March, 2012 Archive

Mar 29

No walking dead here, not even walking yet… sort of walking… just read on

I got a letter from my surgeon. He told me to not jump around like a "young horse" and to keep at the rehab. Speaking of rehab, here is what have been doing every day…

Towel curls with my toes - 5 mins

Towel curls anterior and post-terior - 5 mins

seated calf raises at 90 degrees 3 x 20

seated calf raises with 4 inch heel lift 3 x 20. The heel lift helps strengthen tendons and muscles at the extreme point of plantar flexion.

Three times a week I am on the stationary bike and am doing core/upper body too. Although it is tough to stay motivated.

I also have my PT working my range of motion every way except dorsiflexion. At 3 weeks, I had my plantar flexion up to 35 degrees… compared to 42 on my healthy leg. Healthy is in italics because my left foot has hardware in it and also had it scoped last year to remove bone spurs.

My doctor also told me I am not to go past neutral for a few weeks. Not sure what a few is, but I will follow my team’s Achilles protocol (US Snowboard Team) to make sure I am 100% for next season.

The good people over at VACOcast sent me their Achilles/Pro boot. I received this last Friday. For the $299.00 price tag I highly recommend this for any Achilles rupture recovery. By the suggestion of my PT I am at 20 degrees plantar flexion in the boot with 30% body weight bearing. Roughly 60 lbs… of pure muscle… duh. VACOcast can be adjusted so many different ways.

Today I walked on a treadmill under water with my boot on. I also did some aqua jogging… senior citizen style. The VACOcast is going to help out a ton with rehab as it can go underwater.

I am in no pain now and hopefully will be weight bearing with this boot in a week or two. The tendon will not be fully recovered for roughly 3 months after surgery. My goal is to be back on snow in September.

I’ll keep posting about how rehab is developing.

Check out my newest video. A long hobble to my snowboard sponsor.. Kessler

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Mar 22

I feel I may be able to help people on this website due to the access I have to physical therapist and a solid medical staff.

I am an athlete on the US Snowboard Teams SBX Squad. Last year I was ranked 3rd in the world and US National Champion. This year my season ended a little early due to an Achilles rupture on March 1st. I was ranked 4th in the world at the time.

So the background of the accident:

On March 1st I fully ruptured my Achilles while snowboarding. I hit a jump that wouldn’t take down a second day ski-blader. You can witness the accident here (

Last Run of the Day - Team Cheever : Episode 8 - YouTube

) or episode 8

I ruptured my Achilles just above my heel.

I had surgery at Chirurgie & Sport Dr. Schenk in Schrunz, Austria on March 2nd. Dr. Schenk is a well known Orthopedic surgeon that operates in the middle of the night, barefoot and does works on the Austrian Ski team. Skiing in Austria is like the NFL in the states so he is the real deal.

I also had my ankle scoped and debrised while I was at it. This is my second surgery on this foot. I have two other injuries (broken lateral and medial malleolus )

I have surgery footage as well as other antics on episode 9 at or here (

Achilles Last Run - Team Cheever : Episode 9 - YouTube

) It’s entertaining stuff, I swear!

I was out of surgery at 2am. I was woken up by a physical therapist at 9:30 who showed me how to crutch around. It was not my first time on crutches, but she was ordered to have me put 15kg (33lbs) on my injured foot every time I walked. (NO DORSIFLEXION )

There was NO nerve block put on my leg during the operation.

I was put in a cast just below 90 degrees one week out of surgery.

On Monday the 12th of March, I was put in a half cast at 90 degrees. I currently use a heel lift to keep my foot just slightly below 90 degrees.

Right now, I am in Park City, UT. My team is based out of here so I get to see my physical therapist every day. Currently I am curling a towel up between my toes, working on lateral, interior and plantarflexion range of motion. 15 plantar 30 interior 25 posterior are what I was at on Monday the 19th.

I am allowed to do sitting calf raises right now, but atrophy has set in. In the mean time, I am keeping my hips, quads and hamstrings moving and am doing band work too.

Normally, I guess, patients would stay in plaster for a lot longer. I was given the option for a half cast for traveling (feet swell up on the plane) and to get it moving. I am real careful.

The people at VACOcast are gracious enough to send me a boot that I should receive on Friday. I will be sure to give feedback on that.

From what I gathered. Some people could go weight bearing, right off the bat others shouldn’t. My rupture is just about my heel.

Currently it is March 21st. I am nearly 3 weeks out of surgery and not much has changed. The swelling has been completely gone for about 4 days now. I think normally it would disappear sooner, but remember my ankle was scoped. Arthroscopie requires the joint to be filled with fluid. So it is swollen for a long time.

I see my PT again tomorrow. I’ll keep progress posted on here.

Thanks for reading,

Jonathan Cheever

joncheever’s AchillesBlog