crossfitmike’s AchillesBlog

The Incident

April 19, 2011 · 13 Comments

Hi readers,

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.

Best,
CrossFit Mike

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13 responses so far ↓

  • janet // Apr 20th 2011 at 11:28 am

    Hi Crossfit Mike

    I didn’t injure myself doing crossfit but I am familiar with it and very much a gym rat.

    Lol…you sound like me…I didn’t miss a beat as far as work or the gym goes. I am fortunate to work at a place that allows me to do whatever I need to do to help with the injury…which sometimes includes laying on the floor in the boss’s office with my feet on her wall.

    This is a great site for advice, entertainment and just to vent.

    Happy healing Mike

  • crossfitmike // Apr 20th 2011 at 12:06 pm

    That’s great to hear, Janet. I work in a small office and everyone has been very considerate.

    And I agree, this site is great and it’s good knowing that we all are going through this together.

  • Fidel Banuelos // Apr 23rd 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Interesting…I was thinking of joining Crossfit to get back in shape after my ATR. I am 20 weeks after my surgery. Sorry this happened but it does get better. After the tendon heals, the challenge will be to get flexibility and strength back. The hardest things to do will be going downstairs and squatting (like a catcher). I am just now mastering those two skills. It does take lots of patience but it’ll get better.

  • normofthenorth // Apr 23rd 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Fidel, I gave you the secret to walking downstairs at achillesblog.com/stonebuddy/2010/01/06/6-months-upbeat/#comment-20 , then iski7b posted and said it worked great for him, too. Did you try it? What didn’t work?

    I don’t think I can make squatting like a catcher easy for you, but walking downstairs should be a piece of cake! If you’ve got a problem with that “trick”, please ask about it and I’ll try to respond.

  • jenn // Apr 26th 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Hey CrossFit Mike
    Your incident sounds a lot like mine! I was doing a jump training session and while hopping over some very short hurdles I thought I landed right on one when I fell on my face. I was pretty confused to see the thing standing in the same place it had been before I hopped. Ice bath that night, ER in the morning, Thomson’s test, surgery, BAM.
    Sorry this happened to you, this is definitely a great place to post! If you need any tips, we’re here for ya. Good luck!
    Jenn

  • chuckp17 // May 17th 2011 at 9:45 am

    Hi CF Mike:
    Thanks for making the posts. I am starting a blog tomorrow. I just had ATR last Tuesday, May 10th, and surgery on May 13th. My injury happened playing tennis. I work out constantly, so now I am going to focus on upper body for a while, I guess. Tennis is really for exercise and my real sporting love is golf. I am hoping that I can get on the golf course a little sooner, since it is a little less strenous. I would love to hear from anyone out there that has played golf after an ATR, to tell me how that goes.
    Thanks,
    Chuck

  • Nick9671 // May 29th 2011 at 5:15 am

    CFMike,
    I ruptured my AT exactly how you did, doing an AMRAP that included boxjumps and I was almost thru the WOD when mine popped as a came down and tried to spring back up. I have been pretty bummed most of all about crossfit as I am an avid crossfitter and am scared I may never be able to go as hard as I used to. It looks like you are about 2 and half months out, have you made any progress as to going back to your crossfit gym? I am one week post op and am hoping in about a month I can get back in and put together some wods that are strictly upper body. I am interested in hearing your progress.

    Nick

  • tucker 22 // May 29th 2011 at 10:44 am

    Nick,
    Like you I am also an “avid crossfitter”. I went back to the gym 10 days post op. Here are some of the modifications I made to the WOD’s. I ruptured both of my achilles doing high impact gymnastics so I have been in bilateral casts and boots. You might be able to do more.
    1. wallball in a seated position on the floor
    2. girl pushups ( you might be able to do plank position with your bad leg crossed over your good leg)
    3. seated press
    4. bench press
    5. sit ups and flutter kicks
    6. seated kettle bell swings
    7. up right rows
    8. ring pull ups ( I do these seated. Initially in my wheelchair. Place the rings to were you can barely reach them. Do a pullup while trying to maintain an L hold. Great upper body and core. )
    9. ring dips
    10. stationary bike
    I did these exercises for the first three weeks. Since weight bearing I have added squats.
    I do these at a pole in the gym for support and make sure to be completely back on my heels.
    Why wait for a month? There are plenty of things you can do now!
    If you have any other ways to modify the workouts I’d love to hear from you in the upcoming months.

    Tucker 22

  • Nick9671 // May 31st 2011 at 5:02 am

    Tucker,
    Were you in a cast or boot when you started going back to the gym? The more I have sat at home the more I have been pushing the time closer that I want to try and get back to crossfit. I am so paranoid of getting completely out of shape. Thanks for the list of modified movements, I will definitely try some out. I was hoping once I was put in a boot and partial weight bearing I would be able to get up on a pullup bar and do normal pullups. Thanks again for the positive words, it gave me a little hope at a time that I really need it.

    Nick

  • crossfitmike // May 31st 2011 at 9:46 am

    Nick,

    Sorry for the delayed response, the holiday weekend along with my son’s birthday and sister’s graduation have kept me away from the computer.

    In addition to tucker’s list of exercises, I’m still able to do rope climbs (no legs obviously), muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, pistols, one-legged burpees. Strict pullups in a cast wasn’t a big deal either. I’ve even managed to kip and butterfly. I’m fortunate to have a head trainer who is very accommodating to work around my limitations. We work together to put modified WODs and see how much I can physically do.

    I went back to Crossfit after a couple weeks post -op and returned with a cast on and crutched around to get where I needed to be. I’m now in a boot and have began adding squats into workouts.

    I know that it’s going to take a time to get back all the lower body strength, but in the mean time, I’m still seeing progress with upper body. Don’t be discouraged. Talk to your trainer and work something out!

    Best,
    Mike

  • tucker 22 // Jun 1st 2011 at 3:44 am

    Nick,
    I was in casts for three weeks then went to full weight bearing in bilateral cam boots. I’ve been in those for about 10 days. Our pull up bars are pretty high so I have to jump to get to them. If you can safely get to the bar and more importantly get down then I see no problems with pull ups. Right now I use rings that I can barely reach then hang and pull up. Like Crossfit Mike I have also incorporated squats into the workouts now.
    I hope you get back to the gym soon.
    Tucker 22

  • Nick9671 // Jun 2nd 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Tucker,
    I was thinking you could put a 16″ or 20″ box under the bar off to the side to get on and off the bar. I appreciate all of the encouragement. I am 9 days post op and I get my cast off exactly 2 weeks from today. I am excited to get this thing off and get into a boot so I can quit fooling with trying to wrap this thing to shower. I have talked with our coach and he is putting together some modified workouts that I can do and I think I am gonna try one out next week. Did your calf lose a lot of size? Kind of nervous to see how small it will be when the cast comes off. I will let you know how the workouts go! Hope everyone’s recovery is going well.

    Nick

  • tim // Jun 30th 2011 at 3:29 pm

    wow! I just ruptured my achilles yesterday doing box jumps too. Mine happened when I jumped off the box and heard a loud pop than fell to the ground. Thanks for writing about your experience in the blog. Surgery is on Sunday and I’m hoping to recover and do crossfit again.

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