Progress Plateau Progress …

January 19, 2012

It’s been 17 weeks since my achilles tendon was repaired (Complete tear of tendon and significant calf muscle involvement).

I’m walk’in with no or barely noticeable limp (when I try to walk too fast) and can comfortably do normal daily activities. Driving can be a little painful (and cause a lot of swelling) if it’s for too long, it is in effect a strenuous rehab to keep the foot on the accelerator.

Net, I”m learning that recovery is non a linear path. Damn frustrating at times.  Here is a brief history of my recovery.

Had conservative recovery protocol after surgery, non-weight bearing for 9 weeks in hard cast and boot then transitioned from PWB to FWB in boot over 3 weeks. Finally began 2 shoes (with .25″ heel lift) in mid December, starting at an hour a day indoors.  Took about 3 weeks before I was able to be in 2 shoes full time (well 99%) including outdoors.

Now the boot is a memory although not tempting fate by tossing it!

Started structured PT after 12 weeks although did as much walking as pain would allow as soon as doc gave me the OK to PWB.

See physical therapist 2x per week for 1.5 hours per session plus 20 minutes of stretching every day and the gym 2-3x per week.  Do a lot of walking everyday and take care to do it the right way, driving off the ball of my repaired foot with every step.  I pay for that at night with swelling, my evening ice pack and bourbon have become a sacred ritual :)

Followed a modified rynab diet and supplement regime for the first 14 weeks, surprisingly still like jello although not 4 packs per week!

So why the blog post title Progress Plateau Progress…?  Because that is exactly what I’m experiencing now. Not complaining, was told this would happen, sort of like the retail 80/20 rule.  In 4 months I’ve come a long way, but that last bit (like running and jumping) will take another 4 - 8 months.

So to all you recovering ATR’s remember everyone’s recovery is different. But be forewarned that it’s a long slog, just like we were told it would be.

Entry Filed under: ATR recovery, Uncategorized, achilles tendon tear, shoes. Tags: , , , .

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. normofthenorth  |  January 19th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    ATR rehab reminds me a bit of sailing! If you’re concentrating on getting somewhere and covering a lot of distance, it’s usually a long slow haul. But if you concentrate on and appreciate the progress you’re making, and enjoy yourself and your surroundings while you’re getting there, it’s a nice trip. If you treat rehab (or anything else) as something you’re doing while waiting for your life to resume, even one week is a long time.

  • 2. jjniss  |  January 21st, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Well said Norm. My post was not meant as a complaint, more of an observation. Rehab and recovery are simply part of the regular ritual of my life, like food shopping and walking the dog (which has become part of recovery in it’s own way).

    I think about the quality and pace of recovery when I notice improvement (usually first thing in the morning) or when having a bad “tendon” day. For example one day last week I was out of bed for 10 minutes before remembering that I usually coddle my repaired leg a bit first thing in the morning, but did not that day and did not need to. That was a wonderful feeling.

    On the other hand later that same day took a 40 minute therapeutic walk and paid for the effort in the evening. Ankle was severely swollen for days, and I’m very good about ice. Alas a stark reminder how life is different post ATR, for now anyway.

  • 3. normofthenorth  |  January 21st, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Still early times. With any reasonable luck these trials will soon pass. The phenom of suddenly “remembering” that we have NOT thought about the AT/ATR for a while — and getting a big kick out of that — is only one of the things that makes members of this “club” weird, and a challenge for our friends and relatives and “more than friends” to understand! ;-)

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