Well, it has been exactly one year since I ruptured my right achilles playing pickleball. I went nonsurgical, early weight bearing. Status report is that I’m walking and playing golf, and have been since January, but, the reality is that my right calf-achilles complex is still significantly weaker than my left. Despite doing many, many, many calf-raises, I still cannot do a single leg full calf raise with the injured leg. I am still trying. I do multiple “ecentric” reps, where I use both legs to get up, and slowly lower myself with he right leg, trying with nearly all my might to keep from lowering to the ground. But, I thin I am still moving in the right direction. If I were an elite athlete, I would not be all the way back. I have resigned myself to giving up pickleball, which is a bummer, because my wife loves it and plays all of the time and I would love to be able to join her and her group, but I doubt I ever will. I don’t know if I’d be stronger if I’d gone surgical or not. There is no reliable data on the qualitative aspects of healing, one vs. the other, pretty much all of the data is about re-rupture rates. It could be more about being 65 years old when I did it. Anyway, I’m grateful for being where I am, and will continue to do the rehab.

9 Responses to “ONE YEAR, TODAY!”

  1. We’re close in our recovery time frames :) I’m about 2 weeks passed my 1 year mark. Keep on working on the calf raises! I have no problem with those but am having problems with an inflamed bone. Not sure why it’s inflamed but until it calms down I can’t get back to all my normal activities (soccer, HIIT classes, weight lifting class, …) I’ve been dealing with it for about 2 months now and it is really annoying.

  2. Dan, congrats on your 1 year anniversary! I, too, blew out my right Achilles’ tendon playing pickleball and am just 5 weeks post surgery. I’ve been walking in a boot for the past ~week now. I’m really sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to get back to pickleball. That for sure is a goal of mine. My doc is very encouraging to say that I should fully recover in time (his estimate is 8 months, but of course it’s hugely variable). I wish you all the best as you continue on your journey.

  3. cserpent, thank you for the comment. I sometimes wonder if all of the weird symptoms I have in my right leg are from the achilles injury. Over the last 25 years I’ve had, in my right leg, a quad pull (running to first base), a severe groin injury (water skiing) that required surgery, sciatic nerve issues that required epidural injections, with numbness and weakness, knee issues, and the achilles. Looking back on it I wonder if all of those other issues set me up for the achilles injury. Who knows? Anyway, we keep plugging along, and I am delighted that I can walk and play golf.

  4. paul 1, thank you for the comment. I COULD play pickleball, but I’m afraid to. I just don’t want to go through another year like the last one. Good luck on your recovery. My doctor told me in November that it’s a “one year” injury. That after a year I’d know where I’d be. I am hoping he was wrong, because I want to be stronger in that leg than I am now. I think I will continue, albeit slowly, to progress towards a more full recovery. Carry on!

  5. Congratulations Dan! The calf raises will get there. I can do 12-15 on my ruptured leg at about 1 year out, but I don’t get as high as on my good leg. Is it possible you healed a bit long?

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, Bruiser. Do you still have visible atrophy?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  7. Yes, definitely have visible atrophy. My calves were pretty good size to begin with so I don’t know that I’ll ever get them to even out again. The healthy calf is about 3/4 of an inch wider than the injured. The injured calf is also noticeably shorter and weaker on the distal medial head. My one year is in 3 days so I’ll try to post some pictures for the obligatory anniversary post.

  8. I have had much the same experience as Dan. At 14 mos I am confident in the surgery, and experience no real pain or swelling. Mobility is good, but there is significant atrophy on the injured leg and delayed response time on the stride push off that I believe is due to ‘healing long’. Heal raises are pretty much impossible, but I am doing a 50 mile bike ride this weekend which will be a test for sure. Good to hear from everyone on the blog site-lots to learn and share…

  9. sweet70, what makes you feel you have “healed long”? Does your surgeon concur with that? I had some thoughts in that direction, but it sure didn’t feel “long” while I was trying to stretch it. Still doesn’t.
    Are you still working towards the heel raise? How does it feel when you stretch it?

    Best of luck on the bike ride, and thank you for the response.

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