First Post - Rupture

Thanks to Dennis for creating and maintaining this community. Also, thanks to user cgroer for directing me here shortly after my rupture. Reading everyone’s experiences has been tremendously helpful. Right now I’m about a month postop so I’ll be backdating some of my posts. Hopefully chronicling my road to recovery will help others. A lot of people suggested setting a goal for recovery. A buddy and I were planning a multi-day backpacking trip of Mt. Mitchell this summer. Now it’s my goal for next summer.

July 1, 2018 - Rupture

I fully ruptured my left Achilles tendon on July 1, 2018. I was playing a recreational game of volleyball on an outdoor hard court. About 45 minutes in, a teammate and I jumped for a return at the same time. When I came down from the jump I felt an impact that resonated from my foot to my knee. I went straight to the ground and was VERY confused. My first reaction was actually to ask my teammate if he kicked me. That’s exactly what it felt like. Like someone wound up and kicked me square in the calf.

When I got to my feet and tried to take a step I immediately fell back down. I tried that one more time with the same result. I thought I could be having a dead leg kind of effect, but when I felt the back of my leg I knew. No tension in the achilles area. Game over. Well… it was a tie at 15–15. I like to believe my team rallied to the win without me.

Rupture in 3, 2, 1…

July 2, 2018 - Diagnosis

The day after the injury I went to an orthopedic hospital and my rupture was clinically confirmed. I was on vacation in upstate NY so as a precaution they put me in a fiberglass cast at 90 degrees. I would wear this until I returned to NC for my preop on the 5th. Two different staff members suggested I research non-surgical repair. The statistics I received for rerupture rates indicated that surgery had a slightly higher success rate. Being 29 years old and active 5+ days a week, I decided on surgery early on.

Some reflection on my injury

I’m still not sure if my teammate landed on my leg and that’s what caused the rupture. Other players said we were too close to tell. I decided not to fixate on it. Being certain if it was a pure structural failure of my leg is irrelevant. I’ll recover, do PT, and train as if it was.

Something I didn’t expect was a lack of pain. I had a dull ache in my calf and that was about it. Later, medical staff would tell me this injury is either excruciating or painless. I guess I’m lucky.

In the days following my rupture, I had a tight calf and soreness in my uninjured leg between my calf and heel. I’ve experienced this before following workouts where I ran, did box jumps, or jumped rope. The morning of my rupture I went for a 30 minute hike. The morning prior I did a bootcamp style workout with box jumps(no rebound) and jogging. Later that afternoon I did a one hour hike. I’m inclined to think I overdid it. My surgeon later told me with a grin, “Congratulations, you’re officially becoming old.” I like my surgeon :).

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