Almost 10 weeks - PT and other lessons learned

Hi All! It’s been quite some time since I last posted but I have been following everyone’s stories behind the scenes. Welcome to those of you who have joined recently. Try to enjoy the mandatory “down time”. It does get better!

I transitioned from the cast at Week 4 and have been in the boot for about 6 weeks. I ditched the crutches (but still kept the boot) about 2 weeks ago and loved the freedom that came with it! Now, I have been working on transitioning from the boot to 2 shoes. I’m mostly 2 shoes indoors and wearing the boot when I need to go outside or know I will be on my feet for a period of time. I think it is more of a mental game at this point and I feel more protected with it on. But, at some point, I know I just need to get over it!

I have had 4 sessions of PT, so far, and feel that it is a great help. I am writing this for those of you who are behind me in recovery…I was terrified of going to PT for fear that they would push me too far or that I would be in pain from them trying to break up the scar tissue…but, I quickly realized that the PT is there to help and that they would never push me to do something that might hurt the recovery process. We have been keeping things pretty basic (bike for warm-up, inverted squats and holds to easily stretch the tendon, walking on special treadmill, ROM exercises, massage, and ice). One cool thing my PT has is an anti-gravity treadmill. It’s a regular treadmill but the bottom has a chamber that forces air upwards in order to only put a certain % of body weight as you walk. I want one for when I am running again - it’s like walking on air!! So far, I have only walked at 50% body weight but it’s forcing me to use my ROM. I will keep at it and the tendon always feels in better shape leaving than when I first started.

The other thing that has been tremendously helpful to me has been compression socks. I was having challenges with the swelling in my ankle so I ordered a pair of Futuro Firm Compression Knee High socks with open toe (many places online sell them). I wish I ordered them sooner! Once I started wearing them, I have pretty much used them every day. They help tremendously with the swelling, cover/protect the scar, and are light enough to wear with the boot or sneakers. My PT was surprised that I was able to stand the Firm Compression so you need to judge for yourself what works best for you but I can’t say enough good things about them!

As for driving…as a righty ATR, that’s another story. I live in a very congested area (NJ/NY Metro) so I am only “allowed” to on off hours for another 2 weeks or so, which will put me at 12 weeks. Can’t wait until then so I can stop asking people for rides everywhere!

WOW - sorry for the long-winded post - I warned you it had been a while! Best luck to everyone!

First Post-Op Appt…thought this day would never come!

I had my first post-op appointment yesterday and I could not wait to get my cast off for a few minutes and to see what was underneath. Well, I had my 5 minutes…doc came in and viewed the wound and was very pleased with the progress. I thought it looked crazy but that’s just me…! He pulled out a few ’staples’, made me wiggle my foot a bit, and then put me into a plaster cast for another 2 weeks. All in all…a pretty good appointment.

As for everything else, I was a bit stir crazy by day 2 but have been managing OK. Lots of people wondering when I will be able to come see them in ‘the city’ (NYC) and I’m like…well, I am on crutches so public transit is not really an option and it’s my right Achilles so I’m not really able to drive…so, maybe in a few weeks when I get the ‘boot’ I will be able to be a bit more adventurous! They really just don’t understand!! Ah well…soon enough!

WOW! I had no idea…

…there was such a huge community of fellow ATR companions!

My name is Deanna and I injured my Achilles playing volleyball on Tuesday, March 20. It was the 2nd to last game of the season and we were in a 3-way tie for second place - with the top two teams advancing to the Playoffs. We needed to win all 3 games in order to secure our spot. We warmed up and were less than 5 minutes into the first game when I “tripped over the lines” on the court. I thought that the guy behind me had kicked my leg because one minute I was going up to hit the perfectly set ball and the next thing I knew, I was a pile on the floor. My teammates looked at me to see if I could still play since we need 2 women on the court at all times or need to play with 5 players. Well, I got up as if I was going to shake it off…like any other time with a tweak of a muscle or ankle - only this time, there was no shaking it!

Somehow, I managed to scoot off the court and proceeded to cheer the team on to 3 wins! Guess they didn’t need me after all!

I went to the ER that night where the half-asleep physician on call told me that I needed an orthopedic because my Achilles was ruined. Needless to say, I found my own ortho and scheduled surgery for Monday, March 26.

Less than a week later, my ortho seemed quite proud that I had a complete rupture and he explained that it made it much more straightforward for him to repair. I guess we need to be thankful for the little wins, huh?

Back to the subject of this post…I am so grateful to find this blog because in all my years playing sports, I was not overly familiar with ATR so I spent the past week of sleepless nights reading many of the stories and really getting my head around the 1 year recovery time. It helped immensely and I only hope that sharing my journey will help the next person!

I was also drawn to this particular blog because I ran the NYC marathon in 2008 and it was my favorite marathon (if there is such a thing for someone who runs as slowly as I do!).

So, I have officially joined the club!