the constant throbbing…and I have elected not to take the Percocet during the day (after a few days) because I hate that feeling. I am elevating and icing the ankle like crazy.

    Sutures out on the 28th then we’ll see what the protocol is. My doc is part of a well-known (sports) orthopedic group that is very aggressive in terms of getting patients on their feet.

  2. John Skier, good to hear from you.

    Glad that your ankle feels better. Let me know how the suture removal goes and what the doctor has in mind for you in terms of the recovery protocol.

    You’ll definitely be skiing again by next season! I like to ski at Alta and Snowbird about 2-3 times a year. I hope to get back into it next season.

    I was taking Lortab 7.5 500mg 1-2 tablets twice a day for a couple of days after the surgery. I’ve stopped since then as the pain hasn’t been too severe.

    What I’ve learned from other’s Achilles Tendon Rupture is that it’s one of two pain levels. Ether it’s just a moderate amount of pain (like a minor ankle sprain and numbness) or it’s excruciating pain that you almost pass out from.

    How did you select your orthopedic surgeon by the way? I am curious to know how people find good surgeons/doctors.

    My doctor was pretty much recommended by the ER resident. I did a quick check on the internet of the surgeons credentials, and he was a foot/ankle specialist. He is also a professor at the medical school, so I figured he was good. I hope I wasn’t one of his teaching material for his students through.. that’s a scary thought. ;)

  3. When I first stood up and tried to put weight on it I got dizzy nad had to sit down.

    There are many very good orthopedic surgeons here (Vail) including the famed Steadman Hawkins group, which does work on many top athletes (which I am not). My surgeon is part of that group…and he had performed a previous surgery on my left knee (miniscus, cartlidge). I had a really good outcome so I just called his office directly and they got me in that day. I didn’t go to ER as I was pretty sure what I had done. I suppose that there are surgeons who are specialists in this, but I know that all of these guys are really good (or they wouldn’t be here), and I had really good results before. I also get comfort when the MRI, radiology folks say “you’re in really good hands”.

    I liked the surgeon’s podcast by the way. thanks.

  4. It must have been quite painful. Sorry that it happend while skiing. Hopefully it was towards the end of the day.

    Thanks for the info regarding surgeons in the Vail area, I’ll be sure to include that information about the Steadman Hawkins Group on one of the pages that I’ll be creating.

    I think I have a meniscus tear in my right knee (the good leg). I am seeing another orthopedist tomorrow to go over my MRI results. Not a good year for my legs this year.

    Please feel free to pass along any information that you’d like to see posted here.
    Email is: admin*4n*#]achillesblog doat com
    Please replace *4n*#]with @ and doat with “.”

    Glad that you liked the podcast. I’ll post more relevant content as I go along.

    I am in the process of creating recovery progress tracker. This way, through your personal page on, you can keep track of your recovery process, starting with entering your date of the injury and the surgery.

  5. I saw that “GO 11″ emailed you his tracker. He’s a friend of mine who directed me to your site. His blog is insightful and a model of diligence and 100% focus on recovery. Research seems to indicate that the dedication/commitment of the patient to recovery is the key factor in the outcome.

    He did his in the spring of 2007 and was back to the slopes at 100% this winter. He’s an avid and amazing skier.

    Steadman Hawkins Clinic by reputation is one of the top 3 orthopaedic groups in the country. There are obviously lots of great surgeons. Another here in Vail that is very highly regarded is Vail/Summit Orthopaedics. Lots of locals have gone there with really good results.

  6. Yes, I’ve been corresponding with him through my personal Achillesblog at: I was telling him that I was going to model the recovery progress tracker on this site after the spreadsheet that he sent me. He has kept a detailed record of his recovery process, and he’s done a great job with the rehab.

    Thanks for the info about Steadman Hawkins Clinic. It’s another reason on the long line of list of why I should consider moving to Colorado. ;)

    I am glad that the recovery can be 100% I love to ski and play basketball so I’d like to continue those two activities as long as I am able.

    Please keep me posted on your recovery process. I’ve posted more info on the site, and I hope you find them to be useful.

  7. I tore my AT on 1/31 surgery on 2/7/08. My pain only lasted that night. I am what 3 weeks out walking on the boot, minus one wedge. Started with two and about to try and go flat tomorrow. My recovery is going faster than I expected. I constantly test its ability, my goal is to be at 85% by May. I believe it’s feasible, dock says I should be be back to basketball by June. We’ll see.

    The quicker you put weight on it the faster to recovery, is what I am betting on. Working so far.

    Speedy recovery

  8. sto1vall,

    Looks like you are on the fast pace. I am in a cast for 4 weeks, and then I’ll be wearing a boot. I’ve just started with partial weight bearing. Is this your doctor’s typical recovery protocol?

  9. I am not too sure on his protocol, but when I first met him it seemed like he tries to get his patients back quick. When he first assessed the injury he mentioned back to playing in June. My wife’s an athletic trainer so I have a slight Hopefully I’m not going too quick, but it feels good. No swelling, no pain. The only ache i have is in the heel from standing too much. Where the AT attaches to the heel is tight but not painful. So as long as the swelling and pain stays minimal. I’ll keep testing it but, keeping others re-tears in the back of my mind. I consider my arm break more severe than this that took a year to get right. So 6 months for this should be just fine.

  10. sto1vall:
    The usual recovery time frame is 6 months to a year. It looks like you are well on your way to recovery. You are lucky that your wife is an athletic trainer.
    I hope she’s not too tough with you. ;)

    I’ve been elevating my leg as much as possible. I am shooting for complete recovery in 1 year. Have you been putting full weight on your walking boot?

  11. Dennis,

    Yeah, full weight now. When I first got it, no, I still needed crutches for the first 2 weeks. You will gradually gain strength. Full weight just standing as well, I feel if I baby it too much, I will mess up my good leg. So I only favor it when I walk without the boot which is seldom and for short distances. Not more than 10 to 20 feet. My ankles did swell from the added weight earlier but now its going down. Right now I am focusing on breaking that scar tissue behind my cut.
    I suggest focus on the ROM just move it around, so not a lot of scar tissue will form. Really thats all you can do, ankle pumps and put slight weight on it after that first doc visit. I would lay down and just draw my feet up. That way i still had my toes pointed down and a little bit of weight on them. I would just test how much it could bare occasionally.

    I am surprised at how fast I am able apply weight and movement to it. I thought it would take a 6mth recovery, I may be able to walk in 4 but, I am not rushing it however.

  12. The list of entries has a gap in it from the last entry to mine but I wanted to say that the site has been very helpful, supportive, and interesting. I ruptured my achellis tendon on July 18th and had it repaired a week later. I was playing doubles tennis (weekend warrior!) for about 45 minutes when I lunged for a return shot and it was as though my heel stuck to the court and then the heel of my shoe slapped the bottom of my foot…. bingo! I went down in one motion and immediately checked the rubber on my shoe to see if it was connected and it was…. not good. The next motion was immediately to my tendon…. it was gone. I heard the pop as they describe in the textbooks… what an eerie thing. The pain was minimal but to walk was nearly impossible for 15 minutes or so. Anyway, I am in recovery from surgery and will post along as I go… good luck to those ahead of me! John

  13. John - Not sure what you mean by this:

    The list of entries has a gap in it from the last entry to mine but I wanted to say that the site has been very helpful, supportive, and interesting.

    Please let me know if you see any problems.

  14. Hi - I ruptured my Achilles 13 days ago (2nd March 2010) opted not to have the surgery, i am due to go back to hospital tomorrow for a check up, been in the standard plaster since it happened. i was playing football, nobody near me, felt as if someone had hit my calf, then it just went numb. i drove home had to push my knee to work the accelerator. went to hospital that night and told full rupture. pretty depressed right now, hoping to be able to heal as quick as possible.

  15. Hi Steve, I did the same as you, take a look at my blog for some reading into non op. Another useful blog is KevinH. Good luck and chin up.

  16. Hi Steve, welcome to the club!
    I’m also on the non-surgical route and am in the Week 5 after the injury. I’ve had 3 casts and will be put in an ankle/foot brace next week. My treatment protocol is “conservative” and I am not allowed to put any weight on my bad foot for 6 weeks. My bad foot is still in the cast and no physio is available on my ankle and any other parts under the armor. :(

    I know this injury really sucks, but good news is the ruptured Achilles does Tendon heal. Hang in there, and keep us informed!

  17. Did mine on Saturday 26th June 2010 playing badminton so a relative beginner. Lunging for a short drop shot it went. Thought the wife had trod on heel of shoes, she most indignant that I should accuse her of such low tactics. Opted for surgery on the following day (Sunday) and finally released on Wednesday with a host of gear, zimmer frames, toilet accessories to get on and off and a useful grip for picking up dropped things which will be useful for picking up litter on the motorways whe I get the all clear. I have 2 weeks with the cast on before removal of sutures then I am told the big boot (looks like an oversized ski boot I’m told). Upside is, that the bed being downstairs frightens the teenagers off to bed or out for the evening while I have a peaceful TV watching evening. I find that after half an hour of the leg not being elevated it begins to swell but throughout the hospital experience I did not need painkillers which I found a little stange especially as the nurses were saying how brave I was - hmmm. However at 67 I think I will give the badminton a miss in future and develop my new sporting interest - bowls - far less demanding on thr human frame.

  18. Start a blog, FatBaz, and give us ALL the details as you go along. And compare your protocol to the one at , which produced excellent results with AND without surgery. There’s no good reason for anybody to go more slowly than this protocol, especially after the surgery. Hinged boots are better, but you’ll probably have trouble getting one in the UK, where I’m guessing you are.
    (”Zimmer frames” are called “walkers” in North America.)

    If you do return to badminton and you’re unlucky enough to tear the other side, check out for the evidence that you should skip the surgery! (And tell your friends and relatives and Doctor, too.)

  19. I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID IT AGAIN!!!!!! W/M 36 5′10 200lbs. In very good shape, l lift weights and run about 10 miles per week on the road. I have had two complete ruptures!! In both instances I was playing lacrosse, simply running down the field. Nothing crazy when I went down. Both times it felt like I was kicked from behind or got hit with the ball. Both times I went down alone, with no influence from anyone or collision of any type.
    Incident #1 happened 11 years ago. I completely ruptued my left achilles. At first I thought I broke my ankle the pain was so severe. I was 25 and at the time my ortho doc said I was one of the youngest he had ever seen with such an injury. After surgery it was a very long, painful, and slow road. Rehab was the key. I remember showing up at rehab on day 1 and thinking I was never going to walk again. Honestly, I was in soo much pain I think part of me was alright with that! After about 6 mos. things finally all came together and was walking strong, without crutches or that frickin boot.
    Incident #2 came on 6/27/2010. Again, in the same exact way. Playing lacrosse when I went down. This time it was my right leg. I could not believe it. I knew immediately that it was the achilles. Again, I went down alone. When I looked around and saw no one near me, I knew I was in trouble. This time it did not feel as bad, although I still had to be carried off the field. I was able to hobble to my jeep using my lax stick as a crutch. Since having a standard with my previous achilles injury my next run of vehicles had to be automatic, this was an expensive lesson to learn but that is a whole other story!
    I was able to drive myself to the ER. They confirmed the injury and had me follow up with my same ortho doc. After his confirmation, surgery was once again scheduled in a matter of days. My surgery went well. its only been 24hrs as of this writting. I am not in so much pain this time around. I think the nerve block
    helped a ton this time around. Also think the incision was not as big as my orginal. My first incision runs half way up my leg!! I asked my doc if this was common and how often he sees people who tear both. The doc told me this was very rare and he did not remember anyone else in the situation. JUST MY LUCK!
    I really think its my genetically skinny legs that had something to do with both these ruptures. My achilles tendons are probably this thickness of tissue paper! Aside from these freak incidents I have never had any other major health problems or injuries…….
    I will be blogging around and checking in probably on a daily basis as I am homebound…. To all who read this, PT is the key. As bad as it hurts and you may think its not doing anything, PT is the make or break point.

  20. Larry, my experience was pretty similar to yours, “both sides now” as the song goes. Eight yrs between my ATRs, volleyball not lacrosse. And I did them both doing a “classic” move, not just jogging — running backwards, then firing all the rockets when I realized I had to run FORWARDS.

    But our biggest difference is that the fancy sports-med surgeon I found for the second operation had attended a fancy conference where the authors of the latest randomized study comparing ATR surgery to NO surgery (just boot-immobilization and a rapid rehab protocol with PT from 2 weeks in) convinced him that there is no benefit to ATR surgery!

    So when I showed up in his office, he examined my leg, did the Thompson test, and told me he’d stopped doing ATR-repair surgery 4 months earlier, because he didn’t become a surgeon to do surgery with no benefits! So I skipped the surgery, got a (second) boot, and just followed that study’s protocol, which I’ve posted at .

    That study turns out to be the most recent (and biggest) of FOUR recent studies (all done since 2007!!) that all showed the same thing — the randomized total-ATR patients who got the surgery had the SAME strength, ROM, and re-rupture rates (and much higher complication rates) as the patients who “won” the coin toss and skipped the surgery! I’ve posted links to those four studies, and others, at .

    If you click on the “ATR Rehab Protocols, Publications, Studies” link near the top-left of this page, you’ll find the link to a study of “our” case — after you’ve torn ONE AT, how likely is it that you’ll tear the OTHER side? They only followed up for a few years, but they still found that the risk was ~200 times higher than the “background” risk of a first ATR. If they had followed up for my 8 years or your 11, they’d be reporting even higher numbers — MUCH higher, I think.

    Part of it is clearly congenital-inherited, as you say. And of course, most people don’t even engage in high-risk sports like lacrosse and volleyball (and squash and badminton and basketball and. . .), or give them up in their 20s. Some people quit those activities after their first ATR, but for those of us who don’t, there is clearly a very significantly elevated risk of popping the other AT, even if your Doc hasn’t seen it.

    One of the times when I was sitting (in my boot) in the waiting room of my Sports-Med clinic, I started a conversation with another patient/client. He said he used to work as a Physiotherapist in a Sports-Med clinic. When they “discharged” a patient after rehab for a first ATR, he said they’d say “See you soon!” because so many of them came back after they tore the other side!

    I have another pet theory, no real evidence, but it seems logical: I think that people like me who tore the “wrong” AT first — the one on the leg that isn’t their “dominant” leg — are at especially high risk to tear the other side later. Most right-handed people are “left-footed”, and the standard test (here in Canada) is which foot you put forward when you run and slide on ice. I’m left-footed, but I tore my right AT first, and my left one 8 yrs later.

  21. Thanks for the reply normofthenorth. Can someone refresh my memory
    and tell me when the THROBBING will stop after I put my foot down. It’s been 6 days and I have stopped taking any pain killers.

  22. I think the serious throbbing is a post-op thing and shouldn’t last much longer. But the general inflammation and discomfort from putting and KEEPING your foot down — and the relief from putting it UP — often lasts a remarkably long time. The good news is that the progress on both should be steady, and probably pretty quick on the throbbing part. But everybody’s different.

  23. Yes the throbbing is due to the swelling, most likely still in the cast right? Ice pak on the cast, wrapped tight to it and your leg, foot and all must be abouve the level of your heart to get it to reduce. I would sit for about 1 or 2 hrs when in the cast and it would fell like a tight plastic bag was shrink wrapped at my ankle. It takes a few hrs to get it to reduce the pressure. Elevate and Ice, only way to go.

  24. Thanks Scott, I’m not leaving the couch! Ice and elevate, are the inky thins I’ve been doing. First post op today!!! We’ll see how this goes. Thank god for AFLAC!!!

  25. 6 days later, today was my post op appointment. My cast came off and back in the boot. The doc took out my “stitch”, and pulled it out like one long rope. My cut is only about 4 inches long compared to my old 8+ inch scar. The doc said he had to graph my old Achilles, thus explaining the scar. He wants me to lose the crutches in two weeks and then start therapy. Things are moving way quicker this time around!!!! A little nervous about ditching the crutches…….

  26. I am 63 years old and weight 290 pounds.I can run at a slow pace 6 to eight miles.I run between two and ten miles a week.I wear great shoes,stretch and rest well at night and take a regimen of vitamins that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger smile.Of all places to tear my tendon i did it at a cricket game.My experience was not a pop.i could felt it tear and knew the game was over for me.It was my left AT.In cricket there are only two bases,I took off at top speed after my wicket hit the ball. With a 20 year old on my team coming toward me I had to show this old man had the right stuff.My gait was immediately a left footed flop. I was in Florida at the time and decided to wait until i got back to NJ to review my options.I read this blog and everything i could.It seems for old couts like me the re rupture rate if you opt for surgery is 1% versus 15 % for nonsurgical treatment.So reluctantly and knowing the longer I wait for surgery the more chances of never being able to run again i let Doc slice me.I had a great Doc who if the Mafia took him in his skulduggery would be done with a knife opposed to a gun or bludgeon.Three weeks after being sliced you can barely see the scar.I have been walking full weight on my fiberglass boot on and off now for two weeks post op,I use the crutches when i see Doc just to show what a good patient I am.I have fallen a few times and jammed the foot when i had to stop my car for some kid on a scooter who pulled out in front of me on a 4 lane highway.( If this kid is reflective of the youth of today man is this country in trouble) yes I care about re rupture but I have pushed myself all my adult life and find it difficult to stop now. The day after surgery i was supposed to go on a Jesuit silent retreat. Doc gave me some percosets fot the pain.As i did not want to look like I was a drug addict at a rehab i did not take any percosets.My friend Jane said when she took them Spiderman came out of her ceiling.I must confess to you my brothers and sister some of the nuns at the retreat house looked like gargoyles and that was enough scary stuff for me, but I was not going to humiliate myself with any drugs.I never took one pill..It felt like my leg was in a vice at times,but i got through the US Army in an M48A2 tank ,so i figured i could get through this.I was looking for a Jesuit faith healer but to no avail.The best I could do was a prayer from the a priest whose father was in D day.I wish to thank all the posters who have helped me with getting through this.Your written words have calmed many of my fears.This has been a wake up call for me in that I know i need to knock off another 30 pounds.I hope some how my words give someone hope and put a smile on your face.Anyone may feel free to contact me.

  27. I’m 63, a competitive road biker, a lifelong downhill skier, and am in excellent physical condition (or was until 3/31/12). Then, I was skiing at Crystal Mt (WA), when I knifed off a slab of heavy moist snow. I went with it, but it torqued my left ski vertically and the binding didn’t release. Ski patrol tobogganed me down the mountain.

    Two days and an MRI image later, it was obvious that I had a full Achilles rupture. Fortunately, have access to a great Seattle sports medicine clinic. Surgery was last Fri 4/6. Recovering in a plaster cast. Confined to my mattress since the procedure. Key for me has been keeping my injury elevated higher than my heart. Also, had a portable pain-numbing IV pump (inserted at the knee) which definitely alleviated discomfort for the first three post-op days. After a week, I’m hobbling around the house on crutches.

    The hardest part of this is having gone from “Full Gas” to “All Stop” in five seconds. I so want to think that I can get back on my road bike, or even a stationary trainer by say mid-June. I just don’t know how impactful cycling is on AT’s. This is prime cycling season and get to enjoy it only in my dreams. I’m hearing mostly that it takes nine months to full recovery. OMG!!

  28. I just tore my achilles tendon too in my basketball game. Here’s the link to my blog…

  29. I lacerated my achilles tendon whilst walking through my house and then stepping on a glass. It broke underneath my foot and completely sliced through my tendon, luckily missing my artery by a couple of mm. It has been about 13 weeks since the accident and I have made drastic improvements. I would recommend keeping in the plaster rather than getting a boot as I found that no matter how careful you are there is still always a risk of falling over on crutches and so it made me feel better knowing that i could do no real harm as it was plastered up.

  30. Hi… I’m new here (unfortunately). I’m 43 year old fairly active female. 10 days ago I was doing interval exercises up and down the basketball court with my trainer. One lap running, one lap skipping. I was having a great time watching the men next to me play basketball while I was getting in a great workout.

    As I skipped I felt my calves get tight, but ignored it. Next thingI know, i thought maybe one of the guys threw the ball at my foot as I went down hearing a “pop”. I sort of felt like my foot detached from my leg. My trainer thought it was a calf pull. As did I.

    Each day since then I was getting better and better but not able to walk without a limp, nor was I able to get up on my tip toes. One week after my accident, my swelling went down and thus, noticed the gap above my heel. I gave myself the Thompson Test and failed. Sigh.

    I scheduled my Ortho visit for 10 days from now. I wanted to enjoy my freedom/summer some more before I become immobilized. I’m also in denial and scared to bits.

    Should I move up my doctor’s appt? I’m in very little if any pain. It only gets painful when I “mistep”. I heard as long as i am seen within a month of my injury, I am okay, notwithstanding any other injury.

    How long did most people have to be off of work? I can work from home and hoping that eliminates the need to be off.

    Should I take someone with me to my initial appointment? I injured my right leg and need it to drive, but not sure what will happen during my first appointment.

    I’m sure I will have more questions. Thanks in advance.

  31. Superjewgrl - You seem very relaxed about all this which is good but I don’t think you are doing yourself any real favour hobbling around for a couple of weeks. You may only have a partial rupture but no doubt will complete the job in the next 10 if you are not careful. Do some research into modern protocols that can have you walking in a boot within a few weeks. You may not need surgery at this stage but if you delay that option may not be as acceptable to the doctor. If he tells you that re-rupture rates are higher for non surgical then it is old information. If he says that fit and young people do better with surgery then it is old information. If he wants to lock you up in a cast for months non weight bearing then it is old information. I have a link on my page to some studies and a vacoped protocol and Normofthenorth has a UWO protocol. Early weight bearing and mobilization produces the best resutls by far. As for driving, best you have someone do that for you for a while as there are serious legal implications should you be invloved in a collision. Hope it goes well for you which ever way you go.

  32. Thanks explora! I will heed your advice and info about seeking treatment earlier. I guess I’m still in denial. I think the only reason I’m able to be relaxed about this is only due to the fact I have nominal pain and a slight limp.

    I’m too short for my bathroom mirror, I can stand on my tiptoes with the healthy leg but not the injured leg, which was another issue that made me think….. This could be serious.

    Thanks again and I’m gonna check out your page.

  33. Hello I blew out my tendon playing in a 3 on 3 tournament I’m 42 and active also a large guy @ 6″ 5 and 290 but not the flabby version. I did the exact same move for years, I pre stretched warmed up and built up a good sweat.

    Got the rebound went to the top of the 3 point line and was being guarded I went and crossover the guy and planted for the jump shot and felt that pop!! I thought I stepped on the guys foot but I ask him he said no as well as the ref.
    On 7/20/13 is when my life changed I was so upset that it happened I thought because the floor was dirty I slipped but the dr explained you tendon over time loses its elasticity so I was just my time I guess. Had surgery the following Wed its been 2 1/2 weeks and I have a knee scooter type thing to get around and had a cast , I fell off my scooter in the mall parking lot and you always put your foot down.. Pain Pain Pain!!! Went to the dr and his assistant instead of checking me before the dr cut my cast off lol! One week early so I got the boot early and will get checked out this Monday August 9th. I may get to increase my incline of my boot and also put weight on my foot it’s still swollen but my staples are out and my foot feels like its just hanging. I love the site and to know other people are dealing with this emotional time and making it through are inspiring to me thank you guys and ladies we will all be back and dunk and serve or ride our bikes. I’m hating being in the house all day but Netflix is ok.

  34. Welcome, Bigwill! Sorry that you have joined the ATR ranks. This place is an awesome resource and a great place for support. NWB doesn’t last long so enjoy your Netflix while you can. You will be out and about in no time :)

  35. The Injury. I wrote a long version already and it somehow didn’t post. So this version will be shorter and sweeter since now I am over it.

    Saturday Feb 1st rode my bike with clip on shoes about 1 mile to a court to play some basketball with some guys from work to get ready for an upcoming basketball tourney for local banks. I shot around for like 30 minutes and I figured the bike ride there was enough of a warm up. I played basketball for a good portion of my younger life with only a sprained knee back in the early 90’s, I am 45 now but have not played any meaningful hoops for the better part of decade. I told myself don’t do anything crazy and shoot from the outside and take your time going up and down the court. Anyway after a few up and downs of the court, a couple of steals a box out and a rebound, one of my teammates drive to the basket but kicks the ball out to me, I get a screen, so I am going peel around the screen and take out side / paint area jumper from the elbow. Not! As soon as I catch the ball and push / cut to the left (off right foot), mind you not very hard at all, POP! Actually I imaged a pop but it felt like a ball came over from the court next to us and hit me I the back of the leg. I immediately stopped play because there was a ball on the court but when I turned around there was nothing on the court nor was there anyone on the other court either. I tried to walk it off but could not push off. It felt like my heel had disappeared, numb and void. My first thought is, so this is how it happens. This is what it feels like. After all these years and the horror stories, this is the day it happens to me.

    So I walk off the court and I get the look from all the other old guys, they can’t even look me in the eye. Remember I still have to get home and remember I rode my bike. During this whole time I am still walking so in my mind I am thinking this is not too bad. My wife is with the baby shopping and I figure I’ll just ride home. Faster and less hassle and is mostly all downhill. I don’t dare take my shoe off to put on my cycle clip shoes. I was also wearing calve compression gear on my lower leg between my knee and ankle and I didn’t dare remove that either. I figured stuff was rolling up my leg at least that would hold it in. Ironically enough I will later surmise that the compression guard aiding in the partial tear because the point of the partial tear/rupture took place right where the compression calve sock ended, right above ankle area. Anyway I roll home using only my left foot to peddle (while still in basketball shoes) on nothing but the nubs of the bike clips. In a word, hard.

    I get home, grab the ice and laptop. While I elevate and ice I research. I call my brother in law. Local running back legend who even played semi-pro oversees to come over and that a look. He has had his share of injuries. I deduce that it is not “tennis leg” and not the tear that takes place in the middle, but the one lower on the leg (around the ankle area) and not the one where it the tendon attaches at the heel. After an hour or so of ice, elevation and research my brother in law shows up and we decided to cut off the calve compression sock. Nothing bad happens but there is swelling and of course there is the “indention” that the research says would be there. He said he has seen worse. So far, so good. This is Saturday afternoon. I ice and elevate all weekend. I do a tendon type wrap I see online, cover it in a full foot compression sock up to my knee and set an appointment for Monday.

    Doc gave me the opinion without MRI, just the normal set of tests and his hands, that I have a partially linear tear. Note: I can still move my toes almost a in full range except for my big toe is limited. He puts me in a boot. Says I can drive, but take the boot off. I do not need to sleep with the boot on. Says to stay with ice and heat rotation following. He says he has seen worse. Schedules for me to return in 3 weeks. I take two more days off work and then I am going back. I have a desk job so I figure I can deal. Right now the bat I got ice and heat buckets in the bathroom and I am doing soaking rotations until the ice in the water melts and the hot water has gone luke. I then put on a compression sock and elevate. At work I wear the boot and at lunch put my foot up on those chemical ice packs and microwaved heat packs, back and forth until my break is over. I wear compression socks so I adjust my boot throughout the day to generate blood flow while just loosening it throwing leg on the desk helps too.

    I did have two alarms. Two weeks after the injury. I was in the bathroom brushing teeth feeling confident that this was no big deal, bent over to spit and rinse mouth. ZAP! It felt like someone played that area like an electric banjo. It lasted for just a second. The second alarm came three days later while walking up to work. My boot rolled forward in the motion it is intended to do but got caught on the smallest of edges from and uneven segment in the sidewalk. As it wedged and stuck I kept going thereby stressing/stretching the back of my Achilles area. In flight response my leg just gave out with yet another ZAP shock to the area. This was one week from my follow up visit. I figured if I complete torn it, then that was the case no need to run back to the doc right then and there. I decided to ride it out for another week.

    The swelling had gone down and the discoloration had been reabsorbed into the body and was disappaiting rapidly. I could better make out where the tear had actually occurred. I could see what would best be described as lines going up and down (north south) on my Achilles area with a some east west bruising. The best way to describe it would be to say there was a small blurring upside down cross on the back of Achilles area, slightly above the indention zone.
    Yesterday was my 3 week visit. Doc said it looks and feels like it is healing right. Again he did this with his hands. No MRI. I told him about my two alarms. He asked when that was and I told him. He told me to forgo anymore icing and to work more with heat. He said to ice if my my foor ached, possibly from the boot and then rotate in some heat. I told him how time consuming the ice and heat thing had become at work and home and he told me to wrap my leg in plastic wrap, from the middle of my foot to right below the knee. Tape it up. Put a compression sock over it. I would sweat my body heat would thereby heat the sweat and create ‘moist heat’ and that in turn would create warmth and keep the blood circulating properly. Sounds like a low tech version of other stuff I have read about online. He said to give it two more weeks in the boot and then I can try a good athletic shoe. If anyone can suggest something that would be greatly appreciated. I was thinking a running shoe with some heel lift, like a Hoka One One type with a lot of support. Not really sure.

    He said that we will see where I stand, pun intended, in 3 weeks and then make a move at that point. The move will be ultrasound therapy and the basic stretching stuff. Being that I have a partial tear and also that I don’t have insurance I am opting out of surgical methods. I want to inventually get back to ocean swimming and cycling again and hopefully one day, struggle thru another marathon or two.

    In the beginning
    From 2010-2012 I have completed 20 long distance marathon type events, average 1 every 45 days. I once was able to complete 3 in under 40 days; Santa Barbara Marathon, Catalina ECO Marathon and North Face Challenge. I am by no means fast, averaging 6 hour for each. Two of them were trail marathons so factor that in. My daughter was born and a new life took over. I picked up cycling because I could get a faster workout in less time than a long run. I then picked up swimming cross train and as a recovery. While putting by girl to sleep I jammed my left toes on a table and then again on the bed. I jacked up the 3rd and 4th left toe so I could run at all. I then began to cycle more and I think putting my 2 bad toes in a cycle shoe gave me some neuroma to the metatarsal area and then had to give up cycling for awhile. Winter set in and ocean swimming went into off season for me for a few months. During this time I injured my left foot bursa area near the achilles playing back yard volleyball with some friends. My left foot became complete shot. The bursa, achilles pain in the back and the metatarsal neuroma in the front. I went to the foot doc and he took ex-rays and told me what the deal was. That it was my right foot that was messed up and offset and it for the longest time had been doing all the work. Carry the load so to speak. I thought back about the history of my feet while standing there looking at the x-ray.
    When I was in 7 or 8th grade I sustain a dislocated toe playing soccer. I was never seen my a doc, but it somehow healed. Standing there he was showing me the extent of that injury and how I now have a very slight bone issue at the toe area and that my whole right foot is off in varying degree as compared to my left foot. I then recall the left knee sprain I had back when I was in the military and how my right foot then had to carry the load for sometime and then some. Probably for the longest time my left leg/foot and had been under strain because my right foot was jacked up, that’s why it was the first to break down and go through a series of issues first. During this time the pressure shifted back to the right foot which was already defective so to speak. The doc thought it was interest that it was my right achilles to go. Based on what he saw in the x-rays he would gambled that it was my left that would have gone first. Either way I am going to have to get inserts for both achilles and get therapy for both since I truly believe both issues are interconnected.
    He solved the matatarsal issue with a cortisone shot the pain went away. X-rays didn’t show a neuroma anything and the only way to know would be to go in. I truly believe that issue was because the two toe jams so close together and the pressure of wearing cycling shoes.

    So here I am truly hobbled. Maybe it was from all those long distance races over hills and mountains and rivers. Thru rain, mud and snow. Thru 110 degree heat. But it is funny that the injuries happened when I stopped all that work. When I gained a few pounds from being a father and started being a weekend warrior. So now I am on the road to recovery. No summer tri’s or anything for sometime. And for sure no more explosive sports like volleyball or basketball. My body had tuned itself to different type of physics and math that brain had not figure out yet.

  36. I am a 19-year-old girl and I recently ruptured my right Achilles’ tendon in the stupidest way possible… I came here to read stories of how other people injured theirs, hoping that I was not the only one who didn’t injure it in a typical way, but no luck. Here’s the story of how I ruptured mine:

    I have had problems with my feet for about nine years now. To fix these problems, I had gastrocnemius recessions done on each foot. My right foot was done on April 7th. I am still non-weightbearing from that surgery and I am in a CAM boot. Well, I was told that it was ok to take off the boot when I went to bed, and take off the boot I did! My family got a new puppy on April 19th and when I moved back home from my college dorm on April 24th, she slept with me in my bed for the first time. That night, she kept sliding into the crack between my bed and the wall. In order to keep her from falling, I attempted to slide the mattress closer to the wall… And in doing so, I slipped off the edge: right onto my bootless surgical foot! My left leg (which is currently my good leg) was still stuck in blankets and sheets up on the bed, so ALL of my weight went onto my bad leg. As soon as I landed, I heard a ripping or tearing noise coming from inside my leg. Immediately after, I experienced some of the worst pain I’ve ever had. I cursed like a sailer and cried for 45 minutes!

    I had fallen on my surgical leg before (and I’d fallen on the other leg when it had its gastroc recession, too) so I expected this fall to behave in the same way, meaning it would hurt for a day or so and then go back to normal. By the time I realized that it wasn’t following the same pattern, it was Friday night and my surgeon’s office was closed. My leg continued to hurt throughout the weekend and I found myself unable to flex my foot in the least. I couldn’t even get it to neutral to put it back in my CAM boot! On Monday, I called my surgeon’s office and reached an advise nurse. She yelled at me for waiting so long to be seen and told me to go immediately to the urgent care center. I went that night and the doctor did not even look at my leg. I told her my story and she called the podiatrist on call, who told her to splint my leg and send me home. I couldn’t bear to flex the foot still, so they splinted my leg at about 120 degrees and told me to follow up with my podiatric surgeon. I sent my surgeon an email the next day and explained the situation and asked what I should do. He advised me to keep my current appointment (I had a post-op scheduled for today, Friday) and continue staying off the foot.

    I went to his office for my post-op this morning and explained to him again what had happened. He examined my leg and noticed how I was in tears as soon as he tried to flex my foot. He also pointed out an indention about an inch under the gastroc surgical site, and said he wanted me to get an MRI. We scheduled a stat MRI for this afternoon and he said he’d give me a call when he got the results. Well, late this afternoon, he called to tell me that I have, in fact “torn [my Achilles'] pretty good” and he recommended surgery. I agreed and we scheduled it for next Wednesday, May 7th. I’m nervous about the surgery, frustrated that my recovery is going to take so much longer, and a little bit embarrassed that I ruptured my tendon in such a stupid way!

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