5 Months 19 Days Post Injury - Rehab Question

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… sorry, but my life is rediculously hectic!
Anyway, I was able to get PhysRehab for 3 or 4 weeks after getting out of my boot… I made great progress and everybody was impressed. I told my Dr. I wanted to use the protocol mentioned here and he really didn’t want to do it, BUT we compromised on a hybrid of the two sorta… It worked beautifully and all went well.

Then my life got busy… I haven’t been to therapy in 2 months probably… simply no time to do so.

My calf is strengthening every day just from my running around…

But my AT seems VERY tight… and my ankle around my injury location is rather “solid” when I squeeze it…

Is this normal? Every now and then I lean my knee forward a little and try to stretch it… I’ve been doing this for weeks now and it’s still very tight.

What can I be doing on my own to advance my therapy and get this thing back to “normal” (or as close to normal as one might expect)? What kind of stretching and exercise should I be doing at home?


35 Days Post Injury and I Walked (In a boot, of course)

The Title of this blog says it all!!!

On December 29th, 2010, they took my cast off and put me in a boot. Because I had mentioned the protocol suggested on this site (and pushed my MD to let me try it), he put me in a boot with no riser… and OK’d a modified version of the protocol… still, pretty aggressive, though.

48 Hours later, while attending a New Years Eve party, I was hobbling around on crutches and trying to stretch a little… That night I felt my heel touch the “floor”. My foot was flat in the boot! Yipeee!

12 Hours after that I was visiting my father and I took my first tentative steps without crutches… I had some anxiety about it, and it was awkward, but I did it! 35 Days post injury and I was walking

Two days later I began PT. This entire time I have felt absolutely NO PAIN whatsoever… Including when doing PT. I went twice a week for 2 weeks and really improved greatly. In 2 weeks time I was able to push up on to my toes with 10% of my body weight… my Range of Motion was just about as good as my good foot… and the therapist was very thrilled with the progress. I felt like a champ!

After PT one Friday my wife went to have her car washed… I got out of the car and walked across the parking lot… then realized I’d left my iPhone in the car, so I turned back to get it. While walking across the parking lot I stepped on something and lost my balance!!!

I felt a “POP” and a BURN!!!! at the injury location… I just knew I’d re-ruptured my achilles!!! I was terrified!!!

Ten minutes later the burning subsided… very carefully I tried to point my toes (in the boot)… I was able to do it with no problem! WHEW!!!
I knew I hadn’t re-ruptured it… I still thought I might have slightly torn it… especially because all weekend long I would make a normal step (by my previous standards) and it would HURT!

That’s the first pain I ever felt associated with this injury… and it scared me. I took the next two weeks off from PT… I just did some very simple and easy ROM stuff and just gave it some time to heal … (besides, my Doctor was out of town and I couldn’t see him anyway). My Dr. got back in town and I went to see him finally… He checked me out and said I was fine. Suspects I just ripped some scar tissue all of a sudden… Told me to get back to PT.

I’ve been doing PT ever since… Yesterday (3 Months to the Day post injury) I was told I could quit wearing the boot!!! YAY!!! He’s given my therapist to do whatever he wants regarding my therapy :) Said I just need to build up my calf muscle now… and in 8 months or so I should feel just fine.

I gotta say that this has not been as bad an experience as I was lead to believe it would be. Not being able to drive for 3 months has sucked… Having to scoot around on my knee walker for 6 weeks was inconvenient - but a broken bone in my foot or leg wouldn’t have been any different…. The long recovery time is kinda lousy…. BUT, I’ve had other injuries along the way that were far more painful and harder to deal with. This injury is rather simple: Just take it easy and give it some time and everything will work itself out… Very minimal pain or discomfort (in my experience)…

Got a camping trip planned for next month… Have been given the go ahead but told not to do a lot of heavy lifting or any stupid/difficult hiking… Really looking forward to it!!!

Hard To Resist!

So as my calf atrophies my cast becoms more and more loose. I’m able to put 4 fingers down into my cast and rub my calf muscle… That feels great!

Still, there’s something else I’ve noticed… My foot has more room to wiggle around inside the cast, too…

Quite by accident I discovered that I can point my toe just a little bit…

Now, I IMMEDIATELY STOPPED as soon as I did it… I haven’t done it since… and don’t plan to until the Doctor say’s it’s ok…

But to know that my foot will point now means only 1 thing: The tendon is healing!!!

I couldn’t be happier!!! I want so badly to point my foot again and again and again… but more than pointing my foot, I want to NOT compound the injury, so I’m being good.

Just a small moment that brought me a lot of hope. :)

When They Say “No Weight Bearing”, What Do They Mean, Exactly?

I’ve been told “No Weight Bearing” until further notice.

I use a knee walker most of the time… and I use crutches sometimes… but, sometimes I just hop around (if it’s just for a short distance)…

When I am brushing my teeth I just let the toe of my cast rest on the ground (rather than hold my leg up - that gets tiring)…

When I am sitting on a chair I just stick my leg out and let the heal of my cast rest on the floor…

Once in a blue moon (even when using crutches) I find myself losing my balance and I put my cast to down to stabilize.

I realize this is minimal weight, and I am careful to NOT use my calf muscle at all… I just let the cast hold me… But still, there is “Weight Bearing” to a small degree…

Is that going to be a problem?

Cleared To Work?

I’ve read several different comments from people who say they’ve been “Cleared to Work”… This confuses me.

My last appointment with my Dr. I asked if I should be going to work…

Non surgery… in a cast.

He said, “Sure. As long as you’re not swelling I’ve got no problem with it.”

I haven’t had any swelling whatsoever… I’ve been working all along… I worked a 9 hour day 2 days after the rupture…

Should I NOT be working? What gives?

Are My Dreams Hurting Me?

Today marks 10 Days since I tore my Achilles…

So, for the past 2 nights I’ve had dreams about my Achilles…

Two nights ago I dreamed I was sitting on the examination bed in my doctors office facing forward with both legs hanging down over the side… the doctor said, "Ok, point your toes." So I tried and it HURT!!! The doctor said, "No, not on your bad foot… point your toes on your good foot… I want to show you how your foot is supposed to work…"

I’m wondering if I actually pointed my bad foot while I was sleeping?

IF so… does that damage whatever healing is taking place? Have I set myself back? Might I have caused any problems?

Last night I dreamed I was stretchings… including my bad calf/achilles/ankle… and I woke myself up in pain. So, I’m pretty sure I hurt myself last night… Again: Am I doing damage?

What can I do to minimize this?

I’m kinda worried about it… you know?

Riddle Me This - Achilles Email Concern

I have an iPhone and I occasionally check email through it… I get all kinds of emails from various places…
Whenever somebody comments on my blog (or replies to a comment I made on another blog) I get email notification… That’s all cool.
There is a difference between regular emails I receive and emails I receive from AchillesBlog.
Any email from achilles blog has the Title accompanied by MY Picture. A photograph of ME!!! It’s not part of the body of the email… it’s in the title…
No other emails I have ever received have this attachment.

Now, I have not uploaded any pictures to AchillesBlog… Not even sure how to do that at the moment…

Furthermore, the picture being used is not in my cell phone… this implies it’s coming from a 3rd location…

How can this be?

hopefully you’ll be able to see it here:

If no image appears… just try this link:

I Have Worms In My Leg!

I can’t describe the sensation any better than that. Worms in my leg… or, rather, what I imagine it would feel like if worms were crawling inside my leg.

No pain… just a very strange and creepy sensation…

I suppose it’s just blood and “stuff” moving around as part of the healing process.

Anybody relate?

I See You Tore Your Achille’s Tendon, I Tore My Achille’s Tendon Too…

Hello everybody! I’m new here so let me take a moment to introduce myself. I’m a 40 year old male from Kentucky. I am happily married to a beautiful Brazilian woman and we have two wonderful children. Our daughter is 9 years old and our son will be 7 in December. I own a small independent pharmacy (actually, the bank owns it, but they’re nice enough to let me work for them ;) ) and am living a charmed life… until now!

But let me give you a little backstory before I get into the meat of the matter… Our kids really love swimming and over the summer we put them on a Swim Team just for fun… It turns out that they are very good swimmers! Not only did they enjoy swimming, but they enjoyed competing… so, when the summer session was over my wife and I decided to put them on a more professional team with real coaches and regular practices… They swim for the local YMCA now and are doing well…

My wife and I decided that we should take advantage of being at the Y 3 days a week by using their facilities to help us get into better shape. For the past 3 weeks she and I have been doing various activities including walking, jogging, Yoga, and, in my case, some basketball.

I had gotten to the point where I could speed-walk (for lack of a better term) for 3/4 mile and then SPRINT (up on my toes) for more than 1/4 mile… and I did it with relative comfort. I did Yoga with relative ease… On Sunday, November 14th, I went to the basketball courts and just shot around by myself for a while…

By the time I was done playing ball I had jumped up and touched the rim… I had jumped up and hit the backboard several times… I ran a LOT of layups and got thoroughly exhausted… It felt great!!!

So, when the kids went to swim practice on Tuesday, November 16th, my wife went off to spinning class and I did my speed-walk/Sprint routine (sprinting 3/8th’s of a mile)… I felt like a million bucks… I was very surprised at how quickly I was getting into shape.

I went down to watch the boys play basketball while I caught my breath for a minute… a game finished and a new game was starting up… they were 1 man short and asked if I wanted to play. I said, “Well, I don’t think I can play an entire game but I’ll fill in for 5 minutes or so until somebody else returns…” They said, “Nobody’s coming back…” I smiled and said, “OK, I’ll play, but here’s the deal: I’m 40 years old and haven’t played in a few years. I’m gonna take it easy… I might even do a lot of walking… but I can rebound and pass you guys the ball and let you do most of the playing…” They said, “That’s cool, you can play with us…”

There were some younger kids dribbling around the sidelines and passing back and forth… not part of the game, but part of the environment….

I was happy to be on the team I was on… I had watched most of them in the previous game and I was likely on the winning team… Somebody shot for the ball and our team ended up with it. I took my position under the basket and play began…

Our guard dribbled for a moment and then just shot the ball…

He missed.

I grabbed the rebound, as promised… I landed and passed the ball and I was finished.

There was a very loud POP!!!! All the fellas heard it…

I heard it, too, obviously… and I felt a basketball hit me on the back of my ankle. I thought one of the younger kids had lost control of his ball and it had made it to the court and hit me…. I looked for a ball but there was none. I tried to stand up and get back in the game but couldn’t…. and down I went…

One of the fellas looked down at me and said, “Already, man?”

I smiled and said, “Yup! I’m sorry guys, but I have to go to the hospital now.”

Somehow I managed to walk across the gym (two basketball courts) and up a flight of stairs to get my wifes attention… I made it to the lobby and, by that time, had attracted a lot of attention. Fortunately there was an E.R. doctor in the lobby, too :) I immediately put ice on it and kept it very cold for as long as possible.

Anyway… I was able to get it imobilized within 2 hours of the injury. Luckily for me I am friends with an Osteopath who was able to see me on Wednesday the 17th. In the meantime I started scouring the internet trying to learn about what I was in for… I learned that I didn’t have to have surgery (more than likely) in order to get good results… Anyway, he verified the diagnosis and explained I could either have surgery or not… I told him I’d rather not. He said, “OK, we’ll put you in a cast in “Ballerina Position” with toes pointed down…” He explained why he was doing this and explained how things would progress assuming I was able to heal this way…

He ordered an MRI (which I got on Friday the 19th) and said we’d see from the images if non-surgery was going to work. He explained that if the tendon wasn’t close enough together that he’d recommend surgery… said it would heal but the distance would be too great and the tendon would be too long in the end… and that wouldn’t be good…

So, I’m no doctor and I don’t claim to be qualified to read an MRI, but… it looks pretty good to me! I think I had a very clean tear and I think it’s sitting snugly together… I’m optimistic.

My appointment is for 1:00pm (Eastern) today and I will find out for sure. Fingers crossed!

Incidentally, I have not experienced any pain whatsoever…. so far!!!
Seriously. None. Is that normal?

I take that back… my cast is so big it covers my toes, too… My toes hurt a little… I have been wiggling the and that has really helped… But I worry if I should be doing that???? Is it OK if I wiggle my toes? …or should I stop doing that?

But I’ve had no pain whatsoever on my achilles tendon.

So… I’ll continue reading other’s blogs and getting to know you folks… I’ll continue updating on my status… I’ll continue asking questions… etc… Looks like it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

Thanks in advance for any information and support you will offer!