Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery

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suggestions and feedback on AchillesBlog

November 25th, 2013 · 36 Comments

I wanted to get some suggestions/feedback from fellow AchillesBloggers about what sort of improvements you’d like to see on AchillesBlog. If you can describe in detail (with examples) on what you like, what you don’t like about AchillesBlog, it’ll be really helpful for me so that I can improve the site.
There’s even a possibility that AchillesBlog won’t be running as a Wordpress Blog, so please throw some ideas out there if AchillesBlog was a blank slate, how you’d want it to work. This will be a longer term project, but I want to improve the community experience for AchillesBloggers.

Thanks!

Tags: achilles injury

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 normofthenorth // Nov 25, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I think it’s pretty nifty as is, though too addictive for me for my own good!

    2 tweaks on my “druthers” list:
    1) The ATR Timeline Widget is very useful, but each blogger has to turn it on manually. “Default on” would be great if possible.
    2) ditto wit “AJAX Editing”, to let authors of replies/comments fix their typos.

    OK, here’s another: The default setup seems to choke (”Your post is awaiting moderation”) when a post contains 2 or more SMILIES! I don’t see why. The choking on 2 or more URLs isn’t obviously helpful, either.

    Finally: although it takes a few days for people to get their own blog page, I believe that registering is more-or-less instant (& it’s free). If so, what’s the advantage of even allowing unregistered people to post? It often leads to one person having one “name” as a poster and another when writing replies, and sometimes even a third, which seems needlessly confusing.

    I’m not suggesting going to real names like Google/YouTube, but having one ID per person doesn’t seem unreasonable. And since most spambots wouldn’t register, it might cut down the spam too.

  • 2 grammy // Nov 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    It was difficult for me to see what to do first - I’m older than the average user - 60 - had been sedentary and gained 30 pounds before having surgery on Friday. Since march I tried the non invasive protocols first and they failed - saw surgeon on Wednesday - surgery Friday. Had the nerve block which helped me avoid pain meds almost. Began reading this blog on Saturday - so helpful and thought I might could offer a non athlete , older person view - who is enjoying being off her feet for thanksgiving!

  • 3 Ron // Nov 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I agree with the above. It is difficult to get started, although I know you have all the links there. It took me a few weeks to figure things out, and 2 months to learn how to add a pic. LOL.

    I also suggest that if people actually put up a blog, they should have to donate at least $20. I think this blog is worth way more than that (IMHO).

    With that said, I love what you are doing and thanks a lot. BTW, I will be sending a third donation later today, so approve it. LOL.

    Thanks for everything Dennis!!!
    Ron

  • 4 Ron // Nov 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Sorry Dennis, I sent two $10 donations, which was suppose to be one $20 donation - pending acceptance (?). I will donate more in January.

    Happy Holidays!
    - Ron

  • 5 dennis // Nov 25, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    hi Ron, thanks for your donation for helping to keep the site running. And thanks for everything that you’ve done for the AchillesBlog community.

  • 6 Ron // Nov 25, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Anytime, it’s my pleasure.

    Thank you.

    Ron
    Patiently Moving Forward.

  • 7 normofthenorth // Dec 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    More “choking”, this time withOUT smilies:

    normofthenorth, on December 1st, 2013 at 1:54 pm Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Dennis, one more “druther” for a revamped blog: make it tolerate multiple smileys without triggering “Awaiting Moderation”.
    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • 8 normofthenorth // Dec 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    OK, one more: Add a line like “Surgery? (Y/N)” to the ATR Timeline FAQ. It changes some of the best answers to some good questions.

  • 9 normofthenorth // Dec 5, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Many of us frequently send newbies to a small number of “fave” pages, which are often hard to find unless we save the URLs or make a bit.ly-type shortcut we can remember.
    Not sure if there’s an obviously-best solution. E.g. we could have a collection of “faves” on the Main Page (a page of links, like the Studies & Protocols page).
    In general, a FB-like “Like” feature could have many benefits, including making faves easier to find.
    Some of the faves do involve studies and protocols (UWO & Exeter studies and protocols , the other UK/Vaco protocol, Ron’s recent collections of info, etc.), but others don’t. (My stair-walking trick is one of my own faves.) The studies and protocols ones could just be added to that page. (UWO is already there.)
    Not sure what would be best, popular, or easiest.

  • 10 Ron // Dec 5, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Great points Norm. I agree, it seems that there are few areas of interest:

    1. How do get started with your blog\timeline (Make easier)
    2. Surgery VS Non-Surgical Approaches, Q&A…
    3. Protocol Options, examples, templates
    4. First Week, thing needed, tips, best practices…
    5. First Two Weeks….how to PWB, tips….
    6. PWB to FWB (Time frames…?)
    7. FWB to 2 Shoes
    8. Complications Q&A
    9. Types of PT exercises (compare, no insurance..)
    10. Other

    Just an idea of the progress and what to expect, etc.

    BTW, great idea Dennis. I expected to see Kellygirl, Hillie and more replies.
    Ron

  • 11 Ron // Dec 5, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Forgot 2 Shoes to Running, etc. (Progression)
    How about swimming, stationary bike questions, etc.
    That can be in the “Getting Started Time Line” (with links, etc.)

    I am also working on a vid and pdf of my PT with my DPT and about a half dozen exercises that I made up and\or applied to this recovery process. (would go under PT section, above).

    Ron

  • 12 Hillie // Dec 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Dear Ron

    Sorry you’ve missed me here in this part of the blog.

    My ATR was almost 2 years ago and I now only dip in here very occasionally. I remember when I was in your position that I had just too much time on my hands, whereas now I don’t have enough free time.

    Anyway, got to go now, work awaits me!

  • 13 normofthenorth // Dec 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    That’s a plausible story, Hillie, but I’m pretty sure you’re just lording it over us that you’ve beaten the AB.com addiction! ::)

  • 14 Ron // Dec 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Hillie,

    That’s actually a good thing, that your life is back to normal. Congrats and thanks for the help. Norm, that’s funny.

    Have a great day.
    Ron

  • 15 hillie // Dec 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Back to normal for a year now, so well used to it, but thank you Ron. It will be interesting to observe your rate of posts this time next year.

    Norm, some might not get it, but your sense of humour is almost British - that’s meant as a compliment of course.

  • 16 normofthenorth // Dec 7, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Thanks, Hillie — I took it as a compliment right away! :-) Especially close to the big Monty Python reunion! I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember Flanders and Swann or Beyond the Fringe, but I’m a big fan of both of them, too.

  • 17 Ron // Dec 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Hi Hillie,

    I hear ya, I wanted to post every day for the first month. :-)

    However, I understand because the more we get back to normal, the busier we get and time is limited.

    That’s why what Norm has done, and continues to do is so admirable, because he could have abandoned us years ago. LOL.

    Withstanding, I just hope that I am still around and trying to help out whenever I can a year from now.

    With that said, whenever you do find time to pop in and chime in, it’s greatly appreciated. You always have good advice and a kind word.

    Thanks again, and Happy New Year!
    Ron

  • 18 mikejp88 // Dec 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I’m not sure how this would be done nor do I know if I’m the only one who feels this way, but I’d like a second forum.
    Now that I’m well past the 6 month mark the blogs seem obsolete except for maybe a tenth of them. I don’t get on very much because I am only interested in people in the same stage of recovery as me. I finished the whole crutches thing long ago.

  • 19 Vicki N // Feb 1, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Hi Dennis. I signed up to do a blog. I filled out the timeline and got my password. I never got a hello world post…. I don’t know how to start writing. I am blog challenged, as I have never done one before. Help….

  • 20 dennis // Feb 1, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Vicki N, what’s your username? I’ll have to create a blog for you, but I can’t do that unless I know your username, or email. Please send me an email to achillesblog@gmail.com

  • 21 ali39 // Mar 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Dennis,
    I have only just read this post which I guess is a good sign :) You know I can never thank you enough for the blog. If there is an easier way of inserting images this would be helpful (but I don’t know how to do this).
    Best, Ali

  • 22 hugh50 // Apr 13, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Brand new to the club… Laying in bed after getting home from the ER where they gave me the bad news.

    I’m having problems finding “where” I can post comments or ask questions. Is that because I’m on an iPad?

    My biggest question right now that you can help me with (other than how/where do I post/ask questions) is how much time can I expect to miss after the surgery? I have a desk job… Just a ballpark estimate.

    Many thanks in advance.

  • 23 goldman // Apr 13, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Hi Hugh. Sorry you got the “privilege” to join the club. Hope your winding path towards healing is as smooth as it can be.

    To post, you can set up your own blog space. See achillesblog.com main page for instructions. I’m sure it’ll work fine on the iPad once you get properly set up with your own blog because I do a fair amount of reading and posting from my Nexus 7 tablet. Your blog setup should take about 24 hours turn-around time.

    As for time to expect missing from work there are a lot of variables — do you drive to work? Do you have friends or family that can transport you? I think this would greatly impact the time estimate. And as others will attest to on this site, it’s best early on to get over the mental block of being concerned for asking others for help. This is a major debilitating injury for most and requires help and support of loved ones, friends, and even the kindness of total strangers to facilitate physical and mental healing properly.

    The driving vehicle issue can be mitigated depending on whether your dominant ankle/leg was injured or not. Meaning this - I know of a right-handed driver who injured their left Achilles, and was able to drive pretty soon after surgery, as in a few days, a week or so. So it depends on your confidence level, and overall strength and fitness pre-injury.

    Another aspect that can affect the time — Surgery vs. Non Surgery. For example, if you do end up getting surgery, how you follow the post surgery healing protocol, which advises lots of elevation to enable healing, reduce chance of blood clotting, and improve chances of not experience wound healing problems. I think the non-surgery route also requires elevating the leg, but not as much and there are less potential complications so I think has less of an affect on back-to-work-timings.

    Another factor that can greatly influence your ability to get back to desk job — crutches. Is your upper body already ultra mega strong? If so you won’t have problems and that part won’t delay you. But if you are not in iron man upper body condition already, _AND_ you end up using crutches around your living space and work, that can exhaust you and you might find adds several days before you can be at all productive at work. There are lots of assitive devices that can help reduce delay getting back to work — wheelchairs, knee scooter, knee crutches, etc.

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded answer. Everybody’s situation is different. I can relay you mine if it helps:

    surgery: yes
    post-surgery protocol: two weeks, mostly elevating and recuperating, with some telecommuting from home.
    three weeks: part-time at work (2 days per week at office)
    four weeks: part-time at work (3 days per week at office), and that’s where I am now.

  • 24 normofthenorth // Apr 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Hugh, you could just keep working, if you switched to one of the new fast non-op treatments, like bit.ly/UWOProtocol.
    No incision, no scar, no pain or drugs, fast recovery, much fewer complications, comparable or even identical results.
    Cecilia recently posted a chart of 3 or 4 modern non-op protocols, how they proceed, their rerupture rates (all ~= or even better than most surgical studies). The new Irish study had great results with almost 1000 non-op ATR patients.
    The advancement of non-op treatment is very new - first study published 2007, before that it was just for geezers - and lots of doctors and centers haven’t caught up yet. Way worth considering.

  • 25 Gavin // Apr 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Hugh

    Work - can you connect remotely via Citrix or similar and use a laptop, even if your employer has to lend you one? But don’t overdo it - the leg/ankle/foot will swell easily, you’ll need to keep it elevated for long periods for a week or few, and you won’t be in a very ergonomic position either. Perhaps just keep on top of emails for while. Also, many firms, here in the UK at least (where are you?) won’t allow you back for some time as you could be a health & safety risk, difficult to evacuate if there is a fire, etc.

    Driving - don’t believe some of what you might read. There is a lot of bravado out there. Maybe ok if you have a left leg injury and drive an automatic. Otherwise you could have an accident, not necessarily your fault, you get out of your damaged car, and what is the perception of ‘the other driver’, or the cops, when they see you in plaster, or in a boot? Do all of us road users a favour, ask for help if you need to go out, or a taxi, even a bus after maybe week 4.

    Follow a good protocol, UWO, Exeter, Belfast and you should be in 2 shoes by 8 or 9 weeks, and driving a day or 2 later. Not the end of the world is it, compared to rather more debilitating or permanent conditions…

  • 26 hugh50 // Apr 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks for the advise. Guess I get to find out more tomorrow as I should be able to see my orthopedic.

  • 27 davidk // Apr 13, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Dennis,

    I’m a relative newbie on this site, but have already found it very helpful and am so glad you created it. I like to read about others who are just ahead of me to know what next to expect. I also find writing about my own experience therapeutic in a way.

    Here’s something I’m curious about: of those that use (or have used) the site, what are the statistics of this group? For example: age, sex, side (left or right), activity during injury, surgery or non-op, etc. I know you collect this information for users, but I haven’t found summary data presented anywhere. Not that this would represent the total population of ATR patients, but I think it would nonetheless be interesting. If it’s already available, please point me in that direction and just ignore this request.

    Sincerely,

    -David

  • 28 dennis // Apr 15, 2014 at 5:24 am

    David, please check out:
    http://achillesblog.com/atrpt.php
    I think that’s what you are looking for. happy healing!

  • 29 bhmom // Apr 16, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Thrilled to find this site, especially today. I thought being in pretty good shape that I would be recovering very quickly but the swelling and pain in my ankle and foot today have humbled me. When you’re a working mom, and very used to doing for others, it’s a whole new world having to ask for help with food, rides…just for someone to hand you a cup of coffee when you’re on crutches is a challenge. Seeing you all here makes me know it will happen…maybe not on my original timeline, but I’m encouraged by that left column “2 shoes” status.

  • 30 davidk // Apr 16, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Dennis,

    Thanks for the link. That does contain a lot of good data and some summary statistics. What I was really looking for was a summary breakdown of ATR injury by activity by gender. I copied the data table into Excel and created a pivot table to answer my question.

    In doing so, I noted that I think you could account for all of the ATR injury activities by using a drop-down box within the AchillesBlog User Profile of the following 15 activities:

    Badminton
    Basketball
    Dance
    Flag Football
    Football (U.S.)
    Football/Soccer
    Netball
    Racquetball/Squash
    Rugby
    Running/Sprinting
    Skiing
    Softball
    Tennis
    Volleyball
    Other

    In my analysis of your data, approximately 60% of the ATR injury activities are accounted for by the first 14 activities listed above, with the remainder accounted for by “blank” (~10%) and my term for everything else, “other” (~30%). The “other” activity option could be complemented with a free-form text box for further description.

    I love your site–this is just an observation that might help standardize your data collection.

    -David

  • 31 jimb0san // Aug 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Dennis,
    I’m embarrassed. I don’t know how to get this WordPress thing to work. I am using the app on my phone but I am not able to post as it is stating that I am unauthorized. My blog address is achillesblog.com/(my username) correct? Sorry not sure where else to post this question.

  • 32 zachary24 // Oct 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

    I would like to share my story. I posted around my 2nd week post op. I am approaching my 9 or 10 week post op & slowly getting back to wearing 2 shoes & out of that darn boot! I have been doing physical therapy for the previous 4 weeks & will continue for another 4. I know everyone has different recovery times but just wondering how I’m doing compared to most?!!

  • 33 achilleskyle // May 19, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Hello everyone. I would love to share my story and ask a ton of questions. I can’t seem to get the blog to work it keeps saying error. Is there something wrong or am I just inexperienced?

  • 34 achillestear // Jul 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hello,

    I tore my Achilles 7 weeks ago.

    I was working out over lunch hour and about 5 mins into my workout it tore. I was half casted within two hours, saw ortho the next morning and because I received treatment so quickly he said I could take the conservative route. I was fully casted up to the knee that day and non weight bearing.

    Four weeks later, my cast came off and I was placed in a boot with 3 wedges. I was told to be non weight bearing for two more weeks.

    I was given the ok to weight bear about 5.5 weeks, to place weight as able, so if it felt uncomfortable to stop. I am now 7 weeks, walking with one crutch only, still three wedges in my boot, still sleeping with my boot and elevating my leg often. I have trialed walking in my boot with no crutch, and actually two days ago, I lasted three hours on my leg. Since doing that, my leg is more sore. I feel pressure and aching in my lower back calf…I’m worried I re-ruptured it…or is this normal given that’s the most weight bearing I have done? I’m also going a bit insane not working out, and a few days prior to my 3 hr weight bear day, I decided to do some excercise a, mostly upper body, but I did do side leg raises and sit ups…my leg was sore the next day too :/. Am I doing too much? Has anyone reinjured their Achilles while wearing the boot? Are these aching/pressure feeling normal?
    Thanks for the help!!
    –achillestear

  • 35 olih73 // Jul 15, 2016 at 5:24 am

    I’m not sure where or how to start my own blog? I’ve logged in but can’t see where on the dashboard.

    thanks

  • 36 AgnesATR // Jul 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    You need to send email to Dennis. The text from the main page:

    “To create a new blog, please create a user account first. And then, please send me an e-mail (achillesblog@gmail.com) from the e-mail address that you registered with, and I’ll create a blog for you. Please tell me what your username is, and mention briefly how your injury was caused. (The amount of spam blogs that gets created on the site is becoming unmanageable, so I’ve decided to restrict creation of blogs to just me.)”

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