Sniper on the tennis court!

That’s what I thought was happening when I felt & heard a sound as if someone threw a ski ball at my posterior ankle. As I turned around to find my assailant, I was on the ground since I couldn’t bear weight on my left ankle. My mixed doubles teammates assured me that no one was there & I immediately noticed that something was terribly wrong with my Achilles.

I work as an Internal Medicine doc & I already assumed I at least partially tore my achilles. I wasn’t in much pain, but was immediately angry & disappointed knowing that this injury was gonna put me out from normal activities for many months. I just starting getting back into tennis Nov 2018 after 18 years hiatus from playing competitively in college. I was playing on average of once a week, in addition to occasional cardio at the gym, jogging, running the stairs & jump roping.  I guess that wasn’t enough to condition my tendons for all the “pushing off” motions that day. It was my 1st league match (USTA mixed doubles) & I was having the MOST fun. we actually won decisively & the injury occurred during a “practice” mixed doubles set afterwards. Surprisingly, I wasn’t doing anything too explosive in terms of the movements, but I wonder if all the wear & tear just exceeded what my tendon can handle.

Confided with a sports medicine doctor friend that evening, got hold of a camboot walking boot the next day, but then was advised by the ortho PA at my hospital I work at to get in a splint in plantar flexion & be non-wt bearing. My neighbor who works in primary care helped confirm I had a tear. The injury happened 1/26/19 & I had my ortho appt 1/29/19. Tendon rupture was confirmed clinically, & I was placed in a short leg cast (I chose black:) in mild plantar flexion.  After hearing my options, I opted for non-surgical treatment.  I figure that if surgery isn’t required to recover & if I can rehab just as well, I’d rather not have surgery if I don’t NEED it.  I have a f/u appointment in 2 weeks.

I went from the highest high to a pretty big low.  A lot of other misfortunes have been happening to me in the last few months, & I certainly didn’t need this injury.  It’s already challenging enough to keep up with my 2.5 & 4 yr old toddler boys when I’m healthy.  I’m 39, pretty active & love to be busy & on the go.  I guess this achilles rupture was the universe’s way of telling me that I need to stop, slow down, & just SIT.  I’ve been able to be somewhat mobile while non wt bearing on my left foot.  I can still drive.  I borrowed one of those ankle scooters & this “pirate-peg-leg” orthotic see pic below) from work colleagues.  They have worked WONDERS for me in terms of getting around the house & out in public.  So despite having the cast for 1 wk now, I’ve been able to meet up with friends for lunch, go to the grocery, even get to a hockey game for a friend’s bday!  I HIGHLY recommend this iWalk orthotic.  totally a game changer.  I still have to use the crutches with toileting & after showering, but the peg leg is definitely preferred over the crutches.  I tell my kids that I’m a peg-leg-pirate.  I was more excited about it since the novelty wore off for them pretty fast.

I know you all know this already, but it is SO tough to be non-wt bearing & to have this injury.  I hate how I have to plan do the most menial, mindless tasks that we take for granted normally.  I’m disappointed that I won’t be back on the tennis court for months & that I can’t take my kids on the normal outings nor run around with them.  However, I know I’ll get through this.  I’m fortunate to have a wonderful husband, healthy kids, a much needed nanny, supportive friends, & an accommodating job.  Even my dog seems to be stepping up & giving me more affection.  I’ve already gotten a lot out of reading the posts on this blog.  I am empowered & encouraged.  I’m looking forward to rehab & literally getting back on my feet!

iwalk 2.0

4 Responses to “Sniper on the tennis court!”

  1. Good luck with the recovery! As you know - you have a long road to full recovery. And don’t expect that you’ll recover the same way as someone else. My own 2 feet didn’t recover the same - LOL!

  2. Wow, I was injured the same day, but I went with the operation, I will be following your progress, Are you in the US?

  3. oakmanii - I guess there was something in the air that day! bad luck for us both. I’m in southern california. orthopedics tells me that recovery (surgery vs non) would have a similar timeline, but I wonder if you’ll recover faster than non-op. everyone’s rehab course is different no matter what I imagine. are you in the US as well?

  4. Yes, east coast. We are not in a race for recovery with each other! I tell myself that because I’m pretty competitive, which is why I got the ATR in the first place.

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