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.

3 Responses to “Injury”

  1. Hi dtingsy. My injury is a straight tear so sounds like yours will heal quicker. I would only suggest to not rush it - I’m also the type to try to do as much as I can and compensate via the other limbs, but my view on this is that I want to get back stronger than ever so I am going to go through the proper recovery procedures. Everyone I talked to, including health practitioners, said that physio is key and done properly with guidance. So maybe talk to a physiotherapist and get the right attention?

  2. Thanks for that message. You are dead right of course. I am now allowed to take my boot off at night time so I can begin walking around. My calf feels pretty weak and although I can just about begin to weight bear up on the ball of my foot, I have no real confidence in it yet anfi am definitely walking with a limp.
    Hopefully, after my next appointment with the specialist next week, I can ditch the boot and begin physio….

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. At 6 weeks after a rupture I am still in the cast doing the nonsurgical route. I have 2 more weeks then the boot. Ina told still non weight bearing.
    Since I support myself and partially the sponging boyfriend and daughter, I went back to work after 1 week. My foot swells and throbs as I can only elevate part of the time. I wonder if I did this going back to work too soon. But what can you do when you are the bread winner?? I hope this is not interfering with healing.
    My leg is atrophying. Scary. I am 60 but feel like 30 until this. Usually swim, kayak, sail, swi,, scuba, bicycle and hula as well as pickleball. Now I sit bird out of my mind and try to read, play my flute and try to get out with friends to hear music or such .

    I usually travel several times per year and cannot figure when I can schedule a trip. I want a crystal ball to tell me what is next and where will I be in 8-12 or 16 weeks. Looking at the blogs for I site and support.
    Thanks everybody!!

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