Who Kicked Me?

Hello and welcome to my first post on my Achilles blog.  I tore my Achilles in the final minutes of an indoor soccer game last Tuesday.  The loud “pop” and the feeling that someone had just kicked me kind of gave it away and a visit to my doctor the next day removed all doubt.  That was five days ago and I am just coming to grips that full recovery is going to take some time.

I know there is never a good time for an Achilles tear but I really had some stuff to do! My favorite family vacation of the year is our annual skiing/snowboarding trip which happens to be in two weeks.  Needless to say I am pretty bummed out about not being able to ski with my 6 & 8 year olds but I am looking forward to starting my recovery.  My surgery is scheduled for this Thursday and I will try to write one more time before then.

Like many of you, I’m sure, I found this site while searching for information on Achilles tears.  I am really glad it exists and I am looking forward to sharing my recovery with all of you and being inspired by your recoveries.

Speak soon.

25 Responses to “Who Kicked Me?”

  1. Good luck and welcome to our exclusive club! ;-)

    If you haven’t checked out the latest evidence on modern non-op ATR treatment, there’s lots of info on this site — including the web’s only free full-text copy of the best modern study showing no stat-sig benefit from surgery. We call i the UWO Study, done at U. of W. Ontario, published in 2010. Many surgeons still push surgery for athletes, and it still works well. But recent advancements in non-op treatment have made all or almost all of the surgical advantage evaporate, with comparable strength, ROM, rerupture rates, and immobilization times. And no scar, few or no adhesions, much lower risk of DVT, infections, non-closing wounds, emerging sutures, etc. also way less pain, no time off sedentary work, etc. Check it out if you haven’t.

    But yes, you really HAVE gotten kicked, at least spiritually, and you won’t be skiing in two weeks. I skied a Whistler week 17 weeks after I started non-op treatment for my second ATR, no problem — but even Whistler isn’t much fun in July, so you’d be skiing in Chile… (Next time, do your ATR in Nov or Dec, and you’ll be able to get Northern some skiing in! ;-) )

  2. So sorry to hear about your ATR. I too had been counting down the weeks to our family ski vacation. My three are 9, 11 & 13 and I’m very sad to not be skiing with them this year… and a little worried I won’t be able to keep up with them by next spring break! They improve sooo quickly don’t they? I hope you snuck in a few sweet powder days before the ‘pop’. Good luck this week and wishing you a straightforward road to recovery.

  3. Norm: Thank you for the comment, study and well wishes. Wow, two Achilles tears, nice to see a double recovery. Is someone more susceptible to tearing their other Achilles if previously suffering Achilles tear?

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

  4. Jdrg: Thank you for the thoughts! I figure my kids will soon be faster than me and I really won’t mind as long as it is not because of injury.

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

  5. Yes, double, and there’s a study on this site’s “studies, protocols…” page quantifying the excess risk of a “contralateral” (other-leg) ATR in the first couple of years after a first ATR. They found a ~200-fold excess risk (over the background risk of the whole population) during that period. Still far from a sure thing, but the excess risk doesn’t drop to zero after two years either. My second AT took 8 years to go, and others here have had ATRs 11 years apart, maybe more. Something more than just our choice of sports seems to make most of us especially susceptible.

  6. Double: Sorry to hear of your injury, but you have found the best resource out there for info, support, or just to vent. I’m 20 weeks post-op and slowly getting back to my old self. Trust what your body is telling you and do your research. Keep us posted and good luck with your recovery.

  7. FWIW, I had my other leg “pop” 16 weeks after the first surgery. I had my second leg done on Friday.

  8. Kkirk: thank you for your thoughts, I will definitely keep you posted.

  9. Lisa: what activities were you doing during Achilles 1 & 2? Thx.

  10. During number 1 I was on vacation and just doing a lot of fast walking on uneven surfaces and I don’t think it was fully ruptured but painful and swollen. I was misdiagnosed and told I just needed to stretch more and given exercises for foot stretching and a gel heel pad on subsequent visits (!) This was followed by a lot of travel over the next few months and I finally saw another doctor and had an MRI which showed a 5 cm gap and surgery in November 2012. During my recovery and in physical therapy my other foot felt weird/achy and was getting swollen in PT. I posted this in another thread but I told my surgeon about this during a followup, joked about how I wish my good foot felt as good as the repaired foot and she said “lets not fool around this time, I’m ordering an MRI”. When she called me in to discuss the results (partial tear), she said it seemed less swollen and I said (because I could a few days earlier) “yeah, I can even do a heel raise” and she asked me to demonstrate and POP! Full rupture and I can’t even begin to describe what I was feeling or the string of curse words that came out of my mouth! I’m still a little shell shocked. But in my case I don’t think it would have mattered what I was doing. My PT thinks some medication may have contributed. And I know how you feel. I had lots of plans for this month since I was feeling pretty good from the first surgery including a Pebble Beach trip, etc!

  11. I just “tripped over” a post on one of my pages from somebody who ruptured the other AT 13 years after the first. That may not be the local record, either.

    Lisa, did you take a fluoroquinolone-family antibiotic? My local docs tried to prescribe me one for a recent infection, but I told ‘em no way. (I’ve already torn both ATs and a finger-tip tendon, too!) Fortunately, lots of NON-fluoroquinolone antibiotics also showed good results in my cultures, so it wasn’t a problem.

  12. Norm, yes, I’ve taken a fair amount of Cipro and Levaquin over the years and had also recently started on a statin for borderline cholesterol. My PT thinks its the statin (Crestor) and has seen a significant surge in patients who recently started them.

  13. I’ve heard of muscular problems with statins, but not tendon problems, though I’ve never searched. But the link between Cipro/fluoroquinolone and tendon ruptures is well known, linked from the main page here, and is finally the subject of a “black box warning” on the drugs in the US (not sure about Canada).

    It’s relatively easy — and helpful — for us ATR folks to try to avoid those nasty drugs for the rest of our lives. It’s way harder for FUTURE or PROSPECTIVE members of this “club” to avoid them. . .

  14. Hey hey……Double, I’m with you about being so glad to have this blog to read, and know that there are many of us out there that can truly underrstand the pain, and all the stages we’re going through. I have sort of gotten through my complete frustration period (however, it could flare up at any time) … and now I’m just pissy. I’m already 17 days post surgery, had my stitches out one week ago, and will have my 2nd Physical Therapy session tomorrow. Curious if they will re-measure my foot, ankle, calf, knee….as I was pretty swollen two days ago. I was wearing my big black boot too tight, and NOT moving my toes at all, so my toes looked like they were going to POP. (hate that word, takes me back to hearing that sound, grabbing my ankle and turning around to hear someone say “I’m so sorry I kicked you” but….nope, it was just me myself & I. I ruptured mine while doing one line dance “Cupid Shuffle” up in Vegas, on Freemont Street…just joined in with the crowd of mostly 20 somethings, and I’m 60!! ) Back to therapy. After being measured, she massaged my entire foot, ankle, toes, calf …mmmmmmmm then put on a tins(?) unit for about 15 minutes. An ice pack on for a while too. All the while, she had me lying on my stomach on a massage table, and my frickin knee was killing me! I’ve been favoring it, while lying around (boot on and boot off for airing my leg) for the past two weeks. I would suggest that you lay with your leg straight most of the time, wish I would have. She adjusted my crutches (which I HATE using, I’m so unsure of my balance) and has me now standing with boot barely on the ground, still no weight bearing though, for another 4 weeks. UGH My younger sister belongs to this club of ours, as a double ATR member, since 2010 and is going to check out this blog. She wished she had thought of “searching” while she was recovering. My sister’s doc suggested a knee walker for her, and she said it was her lifesaver. After some begging …my husband went on e-Bay and bought me one. Brand new $180.00 w/ basket. Came in 5 days from Georgia to me here in Arizona. : ) I LOVE MY KNEE WALKER!! It has given me such freedom. I can wheel all around the house, help with dinner, do dishes, and have done two outings. This is a wonderful invention, yet not covered by insurance. Still may try to submit it to our insurancec, submit the crutches sales receipt too. Grrrrr I am really ready to go to bed now, so I’ll check in again tomorrow probably……after my 2nd PT
    Good night peeps, sweet healing dreams to all of us.

    Best of luck to you Double on your surgery.

    I had a fabulous doc in Lake Havasu City! I am going to try to post photos, got frustrated so stopped. They gave me a spinal and propopal (yes, the Michael Jackson med) and I had a lllllllooooonnnngggg time coming out of numbness. Five hours in recovery, that was kind of a bummer, specially for my husband.

  15. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) according to our pals at Wikipedia.

    Sounds like an ATR susceptibility runs in your family. It makes sense, though I’ve never heard evidence of it here, and the rest of my own family has escaped (touch wood!).

    There’s a good group of people, here and elsewhere, that did their ATRs on the dance floor — including Misty-May Treanor, who won the first Gold Medal in women’s Beach Volleyball, then won a/the second one after recovering from her ATR. Despite many years of top-level volleyball on the pro beach circuit (mostly with her Olympic teammate Kerry Walsh), it was boogying in a rehearsal for Dancing with the Stars that destroyed her AT. (Court volleyball probably would have destroyed her AT a lot sooner, as it did both of mine.)

    Being NWB for over 6 weeks is way slow, and doesn’t produce better results than faster schedules like (say) bit.ly/UWOProtocol , according to the various studies linked from this site. If you’re going to go that slowly, you’ll get a good opportunity to make use of that knee scooter — but you’d be better off moving to PWB (with crutches, sorry but it can’t be done on wheels) at 2 weeks post-op, then FWB around 4 weeks. And once you’re FWB, it’s time to put the scooter into storage for the rest of the family. . .

  16. : ) NOTN (normofthenorth) I do so love reading your posts!! You are very informative and know where to reach for answers and links, I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your help. Thanks

    Truthfully, haven’t told my PT about my knee scooter….but I know I will need to store it away pretty soon. Its given me such joy to be able to do a small amount of help around the house, has given my husband joy too I’m sure. I’m so lucky we are both retired and he can help me, my sister who I spoke of was a single lady at the time, and many times I’ve asked her “How did you get along alone all those weeks / months?” She said, just one day at a time. God Bless Her!

    Yes, I read about Misty May and others on this awesome blog site. I’m finding myself reading on and on….now I want to figure out how to do post pictures. I may have to go to our PC, cuz can’t seem to do it from my iPad.

    NOTN….are you anywhere near Mississaqua?

    Hey Double…thinking about you : )

  17. About a half-hour drive to Mississauga (no Q), usually for Sunday dinner with the Inlaws. We’re downtown, not very far from the University (U of T). What’s your connection here?

    Even with wheels, walking is better, and the PWB transition is an important one that can’t be done while kneeling, only on (those damned) crutches. Nobody’s born knowing any of these skills and tricks, including crutch-walking… And do work to get onto a faster rehab, more like UWO’s.

    A boot doesn’t have to uncomfortably tight, and it’s OK to use some
    Foam or gel or a sock… to make it comfier — as long as your ankle joint is immobilized when it’s supposed to be, and as long as it’s snug enough and stiff enough to transfer your weight from the boot’s toe to it’s cuff (and the front of your shin) when you’re FWB and you roll forward to step onto your uninjured “good” foot.

  18. Several folks have cracked the photo-posting nut, not including me. Search the site for “photo” or “post photos” and you’ll probably find clear instructions. Some things are easier in iOs, some seem to be impossible…

  19. Did I really do “it’s cuff” instead of “its cuff”?!? AAARGH! 1PM is too late to still be snoozy! Double, I know we’ve hijacked your thread here, but if you could turn on that AJAX editing feature… (This is like the Home Invaders asking to be served snacks, right?)

  20. A quick search, found:

    Quoting from there:

    This is probably not the approved official way to do it, but it’s how I’ve been putting pictures into my blog…

    1) Upload the image to you digital library. You can reformat images with html tagging, but it’s actually just easier to format the image (mostly size it) before you upload it. Images 400 pixels wide seem to fit pretty well in the format of this blog.

    2) Go to your media library, and “view” the picture you want to use. Click the picture itself- so that you’re looking *only* at the picture. The address bar of your browser should be the address of the picture (probably ending in .jpg).
    3) Copy that address. It is the address of the picture you want to include in a post. You can actually do this with the address of any picture on the web.

    4) Go to the post you want to put the picture in. Edit it. Choose “html” editing (not visual).

    5) Click the “img” tab. This will prompt you for the address of a picture. Paste in the address of the image you’re trying to include. It will prompt you for alternate text- this is optional. I usually ignore it.
    That should do it. You can go back to the visual tab to format and tweak the position of the image.

  21. Thanks so much Ryan. I’d been fiddling with trying to get some pictures into posts and this appears to be working for me. Sorry for continually updating the same old posts everyone. I’ve been messing with this pic issue for awhile now…

  22. Norm: Ajax activated. You want a beer with those chips?

  23. Sandizona: thanks for the wishes, speak to you all post op.

  24. ….hey Double……
    Check in, wanting to know how surgery went.

    I’ve had a happy follow up check up this morning in Lake Havasu City, AZ with my amazing Ortho Doc.
    Its just been 25 days since surgery.
    Stitches out at 12 days post op.
    4 …simple PT appointments, massage, TENS for 10 min. toe stretches, circles.
    Wearing boot always (even sleeping) …taking off to air out & massage calf & incision, and shower while using the shower chair : )
    But today………
    I’m healed up really well, and Doc is telling me to walk now. Only use crutches til I get my balance back. Baby steps at first but I’m so elated! I almost cried!!
    I can drive too! (my left foot is the injured HEALING one)
    This is amazing to me.
    I’m still going to go slow, and steady….cuz I really don’t want to re-rupture.
    We are going on a cruise May 11th, and doc said I would be in sandals (not flip flops) by then! (singing) HALLELUIAH! One more month in boot, then two shoes. He wants me to buy a good pair of high ankle tennis shoes : )
    Just had to share.
    Hope you’re healing well.
    Still love reading through this amazing ATR website/blogs. xo

  25. hey double

    ”who kicked me?” caught my attention. I too was playing indoor soccer and asked who kicked me but there was no one. raptured mine on 3/1 had surgery on 3/6. I am finally pain free and not taking meds. I pretty much been in bed watching TV. I was very active so this is tough. today I went out and sat on my driveway and enjoyed some sunshine and fresh air.

    I too like many of us here are greatful for this site. I also have a family vacation in May that I hope to make. my follow up appt is on 3.26

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