S/P Right Achilles Surgery–7 Weeks

Pretty Eventful week for the ol’ ATR Recovery.  I saw my Ortho yesterday and he cleared me to get out of the boot and go into two shoes.  He was happy with the mobility in the ankle and told me that the tightness I feel at max dorsiflexion is normal and it will ebb over time.  He also told me to expect to limp around for a week or so before I start walking “normal”  After the customary 2 minute appt. he sent me on my way and told me to make another appt. at the 12 week mark.   Later that day I saw my PT and actually got a good explanation and plan for the next six weeks.  She said that I should be walking normally soon and gave me a bunch of exercises to add to the cursed Thera-Bands.  I can now start doing assisted double heel lifts, squats, and work on the Leg Press.  Of course, I can’t add weight to the leg press, or calf raises yet, but it’s a start.  I used to work out with 400-600lbs on the Leg press, so getting on there with no Plates feels a little weird, but oh well, I just want to get better. 

It’s exciting to get started on the actual strength work, but it just makes me realize how far I have to go.  I do think, however that I will be playing golf within the next 2-3 weeks in shoes, though I will need to rent a cart.  To anyone out there who has just ruptured your Achilles, you can look to weeks 6-8 as the time when you will begin feeling “normal” again.

S/P Right Achilles Surgery-5 Weeks

Well, another week down and only 20 or so to go . . . (sigh)  This week was fairly eventful, as I began Physical Therapy on Monday.  The first appointment was just an eval, as I expected, but it was nice to hear good news.  The swelling around my ankle and the scar area isn’t too bad and my ROM has returned to withing 7-10 degrees of normal.  The second appointment was yesterday and I got some Thera-Band exercises to start at home to go along with my leg lifts.  I do them twice a day, morning and afternoon and have been icing after each workout.  This week was also nice because I was finally able to start a routine at the gym again.  I can only ride the bike as of now for cardio, but upper body lifts all seem to be OK.  I was able to get a good Back/Triceps and Shoulders/Biceps split going this week, and despite clomping around in the cast, it felt good to be in the gym.  I got word from my Surgeon that he expects to clear me out of the boot at our next appt. which is only 2 weeks away, which is good.  But I did hear from my PT that the “balistic” activities that I need for Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and Tennis won’t be OK till the 6 month mark.  Sheesh, that seems far away.  I do have hope of DH’ing at the end of this summer season though, both PT and Surgeon thought swinging a bat would be OK at 14-16 weeks.  As long as I can half-run 90 feet at a time I’ll play. 

I have pretty much returned to a “normal” routine with work and the gym now.   I have been walking pretty comfortably in the boot for the past two weeks and the left-footed driving is now second nature.  I have a feeling it will be difficult to limit myself mentally when I come out of the boot and start walking.  My mind will want to hit the field like normal but my body won’t let me.  Should be an interesting summer as I find ways to kill time.

S/P Right Achilles Surgery-4 Weeks

Ok, so I’m a month out.  This is easily the most difficult injury I have ever had.  The hardest part about this for me right now is accepting just how long I have until I can cut, plant and run like I used to.  At least with my previous shoulder surgery, I was able to walk, drive, do cardio and stand up while showering.  All things that you take for granted when feeling healthy, but can’t get out of your head when you are injured.

As of now, I am in the Boot and beggining to “walk” around the apt.  My job is a Field/Home based job as an Account Manager, so I don’t have to go into the office very often, making it possible for me to continue working.  Oddly enough, this past May has been one of the most successful months I have had since being promoted last Summer, guess eliminating all my recreational activities has made it easier to focus on work . . .ha ha.

The first two weeks I was in the soft cast and not allowed to put any pressure on the foot.  At appx 2 weeks the cast was taken off and I was fitted for Das Boot.  My toe was pointed down (plantar flexion) and I was instructed to click the boot up one level each 5-7 days as the tendon stretched.  At 3.5 weeks I was able to move the boot to a “Flat” position and begin to put a little weight on it.  A few days later (where I am now) I am able to walk with one crutch around the apartment, but whenever I go out I still am on two crutches.

GOAL:  Walking w/out crutches but in the boot by 6 weeks.

A Month out, ready to Blog-How it Happened

So it’s been about a month since my ATR.  I immediately started searching the internet to find blogs from people who had undergone an ATR and surgery, much like I did before going in for Shoulder Surgery.  I can’t tell you how great it was to read about other people’s experiences as I sat on my couch and pouted.  It was helpful to see that people were just as devastated as I was, and that those same people had all pulled through and are back (or almost back) to the sports that they love.

As for me, I just wasn’t ready to start writing about it right away.  You see, I was just getting back to what I considered “full” strength from Shoulder Surgery in August of 07.  I had “healed” according to the doctors from that Shoulder sx the following spring of 08, but it wasn’t until late 08-early 09 that I was able to return to the Workout and Sport levels that I was accustomed to.  Finally, in February/March of this year, I was able to begin training with the CROSSFIT method, following the website and doing high intensity Olympic Lifts and running each day.  By early April I had brought my 3 Lift Total (Squat, Clean, Deadlift) to over 800lbs for the first time since my College Baseball days and I was looking forward to the start of my Semi-Pro summer (old man) baseball season, where I would be healthy for the first time in 2 years.

The first game was on April 26th and I was 2-5 with a HR and 2 runs scored.  We won, and the guys that we had drafted in the Tryout draft were looking to be big additions to a 3rd Place Team from last year.  (The San Jose MSBL is one of the more competetive “old-man” leagues in the Nation, with Tourny teams regularly taking home titles in the AZ and FLA world series)  On April 27th, feeling good about my team, my job and my fitness level, I went to the gym in the evening to get in a little Basketball for some conditioning.  BIG MISTAKE!  On the 3rd game of the night, I was running down the court to the offensive end and was backpedaling into the Post to get position.  I decided to flash to the middle of the key, so I planted off my backpedal and pushed-off to go.  POP!!!!!  There it went.  My Bachelors is in Exercise Physiology and I had spent two years as a Student Trainer and X-Ray Clerk in college, so I knew what happened before I hit the floor. 

Surprisingly the Pain wasn’t so bad.  My ankle hung at an odd angle, but I was lucky enough not to have the Achilles detatch from my foot, but rather rupture just above the ankle.  As a result, my calf did not “curl up” into my leg, like the classic tears you hear about.  I limped off to the car, and so begins my adventure.  Luckily I work for Stanford University Medical School and we have great insurance and a bevy of Doctors to choose from.  I was in surgery two days later and off to my ATR recovery adventure.


JUST A FEW THOUGHTS:  I had worked out earlier on the day of the ATR and was feeling “sore” in my lower legs.  Nothing that would have stopped me from playing or working out more, but it did lead me to put on a neoprene knee brace on my right knee (the side that was injured) and I wonder if that contributed to the injury by limiting ROM in the knee and transfering stress to the Achilles.  Any Thoughts?  Also:  I had tried to leave the basketball games after the second run, but was goaded into staying by my teammates (guys I didn’t know, just pick-up ballers)  Let that be a lesson kids, Say NO to Peer Pressure!  Finally, I had trained the entire winter in Nike Free shoes, that are supposed to strengthen foot muscles, but for that night playing B-Ball, I put on High Tops for the first time in months.  Also, curious if this contributed to the Injury  Any Thoughts?