July 4, 2014
Yippee! Physio has allowed
me to start running again, with a VERY gradual build up. Started at run 1 min,
walk 1 min, X 3, day off, then X 4, then X 5. Then 2 mins run, 1 min walk, X 3
etc. etc. Still doing single leg heel
raises every other day as well; 12 slooow raises X 3, twice a day, every other day – still
very tough – only the first few are proper to-the-top ones before the calf
muscle starts to cave in! I’ve signed up
for a very hilly 10 mile race in September, but I’ll be happy to walk up the
hills and take it easy. I’m now cycling
to the station again every day (3.5 miles each way) and have resumed Pilates
classes, which I love. Physio is going
to sign me off next time I see him (week after next).
I have no difference in feeling in my tendons now, just
maybe a bit stiff in the injured foot first thing in the morning, but after a few
minutes walking about that goes away. There is still lots of lumpy scar tissue,
though, although I think that it continues to diminish. I think I have healed very slightly long, as
I noticed I can pull the injured foot slightly further forward than the other
one. I put that down to my first physio
who wanted me to do calf stretches from early on (from 8 weeks if I recall,
which I soon ditched as way too painful), but the 2nd (much better)
physio never prescribed stretching at
all, just strength building exercises.
Good luck to all of you in this journey, and I hope this
post provides comfort to those of you still in the early stages and wondering
if you will ever get better/do sport again.
Getting MUCH better! I feel I turned a corner about 2 weeks ago. Suddenly I can walk without a limp, and pretty much all of the pain has gone. It has coincided with not having to stretch out my tendon (i.e. plantarflexion) regularly to ease the stiffness and pain. And finally my (new) physio is happy that the swelling/puffiness in the flesh around the tendon has now gone down considerably.
I have no idea why it has so suddenly got better. I’m inclined to think it’s mostly Norm’s “tincture of time”, but it could be any of the following: New physio prescribed Ibuprofen for 5 days, and also taped my leg with a sort of fan of sticky tape up the leg. I’ve also been doing his exercises diligently, with the standing on a step with heels hanging off ones the most taxing (but I’ve been doing those for over a month now). RICE-ing afterwards. Gardening seems to be very therapeutic; gentle exercise and stretching without straining anything, while sitting at my office desk for extended periods seems to make things worse.
I went for my first outside bike ride last weekend, quite gentle (no hills!) and short (20 mins). I no longer think about the tendon ALL the time, or have to concentrate on not limping. I really feel as though life is getting back to normal, and that getting back into running is not far off/a reachable goal. I can even do a one-legged heel lift (not very far up, admittedly).
I’ve begun to look forward to skiing again – I will need new boots, though. I needed new boots anyway, so luckily did not buy them before the injury. I did go to the Alps with the family in April for 2 weeks, and my surgeon said it was OK to ski cautiously (I think on the basis that a ski boot is a bit like an Aircast). However, the new physio thought it was a bad idea. And I thought that spring snow can be tricky for ATR victims; ice turning to porridge could result in being thrown forward unexpectedly (I know some people rupture that way). In any event, there was no way my swollen and painful foot was going anywhere near my ski boot. Even getting my Après ski boots on and off was a struggle. So I went for walks instead, did my exercises, read books on the balcony in the spring sunshine, and found a very good sports massage chap, who normally tends to the French Triathlon team, and he worked at my scar tissue a few times.
That’s all folks, I just wanted to share this as an encouragement to those also in the slow lane, as I was getting very downhearted a few weeks ago, and thought the tendon would never get better. I was scouring the web for hopeful stories of slow ATR recovery. So here it is - I might even throw the battered Aircast boot away! Thanks again Dennis for this blog.
March 16, 2014
Having haunted this site for many weeks, I felt I should join the community. Thank you Dennis, and all the diligent bloggers and commentators, for making this site so very useful. And I have learnt so many new acronyms LOL!
About me; 54 year old female, keen skier, runner, cyclist. Ruptured my Achilles (9th December) trying to “scoot” my bicycle from a standing start up a steep hill to get enough momentum to start it in top gear - doh! Surgery 5 days later under private healthcare, not NHS. I did have the option for non-surgical, as the broken ends of the tendon were touching in equinus (that was shown under ultrasound), but I was impatient to get it FIXED.
Very uneventful recovery so far. 4 weeks in a light solid cast, changed halfway through. Then 6 weeks in an aircast, firstly PWB then FWB. I was very lucky to experience absolutely no pain until 2-shoes, and have had no issues with infection etc. I did have to inject myself for 6 weeks with anti-DVT drugs, which was not very nice; my stomach was like a pincushion by the end. I have a small (2cm) sideways incision/scar in my heel about 4cm off the ground (my rupture was quite low).
So now I’m at week 13, having been 2-shoes for 3 weeks. The longed-for 2-shoes was a shock! Suddenly things HURT. It’s sore to walk (most of the time) (but not all) and the swelling and yukky scar tissue is more obvious. And this is despite wearing the aircast for my daily commute. I THINK the pain is getting a bit less, and I’m walking more limp-free, but the last 3 weeks have been a bit discouraging. I have a check up with the OS tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what he says.
On physio (PT) I have been given the usual theraband exercises, and stretches. The latter hurt too much, so I’ve stopped them. I’ve started swimming, which is great (as so many others have found) although so boring, I can only manage 20 mins. I’ve also been massaging the scar a lot, as I think I have quite a lot of scar tissue.
Thanks again to the AchillesBlog community, and get better soon, everybody!