Archive for October, 2010

Oct 26 2010

Week 13.5 - My first post op trail run 3.5 miles - good for a laugh.

Published by elsurfer under Uncategorized

I’m an intermediate level Adventure Racer where the primary disciplines are Kayak, Trail Run, Mountain Biking. A typical day race for me is like 5-10 miles on Kayak, 15-20 trail running/hiking and maybe 25-40 miles on a bike all while orienteering to a dozen to two dozen checkpoints out in sticks with a map and compass within 8 to 12 hours. I must admit I’m not at my racing weight, but I decided to give the trails a “GO” this weekend after my boss at work laid down a challenge for a group hike coming in December.

Anyways I took some video and debated about posting it because of how LAME and GIMPY I look and the stride is freaking AWFUL. But hey, we all gotta start running sometime. The takeaway here is that I’m able to push the calf and Achilles a lot harder now. This was a 3.5 mile run up and back. 600 ft elevation gain in 1.75 miles. The terrain was really uneven and bumpy from the rains so it exaggerates (read: exposes) my calf weakness BIG TIME. You can see me hopping ruts, bumps and off camber trailage. I ran about half of it. The AT did not hurt after wards nor was it any stiffer than usual. I have to look back and really laugh at this video, but mostly at my own girth and how badly I suck. Anyways, it’s motivation and I predict that over the next 2 or 3 weeks, the stride will even out a lot more. Anyways, it’s good for a laugh.

7 responses so far

Oct 22 2010

Week 12 notes and 13 video - on my own, frustrating plateau

Published by elsurfer under Uncategorized

I only had a little bit to update here the last 2 weeks as not really much changed during week 12. I started feeling the frustrating plateau. (the clip is below if you want to skip my rant :)

I met with the OS last Thursday and all is well. He looked at my foot and basically said to come back in 6-8 weeks. He confirmed that I didn’t need to see the PT any longer and I finished up my last PT appointment the Friday after. Of concern to me was the “thickness” of my AT. He said that I’d always have thickness, however it would go down and also smooth out with time, but would never be normal like before (any other 1 or 2 year post-opers care to comment on your thickness? has it gone down? any problem with shoes rubbing?). Also asked about the sutures that were used to sew up the tendon and they were off the semi-permanent type which would take years to dissolve as opposed to several weeks I will continue to lotion, work and mold the AT area in order to get it to thin and smooth out a bit more.

So the last two weeks (weeks 11 and 12 post-op) I hadn’t seen huge leaps in progress. It’s not like I’m all of a sudden now doing 10 full single heel raises effortlessly. Admittedly, I’d been taking it way too easy from therapy isolated exercises that are meant to build strength. I believe the tendency to slack off was due to the fact that I’m walking 90% normally and have spent more time doing my regular exercise routines (mtn. biking, Motocross and Martial arts) without too much need of a strong calf on the ATR’d leg. I realize I need to change this and plan on doing some more exercises that I will show on my week 13 vid.

My PT trainer pointed out the fact that there is exercising and that there are therapeutic exercises meant to get the leg back to normal. Just going about day to day activities isn’t enough - even over time, as other parts of the body tend to compensate for the weak calf leaving the calf weak.

Here is where I stand now at 12.5 weeks:
Good:
Able to do about 12-15 single heel raises at the bottom range (2-3″ off the ground)..
I’m wearing dress shoes now.
I haven’t iced or raised in about 1.5 weeks (don’t know if this is good or bad).
Confidence in day to day activities. I don’t really think about missteps on even ground.
Calf/AT tightness on a scale of 1 to 10 is about 1.5, It just feels more weak as opposed to tight.
Heel pain is gone as I start to shift weight to the ball of the foot naturally when standing.

Bad:
I still get a little stiffness (in the calcaneous area / back of the heal) in the morning or when the leg has been immobile too long.
Upper range single heel lifts are non existent. (4-6″ off the ground)
Still a little swelling, but not too bad.

Ugly:
AT thickness.
Getting calf strength back is going to be a concentrated effort, it won’t come back naturally.

-edit-
I wrote the above about 5 days ago, but as of this clip (week 13), some things have been incrementally improving and I’m a bit happier about my progress. I went to the gym last night (for the first time since the injury) and started blasting away at my exercises including leg presses and weights. Surprisingly it’s wasn’t stiff the day after the gym. Going to try to stay religious at it, because there’s no PT there to push me.

Here’s the week 13 clip.

4 responses so far

Oct 06 2010

Week 11 post-op, ROM, barefoot heel lift vid.

Published by elsurfer under Uncategorized

One more week of PT to go, 2 more sessions and I get the boot from the PTs or is it called graduation?!. My ROM is there and they’ve given me all the exercises they can, now it’s just a matter of building strength. They’re done with me! I meet with the Doc next week (12 weeks post op) and we’ll see where I go from there. Supposedly the tendon should be 100% healed by then and I can probably start really stressing it. My journey with the docs and PTs is almost done and I’ll be on my own.

4 responses so far

Oct 03 2010

10 weeks post op. Videos - keep workin’ it!.

Published by elsurfer under Uncategorized

My 10 week video. Still in physical therapy and adding exercises every session. I had to travel this week and didn’t get much chance to do these exercises on my own. However, I did a lot of hurried walking at the airports trying to keep my gait straight and concentrating on heel-toeing.

I did Karate last night for 1.5 hours (first time in 3 months since the injury), which consisted of lots of stretching, falls, warm up bouncing, Kata (forms), all on a mat. I also did some careful kicking (front, roundhouse) on a kicking pad, but had to take it real easy as pivoting to kick on my ATR’d foot was mentally and physically near impossible. Walking/bouncing barefoot on a mat was definitely more challenging than I thought as the mat kinda counter-sinks creating a bit more stress on the calf. It was definitely a hard work out, probably harder than I should have done, but I was never in any pain or strain. My Doc and PT would have a serious fit had they seen what I was doing out there.

Here’s the vid. It was done the day after my workout and PT session so I was a bit sore and stiff doing this video, some movements are a bit jerky. I had to also hurriedly put it together. 10 weeks post-op, two maybe three things in there I shouldn’t be doing but attempted and did - I think you’ll find it interesting.

Again, it’s my right that’s ATR’d.

6 responses so far