Ten years after a fast rehab

Hello all,

First, thanks and congratulations to Dennis for keeping this site going all these years.  You have helped many, Dennis!

It occurred to me recently that I had passed the ten year anniversary of the dreaded pop, so I thought I would post a last note here.

After my surgery, I made up my own rehab as I went.  The main things I did that were off the beaten path were bearing weight on my heel rather early, and starting calf strength work much earlier, putting the strength of the surgical repair to work.  Liberal use of compression wraps to control swelling probably helped, too.  For details:

http://achillesblog.com/doug53/2009/04/29/walking-in-my-shoes-within-four-weeks-updated/

Walking in my shoes four weeks postop was nice, as was being able to hold my heel off the ground between eight and nine weeks postop.  I wasn’t “handicapped” for very long.

Later on, I realized that my use of a vibrating massager on my calf may have helped hurry things along:

http://achillesblog.com/doug53/2009/08/06/vibration-to-lessen-muscle-atrophy/

Still later, I was able to convince a researcher to look into an idea I had that could explain why fluoroquinolone antibiotics make tendon ruptures more likely.  For any fellow science nerds:

http://www.jbc.org/content/290/36/22287.full.pdf

That class of antibiotics may inhibit an entire family of enzymes, which may help explain the serious side effects that are sometimes seen, and may last a very long time if due to epigenetic effects.  Peripheral neuropathy, for example, might be due to inhibition of an enzyme in that family that is linked to a rare genetic neuropathy called Refsum disease.  The unexpected suppression of hypoxia inducible factor, which we didn’t understand at the paper’s publication, might well be akin to the suppression of HIF translation seen with other topoisomerase inhibitors:

http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/13/1/239.long

Some of these properties could even add up to usefulness in treating some cancers with these antibiotics:

https://discoverysedge.mayo.edu/2015/12/14/anticancer-antibiotics/

Sorry for going full science nerd there, but maybe someone will find that stuff interesting.

Avoid fluoroquinolone antibiotics if you possibly can.  The risk of rupturing your other Achilles tendon someday is high enough without adding more risk with those antibiotics.

Hang in there, everybody, it eventually gets better, even if the proper level of tendon elasticity for truly peak performance may be elusive after a rupture.

Thanks again, Dennis,

Doug53, now 63

One Response to “Ten years after a fast rehab”

  1. Hi Doug, thanks for posting an update, and congrats on the ten year anniversary! I can’t believe it’s already been 10 years. Time really does fly by.

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