My achilles rupture

Just another weblog

over a year now and what a journey

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 4:06 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hi all,

Well its been over a year now and i thought it was about time i wrote an update as i have neglected my blog.

A quick summary im an irish dancer i ruptured my achilles May 10th 2008 had surgery repair and then re-ruptured July 14th. After the re-rupture i found it difficult to read other peoples progress and i was back at squre one, i found that i would compare my (lack)of progress and that made me even more depressed. Now over a year on i look back on the whole horrible experience and it makes me so proud at how far i’ve come.

Before my injury i was top 3 in Great Britain and 10th in the world, i was on track and things were going well, then all of a sudden in a split second it was taken away, a complete tear i never had any previous difficulties with my achilles however overworking it had taken its toll.

After Surgery i spents 9 weeks in plaster i then had to go back into plaster for a futher 4 weeks followed by a boot for 7 weeks approx taking me to the end of October. Towards the end of my time in the boot i started walking with the boot on and completed a course of 6-8 hydrotherapy sessions i was terrified at first scared of doing something wrong causing damage and found it very painful to stretch my achilles as it was tight like there was no give in it, i found when i first started walking my achilles and the bottom of my heel would get extremly sore and swollen, now i get no swelling at all. From November right through to Feburary i had weekly physio sessions at 1st massages stretching and gentle exercises and then these progressed to a group ‘gym’style class the first few i could barley walk never mind jog i enrolled in the gym to follow up on the exercises i’d been given and found swimming brilliant for loosening my foot in the mornings.

Each week they would introduce harder exercises ranging from balancing on the wobble board with 2 feet then one going forward back etc. Jumping on the trampeline to jogging and hopping on it changing directions, i found the hopping hard as i was scared to land, doing step ups, using a cross trainer and the horrid heel raises i found these the toughest even on my last session i couldnt really do the single heel raises,skipping and runnig on the treadmill was also introduced aswel as other exercises.

I returned to dancing whilst still recieving Physio and on many occasions i doubted myself and was ready to give up believing i’d never be able to dance properly again. It was extremely frustrating watching other dancers, and there was i not able to keep up couldn’t jump, couldn’t manage half the steps, yet deep down i didn’t want to give up.

My return to competitions was hardly a fairytale ending i was right down at the bottom dropping from 10th to 56th in the world, i was devastated all this hard work and all i’d been through.

I went home not knowing where to go from there, as i didn’t want to give up yet i didn’t want to go out so low after previously doing so well. So with my family we decided to give it one last shot i practiced everyday, worked on what i was finding difficult and recently participated in the National championships achieving 7th not quite the top 3 i was previously but a definite improvement and delighted at how far i’d come in a year making all i’d been through worthwhile as the place was high enough to qualify me for the 2010 world championships.

I hope the improvemients will continue and by the world i’ll be 100%.

I still have trouble with taking big hops/springs off my injured leg, i still have two different sized legs, and i find that if i’ve been doing a lot of dancing my foot get very stiff and i limp in the morning/late at night  and also my heel drops down as we dance high on our toes its sometime hard to keep my heels off the ground.

I can run,jump, and best of all dance looking back i am so proud of how far i’ve come and it makes me appreciate achievements/results a lot more.

I apologise for such a long post but hope it gives people a insite into what to expect.

Had a scan partial tear back in plaster

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 9:57 am on Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I’m devastated back in plaster AGAIN fully pointed down i have a tear to the outer part of my repaired (semi-repaired) achilles. Deep down i knew i had caused damaged this morning but was hoping it was pain caused by the shock of putting it down again after so long. The only good thing is that it is not a complete re-rupture.

I will stay in plaster for 2 weeks then have my foot moved up again, not sure how long i will be in plaster this time depends on how it heals if not surgery again might have to be considered. Just as i thought the worst was over this happens. i’m totally gutted, was so depressed when the nurse was putting the plaster back on and telling me to point my foot down. So wanted to tell her NO, but shes been so kind over the last 2 months.

I have reluctantly changed my achilles profile back to NWB


Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 4:21 am on Tuesday, July 15, 2008

i BRaved the elements this morning and went to the swimming pool all was going well walking forwards backwards etc for about 20mins, I got changed was leaving the building and i slipped putting my achilles foot on the floor, a pain shot through my foot and the scar slightly opened. I was taken to hospital where doctor performed THOMPSON test ran his finger along the scar he could feel a slight groove and got me push against his hand. I can point toes up and down, but very sore at the back of my heel where the scar is and wasn’t really able to push against him. I have to return to hospital this afternoon for a scan/ see the orthopedic team. I am praying i haven’t re-ruptured but i just don’t know i didn’t hear a pop?? is that a good sign? i’m so scared  i may have. I can’t believe it

PWB at long last

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 8:33 am on Monday, July 14, 2008

Well i can’t believe it i’ve finally had my last plaster removed 9 weeks after my ATR 8 weeks Post OP. I never thought this day would arrive. The scar looks great a thin line and when you run your finger along it you can feel the slight bump. The dryness on my foot isn’t as pretty though don’t think i’ll be getting any foot modeling offers, i’ve just washed it which felt great and covered it in cream. I really did feel sorry for the PT who had to touch my foot for her initial assessment.

I now have a PAIR of shoes NEW may i add bought especially for this occasion lol…. with a heel raise and am walking (kind of) with crutches and approx 50 % weight on the foot. My foot is still tight at the back but not hurting the PT will work on this. I am also being booked in for 6-8 HYDRO-THERAPY sessions which is physio in the water teaching me pool exercises anyone else had this? I have also been encouraged to go swimming independently walking on heels and toes etc in the water i will start this tomorrow any effective techniques/exercises you can recommend? Aswel as continuing on the exercise bike.

I would just like to say a massive thank you to the creator of this site and to all fellow ATR’S your experiences/advice/ and input has been so valuable to me assisting my progress and aiding my recovery so far. I know this is only the beginning but i do feel like i’ve achieved so much and will continue to improve, this site has provided great reassurance and motivation when things wern’t getting me down or i had any concerns

just a little question

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 2:47 pm on Thursday, July 3, 2008

Does/did anyone ever get a pain at the back of their opposite foots Achilles from all the hopping. i’m finding when i touch my left achilles area it hurts a bit? wondering if its just the extra strain from relying on that one foot for so long, just more aware of my Achilles now for some reason LOL. Also when i have my cast off i will be going straight into shoes walking with crutches would this be classed as PWB or FWB? sorry if that sounds a bit Achilles ‘dumb’ i’m learning everyday thanks to you guys..


Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 2:09 am on Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7 weeks and 7 plaster casts between one thing and another. Never thought at the beginning i’d ever make it with any sanity attached to my last plaster cast. 2 more weeks and i have an appointment on July 14th to have my final plaster removed and i shall proudly walk into the hospital with a RIGHT shoe in my hand ready to put on and walk out of that hospital with an energized, well more likely limp in my step. I’m not quite at 90 degrees but the doc has said its ok the physio should sort that and i will be given heel inserts??. As it is tight they don’t want to push it too much in case the dreaded re-rupture occurs. I was hoping to get a shoe at the bottom of my plaster for the last two weeks but no such luck. What should i expect when i put my normal shoes on again is it very difficult to walk at first/will i more likely be hopping for a while? is it painful? i’m shocked at how much muscle has wasted away is this hard to build up again? although still in plaster i have been doing leg raises and have now started going on an exercise bike

returned to hospital today

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 2:32 pm on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i went away for the day yesterday and had to fly so the plaster was split for my journey, i returned to hospital today to have the plaster changed i also moved my foot up ahead of my final ‘plaster’ appointment next week. I am now at 70 degrees so 20 degrees short of 90.At 5 weeks and 4 days post op, does this progress sound about right. I got the impression i’m not as far up as they would like at this time? I find it very tight at the back and painful to move up today especially across the front/top of my foot anyone else experienced this? I was trying very hard to move it up any tips on what i can do to help myself loosen my foot before my next visit. thank you

Plaster changed foot moved up

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 1:58 am on Thursday, June 12, 2008

I went back to the hospital this week to have my plaster changed and my foot moved up, i also had a look at the scar for the first time. I was pretty nervous about this appointment as i did not know what to expect in regards to the size of the scar and how painful/ possible it would be to move my foot. First off i went in to see the doctor and he explained that i would now actually have 5 more weeks in plaster bringing me to mid july, at this time i would hopefully be able to move my foot up halfway and then in 3weeks i’d return to complete the process after this i will be following a physio programme, this all being if everything goes according to plan and if there are no complications, difficulties.

After seeing the doctor i went in to see the nurse, she cut the plaster and then called the doctor to look all was fine the scar is not too bad i would say approx 3 inches in length from the back of my heel, and quite thin looking a bit tight and ‘wrinkled’ around the heel area, my leg has got very thin there is like no muscle left i was so shocked by this. i was nervous moving my foot up felt tight as i pushed my foot up and i could feel it pulling along the achilles area. Now when i put both feet flat on the floor whilst sitting the injured foot is defiantly not as pointed down however my heel is still about 2 inches from the ground with my feet out in front of my knees so not at a right angle if that makes sense(please note these are all just approximate and i’m not entirely sure i am testing/comparing the progress in the best way) any better ideas greatly appreciated? When i stand up and put the injured foot out in front knee straighted horizontally e.g \ my foot is flatter but heel is stiil a few inches from the ground whereas before only my toes could touch the ground. i hope all this does not sound confusing. I was pretty excited about this progress really feels like i’m getting somewhere and i do hope all continues to according to plan. On leaving the hospital i do think that if it felt that tight how on earth will i manage to move it up futher in a few weeks time does it loosen over time? is this how it felt for others? i do get scared that it would re-ruptue that would be my worst nightmare. There have been so many times where i’ve been fed up and just want the time to HURRY UP as i can’t take much more but reading everyones blogs has kept me positive and confident that although it seems endless i really won’t be hopping forever and I WILL get back to dancing and the achievement will be worth it. Thank you for taking the time to read my update

a little set back

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 4:12 am on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Firstly thank you everyone for all your comments i will take it on board and be sensible ( not rush).. Especially after this weekend when i fell on my face after slipping on a bit of water probably a sign to slow down. i didn’t hurt my injured foot just hit my toe and managed to put my leg up behind me as i fell HOWEVER i have noticed the bottom of my heel is sore I’m going to speak to the doctor as i can’t feel the plaster to be broken and i know i didn’t put weight on my foot as i fell but i’m not sure if this is how it feels after the stitches have been taken out/healing or if theres something rubbing any ideas gratefully received just feels a bit sore.

The reality of how long this all takes really has set in and quite frankly there is no ‘quick fix’ as much as i would love there to be, and you really can’t manage without the help of others. As much as i want to be independant its not a viable option as your balance, strength etc is not the same and crutches are only an aid on necessary journeys and you should only do what you have to instead of trying to keep up with everyone else. Its all about admitting that at this time your not as able to get around at the same pace as everyone and should not take any chances/risks…

my story

Filed under: Uncategorized — dancer at 3:05 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008

hi everyone, i was searching through websites last night as i ruptured my achilles on May 11th  and had surgery on May 16th. I am an irish dancer who desperatly wants to return to competitions ASAP, having already been told by doctors that there is no hope of me being able to dance at our national champs at the end of July, i thought i’d do a little research and found some great stories on here. I injured my right foot (achilles) at a competition completly tearing it on the left side and from what i understand the right side of my achilles was hanging on by a thread will confim this, it was the wierdest feeling ever i heard the snap/pop however i didn’t realise it was actually my leg i thought i’d broken the stage and my heel had gone through it. Then quite quickly it dawned on me that it was indeed my foot. Ididn’t know anything about this injury so whilst being in pain/upset i thought a few weeks maybe a of couple months if i’m really unlucky surgery wasn’t even in my thinking and i’ll be back dancing again quite quickly……. There were sports thearapists at the comp who immediatly knew what i had done and were quite concerned about me getting to hospital asap and not putting my foot on the ground due to the risk of damaging it futher. At the hospital i was put into plaster and advised that surgery was required this was scheduled for May 16th my first ever surgery/ first time being put to sleep. I was pretty scared all went well thankfully and i was told i would go into plaster for two  weeks and then the stitches would be removed this happened on thursday just gone it wasn’t as painful as i expected i felt a pulling sensation but they took the stitches out so quickly it was ok. On reading everyones stories i’ve noticed that lots of people have been put into a boot quite quickly within a few weeks, my doctor in the UK seems to be following a different procedure i have to stay in plaster for 8 weeks after my surgery which i’m rather frustrated about returning every 2 weeks to have my foot moved up from a pointed position after that i will not go into a boot but will follow a physio programme, it just seems to be never ending. The bad news is that he said he does not expect me to return to dancing for 6 months, i said i would prove him wrong. Whilst i don’t want to re-rupture i don’t want to stay away from dancing longer then necsessary. Is there anything i can do whilst in plaster to keep my fitness up or keep my muscle strenght up? and when i come out of plaster what are peoples experience of the physio/ walking / returning to physical activity and what can i do then to help myself………. Can’t believe what a long process it is, and how many people have experienced this injury. whilst i’m devestated i do want to stay positive and not get too lazy and do whatever i can in my powers to help myself speed up my recovery and return to dance. Thankyou for reading and offering advice i will update any progress i have an appointment on june 9 th to have my plaster changed and foot moved up is this very painful?

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