29 weeks

29 weeks

Hi Achilles Bloggers!  It’s been some time since my last post.  On April 23rd I ‘celebrated’ 6 months by taking my road bike outside for the first time.  As it turns out, I was fine riding but starting from a dead stop at busy intersections was hairy to say the least, it felt like my ankle wanted to collapse.  Since that day, I’ve been trying to improve my standing strength on the bike and have made pretty good gains in about 3 weeks.  I’m not quite ready for the daily commute yet but I don’t think it will be long now.  I don’t want to create compensation injuries so I’m trying to be smart with my training and not over do things.  Stressing my tendon/ankle but also allowing time for it to recover and get stronger.  Also keeping busy with swimming, yoga, some strength training and of course, doing my physical therapy exercises (I see my PT once every 3 weeks).

I recently saw my operating surgeon and was told I could start running once I am walking comfortably.  That means no limping.  My walking has improved to the point that most people don’t notice a limp but it’s definitely not as fluid as it could be.  I no longer have pain in the achilles when walking but I still feel tightness and stiffness.  I’ve also increased the amount of walking I do which in turn is improving my gait.  I still feel some stress in the intrinsic muscles in the foot when walking and doing PT.

All in all, the main message from both my PT and surgeon is that it will take time to get back to normal and there is no shortcut, just keep doing the PT and be patient.

To all the ‘newbies’ that have recently joined the ATR club, good luck and don’t despair.  Everyone says it gets better and it really does!

15 Responses to “29 weeks”

  1. Congratulations. It sounds like you are doing great! I am somewhat addicted to this site–I’m only two weeks in but all of these recovery experiences are hopefully preparing me (somewhat) mentally for the next year. At what point did you go back to yoga? I do Bikram–(well, I used to at least) and am curious at what point you went back.

  2. Congrats. Sounds like up are progressing well. I’m about a week ahead of you and close to the same point. I just started running a few weeks ago and still have to take it easy. Interval training has worked the best for me. Anyway, keep up the good work and keep us posted.

  3. Deb, it sounds like it’s taken you a while to get where you are, but you’re moving nicely now. And your plans and approach sound great. Don’t stop!

  4. kellygirl,

    I started doing some seated yoga while I was still in the boot. I googled seated poses and restorative yoga and there were a few poses that were doable (seated and prone twists, cat/cow; eagle arm stretches, forward bends etc.). The Yoga Journal site is a good resource. As others have mentioned, I also did some upper body strengthening with light dumb bells; really anything to feel a little bit active. Once the boot was off, I practiced using yoga dvds at home making sure that I always had a wall to help with balance and modified things when I needed too. I found that my balance was thrown off on the good leg too. As things improved, I was able to do more (believe me it felt like forever but now I have to really think back). I went back to classes (hatha) at 5 months post op. At that time I still needed to be close to a wall for insurance but now I’m pretty well back to normal with yoga although I’m still careful. One thing I did was always keep a bend in my knees to protect the achilles (in down dog, forward bends etc.).

    I am also addicted to this site and that’s not a bad thing! Lots of great advice and as my husband calls it ‘my support group’.

    Happy healing and let me know how things are progressing with your yoga. :-)

  5. Hi Kevin,

    I just went back and re-read a few of your recent posts. I thought I remembered that you started running a few weeks ago but then had some knee and ankle pain. I’m glad to see that it’s resolved to the point that you started interval running again. I’m definitely following your progress so keep the posts coming! Just wondering if your limp is completely gone now and do you have any ankle stiffness? I still limp a bit and going down stairs is still a bit of a stretch on the ATR side.

    p.s. Nice shout out post the other day! I agree with everything you said and also appreciate the way you share your progress (and setbacks) and give encouragement, keep it up!

  6. Thanks Norm,

    I finally feel like things are moving nicely now…. a huge change in just the last month. Funny how people progress at their own pace but we all get there in the end.

    Knowing when to hold back and when to push yourself is one of the hardest things about this injury and something that I’m still learning!

    Thanks for your wisdom and advice over the course!

  7. Hi sorry to hijack this thread in addition to at help I need it help, any willing volunteers, I’m trying to get my blog working, I can get on my dashboard , also on profile i updated this many weeks ago as i did my biography but it doesn’t display to the wider audience, I also can’t see anywhere that it says I can write a post, and on the original blog that Dennis sent me it says to change the title from hello world by using the edit or delete buttons which I can not see. Am I missing the obvious or do you think I need to contact Dennis.
    Thanks in anticipation

  8. @Rrr: Hmm. When you get to your Dashboard, there is a menu on the left where you can access your posts. One of the options is “new post”–can you click on that? It should bring up a page that allows you to type in a title and a post. The first post that Dennis creates for all of us should be there. That one can be edited and the titie changed just by overwriting his title “Hello World.” On the left side of the page, there is a box that allows you to “save draft, ” “Preview,” or “publish.” If you publish, it makes the post public. I apologize if you’ve already done this.

  9. Oops, the “right” for “save” “preview” and “publish.” sorry.

  10. @dbvn: Thanks for the reply. It gives me something to shoot for at least. IKWYM about the wall–I was curious about the stretching as well. I thought my balance would be okay but I worry about falling out of the poses and placing my bad foot. Sounds like caution is in order–if and when I go back. Thanks :)

  11. ripraproar,

    In addition to what Kelly said, from Dashboard, on the right hand side is QuickPress. That’s what I use to make a post….

  12. Yeah, I still do when I run, so I will probably have to level out for awhile on my Couch to 10K. I just finished week 3. I up to running 3 minute intervals for about 30 minutes. Its a slow progression, but I still feel that my gait is off and the lack of strength effects my knee (I think). Today it time for Spin class again (I’m trying to increase my stamina for standing and pedaling. :)

    As far as walking, I don’t have a limp at all, but I start to limp after Spin class, and/or running at times when my muscles start to fatigue. I just make sure to ice my leg real good after working out and sometimes take NSAIDs

  13. kkirk,

    Thanks for the response re the limping.

    I’m doing the same as you with the spin classes. I think the standing and pedaling is working wonders for my ankle strength and hopefully that will transfer over to my walking. The funny thing with the walk is that the longer (further) I walk, the smoother it gets so I guess that means I should be doing more of it!

    You’re smart to level out on your plan for a while. Slow progression is still progression in the right direction!

  14. I had the same issue with limping, but I always thought it had more to do with my exertion level. For example, if I was power walking my limp would go away, but when I was back home making dinner and wondering around my house, I would be limping from the earlier workout. Also, as a school teacher, I spend most of my days on my feet and walking up and down stairs (My classroom is on the 2nd floor and there is no elevator). This always seems to have me sore before my afternoon workouts (still does at times).

    As far as progression of the running program, I might level out next week because I’m starting to get a little soreness after the workout that continues until the next day (more in my ankle and foot than my knee), but
    I don;t want to overdo it again. Also, I don;t plan on trying to run a 10K race until the fall, so I have plenty of time to get through this 3.5 month program.

    The spin class is probably what leaves me the most sore. I really have to push myself to remain standing and pedaling. I get that sma esoreness in the top of my foot I used to get during my early FWB days, and muscle fatigue, but we will see how I do this afternoon at 4;30 :)

    Happy healing.

  15. Hi deb

    Sounds like we are at similar stage. I have been running (or more precisely run-walking) and road cycling (no standing on pedals) last few weeks, but limp, stiffness, and swelling have not gone and probably shouldn’t be doing as much running as I am. Like K, I don’t limp when power walking or even running but find myself limping when doing every day activities. Not sure if an exertion issue or just a focus issue (ie when doing it as exercise I am focusing on not limping). Mornings, especially coming down stairs, is the worst. My surgeon also preached patience.

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