Posted by: craig | June 26, 2008

Post Op 10 weeks + 1 day - yikes

Anybody who has spent much time on this site has read at one time or another that recovering from an ATR is a long, slow journey.  This journey has many great milestones, but also, a fair share of setbacks.  I feel very fortunate that my setbacks have been few and far between.  Slow and steady, the progress has come.  However, today was a bit of a hiccup for me on that road.

The morning started just like every other for the past few weeks.  Wake up, spend 1/2 hour or so doing stretches, then get ready for the day.  I’ve noticed an increased ROM over the past few days.  My oh so tight ankle joint has been slowly getting looser and looser.  I finished getting dressed and was ready for the day.  My wife wanted to go into work early, so with my new found driving freedom I volunteered to take my younger son to school.  His preschool is only a block away, so I figured, what the heck, let’s walk to school.  My walk has been getting better and better.  I’m no longer being confused with Lurch from the Addam’s family dragging my bad foot.  Anyway, not more than 50 feet into the walk I was suddenly struggling with a burning pain on my achilles.  Time to go back home and drive Alex to school.

After dropping Alex off at school, I shrugged off the pain, went home, and got ready for my PT appointment later in the morning.  The pain was still there when I walked, but it wasn’t too bad.  I arrived 45 minutes early for PT, so I warmed up by starting my regular exercise routine.  Everything went fine, but it burnt a good amount when I tried some more aggressive stretches.  When it was time for my massage and soft tissue work, I made a point of telling my therapist about the burning in my achilles.  We talked about possibilites as she worked my leg and foot: inflamation from walking more than normal, extra stretching or strength work, or maybe irritation from my shoe.

To make a long story longer…  I put my shoe back on and started doing some walking.  My therapist watched me and was analyzing my walk.  Then it happened.  I was talking about how I felt like my strides were getting longer, more “normal”, and all of a sudden riiiiiiiiiip.  I felt something on the bottom of my achilles tear.  It was a sharp pain, very different than my ATR, but I was freaked.  My therapist had me sit down and take off my shoe.  She performed the Thompson test and miscellaneous strength tests.  Everything seemed ok, so she had me “gently” finish my exercises and take it easy.  “It’s probably just scar tissue.”  The top of my shoe seems to irritate my scar some, so I’m really hoping that is what the problem is.

Well, I spent much of the rest of the day worrying about what was really going on with my tendon?  It still burns when I walk with my shoes on.  What was it that tore?  Was it just scar tissue or something else?  And should I be walking and stretching my tendon with this burning inflamation or scaling back and taking it easy?  Darn this whole listening to your body process can be hard.

Anyway, I already had a doctor appointment scheduled for tomorrow, so I figured things could wait another half day or so.  I hope to get some resolution as to what the problem is, what I can do to help it, and is it really something to be concerned about.  Of couse, the real goal is to continue progressing down the road of recovery.  So as I write this, I’ve taken a couple of advil, iced for the night, and am hoping when I wake up tomorrow everything will be a little better…


ouch. Well, good luck at your appointment and please keep us posted. I continued to be amazed out how much we can learn from one another about this recovery process and the ups and down we can go through. I am 1 wk into my 2nd cast and PWB, so quite a ways behind you. But I am extremely paranoid about rupturing my other tendon, let alone having an issue with this one along the way. :)

Sending good vibes to you!! - Sheila

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Craig, here’s hoping it was just a hiccup. Definitely sending good vibes too.

this whole process is a scary one ….. i hope all is ok let us know arter your visit to the gp . good luck , fingers and toes crossed xxx

Here is hoping you woke up today with little or no burning, and the doctor tells you it is scar tissue letting go of its grip on your incision. Please - keep us posted.

I am 18 weeks since rupture and experience the burning sensation daily when I walk or excercise, I think it is only the tendon stretching and working similar to lactic acid burning when you are unning/cycling, just the body saying “hello, I’m here and I’m tired”.
Better safe than sorry though.
Safe healing.

Johnk :)


I hope it’s just the scar tissue loosening up.. I had some worrying moments when I started walking in shoes too.. some random pain that came and went.
Let us know what the doctor says.

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