I finally decided to get off my butt (figuratively of course) and write some stuff down. I’m a new member of the ATR club and I primarily wanted to share my recovery experience because I was late getting diagnosed and didn’t actually start my rehab/recovery protocol until 3 full weeks after the injury. So I’m a little concerned that the ends of the tendon might have scarred and wonder if that will preclude them from healing properly. I’d be interested in knowing if there are others out there with a similar experience. I opted for no surgery and my docs are familiar with what appears to be the fairly new, progressive rehab protocol–the one based on the Ontario study that is featured and discussed on this website.
My injury happened literally in the final seconds of an indoor soccer game. I passed the ball back to a teammate and BAM! Down goes Frazier! It felt like I’d been kicked in the back of the leg. But the strange thing–and probably the biggest reason why my primary doc didn’t diagnose it right away–was that I was able to walk on it without too much pain. I iced the bejeezus out of the entire lower leg every night for the first week or so and that controlled the swelling for the most part. My ankle wasn’t too bad but my calf blew up like a balloon and that is what got my doc’s attention.
So I went from an ultrasound at 2 weeks to see if there was a blood clot in my calf to an MRI a week later. It was the radiologist looking at the MRI (again, focused on my calf) who asked if I was having trouble getting around because he saw that my Achilles appeared to be nearly all the way ruptured. A subsequent exam by the orthopedic staff determined it was all the way gone with a gap of about 3/4″.
My timeline was: Injury on Tuesday, Feb 21st; first splint on Monday, Mar 12th (NWB); walking boot on Thursday, Mar 15th (by ortho while waiting on decision to go surgery vs. non-surgery) (NWB); new splint on Monday, Mar 19th…that’s when my official “recovery clock” started (NWB). On Monday, Apr 2nd I got the splint off and back in walking boot with partial weight-bearing (25 lbs). My next appt is Apr 18th.
At my appt on the 2nd the doc did the calf-squeeze test and she said she just a tiny bit of movement in my foot so I guess that is decent news…but then she said I’m faaaaaaaar from from being out of the woods. So I’m taking it easy and although the PWB status has made life much easier I’m still extremely careful about what I’m doing. I’m a bit paranoid that I’ll slip with a crutch or lose my balance and jam too much weight on it and screw things up.
Anyway, that’s my story. As I said in the beginning, I’m worried that too much time elapsed before I got diagnosed and that the ends of the tendon won’t grow back properly. The now famous Ontario study disqualified (if I remember correctly) those that were 14 days past their injury date. That makes me think the study results really don’t apply in my case, hence the reason I’m hoping to hear from others that went a month before starting their recovery.
Good luck and happy healing to all on this beautiful Easter Sunday!
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