Hello world!

Yo, I am 29 years old male and on 4/18/2017 I tore my left Achilles tendon playing basketball. This occurred exactly one year after I grade two sprained my right ankle playing basketball (officially retired now). I wanted to diary out the process I have been through this far to potentially help someone in the future and also hear if my experience is similar to others.


1. My first mistake was playing basketball at 200lbs and after almost a year of rehabbing my right ankle. My body still wanted to play as if I was still 180.

2. Waited 3 days to see a Sports Occ doctor who later consulted me to an orthopedic surgeon who saw me over a week post injury. This was a mistake because I allowed the two ends my tendon to spread apart making surgery my only option.

3. Not immobilizing my left leg. Even at a week I could of done boot therapy if I just would of not walked on that foot.

Things I did right:

1. I chose to get an ultrasound vs. MRI which was thousands of dollars cheaper and able to diagnose me the same.

2. Decided to go to the doctor.

Now that is out of the way I wanted describe the pain and sensations. When the tear happened, it felt like another player simply stepped on my heel. I fell down but knew something was wrong. Pain at this point was like a bad muscle cramp. I was able to treat this with ibuprofen. I refused to go to ER because I have the high deductible plan and I figured a few days would not hurt. In addition, I could still point my toe making me think my Achilles was fine (This was false because you have other muscles that can do this, they just don’t have any power).

After a couple days of only walking around with minimal pain I tried to self-diagnose.

1. I still have no power. (Weird)

2. My knee hurts more than my Achilles from walking funny. (Good because I felt a rupture should hurt worse) I have no pain in my calf (bad because at this point I was trying to convince myself it was a calf tear)

3. Running my finger up my leg I could still feel my Achilles, but there is a spot just 4 inches up where I did not feel it… this is what ultimately took me to the doctor. From this visit I had an ultrasound and was told I tore at least 75% of the tendon if not all of it. I went to an orthopedic doctor and he told me my only option was surgery. I was bummed because I really wanted to avoid it, but I also wanted it fixed the right way. So on 4/26/2017 I had the surgery.

Take-aways so far.

1. Get the nerve block. I almost did not because I was convinced the pain would not be any worse after the repair than before. Which I handled with Ibuprofen. On a scale to 1-10 before surgery I was at a 2, after the block wore off I was at a 6-7 just laying down. Like a constant cramp.

2. Be prepared to get some rest. Honestly not much more you can do.

3. Get the scooter. I almost did not because I wanted to man up with crutches. The splint you get weighs a lot and your knee will take a blow holding it up while using crutches.

Day 2 of post-surgery I have to say was miserable (pain was consistently around 5-7). At first I didn’t want to take pain medication, but ended up having to take some. I used Norco 5-325 mg 2 pills every 6-8 hours. I was trying to tough it out for a couple of hours before taking more even though it typically wore off after 4 -5 hours. I have minor epilepsy and I was not sure how the meds would do so I was trying to be careful. On top of all that, while I was awake I did not mind being in pain. I was more concerned about not getting used to the medicine by the time I wanted to fall asleep. I was also prescribe a generic form of Valium, but I made the decision to only use it at nighttime to help me sleep.

Day 3 (2 days after surgery) my pain levels are down around 3-5. I am still taking medication every 6-8 hours but now only one pill. Since I was not in as much pain, I decided to scoot around on my scooter and clean up bit. It did not take long for me to grow tired (20 minutes). I assume this is normal. Tomorrow my goal is to be 100% off the daily medication.

Week 1 – I was very mentally unstable.  I had read everything I could on the injury and what to expect. I read about Re-ruptures, my chances of rupturing my other Achilles (at one point I was more worried about when this was going to happen than the one that was actually torn), I watched videos of athletes tearing theirs. This was about when I reached out to achillesblog for the first time to try to ease my mind. Shout outs to cserpent and pjhalifax for helping. It was also at this point that I decided to no longer google any more on the injury.

Week 2 – I received my cast and I have to say it is nice. It is way lighter than the splint and stronger.  I am no longer worried about my daughter accidentally jumping on my leg while I am laying down to give me a hug (she is 2.5). When the doctor removed my splint, I was surprised at how small my calf had gotten in about 3 weeks of not using it. I was also shocked at how stiff my Achilles was. He tried to get my foot to neutral, but it wasn’t happening he said he has seen worse though. When he pushed on my foot, it was weird. The best way I can describe it was like a week rubber band stretching. Right before he put my cast on I asked him if he wanted me to try to get my foot more neutral and he said no. Said there was plenty of time later to rehab it. The only pain I have is from the incision and that is only occasional. At worse feels like I fell and scraped my leg.

Week 3.5 – I am in great spirits the non-google treatment is easily the best thing I have done for myself. On top of that, I have grown used to the new lifestyle of bumming around.  This week I get my cast taken off and I go to a boot. I am thinking I will go straight to FWB, but I am not positive. My doctor seems to be a little more aggressive, but on top of not googling my injury I told myself I am going to do exactly what the doctor says. I would say there is absolutely no pain and I started moving my foot side to side in the cast to start a little rehab on my own. I am avoiding movements that would activate my Achilles, but I will say a couple times I have flexed my calf. There was no fan, but my calf did feel tingly. Yesterday I took a few basketball shots while on my scooter, and I am afraid the itch to play may never die.

Good Luck on your recovery!