Calf tightness, 15 months out

Hi everybody.  I chose the  non surgical route 15 months ago.  All has gone very well with the exception that I still have weakness in the calf of the torn Achilees leg.  Particularly pronounced when swimming.  It cramps up after a half mile or so, more often than not.  I’m doing the stretching and exercises presecribed by my PT, but seem a bit stuck.  Any advice?

11 Responses to “Calf tightness, 15 months out”

  1. I wish I had something to tell you . . . . Can you tell if the muscles are all connected up right . . . flexing and all?

    Did you notice the calf going through further atrophy after you began walking? Has it increased, stayed the same or decreased in size?

    I worry a bit about this myself since I am just starting to realize the atrophy in my Gastroc N. at 15 weeks.

  2. Things seem to be working fine, just tight and cramps up when swimming distances. I also am having some knee problems, same leg, had arthro surgery 4 years ago, so not doing a lot of serious walking. But thru airports and occassional 2 mile walks, the AT feels normal.

  3. I’m 21 months out - had surgery. I’ll admit that I haven’t done intensive strengthening, but I’m back to playing ultimate frisbee and cycling full-out. My calf size is still noticeably smaller and I find that when I am running and try to jump for the frisbee off my ATR leg I don’t get very high.

  4. if you are cleared for exercise by your trainer consider buying a pair of the five finger barefoot walkers made by Vibram. They do a great job strengthening the muscles in you feet and calves, not to mention the other benefits of barefoot walking. I had the surgical repair and was back playing soccer at 4 months and 3 weeks. The 10 days with the barefoot shoes gave me more confidence than anything else i had done. I am still unable to fully sprint, but I think it is mental. My body is holding me back a bit, but I will eventually work through it. I do get some calf cramping similar to what you are describing but do not feel it is anything more than an out of shape calf muscle. The achilles tendon turns to muscle fairly quickly. At this transition my leg continues to be tight. I am constantly comparing my repaired leg with my other one to try and determine where i am at in the healing process. Your body will remain tight until well after the repair is complete as a method of protecting you.

    Opting to forego the surgery has certainly caused you to have more atrophy than i have experienced. I am at 5 months and 1 week and my calf muscle on the repaired leg is 95% of my other leg. My father went the non surgical route 15 years ago and his calf muscle never returned beyond 75%. His strength and trust of the leg is in tact, but the atrophy was permanent. The tiring and cramping seems normal to me….i have similar sensations as my leg tires during rehab. I think the strengthening exercises and barefoot shoes will help get your strength up and get you beyond the cramping stage. Keep in good spirits and work on the tendon a little bit every day. It is easy to ignore once you get back to walking normal.

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  6. Hi Gunner. I noticed its been a additional 5 months since you’ve posted last. Has there been any improvment in the strength of the Calf since then? My Orthopedic will have me in a cast for a total of 4 weeks then I will be moving into a Vaco-cast from then on out. I’m an extremly athletic individual and hope that I’ve made the correct decision moving forward by going non-surgical for my repair. I originally injured my Achilles on Oct 20th, 2011 and have a golf trip scheduld for the end of January, 2012… Do you think I have a shot to play?

    I also went the non-surgical route as I have a strong belief that our bodies are meant to heal themselves over time.

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  9. To iver15: I also went non-surgical for a full ATR done playing football on september 1/11. I saw my ortho today for the 12 week check up and I am pleased to report that everything has healed well and i have regained strength enough to date that I can do most of my bootcamp stuff including jogging, boxing, kicking a soccer ball , running upstairs etc. I have good ROM and have not healed long or too short. I still have a limp and the achilles is tight until warmed up. I have been out of the walking boot for 2 weeks.
    I think golf by January is doable for you but the swing may be off since it may pull thru the Achilles. I am not a golfer myself but the strength and things I can do have really improved in the last couple weeks. I was worried about the non-surgical route but that is all they are doing now at RCH hospital in Vancouver BC and the outcome i have had has been very positive. I will say that i have been religious in following my physio’s recommendations and in getting active. Have a good trip!

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