Oct 14 2009

Oh, no, not again

Published by doctorj at 11:50 pm under Uncategorized

I discovered this website a few weeks post injury and have found it enormously helpful. I thought I’d add some of my own thoughts and experiences.

For me, this is the second time around. I ruptured my left AT two years ago playing basketball, and survived the long process of surgery and rehab. My left leg never fully returned to equal its right partner, but I was able to ski, run and play basketball again. I had long ago stopped thinking about the injured leg when engaged in strenuous activities.

Then, now almost two months ago, playing in a lightweight pickup basketball game, I had that miserable deja vu experience, this time on the right. I should add at this point that I am a pediatrician in practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I recall from medical school the description of the typical achilles tendon rupture: engaged in vigorous physical activity, a sudden sharp pain in the heel accompanied by a distinct popping sound, a fall, and inability to bear weight. The patient often thinks someone kicked him in the ankle. That med school description matched my experience perfectly. I self-diagnosed in about one second. I almost cried, not from pain, but because in the next second the memories of that long recovery came racing back.

I made my way to the local ED for a splint. By the way, physicians who show up as patients in the ED get no special treatment, at least in my community. I still had to wait hours to be seen. Surgery followed two days later.

Having gone through this process before, I can be honestly optimistic.

6 Responses to “Oh, no, not again”

  1. Tomon 15 Oct 2009 at 4:16 am

    Dr. J:

    This is my worst nightmare - rupturing the other achilles. At least with a left leg rupture, I could drive. I think a right leg rupture would make me suicidal. I’m in Atlanta - we drive everywhere.

    How old are you and do you plan to resume your pre-injury lifestyle again? I am 49 and am thinking a lot about giving up the sports that might tend to lead me back here.

    I too am amazed at the different treatment perspectives that different orthos bring to the table. Getting the right guy makes all the difference. All things being equal, I think a younger, sports-oriented doc is the way to go.

    Hang in there man ~


  2. Tinaon 15 Oct 2009 at 6:02 am

    Doc J,
    You poor thing, i ruptured my right tendon and being stuck in the house for about 14 weeks without driving (i’m a single mum but had great family & friends help) drove me absolutely crazy but to rupture your other leg, disastrous!! Did you have any pain in the heel before it ruptured?? My left ankle is getting sore and tender and i’m terrified of it rupturing as i’m still favouring my right leg. You sound very positive though so all i can offer are wishes for a speedy recovery. Tina

  3. smoleyon 15 Oct 2009 at 8:46 am

    Dear Doctor J,
    Great to have another member of the medical profession onboard. I keep quoting things from the blog to my ortho surgeon friend and he just rolls his eyes as if to say “Oh , here we go again with the blessed bloggers”! So for you to say it is ‘enormously helpful’ was very gratifying! I’m seeing him next week so I can annoy him some more!
    I ruptured my left AT and like most of us I keep wondering what the right one might have in store. I assume I was born with a matching pair and they have received the same treatment over the same time span. When I first ruptured I used to hop around the house rather than use the crutches, but now I don’t for the sake of the “good” AT. I scoot around on a wheely office chair instead! So sorry to hear you have experienced what we all dread, albeit with a bit of a time gap. One of the bloggers did both within just a few weeks of one another (while she was still NWB on the first leg) which must have made life tricky, so there’s always someone worse off I suppose.
    Anyway, welcome to the club!

  4. doctorjon 15 Oct 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Tina, thank you for your kind comments. I suppose if there is any bright side to having suffered this injury before, it is that I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and a fairly bright one at that. Warmest wishes, doctorj.

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

  5. Rogeron 01 Nov 2009 at 2:35 pm


    Get well Soon, David and I miss our golfing buddy who drives it a mile!. Whats left knees and elbows drop basketball for awhile and get back to golf its safer I think talk to Tiger!!

  6. stevemon 13 Nov 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Doc -

    As was said before, I’m sure this is the worst fear of most ATR patients. Every time I hop on my good leg, I cringe with fearful anticipation. So, with you being a doc and having this experience, I’ll ask you the same question that I’ve been researching lately:

    When one blows, what are the statistics about blowing the other? Is this a lifestyle thing, a genetics thing, or a God thing?

    I’d love to hear your answer.

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