Seems like I know many of you already from my many days of reading posts over the last 5 weeks. Before starting with my injury, let me thank Dennis for organizing this blog, and all of you out there for sharing your experiences with this injury and its trying rehab. Having extensive and timely information is really important when you are hurt and wondering first what you have, then what to do about it, and finally how to cope with it.
I am 52 and very fortunately was able to retire about 1.5 years ago. As a kid, I loved playing soccer but gave it up in high school and never seemed to have the time, nor was in the shape necessary to play during my working years. One of my goals at retirement was to get back into the game that I loved. After getting in pretty decent shape via 2 years of gym training and some aerobics classes, I took the plunge. Needless to say, ballistic movements are a lot different than gym training, so I had a few (several) hamstring pulls that kept me off the field more than on during the first year. Then in January, after doing some extra training work on my ballistic running, I decided to take an indoor soccer class at the local community college to get my soccer fundamentals back. It was during that class that the dreaded “coach some kid must have kicked me when I got the ball away from them” happened. And so on January 25th 2012 I joined “the club”.
Against norm of the north’s best advice (awesome posts by the way norm, and others), I decided to go with the surgical route. Surgery went well, and the surgeon noted that the tendon ends “looked very good”, so that he felt a strong tendon recovery was possible. After 11 days in a splint, and 3 NWB casts (1 per week), I was allowed to move to a boot (non-hinged unfortunately) three days ago and moved to PWB. I am already wanting to move to FWB in the boot - ok, I admit I cheat sometimes and try it every now and then just because it is convenient. I really haven’t had all that much pain, except for the first day or so after the ATR, but I realize from “Frouchie” that slow and steady wins the race, and several of you others that no pain may not mean progress with this injury, so am trying to be a little conservative in my rehab. I have a trip planned with my kids and grandkids to Spain for 3 weeks in April, and want to be as mobile as possible while there - if I mess up and relapse the family will disown me!
My surgeon will review my progress in another 4 weeks (ATR plus 9 weeks). However, he has said that over the next two weeks I can go to FWB, and then wants me to continue FWB in the boot until I see him next. My biggest question is how do I know when it is time to go FWB? As I mentioned before, I have no real sharp pains, just some swelling and it isn’t uncomfortable when I try FWB in my boot for short distances in the house. Should I continue to follow the 2 week PWB protocol as my doctor suggested, or move to FWB sooner because it feels ok?
As for PT, the surgeon gave very little to perform now that I am PWB, and what he gave me seemed a little odd based on reading through some of the extensive PT plans that you all have provided on the site links. He has me doing ankle flexion-extension with and without a resistance band a few times per day. After I sent an email asking him about using the stationary bike in the boot, or doing some walking in the pool at my gym (without boot), he emailed back that all FWB should be in the boot until he sees me again. I believe that allows for the stationary bike in the boot, but not the pool which I can’t do with my current boot (of course the Vacocast would allow that option, or maybe some other brace?) . Needless to say, after seeing the PT regimens that you all have shared, I have added many of the exercises that are in Dr Berkson’s 4-8 week rehab program link, and may cheat and get in the pool without the boot after I go to FWB. Seems like many of us ATR patients are given little in the way of PT in the first 8 weeks, so many of us go with our gut, and sound plans from others, and do a little more!
So I just wanted to say hi to everyone, and thanks again in advance for all of the good advice that I’m sure you will provide me along my marathon