One month on….

Bit of a set back… Having visited with my specialist whereupon I was happy to be out of the boot, I went in for a follow up ultrasound scan two days later. The radiologist took many snap shots and I was able to see quite clearly the detail of my injury.
He asked about my timeline as he could also see quite clearly that I had a medial rupture to some 50% of my Achilles some 6-8 inches above the heal insertion point.
He was surprised that I was now out of a boot…so much so that he immediately got up and went to visit the fracture clinic next door where my specialist resides. Though he was not on duty that day, he insisted that I go back into a boot straight away!
I did manage to subsequently speak with the alternative orthopaedic surgeon to gain assurance that this was the correct reaction/treatment who kindly reviewed my scans and concurred. At least I’m not in the fully inclined, big heal version of the boot again…I’m in the 90degree version with small heal which does enable me to walk around without crutches. I do still get to take the boot off each evening as its more for intra day protection so its mot too bad I guess. I’m due back on 30th Dec for my next follow up so hopefully the boot will be gone for good then.
Anyone have any thoughts on my ability to exercise during this phase even with the boot on? I’m hating not exercising and in this Christmas run in, I’m fearing the addition of quite a few new pounds!!!
Most of the articles I can find only relate to post operative, full Achilles ruptures. Anyone know of any articles about partials?

Four week review

So my specialist has allowed me to ditch the boot…sweet relief.
I’m able to walk around with a slight limp but here’s the real deal….
Whilst I am able to raise up onto the ball of my right foot, taking my full body weight, when I try to do the same on my left side, I can’t even get my heal to lift off the ground…hugely frustrating. It feels like there is absolutely no strength in the muscle. Now I know that can’t be from any muscle degradation in the relatively short time since my injury so I raised this question with my specialist. His response was that because the muscle/ligament was torn, it will exhibit no strength for some time until its properly mended.
Anyone out there struggling with the same problem ie early recovery no strength through the calf? How long does this go on and how much training/effort an I put through it to speed recovery?
I’m waiting for scheduled physio appointments now which might help me understand my recovery prognosis but I’d welcome anyone with practical experience…

Three weeks on…

So Three weeks after ‘the event’ herewith my update….
As I said previously, I feel lucky that my ligament tear appears to be somewhat less traumatic than the multitude of other bloggers. My rupture is somewhere near sock line and I suspect only on one side and not the whole way through despite what my doctor told me. Anyway, three weeks in the boot now with the anticipation of just another week to go if my specialist is good to his word.
I get to take the boot off each evening - sweet relief, and even walk around a bit like a normal person…well, with a pronounced limp anyway. I am pushing my limits by trying to walk ’sans limp’ but still lack confidence to truly weight bear through my forefoot. Still, it could have been so much worse and I count myself lucky even if I’m out of sport for a while to come.
So three weeks in, walking with a small limp. Wearing the boot during the day just to keep me from hurting myself further, but able to feel normal in the evening. All in all not too bad I guess. Chin up to all of you out there going through much worse than this. I truly feel for you. I can imagine how difficult it can be and wish you all the best.


So here I am. Turned fifty this year but still consider myself to be pretty active in a sporting way with a long history of participation in many different sports. Having retired from my principal sport of soccer as a result of knee wear and tear brought on by a youthful cruciate ligament injury/repair, I still played active racket sports, notably badminton to a decent level and occasionally racquetball.
It was playing badminton on an away match that I suffered my injury…
Only one match in and on my second game, I pushed off my left leg from the back of the court when it happened. My immediatel thought was that I’d kicked a chair which reading other people’s posts, now seems very typical. There was also the popping noise or feeling, I can’t tell which, and the very clear feeling of a snap. From being at the back of the court, I found myself face down at the front with my left leg up in the air bent at the knee. I knew something significant had happened and feared my Achilles.
Helped off court I couldn’t even move my foot back to the 90deg angle. I iced it for the rest of the afternoon and hobbled about for the rest of the weekend. To be fair, by the next day I was already able to get about by putting weight through my heel only, but there was no hope of weight bearing from any part of my forefoot.
Travelling back to my home it was recommended to me to visit A and E to at least begin the process of review and recovery and get me ‘into the system’. The doctor there was very relaxed about the injury, suggesting a muscle tear and recovery in 4-6 weeks. I did think this was a little optimistic given my clear recognition of a snapping feeling and my knowledge of my own body through many years of sport but hey ho, it sounded better news.
I should point out that my tear/rupture is not too low down near the heal, more just above sock line where I believe my Achilles begins to develop into more of the calf muscle. There was a clear gap or hollow in what I assumed should have been more firm tissue!
A few days into the following week I was still hobbling around, weight bearing through my heal but generally accepting of a lengthy recovery period and made contact with my physio to aid this process. Given my description of the injury occurrence, he insisted that I visit with my doctor to have the injury ultrasounded for a clearer diagnosis. So a little after a week from the date of the injury I was at my doctors watching the screen as she scanned my calf.
The diagnosis was not good. She showed me the difference between my healthy right leg and my injured left leg…I had a thicker band of Achilles from my heal for a couple of inches. Then there was a squirling mass of nothingness. Then, where on my right side there was a nice taught white line of thinning ligament going through into the calf muscle, in my left leg there appeared a nice line more resembling a loose piece of string - clearly this part was no longer under any tension!
Her diagnosis - I had definitely ruptured my Achilles but as I had thought, higher up where it begins to become calf muscle.
She made me head straight back to A and E to get fitted out in my nice new VACOped boot with an appointment to see the orthapedic consultant two days later.
So then back at the fracture clinic, the consultant once again seemed very relaxed. This time we both agreed that the tear appeared to be more one side only and perhaps not fully across. He suggested that because there was still reasonable muscle mass at the level of the injury, this remaining muscle would strengthen to compensate for the obvious tear and that my prognosis for recovery was pretty good. Looks like I only need to wear my boot for a couple of weeks and I even get to take it off at night..yay! He suggested that I still have a three month recovery timeframe ahead but I’m much happier with this now. Seems like my injury is nothing like all the other bloggers on this site and I feel lucky to have dodged a bullet here even if I’m out of sport for a while. I’m back to see him in two weeks time.

Is there anybody out there with perhaps similar, less significant than total ruptures, that might like to communicate with me to let me know how they managed as I’m the sort of guy who will no doubt push this recovery as fast as I can and I don’t want to do something stupid and put my recovery and future sporting aims in any jeopardy.