May 05 2012


Published by joelh1978 under Uncategorized

I just wanted to make a quick post to announce my physio no longer wants to see me. It’s a shame since she was so nice but I am now able to ride and jog  and she’s allowed me to work my way back into sprinting. Despite that I still felt like I needed to prove to myself that I am better. . .  so I decided to sign up to a 210km bike ride around Port Phillip bay Melbourne (Aus).

It’s not until late October but at least now I can see the finish line.

Good luck to all of you in your recoveries. Stay focused and follow your physio/doctors advice and you’ll get there.

One response so far

Jan 29 2012

Showing off my 23cm (9 Inch) Scar

Published by joelh1978 under Re-rupture

It’s been just over 6 months since my Achilles tendon reconstruction surgery after re-rupturing it. Progress is slow but at least it’s heading in the right direction. The girls seem to love the 23cm scar and lump that is my new thick tendon so I can’t complain too much :-). It’s much easier to walk now, although inclines and uneven surfaces are still a little awkward. I’ve added weighted squats and lunges to my routine and can almost do a one legged heal raises (on the bad leg) without using a bench for assistance.

Just the other week my physio got me to do some dynamic motion for the first time. Lying down flat on a spring-loaded bench on rails I did some horizontal "jumps". It was more of a confidence exercise since the springs were only lightly loaded but it did the job.

I’m slowly working towards a return to my road bike. It’s bit of a scary thought given that getting on my bike 11 weeks after my first surgery (as directed by a different Physio) was how I re-ruptured it in the first place. This time though, my Physio and I are making certain I’ll be strong enough when it comes time to get back on the bike.I’m thinking it’ll be about 1 - 2 months from now but there’s no rush.

As for the long term goals, well, I have days where I feel a return to hockey is a real possibility and other days where I’m unsure if I’ll ever be able to run at anything more than a jog but I try not let those days get to me too much. I just put my head down and focus on my exercises.

4 responses so far

Aug 30 2011

The story so far (Part 2)

Published by joelh1978 under Re-rupture

When I first felt the pop at the back of my leg after trying to get on my bike I tired convincing myself it was just a bit of scar tissue popping off. Unfortunately this was not the case. A friend helped me find a local MRI facility that day and by late that night I already had confirmation from my surgeon that I had completely ruptured it again.

A week later I was back in for surgery but this time it was to be a more complex procedure. I was given a donor tendon to bridge the gap and then the new join was wrapped in facial tissue obtained from my lower leg. Rather than a handful of small incisions like last time, I now have a 30cm long scar running about 3/4 the way up the side of my leg. In my personal opinion this scar looks a lot cooler than the the previous ones from the percutaneous surgery :-)

At work I had discovered I had over 400 hours of sick leave saved up so this time I decided to milk the situation and took 2 weeks off to recover. I was in a splint similar to the one I had last time but instead of 2 weeks in the splint I spent 5 weeks in it.

I just went back into the boot last Friday. It felt good to be able to wash it and move it a little for the first time but I discovered the surgery hadn’t quite gone to plan. While I was in the splint I had felt a little bit of pain on the side of my foot from time to time. The surgeon had told me he was going to use part of my hamstring to wrap up the tendon but with no incisions in the area I assumed he may have used some tissue from my foot instead.

When the splint came off I realised that wasn’t the case. Instead, a large part of the side of my foot is numb. I think there may have been some nerve damage from surgery but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It may heal with time but even if it doesn’t it won’t slow me down.

I’m now 5 weeks out from surgery and I’ll be NWB at least until late next week when I see the surgeon again.

6 responses so far

Aug 28 2011

The story so far (Part 1)


I am 32 years old and am 5 weeks out from a second round of surgery after re-rupturing my Achilles tendon. This is my story so far.

On Sunday May 1st this year while playing a regular game of club field hockey I suddenly felt a whack on the back of my right leg. It was about 10 minutes into the second half when it happened and a ruptured Achilles would have been the last thing that came to mind. I was convinced it was just a bad tackle, however an ultrasound the following day would prove otherwise. I had ruptured my right Achilles tendon.

My 2 week diving trip to Vanuatu was cancelled and surgery was scheduled for Wednesday. I had percutaneous surgery (kinda like key-hole) and placed in a splint (rather than a cast) with my foot angled down. I was in and out of hospital in one day and back to my desk job the following Monday.

Two weeks after surgery I was put into a CAM walker and started physiotherapy shortly after that. I was full weight bearing after 6 weeks and out of the boot (2 shoes) at 8. Up until this point I had reasonably clear instructions on what to do and when. At 10 weeks after surgery I had my last post-op review and was surprisingly told by my surgeon I was good to go back to hockey training. I didn’t take him seriously but when my physio told me I was good to go back to bike riding (on the road) I was confident I was ready.

At this stage I had almost full range of motion back, was walking with almost no limp, was riding 30 mins on an indoor bike trainer and could stand up on my toes with a 50-50 weight distribution. Bike-riding, I thought, would be fine, but as I pushed off with my bad leg to get on my bike it ruptured again.

2 responses so far