AT Rupture Blues (Week 3 Update)

All began on a pleasant Friday afternoon on 23rd June 2017 whilst playing tennis, I went to spring forward off my left foot when I thought I’d been whacked on the back of my left leg with a stick. Before I knew what had happened I was lying face down on the ground, happened so quick the tennis ball hit me on the back of my head I was told. I immediately suspected what had happened and once I got over the initial shock checked to see if I could feel if my AT was intact - not good, the taught AT  band was no longer there.

I’m an active 58 year old guy living in Ayr, south west Scotland and have suffered my fair share of sports injuries throughout the years (football: broken wrist and ruptured anterior cruciate ligament - Karate: fractured fibula x 2 - Running: Ruptured gastrocnemius/Achilles) so been here before but can honestly say this injury feels the worst one yet given the impact on my lifestyle and likely recovery period.

After it happened went direct to the A&E dept at my local NHS hospital. Left 3 hours later wearing an OSSUR aircast boot having been diagnosed as having suffered a AT rupture after failing the Thomson test and ortho doctor confirming a visible gap in my AT. Was told would be no surgery with conservative approach being the way forward, to keep weight off the foot and to keep elevated and to return to the orthopaedic clinic on Thursday 6th July and that was that.

Woke up on the Saturday morning and started finding out as much as I could about AT rupture and quickly realised this was going to be no quick-fix. I’m now on day 6 post-injury and having spent the whole time sitting with my leg elevated and I’m finding this really tough, as much mentally as physically. Has also put a lot of pressure on to my wife who has now had to pick up a lot of the duties I would normally do, not least to do with my 9 year old grandson who lives with us so it affects everyone in the household. Thankfully came across the blog and see I’m experiencing pretty much what everyone else feels so good to know I’m not alone. Being able to see what’s in front of me is also helpful, assuming no setbacks like re-rupture, have a fair idea of what to expect. Also full of great tips to make the journey easier.

One thing I have noticed is the difference in approaches taken by medics. I’m happy with the non-surgical approach but there appears to be differences as regards approach to early weight-bearing and the various stages of recovery so will be good to compare the approach taken locally with that elsewhere. Really strange but have been amazed at how important food has become, I’m trying not to eat more than normal but feel a real temptation to do so. Coupled with a massive reduction in my energy expenditure see weight gain as a real risk so will need to consciously work on this.

So meantime I’m counting down the days till my appointment next week so I can get a better idea of what’s going on. was supposed to be going to Spain on July 10th for 15 days so still unsure whether or not I should go given I’m likely to be on my feet quite a bit, albeit NWB so will discuss this with doc also. Happy to keep posting if it helps others the way others stories helped me, if even to see different approaches being taken across the UK so I’ll do another update following my hospital appointment next week.