Posts filed under 'shoes'

Progress Plateau Progress …

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.

3 comments January 19th, 2012

14 Weeks, and the rest of my life to go

3 months since the start of recovery seems to be an important milestone for many of us. We’re mobile again (yeah!) with the use of both our hands (no more crutches) but walking remains an effort (boo!).

We can wear 2 shoes but finding the right ones is problematical since our injured leg changes shape throughout the day (swelling!). We can walk but to do so without a limp means walking more slowly than we’d like.

Some of us can even walk at a normal stride without a limp. But must concentrate to do so since the repaired leg does not have the fluidity of movement that the other one does. And there is a price to pay for walking for any length of time (RICE).

Nevertheless we’re happy to be doing all those things again after weeks of accommodation and inactivity but a brutal realization begins to take hold. No matter how positive we may be about recovery or assiduous about physical therapy, we’ll be recovering and rehabbing all of our lives.

I’m confident I’ll play tennis again, hike with a pack and do all those things I did pre ATR but there will always be a greater physical cost than before my injury.

I’m at the phase of recovery where I see progress everyday, especially after a strenuous PT session.  It continues to amaze me that every morning I can focus a little less on my repaired tendon.

I’m aware though that the rate of recovery will plateau and progress will happen more slowly. Then I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that it’s a marathon not a sprint.

2 comments January 2nd, 2012

Ice, Bourbon and Clogs

It’s been 3 months since my achilles tendon rupture and now I’m finally walking in regular shoes, well clogs anyway.  It’s slow and if I do it for more than 30 minutes it’ll hurt but I’m not complaining.  Evening ice pack has become a ritual, probably for a very long time. I’ve come to enjoy it though, especially with a little extra ice for the bourbon.

Would appreciate some feedback on shoes. I’m using .25″ heel lifts with shoes/sneakers that have good arch support and heel height. On a recommendation I tried Dansko Professional shoes (closed heel clogs) today; they are often recommended by ortho’s and podiatrists for achilles tendonitis and tears.

Have never worn clogs before but they are very comfortable, accomodate late day foot swelling and have a high enough heel to toe ratio (about 2″ to .75″) that I don’t feel the need for a heel lift.  Also, the rocker bottom design (not as pronounced as Sketchers or MBT) allows for good push off, useful given the pathetic state of my calf. Pricey though.

Any comments or advice?

4 comments December 21st, 2011

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