Fourteen weeks: almost walking normally again!

Greetings ATR world. Hope the healing is going well for everyone.

Its so interesting for me to read about the new members joining this club because it felt like yesterday I ruptured my tendon and had surgery even though its been fourteen weeks already and life is slowly getting back to normal. Looking back, the NWB phase for me was the most depressing and difficult for obvious reasons. It lasted six weeks for me and felt like eternity. In comparision, the transition to PWB over two weeks (I could have done it in less time but followed doctors orders) and then into two shoes seemed to fly by and made life so much more interesting.

I have finally discontinued the heel lifts I had in my shoes and even though at first it made me start limping a little again, my gait has steadily improved. If I walk fast or feel tired, I still find myself with a limp but hopefully it will go away soon. I’m not comfortable walking barefoot a lot so I try to stick to my new balance running shoes or crocs as much as possible.

These days its been all about strengthening and rehab. I usually do PT twice a week with leg presses, heel raises, the stairmaster (sigh), treadmill, and of course a variety of stretches. At home, I try to do the exercise bike daily and have been increasing both the time and resistence incrementally. The tendon remains stiff in the morning but its getting much better. My ROM has also improved significantly but it will definitely take some time to get all the strength back and do proper heel lifts. For now, I am just happy to be able to do the things I used to do with my kids again (two year old and a six month old).

This injury has given me a lot of perspective on things and has been incredibly humbling.

Still working hard to come back stronger!

3 Responses to “Fourteen weeks: almost walking normally again!”

  1. 1 kellygirl June 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Your post is very inspiring. Walking almost normally in 14 weeks is pretty awesome especially since you were NWB for six weeks! It doesn’t seem possible when I look at my current ROM and strength. (It’s hard to tell in the boot but I do notice that when I squat down to clean the litter box, I have trouble balancing with the booted leg–it keeps wanting to roll forward since I have no AT strength.) Your protocol is on the more conservative side (like mine) and I’m happy to hear that it is going well. I didn’t have much luck selling the UWO protocol either. I have to agree that this experience certainly has changed my perspective on many things as well. Thanks for posting and let us know how it goes.

  2. 2 micah1 June 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Yes, great news eyechilles, you are a couple of weeks ahead of me, so its always interesting to see how the people ahead of me are doing. Someone commented to me yesterday that my walk was really good, however they had not seen me walking with the crutch up our rather steep hill earlier that day. I also feel quite flat footed when bare foot so keep my trainers on indoors usually. Its wonderful to begin to get back to doing simple things again I agree, and it really has made me appreciate the basics in life too.
    Keep up the hard work.

  3. 3 Jack June 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

    YEAH! This gives me something to look forward too. I have my FIRST physical therapy appt (iinitial assessment) TOMORROW MORNING and I’m anxious to get started. I’m also a few weeks behind you, and my limp has improved dramatically, but it’s still there. I’m looking forward to getting strong enough to start jogging / running again. It looks like my “THICK TENDON” will be with me forever - Dr. had to wrap a graft around it and he said that, although it will grow onto the tendon, it will always be thicker than the normal one of the other foot. I still spend a bit of time massaging it and trying (in my mind) to make it smaller and normal.
    Keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on keepin on!

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ATR Timeline

  • Name: eyechilles
    Location: New Orleans
    Injured during: Football
    Which Leg: R
    Status: 2-Shoes

    370 wks  6 days Post-ATR
    370 wks  4 days
       Since start of treatment

  • eyechilles has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
    Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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