Posted in Uncategorized on May 19th, 2011 and

Just in case someone is reading who only has a sore Achilles tendon, I had a sore Achilles tendon before this happened.

I played volleyball weekly, if not daily from ages 12- 28.  Then I had kids.  Running and yoga were my main workouts with occasional tennis and biking.  I picked up a volleyball again at 38 when my daughter started playing.  A 10 year break!  I didn’t start playing regularly until a couple months ago.  I joined a rec team with a group of excellent players who all played in college and are quite a bit younger than me.  In my volleyball lapse, I forgot how much of a workout it really is.  Not wanting to forgo my workout routine, I continued my workouts/runs on the game days thinking of them as a warm up.  I think that’s what did me in.  What I thought were sore calf muscles were, I believe, Achilles tendons that were telling me to chill out.  A busy travel/work schedule the two weeks preceding my injury led me to workout extra hard on the days I was home.  I did a quick hill run the Saturday before which I read is not a good thing to do if you have a strained Achilles.

Could it have been prevented?  I don’t know.  My doctor thinks not.  I eat only organic produce, grass fed meat, wild fish, etc. lots of veggies and nuts, nothing packaged.  I drink a glass or two of wine most evenings.  I don’t take any medication - not even Advil.  I have always exercised regularly but not obsessively, 4-7 days per weeks my entire life. I am 5′11 14o pounds and have been (give or take a few #s) my entire adult life.  I am of average build but I do have thin ankles.  Does that have anything to do with it?  I guess things just wear out.

Two Weeks Post Surgery and Working Out

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19th, 2011 and

The first couple days my main goal was to get through the night without pain medication as soon as possible.  I tried to ice and elevate though sitting around is not in my nature.  I didn’t do much the first few days then ventured out …went to lunch, spent Mother’s Day at a friend’s house - elevating as much as possible.  I realized that the more I did during the day, the more pain I was in at night.  Thanks to the advice of other bloggers, I haven’t really left the house for a week and a half.  I’ve been working from my bedroom with my leg elevated most of the time.  Thank goodness for laptops and wireless internet, family and friends. No pain meds since day 4.  Most pain was related to my activity level and subsided with elevation.

I had a trainer friend come and work me out on day 9.  It felt really good to sweat and have sore muscles again.  Watching my left leg muscles melt away is not fun.  Not sure if I can do anything about that.  I went to Crossfit on day 12.  Did the rower with my bad leg propped and rode the funky old school bike with the moving arms.  I could sit and prop my legs.  Figured out some core, ab and upper body subsitutions.  Shot guns (one legged squat) for my right leg are fun.  It felt great.  Of course my ankle was throbbing that night.

I went in 2 days ago, saw the surgeon and  got my cast off.  The incision looked clean and perfect so I have progressed to a boot.  I was instructed to remove it only for showering and maybe an occasional break, while in a safe zone.  I can touch down for balance but no weight bearing for 2-3 more weeks as I see fit.

Well, so much for that.  I just slipped on a wet patch on my deck and landed with full force on my bad foot.  It hurts.  I think I’ll see my doc tomorrow and make sure all is good.

Dr. Appointment and Surgery

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4th, 2011 and

Oddly, my Achilles rupture did not hurt the next day.  I’m not sure if the Vicodin was still working (I only took a half of one the night before) or if there really was no pain.  I got to the doc (on crutches that my friend loaned me) and he diagnosed it as a full tear.  He explained the ins and outs of surgery and that if I was older and not so active, a boot alone might be a solution.  By doing the surgery I would get full recovery and be able to resume all my sports.  He predicted a 12 week recovery.  Because of the lack of swelling that the doc attributed to my good tissue, we scheduled it for the next day.  After my appointment I traveled south 30 minutes to attend my son’s volleyball game with little discomfort.  Icing and elevation that night helped me sleep well.

I was not nervous about the surgery.  My doc has operated on everyone in the family but me with perfect outcomes.  He is a very high achiever, Stanford trained and with a great reputation.  In our small community, it is not uncommon to have a friend be assigned as your nurse or anesthesiologist.  In my case, my surgery nurse was a mom friend.  I immediately felt at ease when she came in.  An anesthesiologist friend who stopped by (but was not on my surgery)  suggested that I request anti nausea medication which I did.  My daughter had meniscus surgery a few weeks ago and did not have this and vomited after the surgery.  It helped me avoid this.  I woke up a few hours later with my cast up to just below the knee.  The pain was easily thwarted by the Norco.  I went home, got in bed, elevated my foot and relaxed.  Fortunately my husband and kids enjoy cooking and are quite good at it.  I was in good hands.

Volleyball Achilles Tear

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2nd, 2011 and

Such great insight on this website, I had to jump/hobble in.  Hopefully my experience will help someone.

I was playing for the championship game in a volleyball rec league.  It was our second match and 4th game of the night.  I was middle blocking/hitting and in the middle of an awesome rally.  I back stepped to get into receiving position when BAM!  I thought I had collided with the gal behind me and she had inadvertently kicked me (with all her might) in the left Achilles.  It took me a few seconds to realize that I had sustained a serious injury and that no one was anywhere near me when it happened.  One of my teammates is a PT and immediately diagnosed it as an Achilles tear.  I was not swollen or bruised at all but the pain was immense.  Because of the lack of swelling, and the fact that I could seemingly push forward slightly with my foot, it was presumed that it was possibly only a partial tear. I really wanted to watch my team win (which they did)  but after 10 minutes of elevating and a scrawny little pop ice pack, I couldn’t handle it anymore.  Since I had spent my fair share of time in the ER in recent months with my kids, I didn’t feel it was necessary to waste time or money there.  I did pay a visit to a nurse practitioner friend on the way home and picked up some vicodin and ace wrap to get me through the night.  The frozen peas held to my leg with the ace wrap really helped me get through the night.

When I arrived home, I immediately went on line and found this site.  I pretty well self diagnosed that it was a full tear as an indentation along the tendon was evident and had decided that surgery was the way to go and that it needed to happen soon.  I was able to get an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon the next day at noon.