There’s always next year…

Well here I am, almost a year since I tore my achilles playing rugby. At the time both my surgeon and physio said it would be a minimum of a year before I’d be playing again, sadly it seems that they were both correct. Despite my best efforts I will be missing the majority of this season, on the plus side this has nothing to do with the tendon itself and everything to do with the calf muscle mass lost during the rehabilitation process. As I mentioned in my first post (I think), the position I play requires a lot of leg power and balance and as my calf is still 25% smaller and 30% weaker than my other leg, I made the decision not to play again until both legs are equally as strong.

For the majority of this season at least I will have to give up my place in the scrum for a place on the bench….as a water-boy =)

Everything else on the other hand is fine, did have a slight hiccup a few weeks back where I had a micro tear in my calf…a result of me pushing myself too hard to build up the muscle mass. At least I learned something and wont be doing that again, I knew then it was far from the brightest idea I’ve ever had but I guess we all do irrational things from time to time.

This time I’m making no plans for a come back date, just going to play it by ear and let my body tell me when its ready to get out on the field again.

Good luck to all with your recoveries

4 Comments so far

  1. elsurfer on September 10th, 2010

    Dave,

    How many weeks was your leg immobile in the cast/boot? Your leg looks like it lost A LOT of mass.

  2. dave02 on September 10th, 2010

    Spent about 4 1/2 months in a cast and boot, lost 40% of the muscle mass (there’s a photo on here 5 weeks post op, it just got worse from there). If you play high impact sports on a regular basis you are more susceptible to losing more muscle mass than people who don’t (so my surgeon says).

  3. normofthenorth on September 10th, 2010

    I tore mine about 4 weeks after you did, and skipped the surgery, and followed a much quicker and more pleasant protocol. I’m now 100% back to normal — EXCEPT for a still-significant calf-strength deficit, not unlike yours. I seem strong enough with a bent knee, but with a straight knee I can barely lift my heel off the floor, maybe 1cm a few times, at a good moment.

    The good news about your surgeon’s story about a history of high impact sports leading to more muscle-mass loss (which sounds plausible to me) is that you should be able to build up muscle mass relatively easily as you become more active again.

    Look at it this way: If you and your family were all born with big calves, and you never did much to develop them, then you’d probably still have big calves after a long immobilization. But if you DEVELOPED big calves by working hard at sports, you’d naturally tend to lose them (especially ONE of them) after ATR immobilization. But the same mechanisms that built them up in the first place should work again.

  4. 2ndtimer on September 17th, 2010

    I can understand your frustration.
    I re-ruptured mine after conservative treatment and had to go for surgery and a second 3 month round of cast/boot - a year after surgery my injured calf is still an inch skinnier than the good one. I can hike,do many good heel lifts,I swim and exercise regularly, but the lost muscle mass/strength is very slow to come back.

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