Maybe my calf will never “grow back”: Stupid Atrophy

It has been a while since I last posted partly because I have been back to my normal life for the most part and also since there really hasn’t been much to report.  I have been going to PT twice a week for 5 weeks now (minus a week I was on vacation).  I am back to spinning and I can jog a respectable distance without a limp (I am not ready to try and break into a full run yet but at this point I don’t need to unless mine or my family’s lives depend on it).  So the focus has been building size and strength in my injured leg’s calf (right leg) as well as trying to reduce the scar tissue on the tendon itself.  For the strength and size I have  been doing lots and different types of calf raises.  For the reduction of scar tissue I have been massaging, soaking in Epsom and ultrasound to increase blood flow, and of course stretching. 

Early on I was very good at periodically keeping track of my progress in a spreadsheet but I got discouraged and have been keeping track less often.  Below are my measurements for those folks like me who can relate better to numbers.  I know that I probably seem anal about this and should really be happy that I am back on my feet but I am adding new goals as I accomplish the old ones.  The measurements fluctuate wildly depending on the time of day and my activities.  I think I will come close to closing the gap on the difference in my two calves but I am not so sure about the thickness of my tendon because of all of the scar tissue.  Has anyone had made any real progress in either of these areas or am I hopelessly optimistic?  Also, below is a current picture of the scrawniness.

 

Calf Circumference in Inches (measured 3″ directly below bump in bent knee)

Ankle Circumference in Inches (measured immediately above ball in ankle)

Date

Left  Calf

Right Calf (Injured)

Calf Difference

Left Ankle

Right Ankle (Injured)

Ankle Difference

8/13/2009 9:30pm

16 3/4

16 3/8

-0.375

9 3/4

10 1/2

0.75

8/14/09 6am

16 3/8

15 1/2

-0.875

9 1/4

10

0.75

8/14/09 8pm

16 1/2

16

-0.5

9 1/4

10

0.75

8/15/09 8am

16 3/8

15 3/8

-1

9 1/8

9 3/4

0.625

8/16/09 9am

16 1/2

15 7/8

-0.625

9 1/4

10 1/4

1

8/17/09 7am

16 1/4

15 1/4

-1

9 1/4

10

0.75

8/21/09 5:30pm

16 1/2

16

-0.5

9 1/8

10

0.875

9/5/09 11:30am

16 3/8

15 3/4

-0.625

9

9 3/4

0.75

9/12/09 9:30am

16 1/2

16

-0.5

9

9 3/4

0.75

 

Calf Comparison and scar 13 wks post-op

Calf Comparison and scar 13 wks post-op

8 Responses to “Maybe my calf will never “grow back”: Stupid Atrophy”

  1. sam66
    September 12th, 2009 | 7:04 pm

    I think we all need little goals to show we’re progressing, so whatever works for you.
    Not being FWB yet, I want to know when I will be walking without crutchees and how soon I can walk normally without a limp.
    I know this sounds patronising, but don’t lose sight of how far you’ve already come - it’s still a dream for me to be able to jog let alone run.
    Just got back from party in UK so apologies if this sounds a bit sozzled and waffly.
    Sam

  2. rainbow395
    September 13th, 2009 | 10:50 pm

    They look like pretty good calves to me!

  3. smoley
    September 14th, 2009 | 8:29 am

    Pretty damn fine calves in my humble opinion. Really don’t think you need to beat yourself up!
    Smoley

  4. September 14th, 2009 | 8:51 am

    jberton - I agree with the others. I’ll trade you my good calf for your bad one any day. At 3 months post-op I wouldn’t be too concerned that your injured leg hasn’t caught up yet, and a half inch difference isn’t too bad. Just keep at it (stay optimistic) and continue setting goals for yourself. I find, at your stage of recovery, it is easier to look at progress on a weekly basis rather than day to day. The changes may be small, but they will happen.

  5. jberton31
    September 15th, 2009 | 9:38 am

    Thanks to all of you for the words of encouragement. And you are all right - I am going to stop obsessing so much and thank my stars that I can get around again!

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  6. 2ndtimer
    September 15th, 2009 | 10:11 am

    ditch the measuring tape and enjoy that you have your freedom back!

    Anyways I am not sure how exact the numbers can be, depending on the time of day, what you did before…. Aren’t we all taller and lighter in the morning, that is when I like to measure myself!

  7. Ty
    June 20th, 2019 | 11:05 pm

    Hey jberton - I’m currently dealing with the same type of thoughts. I tore the same right Achilles at the age of 18.. I’m 20 now and it’s still harder than ever to be optimistic about getting back to my old self. I’m praying i could one day look in the mirror and feel the same way i used to but i dunno… anyway I hope everything has gotten better with yours man

  8. June 21st, 2019 | 1:53 am

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