Recovery is going well right now. I’m slowly getting muscle back in my left calf and I’m feeling better each day. I still can’t do a one-legged calf raise, but I’m working on it. I was finally able to do a light jog, but with a bit of an awkward stride. I’m normally a forefoot/mid-foot runner and I found myself heel striking. Walking around is pretty much normal, but after extended periods of time or after a night out, I get some stiffness, swelling and a bit of a limp. I ice it when I can. I’m hoping that this problem will eventually go away with time.
At this point, I’m back to doing all the normal routines and movements for CrossFit and all the sports that I play. I was able to do some jump shots with my son over the weekend. Obviously, strength is not nearly where it was pre-injury and balance on the injured side still remains an issue. Mentally, I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient with the healing process. I actually did box jumps the other day (the exercise that caused my rupture) with confidence.
I went through 10 sessions of PT and it helped out with the swelling. To date, my range of motion has been back to where it was pre-injury. I have a follow-up with the doctor tomorrow so I’ll see what the next steps for me are.
I went a little ass backwards by getting back into exercise before PT. Had my first session on Wednesday and it only consisted of me being hooked up to an electric pulse massage type machine for 40 minutes. It was cranked up pretty high and it got slightly painful at the end. I ended up going to do a CrossFit workout immediately after and definitely noticed that the Achilles wasn’t as tight as it normally was.
At this point, the main concern is the bit of swelling I have around the ankle area. The tendon feels fine, still a bit tight, but stretching usually alleviates this with no problem. I’ve been prescribed to take naproxen and use a Flector patch to try and mitigate the swelling. I’m doing the daily stretches advised by my doctor and trying not to push too hard.
I can almost walk normally, there’s still a slight hiccup in my cadence, but I’ve seen vasts improvements over the last few days. I can lightly jog in place and jump rope for a bit. No single leg calf-raise yet, but I haven’t been really trying to put excessive force or weight on it quite yet. My range of motion is getting better as well.
I went on a Vegas “bro” trip over the weekend and was weary that I might hurt myself during the trip, but I fortunately went and returned unscathed. I did lots of dancing/partying and from the little I remember, did have to take breaks on multiple occasions because of pain and swelling. On the plus side, I came back with a few extra $$$ in my pocket :D.
I go in for another session of PT today, not sure what to expect. If it’s just getting hooked up to a machine, I may cancel the rest and seek it elsewhere.
Sorry, I’ve been swamped at work. I’m sneaking in 15 minutes to post an update.
So I was officially taken out my cast at 8 weeks - it was dreadful. I was told that at 6 weeks post-op that it would be removed but that didn’t happen. A few days before the appointment, I got a nasty rash that originated from my elbow. I went to my general doctor since my casted leg wasn’t affected but the next day it flared up big time on my non-casted leg. Long story-short, I went to see the podiatrist and I may have had a late reaction to the anti-biotics - I hadn’t taken any for weeks prior. My cast was taken off to check for infections, fortunately there wasn’t. I was excited because I figured he leave the cast off, but a new cast was put on. Bummer. I tried to refuse, to no avail. The nurse then told me that he is very conservative and stubborn.
After enduring the final two weeks, I was relieved to see it removed. My once muscular calf was no more and it I had tons of dead and dry skin. I was given a walking boot and padding if I experienced any pain. But being the curious and anxious guy that I am, I tried on two shoes immediately when I got home. I was able to limp around without any pain so I figured I would be okay. As it stands, I wear the boot to work and two shoes to workout and when going out. My range of motion is improving daily as I’ve been adamant about making sure I get stretches in. At the gym, I’m still not doing any oly lifts or heavy lifting that involves the legs, but am able to do ass-to-grass air squats (bodyweight). I can balance on weak leg, but no single leg calf raise yet.
I haven’t started any PT, but that may be coming soon. My only discomforts are from taking the first steps after waking up in the morning as the tendon gets tight. I get some swelling and inflammation as the day goes on, but I can mitigate that with elevation. My next appointment is next week and I’m not sure what to expect.
It’s been busy to say the least. A barrage of projects due, interviews and family life have taken up the bulk of my time. I visited the doctor last week and got good news and bad news. The good is that my left leg was finally able to breathe.
Might not be able to tell, but my left calf is definitely smaller than my right. I was also able to get a glimpse of what the future scar look like.
Warning, may be graphic
Continuing with the good news, the stitches were removed and the doc says that everything is healing nicely. No pain during the removal, just felt like pin pricks and slight tugging at some points.
The bad news, or less fortunate, I should say is that I got put back into a hard cast. This time, my foot was angled to be perpendicular to my leg. I felt a good stretch as he held it in place while putting the cast back on. I’m able to partially bear weight on the cast leg with the assistance of crutches and will follow-up two weeks from today.
I’m still continuing to work out my upper body, core and good leg to remain active and have begun doing very light-weight, high repetition leg curls with my bad leg.
I’m officially 19 days since the incident, and 9 days post-op, so I’ll get up to speed in this one post. I stumbled on this site when doing research on Achilles Tendon Rupture recovery and thought it may be beneficial to others and myself to share my experiences along the way. I may be the first, or one of the few, on this blog to suffer the injury while doing CrossFit . More so, I intend to incorporate CrossFit in aiding the recovery.
How It Happened:
On April 1, 2011 I was performing a prescribed workout for time which included a box jump . At the bottom of the jump, I exploded up and immediately felt and heard the dreaded pop and snap in my left leg. I had initially thought that a weight had rolled under me and taken out my legs. Unfortunately, it was not a joke and when failing to stand back up, I knew it was serious.
I got home with the help of some of the gym members and immediately dunked my leg in a bucket of ice. Remarkably, I didn’t suffer from any pain when I got injured or that night. The next morning, I planned a visit to see my general doctor. But with limited Saturday hours and a hoard of people waiting before the office opened, I decided to drive to the emergency room at the hospital across the street. The ER doc performed the Thompson’s test to confirm what I already knew, a complete ATR. I got x-rays, was put in a soft cast and got referrals to see a podiatrist and orthopedist.
I saw the podiatrist the following Tuesday, April 5. Here’s a picture showing the swelling around my foot. The bruising pattern was shaped like a horseshoe around my heel.
I was put in a soft cast and a walking boot, but was told not to bear any weight.
I got an MRI that same evening and after one more visit to the podiatrist, I went under on April 11, 2011. The surgery went well and two days later, I followed up with the podiatrist. There was no sign of infection and was put in a hard cast. I returned to work after two days and this is how I currently look. I try to keep the leg elevated as much as possible.
I’m fortunate that I don’t suffer from any pain at the moment. The only medication I’m taking are the antibiotics (which ends today) and an anti-inflammatory. The only discomfort I’m feeling is during showering and slight itchiness in bed at night. Next follow-up for me is in a couple of weeks to get the sutures removed.
That’s it for now. I hope to help and contribute in any way.
Tagged: CrossFit, Injury, The Incident