After patiently waiting to attempt a run until after the 4 month mark, I successfully completed a pain-free mile on the treadmill. Although feeling “strange” I felt fairly confident and had good cadence for the run. The tendon and ankle did not swell and as I sit here a few hours later I feel great, no pain or stiffness. I did spend the 3 previous days walking all over Las Vegas and did feel that at the end of each night…nothing a little Aleve couldn’t handle though. Still working on strengthening the calf, I can do a single heel raise but puny compared to the good leg. Anyway, cool gate to pass and excited to be able to add running back to my workout regiment and participate in more Crossfit WOD’s. box jumps and explosive moves will still be reserved for the 6 month mark. Jump rope might be a fun add soon as well. For those still recovering keep to the plan, it does get better and closer to normal before you know it…if you would have asked me where I would be in my recovery at 18 weeks I would have been happy to walk limp free. Soooo happy to be wrong and even more happy to be further along rolling into Summer.
Okay, been released from therapy to train on my own. Mornings I am strong and walk without a limp with great push off from the injured foot. As the day wears on this fades a bit. I am able to press 75lbs 20 plus times now with the calf and working to improve that each week. Actually completed a run on the snowboard with my boys on Sunday but quickly realized I wasn’t able to keep up the stress on the heel any longer than that…at least the bar was open in the lodge! Been doing double heal raises daily and actually can do a weak single leg calf raise. The range isn’t great but the mental win of knowing where I am at in regards to recovery and being able to even get the heel up is super motivating! Running is still 5-6 weeks away by direction of my Physical therapist…whom I have complete trust in and am blessed to have help me along my recovery. I am completely sold that aggressive rehab is the only way to go. It allows life to become normal sooner, less residual issues with ROM, and promotes strengthening of the support muscles and calf engagement earlier allowing less atrophy issues. Besides that, I am a stubborn guy who even looked at rehabbing my leg as a competition. Side note, hit golf balls today without issue so off to the links I go!
As the title states, week 9 underway and PT is progressing well at 3 times a week. Looks like next week I will graduate to strengthening on my own without PT guidance. Today was my best day as far as gait and fatigue, as all my steps are focused on the heel and push off to engage the tendon I typically am sore and tired by days end. Today not so much and felt as normal as ever with daily routines.
Yesterday at the gym I was able to incorporate wall ball exercises which include a full range squat…that was a great feeling. Still very aware I am in the re-rupture zone so still using extreme caution and listening to my body to judge workout volume. I am itching for when I can run again! Overall I am pleased to be where I am and staying positive knowing I will eventually be back to 100 percent. Those of you reading that are in the early weeks, just chill and know it will come back with time.
Well I thought I would drop in and share a summary of what PT consists of at this point in the game. Been 2 shoes for a week and feeling more “normal” everyday. Strength regiment is as follows:
1) 12-15 mins biking, medium to heavy resistance
2) leg press, both legs 200lbs X 20 reps
3) leg press, injured leg only 80lbs X 20 reps
4) side steps using resistance band until failure
5) eyes closed, balancing on injured leg for 30 seconds X 3 times ( harder than you think, try it!)
6) calf press, injured leg only 30lbs X 50 reps ( leg straight for a set then leg bent for another 50)
7) treadmill walking for 5 mins, emphasis on correct form and driving off injured foot
new today, heel raises with both feet. This was exciting to be able do for 15 reps. Focused on even distribution of work, don’t cheat with the strong one!
Followed with 10 mins of icing…I am also icing at night just to keep any swelling in check. That’s it for now, still happy with the progression and trying to not overdo it and hinder the recovery.
Well I am happy to report that at the 7 week mark I was able to ditch the boot and best of all released to drive again! Nothing worse then lengthy road trips with your wife in the driver seat…not good for the marriage :-). My PT needed to see strength increases and balance. I was able to rep some single leg calf raises @30lbs. It was quite nice to see the calf muscle engaged and doing work, everything to date did not require the muscle. So after 2 full days of walking in shoes I am surprised with the normalcy of it. Yes, I have the ATR limp but I feel quite stable. Every step is deliberate and trying to exaggerate the push off to get the calf back to work. Very minor swelling to speak of, this worried me reading some of the stories here of folks fighting swelling months down the road. So PT from now on is up to 3 days a week with strength conditioning the focus. This is up from once a week. I still do band work at home as well as gym time. Next goals are simple, keep progressing and maybe get that first 5k run in April…which would be around week 13 or 14. Long shot goal is to get some late season snowboard runs in with my 2 little boys, they have been ripping it up all year which is keeping my wife on the hill a lot! Cheers to you all and thanks for the continued support and feedback.
Hello ATR community. My rupture was classic, weekend basketball game and down he goes. Anyway, I feel lucky to have been exposed to a very progressive Dr. And PT who specializes in ATR recovery protocol. My incision is just under 2 inches total and my mobilization began 4 days after surgery. Went FWB at 2 weeks in the boot and lost all wedges by week 5. My PT time already includes bootless biking, squats, and lots of band work. Last week introduced the first Plantar movements and man that got me excited…until I realized how weak we really are after surgery. Add in the electrical stimulation of the calf muscle and things are rolling. Protocol dictates going to 2 shoes Friday (7 weeks post-op). Reading so many recovery stories here and the wildly varying approaches is amazing. I must admit thought, I dig the aggressive approach and immediate PT, I am positive this is the method for me, must get back to driving and chasing my boys around soon! Thanks for all the info on this site, looking forward to posting progress and milestones as they happen. Shooting for a 5k in April as a goal, aggressive but must strive for something!