14 Weeks - Checking In

Its been about a month since my last post so I am just checking in to see how everyone is doing.    From what I can see it sounds like everyone is doing really well.   Manny you sound like you are not too far away from dancing?

I have been out of the cast for a few weeks now and am still incredibly stiff.  I am no where near walking normal - Is this on par with everyone else at this point?  It think it is due to weak plantar strength and very limited dorsiflexion.   I have been really focusing on ROM with a focus on dorsiflexion.  So far I have gotten some big gains but its like ground hog day everyone morning because it takes me approximately 15 minutes to get my leg to the ROM I achieved the day before.  Is this familiar to others?  or unique to me?

I had a scare yesterday as I my heal slipped off the stairs on the way to work (I was an idiot and looking at my phone at the time).  I definitely felt a pretty good strain and ’stabbing pain’ but I would not call it a pop.  Anyways….I am pretty sure everything is ok because I can push down with a theraband and do a seated calf raise…..this tells me there must be some connectivity.  Right?

Beanie - I saw a post you had on your daily achilles exercises so I am going to try for a bit.

Take care all


7 Responses to “14 Weeks - Checking In”

  1. Kevin - sounds pretty normal for those who have been locked up in a cast for a long time. The good news is you the difference between those who were in shoes earlier than you will diminish. The bad news is you still need to be careful as your re-rupture risk may be a bit longer. I am sure you are aware of that now anyway. Everything you are going through sounds about right so no need to worry. Keep going on strong.

  2. Thanks Stuart,

    Good point about the rerupture. How long does that risk stay high during recovery? I have heard about 12-16 weeks is a vulnerable point.


  3. Kevin, as to dancing, I am ready for easy moves, but am being very careful because of the risk of hurting myself doing a twist or move that could cause a fall or - worse yet - a rerupture.
    The fact is that I am relearning how to walk, since I don’t have the strength in my tendon to use the foot as I did before. No longer can I step down with my toes first… at least not for a good while. And I can’t turn my torso while walking, because my balance is still a work in progress.
    My take on the high rerupture risk the first four months is that we make mistakes and do something that requires a fully repaired tendon, or we fall and put excessive pressure/tension on the tendon.
    But if we do not walk on the foot, then the rerupture risk actually goes up, because walking is what turns our scar tissue tendon into a real live tissue tendon… which takes about a year.
    Now, please focus on healing, on doing safe exercises and getting to 2-shoes as soon as possible.That’s the prize we are chasing! :-D
    I hope this helps!

  4. Hey Kevin, I have really struggled with my ROM and dorsiflexion too and yes I also had the 15min “warm up” requirement in the morning to get flexible again. I did slowly keep getting gains each week. My advice is to regularly do exercises that stretch or work the area in some way, it worked well for me. Read my 12 and 13 week posts - it really helped me when I started doing lots of bits of stretching etc often during the day. Don’t be disheartened when you have stuck days, this happens. I’d often have an excellent day with good stretch followed by a few “sticky” days where I couldn’t stretch as far. So just keep working at it and don’t worry too much, flexibility will slowly return. Your tendon is now in the stage of hardening (since 10 weeks). It will continue to do this for about a year. if you are sensible and incremental to add movements now you should be safe. Mine took until about 19 weeks before I felt confident to push it, but everyone is individual in this, some people are jogging at 13 weeks, so I think it’s a personal process. Good luck! I’m glad to hear you’re going so well so far!

  5. Kevin - I know of some who have re-ruptured at 19 weeks or later. The problem is you need to remodel the collagen and that only comes by loading it. Like Beanie said, take it in increments. Most re-ruptures occur with a slip or such and a few others by people doing silly things too soon. My advice is to walk a lot on good paved areas and as you get better include some hills then move onto uneven surfaces when confident. Eccentric exercises will help but you may have to go up on the good leg then go down on both slowly. As you get stronger you can transfer more weight onto the bad leg as you go down. Personally I feel there is no hurry to start running again and I doubt running at 13 weeks does your recovery any favours compared to proper strength training. Some people need that mental push though or have a need to prove something to themselves or others. I prefer to think of the end game.

  6. Don’t worry. I think you are doing all right. Stretching and walking is the best exercise you can do right now. I am opposite. I walk better earlier in the day. By the end of the day I am limping specially after a weekend of walking around the house and exercising at the gym. And I know my limits. I am not going to try to force anything when I am limping. As far as running at 13 weeks I don’t know if I said something that might imply I am doing some crazy stuff. I like to push myself and have been doing some light jogging/walking on the treadmill since. Very slow pace. And also strength training. But I don’t recommend it to anyone to follow my steps. I would say you should be challenged. But listen to your body and do it within your own limits. You know your body better than anyone else.

  7. I am at the 9 week post-op mark. It takes me a few minutes to stretch and limber up in the morning. I still can’t go down stairs. Up is no problem.

    Generally speaking the tendon is still pretty stiff at this point but gets better with every day. I’ve not started official PT yet, as my surgeon thought my calf was not strong enough at my 6 week appointment.

    So I’ve been doing heel lifts in the pool as tolerated and been walking on my toes in addition to regular theraband exercises. The pool has helped immensely with tightness, general ROM, and swelling especially. I also am up to biking (stationary) 35 minutes a day now.

    If you retain the ability to plantarflex, I surmise you’re still OK. Just listen to what your leg’s telling you and don’t push it too hard, especially with weight.

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