9 Months - really?

Yes, it’s been nine whole months (which I can’t believe) since the day of my rupture on May 15th. Surgery was the 21st - I think I’ll celebrate by treating myself to something nice!

So looking back, and for those that are new here, I STRONGLY suggest for you to post regularly. It will slow down once you get more active, but it’s been super helpful for me to go back and see where I was and where I am now, believe it or not, you will begin to forget the little things. I’ll never forget the 15th and 21st - my achilles-aversary, but stuff like exercises, ginormous obstacles that were huge then but not so big now. I thank God every single time I step OVER the side of the tub to get out of the shower and not have to scoot between chairs or butt-swing out of the tub.

My last post was at 6 months and I was doing a Plyometrics program with a trainer. It was an 8 week long program but because my doctors appt was a week after it ended, I scored a full extra week!!!! Yea!!! - Not really….So here’s the 6-9 month review.

Plyo - (each stage 2 weeks) Stage 1 - I started out jumping with both feet, small hops at first then getting bigger/higher. Added some partial rotation in there all on both feet. Was going pretty well and had no problems. This was 3 days a week, mixed in with 2 days of a jogging program/strengthening program.

The second stage was more of the same, just longer times/more reps. Introduced some single leg stuff. Starting jumping from my bad foot and landing on both feet. Started doing side to side hops, from one leg to the other (ice-skaters)

Third Stage- More of the same but mostly single leg stuff now. Single leg hops, single leg jumps over a theraband, side/side and front/back. Added some restart runs also. Would do the ice-skater and on the last one landing on my bad leg, I would single-leg (ATR) crouch with my right leg back, swing it forward and push off with my left - starting to run.

Then I would start on two legs, jump back, land on ATR leg and get into that same position, swing the right leg forward push off with the left and run, about 10 steps.

Fourth Stage - This program was tough to begin with, but these stages were brutal on me. Everything was single leg, except a box jump. The height of the box was about knee high. I’d jump up, lead with the ATR leg going down with a little hop, then bring the right down faster to land on both. After I landed, I’d jump back straight up. My Side jumps went from over a theraband to over a 1/2 round exercise foam thingy. I’d go side/side then front/back, over the foam 1/2 roller. Single leg jumps with 90 degree rotation. “Ice Skaters” with more runs added (started with 1, now doing 8 runs) then the restart runs front/back. I forgot to mention, that the runs are 1 forward and 1 back. So I was also practicing backpedaling also. The second week of all my stages were just added reps/time. This stage really took a toll on my left knee. I had to ice both.

Icing both the knee and ankle So I finish up 8 weeks of plyo - I’m done!  I’m ready to move on.  I go see my trainer and he asks when my next Dr. Appt is and I tell him in a week and that’s when he gives me another week.  I was able to struggle through the knee pain but had to tone back on some stuff and days.

So I go back in after this is done and he has a strength test for me.  He has me jump with my right leg as far as I can and then with my left.  He measures where I’m at with the two.  Then to the back, to the side, to the other side then a triple, single leg jump.  Some of them I actually scored better with my left than my right.  Overall, I scored a 95% with my left compared to my right.  I graduated!  So plyo was done and now he’s got me working on interval running.

Five minutes at 5.5 mph, then 30 seconds at 6, 30 seconds at 5.5, and rotate like that up to 9 mph.  I did that the first week and then upped it the next week by .2 mph the next week.  So 5.7 then 6.2, 5.7 then 6.7…etc….

I do the interval running 3 times a week and strengthening 2 days a week.

So my next meeting is with him today in about an hour.  I have no idea what he’ll have in store for me this time.

I still ice everyday or almost everyday.  Long socks are my nemesis.  Just that little amount of compression or rubbing against the scar drives me nuts!!!

My knee still hurts a bit but is getting better now that I’m not doing single leg plyo.

Overall, I feel I’m in better shape now than before it happened, just within the last couple of weeks I’ve felt I finally caught up.

Through this whole ordeal, I realized just how important it is to stay active.  So even after my program I plan on continuing jogging and working out.  I was before, but would only do it sporadically.

I hope this post didn’t bore everyone to sleep.  For those just going through this, keep your head up as it does get better!

Hoping everyone is healing well.

14 Comments so far

  1. anne on February 17th, 2014

    Great stuff!!!! Congrats on your progress.

  2. deeleft on February 17th, 2014

    Sounds like a pretty intense programme - well done for getting through it, sounds like you are doing great!

  3. normofthenorth on February 18th, 2014

    Good stuff! I didn’t do any of this intense mechanical exercise, just back to my fave activities and competitive sports. Two nights ago I played 2 hours of indoor beach volleyball, almost all of it 4-on-4 with three young and very athletic teammates. (We kicked butt, and I was in the running for MVP, too!).

    Afterwards, in the locker room, one of our young opponents praised me for kicking butt with a bunch of players half my age. Sweet — except that even if I can keep it up for another ten years, they STILL won’t be half my age!! :-)
    Meanwhile, I think my vertical on the deep sand has gone from “below average” to “insignificant”! Not sure how much is from the extra 5-10 pounds I’ve put on in the last coupla years, and how much is from the extra coupla years. . . I’ve also only been out 4 times this season, which doesn’t help.

  4. Ron on February 18th, 2014

    Great Post, Craiger9er.

    This is a great update. I am going on six months, and this post gives me some foresight into my future PT exercises.

    While I don’t expect to dunk on anyone in a basketball game ever again, it would be nice to be able to jump again. :-)

    I can’t wait to get started on the “next level.” However, we got 6 more inches of snow in Chicago, and this winter is not helping me mentally at all LOL.

    Good luck, and thanks for the post,

  5. kellygirl on February 18th, 2014

    LOL: re the butt swing. I forgot about that tub exit style! Great to hear where you are at, Craig. That plyometrics program sounds great. I would love to have had the opportunity to do that under supervision. Isn’t it funny how 9 months is kind of the magic number for many of us–almost normal but not quite. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your one year post. (Thanks for the kind words on my last post!)

  6. shawnnutt on February 18th, 2014

    Craiger9er, just curious, and maybe you’ve already posted it somewhere? What caused your re-rupture? Did you have surgery the first time? I’m just getting to where I can start running a little bit and don’t wanna over do anything.

  7. craiger9er on February 18th, 2014

    Norm - I know you had a rupture on each side - I saw you returned 10 months with the first one, was the second (non-op) the same? Do you feel any difference between the two? I think it’s AWESOME that you’re doing what you’re doing. I’m afraid to get back into anything too strenuous, although the more they make me do, the better I feel about it all. I put a lot of trust in my Trainer (could be good or bad, right?) and if he says I can do something, I do it and have been able to.

  8. craiger9er on February 18th, 2014

    Ron - I’m just outside of Detroit and know that snowed in feeling. My PT actually ended way too early for me to be comfortable with. I ended up hiring an athletic trainer to help with the rest. So every two weeks I see him and he gives me a new program. I don’t feel my PT would have given me this same stuff, but again, it ended so early I wouldn’t have known. I hope yours continues as I feel it’s extremely valuable and there’s no way I’d be where I am today without PT and my trainer. The first time I jumped, I was scared to death. I slowly worked my way up and just made sure I distributed my weight between my heel and ball of my foot….after I did it though, it went a long way mentally for me, just make sure they give you the go ahead for it. Happy healing.

  9. craiger9er on February 18th, 2014

    Kellygirl - Ahhhh, the not so good ol’ days right? Yeah, I don’t miss them at all, but I do think about them because I think it’s SO important to know where I was and where I am now. It’s great to see you doing well also. Yeah, 9 months and I’m feeling decent - I think I still have a ways to go though, but definitely feel like I’m getting there!

  10. craiger9er on February 18th, 2014

    Shawnnutt - I ruptured on May 15th, surgery on the 21st, didn’t re-rupture. I don’t remember my exact day that I started running but it was all with the go ahead of my Doctor and Therapist. I think when I started running they had me on a couch to 5k program. I can probably find it if interested, but definitely make sure that it’s ok to start with your Doc/Therapist.

  11. normofthenorth on February 19th, 2014

    Craig, I probably would have returned to volleyball about as fast after the second (non-op) ATR as I did after the first (op) — except that I had to make a little detour to get a heart-valve replaced(!). (No non-op option there, though people get VERY passionate about tissue valves vs. mechanical valves! I’m also NOTN at valvereplacement.org!)

    My ultimate calf strength (1-leg heel raise) is still permanently wimpy on the ATR#2 non-op side, but that hasn’t bothered my competitive volleyball “career” at all — maybe because it’s only my Gastroc strength that’s wimpy, while my Soleus strength is fine. But the short surgical repair of ATR#1 is threatening to end that career, since (according to my podiatrist and my sports-med PT and me) it’s the reason I’ve developed a “trick” knee on that side. (Both my quads are unusually short/tight, but my OTHER quad, non-op-ATR side, is significantly tighter than THAT one, and that other knee is fine.) More details on my page “Maybe healing too short is scary after all!”.

    I’ve been stretching and “rolling” my quads and my calf/AT on that side for maybe a year, and I think my knee is causing me less trouble this year than last year. (And at my age, ANYTHING that does THAT is cause for celebration! :-) )

    So, neither AT/calf/leg is exactly “as good as new” or “perfect”, but they’re both pretty good and I can’t complain. (When I play indoor beach v-ball, I’m always the oldest person there, usually by two decades, and I’m usually playing on one of the better courts!)

  12. craiger9er on February 19th, 2014

    Shawnnuff - sorry for the confusion, I re-read the first two lines and saw what I wrote…and it was a typo! I edited it to just say rupture.

  13. christa on February 24th, 2014

    Glad things are getting back to normal. Are you in better shape then you were before with the workout your trainer is giving you? At this rate, maybe you’ll be running a marathon someday….

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