Half way to finish line

Have just had my 7 month anniversary. At the time of my injury 7 months seemed an eternity but hopefully am over the hump and its smooth sailing to the finish line.

My strength is slowly returning but I’m not getting too excited just yet.  Flexion is good and improving.  My calf muscle is still skinny but is starting to show a bit of shape! Trying to keep up the exercises particularly the strengthening activity. The tendon is still a bit lumpy which is of some concern to the Physio but I’m hoping that this will improve with more strengthening work

The tendon still feels a bit tight although it’s not stopping me from riding my bike and getting on the cross trainer.  I haven’t gone for a jog as yet but may give this a go in the next month - while not in training for a marathon would like to be able to do a few km’s!

5 month anniversary

Thought I should post something seeing that its 5 months since I incurred my ATR. I went for my first bike ride last week, couldn’t pedal too well on inclines but it felt good to get out and do it. The foot is coming along ok, but it’s a challenge to come home from work and so my exercises.

I’ve noticed a few posts re toe raises, I’m still unable to do one solely on my injured leg, but go up on two legs and then try and put the weight on my left leg as I come down. This is tiring but I do feel the strength is slowly coming back. My Physio keeps reminding me that this is a 12 month rehab so patience is key. I haven’t attempted to jog yet, will stick to the bike and cross trainer in the gym for the time being.

Recovery on track

It’s been a while since I last put up a post, a combination of being extremely busy at work and recovery from illness that floored me for a couple of weeks.  During this period I had my 14 week anniversary since date of surgery, and received some good news when I met my surgeon on 27 March.  He was very happy with the flexibility in my foot, and advised that I no longer needed to see him.  He said that the physio should start focusing on strength exercises (which he has) and explained that as the tensile strength in the tendon increases the little bit of swelling/lumpiness around the ankle will disappear.

I’ve been going to physio a couple of times a week, and been doing exercises at home although this can be a bit challenging after a long day at work.  Went to the gym yesterday, it was great to do some work on the weights (not working out for 3 months has left me even weaker than what I usually am!).  The achilles is definitely improving - I can do some limited heel raises on two feet, but not just solely on my injured leg.  I can balance on my injured leg for over 20 seconds now, which is another good indicator of my progress (could only do a few seconds when I first started this exercise). 

I went into the office all week prior to Easter (it was a 4 day week) and intend to keep this up from now on.  My walking is improving, but I still limp if I try to walk at normal speed and stride.  I was also advised to do some exercises to increase the strength of my left buttock - apparently that has become a bit lazy!  Anyway, am feeling a lot better and happy to be getting back into some “normal” activity like gardening.  Slowly but surely that marathon course is getting covered!

Putting my best foot forward

It’s been over a month since my last post, so thought I should stop reading other posts and start typing. Here’s a brief rundown of events.

31 January - 2nd post op visit to surgeon, and all is good. Tendon is recovering well, a bit of irritation from the last of the stitches dissolving but nothing major.  Doctor has advised me to start physio and that I can start thinking of getting out of the boot.

1 February - first visit to Physio.  Gives me some exercises to start getting some motion happening.  The tendon is very stiff as expected, calf is also very tight from lack of use.  It feels great to start the next stage of the recovery process. Physio recommends 3 sessions a week for the next few weeks - apart from putting some stress on my Achilles he will also put some pressure on my wallet!

2 February - start taking some steps without crutches and the boot.  Nothing too major but another milestone achieved.

I am going into the office 2 days a week, and working from home the other three days.  I go in on Mondays and Thursdays so that I get at least a couple of days recovery time before the next commute into the city.  Boot and crutches are not much fun on public transport but I try to avoid the main peak periods where possible.

5 February (7 weeks after operation) commencement of 3 weekly sessions.  Mainly stretching and getting some motion as well as massaging of the tendon.  Dorsi flexion is limited but definitely can feel improvement with each passing day.

11 February - now only wearing the boot when I go into work or venturing out in public.  Physio is giving me some additional exercises to do including attempting to balance for a few seconds on my left leg.  Unbelievably difficult to do!

18 February - the boot has been flicked and I go to work for the first time without any aids.  Survive the day although am tired by the time i get home and foot is swollen.

4 weeks since surgery

Just realised I haven’t posted anything for over a week - I am getting a bit more active and not confined to watching tv or looking at my iPad!

Had my first  post op visit with the ortho on Tuesday 8 January (3 weeks post surgery).  He was happy with the progress, said I can now get my foot wet in the shower and not sleep with the boot on. Fantastic!!  He also advised to start putting some pressure on the foot whilst I am wearing the boot - not to overdo it, but just enough until I feel some strain.  Requested another appointment at the end of the month, where he will assess whether I am ready for physio.

I worked for the rest of the week, and actually made it into the office last Friday.  This is a 1 hour commute from home - my wife dropped me at the train station, and I managed to negotiate lifts/platforms without too much hassle.  The walk from the station to the office is a couple of blocks, and walking with crutches on streets is a bit more tiring than getting around the house!  Probably overdid it a bit as my foot was quite swollen by the end of the day, but it was beneficial to get out of the house on my own.

I have taken annual leave this week and gone away with the family to the NSW South Coast.  It’s a beautiful spot, damn annoying that I can’t go to the beach for a swim!  Am moving around a bit more freely, and can put some weight on the leg (although the trusty crutches are always close by!) and definitely feel that I am slowly but surely on the right path to recovery.

Have booted the cast

Thursday 3 January was a big day, had the cast removed and was fitted with a boot.  I ended up getting it done by the PT, she said the cut was healing well and no signs of any infection.  The foot was swollen, but I suspect this was primarily due to me not keeping my foot elevated during the day. I worked from home and had trouble getting into a comfortable position at my desk, so had my foot on the ground for most of the day.

Does feel good to have the cast off, and the boot feels comfortable.  I have slept with it on for the past 2 nights and have not had any issues, although the PT said I could have a go sleeping without it if I wanted to.  I have my first post op visit with the surgeon next Tuesday, so that is the next milestone on my road to recovery.

Another hot and sunny day in Sydney, will have to keep the blinds shut so that I don’t see the pool in the backyard!

Merry Xmas and a happy new achilles!

Greetings from sunny Sydney Australia!

I snapped the achilles tendon in my left leg playing sport (cricket) 2 weeks ago (Saturday 15 Dec).  I was fortunate to have surgery on the following Tuesday (benefits of private health insurance!) and am aiming to have my cast removed later this week.  I definitely fall into the high risk category for this type of injury - 47, reasonably fit but trying to play sport with kids half my age (or a lot younger!) and putting strain on my leg when going for a run.  The injury vindicated my wife’s view that I’m too old for sport!

This type of injury is not much fun at this time of year - we are having a fantastic summer, nice and hot and sunny, so being very limited in what I can do is driving all of us crazy.  Instead of enjoying the pool or beach my teenage kids are having to look after their old man!  Worst of all we were planning an overseas holiday in January, but that has now been shelved.  Oh well, shit happens…..

Being a fairly active person and not one who can sit still for long, the inability to do much is extremely frustrating.  Fortunately I have not been in much pain since the surgery, so I’m hoping that is a good sign.  The surgeon was happy with the operation (met him for the first time in pre-op just prior to surgery!) and will have my first post - op visit with him on 8 January.  As he only gets back to work on 7 January after his Xmas holidays, he advised me to see my GP to get the cast removed, and have a boot/heel inserts fitted prior to this date.  While I have utmost confidence in my GP, I was somewhat surprised he suggested this and I don’t know if I should just wait until I see him next week.  If anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated.

Happy New Year to all, hope 2013 is injury free for everyone!