Well, it has now been exactly one year since my ATR surgery. For the most part, the “one year recovery” theme has held true for me, and I feel very fortunate for my recovery. I can now do everything I could do before my ATR, including cycling, tennis and skiing (even with a bad snow year, got 20 days in….) and the minor reminders of the injury have begun to recede. For those folks in the early days of your recovery (when time seems to grind to a halt), in the end things go very fast - especially once you start PT and work your way back to health! Thanks Dennis for setting up this site and to all of those of you that encouraged me along the way - it made me a smarter patient and made the recovery a lot less lonesome. That said, my wife did get a little sick of me talking about all my “ATR friends”! Best of luck to all of you for successful recoveries!

8 Months/Final PT Appointment!

Just finished up my final PT Appoinment and got the “green light” to return to full activity including the scene of the crime - playing tennis! While the early days of NWB and PWB crawled by, the last 4 months have gone by quickly as I have been able to return to most activities. Since being cleared in September for most sports, I have been able to ride my road bike, hike and ski without pain. Have already logged 6 days on the ski hill and, other than some pain at the incision site, pretty much a return to normal. Only strange thing pointed out by my PT, I have been so focused on rehabbing my injured leg, my injured calf is now stronger and bigger than my non-injured calf. Guess I have to remember my other leg!!

For me, I think cycling was the key to my recovery. I was cleared to ride my road bike at month3, and have logged over 1,000 miles since. Not only was it good for my outlook, it really helped my range of motion. So - now off to the final frontier of the tennis court!

Happy healing everyone - in the end, it all goes prtty fast.

4-Month Update/Spinning Along

Four months in and things keep improving, though more incrementally than those big leaps to PWB and FWB. ROM and calf strength are both improving and swelling is almost gone. Seeing my PT every other week, and focus is on balance and eccentric heel raises. Other than tennis and windsurfing (both a ways off), I can pretty much do many of my usual activities. Some highlights have been:
- I am riding my road bike about 100 miles per week. I can now ride hills and am beginning to be able to stand up in the pedals.
-I have been given the green light to start light jogging. I am running about 2 miles, alternating every 5 minutes or so between jogging and walking.
The only nagging reminders are stiffness in the ankle in the morning and after sitting too long, and a very tender area next to the incision. According to my OS, this is either scar tissue or a stich that is causing irritation. The PT is working on it with a Gastron tool (which hurts like hell….) but seems to be making it better. I am keeping a close eye on it nonetheless, as it is the most persistent reminder of my injury.

Week 12 Update

I have now passed the 3-month mark - it is nice to be measuring by months not weeks! Life is starting to return to normal and hitting some fun and rewarding milestones:

  • Played 54 holes of golf last week with family back East - had fun and did not re-injure my AT.
  • Comfortably walking about 15,000 steps a day. Swelling and limp starting to go away. I have found KT Tape to be very helpful.
  • With the help of my PT, calf strength is returning. Can now do a “partial” single heel raise.
  • Got clearance from PT to start road biking - even using my clip-ins! Went for my first ride today - kept it at 12 miles but it felt great to be back on the bike.

So, generally happy where I am. Those initial dark days when I thought my summer was lost are beginning to fade. For those of you in the early stages, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!

10.5 Week and 9 Holes

Well, I am taking my injured AT on its first vacation - visiting family on the East Coast. Jumped in the LI Sound, climbed up a ladder to get out of the water, and followed it up with 9 holes of golf - with a very abbreviated swing. A little swollen at the end of the day, but still in one piece! Hope I can continue!

10-Week Update

Almost 10 weeks and things are generally going well - although progrees is certainly very incremental. Can walk about a mile without a limp (but with limited push-off) and am riding the stationary bike without the boot. Starting double heel raises and other strengthening/balance exercises. I feel very fortunate so far, as swelling has been limited. Question - I am going on vacation next week to visit family, and one of the main activities with my Dad and brothers is the game of golf. Met with my PT this morning, and he thought I would be fine (even with no boot). Anyone sucessfully tried golfing in and around the 10 week mark?

Dear Vacocast………

While you have been a good friend these last six weeks, it is time we spend some time apart. So, I now begin my transition to two shoes! Starting today, I am beginning the process of walking without the boot. With a small heel lift in my left shoe, I am able to walk fairly comfortably. I was only going to go without the boot this morning, but am now going into the afternoon! Started PT as well, so the next phase begins. The Vacocast will remain close at hand for all crowded places - like tonigt’s Portland Timbers game, where crowds and stairs would otherwise scare my fragile AT!

Back In the Slow Lane

Had my six - week check in today. All looks good, and the OS thought the scar was healing well. THings were going great until we switched the Vaco to 0′ and put on the smaller sole. Good news - I do not the even-up anymore (good thing too, it was delaminating at an alarming rate). Bad news - moving pretty slow again! The stretching did not feel bad, just have to regain my gait - which had gotten pretty good with the big sole and the boot at 20′. Guess I won’t be breaking any speed records for a couple of days :-) PT starts next week - looking forward to it! Thought I would follow Hugh’s lead and throw in a couple of thrill rides to celebrate this new milestone, but the rides at our Rose Festival look pretty sketchy, so I think I will pass……


So, despite all the great advice from Norm, David and others, I did not get an even-up right away, and instead tried to make do with a hiking boot.With the Vaco and the achilles sole, there was still at least a 1/2″ difference. Finally went for it and ordered the even-up, as my right hip was beginning to hurt. What a difference! It has improved my gait immensley and hip pain is gone. For those of you getting ready to move to FWB, it is well worth the $27.00. It is goofy looking, but it works!

It Ain’t Pretty, but Who Cares?

So, I got to switch to 10′ in the Vacocast last night. Up until then, I was putting weight on it, crutch-walking and doing some shuffling, but nothing that I would call walking. Today was the big day. Put a big old hiking boot on my good foot to even things up (looking real cool at work now, shorts and a dirty hiking boot), and hot damn, I am a walking! Not too smooth yet, but I am heeding Norm’s sage advice on how to do it correctly. All in all, a good morning!