14th Week…and feeling much stronger

Well, I have completed 13 weeks of this journey and I am definitely seeing gains. The limp is slowly becoming less apparent, though it still exsits to an extent. Physio has me trying to continue to put more weight on my left leg during our heel lift exercises. Overall, everything seems to be progressing nicely, though I still cannot walk down stairs properly, but he assures me that will come. I also cannot balace on my left leg, has anyone else struggled with regaining their balance?

As great as everything is coming I can’t help but feel down that not only have I lost the ability to participate in all the sports of summer, but physio has quashed any hope I had to resume my participation in curling and other winter sports.

It’s extremely odd, I recall 13 weeks ago being convinced that all I ever wanted was to walk on 2 feet, and now that task has been completed I want to do more. :) Yes, I know, I am still in the danger zone and this is an injury that will require 6-12 months for full recovery…I would just like time to speed up!

Happy healing all!


#1 davidr on 08.30.12 at 10:13 AM

Hello Eva,

We are the same day. I am behind your timeline however as I have had complications and so I’m still on crutches for a little while. So I’m not at the heel lift stage (I was but it wasn’t time for me yet) or the walking stage (though I feel I could walk). But something like walking downstairs is still something that seems strange to comprehend, I haven’t tried this yet, but I gather it’s not easy and you have to build a lot of strength first.

Having read your balance comment I decided to see if I can do it. I think this is largely to do with ankle and calf strength and mine is bad. But also it’s to do with the position of your head and the rest of your body. I tried a few times and the best I managed was 6.4 seconds (my second best effort was 2.9 and my worst was 0.9). How does that stack up to your experience?


#2 Hala on 08.30.12 at 11:12 AM

Hi Eva

I am at 17 weeks now and have just started to be able to do stairs in the last couple of weeks, it just came without me really noticing in the end as I was more focused on my walking. I have been practicing balancing on one leg for the last few weeks and this has definitely improved with practice, I can do a minute no trouble now. Things that seem impossible all come round in the end!

I was concerned by your comment that your physio has said no winter sports - I was thinking of booking a skiing trip to Utah (I live in UK) but perhaps should check with my physio. It would be 6 weeks short of 12 months from injury - surely this would be OK? Any experiences from anyone on skiing?

#3 ryanb on 08.30.12 at 11:41 AM

I had an accelerated recovery schedule, but was first skiing 10 weeks after surgery (day 72). I ruptured just over a year ago, August 2011, and was skiing in Early November, and essentially had a full season on the slopes. By January, I was also doing some limited snowboarding. Unless you have some horrific complication, I certainly think you should be able to ski at 10 months. A ski boot provides excellent support, and it’s one of the sports I think you can get back into soonest. NormoftheNorth and a few others have also got back onto the slopes quite early.
If you’re just past 4 months now… and want to ski at ~10 months, that’s February 2013. Right? I live in Utah, look me up when you’re here :-)

#4 Kimjax on 08.30.12 at 11:47 AM

Eva, the best thing for improving balance has been my “r-loop”. It’s a thick blue band that you do leg raises with: front, side, and back. You hold for 2 sec. Each time you extend. It really strengthens your ankle and foot muscles as well as hip and butt for stability. I have a pic on my blog somewhere, I’ll try to repost it. Your feet really have to grip the ground when doing these.

#5 daves on 08.30.12 at 11:58 AM

Eva, I’m just curious where you are located as curling doesn’t seem to be a sport pursued much in the U.S. As a Canadian, I used to curl in my teenage years. I seem to remember that when I threw the rock, almost all my weight was on my slider toe with my butt almost resting on my heel. That would be really hard on the Achilles I would think. But the other leg just kind of drug behind with very little stress on it. I suppose it was your “throwing leg” that got injured?

#6 eva10 on 08.30.12 at 12:11 PM

Thanks everyone!!

@daves - it is definitely my throwing leg that is injured so unfortunately curling is out this year. And I am located in Canada, so definitely part of the winter fun :)

@kimjax - thanks for the information! I will definitely look into it for sure.

@ryanb - I’m not a skier, but I would agree that because you’re foot is heavily immobilized in a ski boot, there should be no issues for others.

@hala - I’ve been noticing that same patterns with myself, eventually ’stuff’ just seems to happen and it just gets better. I guess I’m lacking in the virtue of patience :)

@davidr - completely agree, the loss of balance is from a loss of strength. I have also noticed that I walk on the outside of my foot now and opposed to a more neutral walk so I am consciously trying to force my whole foot to engage while I walk.

Thanks for all the information and encouragement everyone. Greatly appreciated!

#7 jaxx on 08.30.12 at 12:42 PM

Hey Eva,
Glad you’re doing ok. It’s funny that we now have to concentrate to walk isn’t it? I can walk without a limp as long as I think about it - my natural tendency now is to be flat footed on my left so as I walk I rock from side to side! Comedy!
My Physio suggested the gym for fitness to me including a machine which makes skiing motions side to side. If that’s the case and if you are booted up then surely skiing would be ok for you??? Having never tried skiing I’m not sure how wise it would be but I’ve been cycling and again, my PT said that as long as I was booted (Airboot) I shouldn’t do any damage.
I had no balance to start with so I’ve found the balancing on my injured foot tricky, a conveniently placed table has helped me get to grips with it.
Good luck and I hope you do get to enjoy the skiing.

#8 californiaguy on 08.30.12 at 2:46 PM

Hi Eva,

Glad to know you’re doing good. Sounds like you’re getting anxious to challenge yourself. Just be careful. How is your ROM at this point? How much dorsifexion do you have at 14 weeks?

#9 eva10 on 08.30.12 at 9:47 PM

@ californiaguy my ROM right now is almost fully there. I can move my foot almost identical to my uninjured foot. Dorsiflexion is definitely coming along. Still have some work to do for sure, but it’s definitely coming. :)

@jaxx - I also find it funny how much we have to concentrate on walking. I will instinctively lock up my foot if I’m not focusing on the push off. It feels really great to push off though, definitely starting to see some definition back in my calf.

My physio promises me that the balance will come. He says with the ROM I have, re-learning how to balance is the least of his worries…so it’s all coming along!

#10 Hala on 08.31.12 at 1:49 PM

Delighted to hear you are all of the opinion that skiing should be OK. Ryan, I agree, surely I should be OK at 10 months, I do recall you and a few others saying they had skied much earlier. We’ll be booking the trip. My brother-in-law lives in Salt Lake City so it’s an open invite. Would be pleased to hear any tips. Is the snow still good as late as end of March?

#11 ryanb on 08.31.12 at 5:17 PM

Snow should be fine in March. In fact, March is often one of our very best snow months. We usually ski well into June here. The year before last (shortly before my ATR) we were skiing July 4. Last year was the worst year in a long long time- things were shut down in mid May.

#12 davidr on 08.31.12 at 5:20 PM

I’m a boarder, which is my more achilles intensive, and the leg I ruptured is my lead leg. I’ve been told a couple of years, timing wise I’m actually going to try at 21 months, but then skiing should be much easier. I’m wondering if anyone has ever got back to proper boarding (black runs, full wipe outs), whether there was any chance of remaining in soft boots, and whether heel wedges are a possibility. Also, must be tough with the ruptured leg taking the full hanging weight of the board on chairlifts. Guess I’d better get back to walking first though, I’m still on crutches 15 weeks post rupture!

#13 eva10 on 09.02.12 at 11:03 AM

Well yesterday I took my first 5km walk and I have to say I did it with ease! It was very exciting to walk around the lake after 14 weeks and with a normal stride! :) Hang in there everyone!

#14 Hala on 09.02.12 at 12:27 PM

That’s fab Eva, I’m jealous! I love to walk but the most I have managed is 3k with a few problems the last quarter of the distance. Is your gait relaxed and even or do you have any stiffness/pain at all?

#15 eva10 on 09.02.12 at 7:41 PM

Hala - when walking the gait is very relaxed and I have no pain or stiffness at all. 3k is still a big deal and quite an accomplishment! I find walking really help better my DF the more I do it. :) Keep at it!!

You must log in to post a comment.