5 Months and 10 days Post Op

I hit the 5 month post op date on May 5.   Although I was not as far along as other on this blog I was making slow but steady progress.  I have been diligent about the physio and have made great improvements on the ROM…its about 95% of good leg.  However, the strength gains have been abysmal.  I still cannot do the heel lift on my bad leg and I am starting to get frustrated as i cannot run still.  Recently, I tried to increase the eccentric heel drops to 180/day and my leg swelled up (large bump on my achilles above the heel) and it was extremely painful. It was so bad I could not even ride a bike without pain.   The physio told me to back it off a bit and then start up again in a week or I will get a chronic tendonitis.

I have taken the last week off and the pain has subsided so I tried to start up the eccentric heel drops again…..instant pain back.  I have no problem working through pain but trying to distinguish between good and bad pain is causing me to second guess how hard I should be pushing through this.

Any words of wisdom out there?

7 Responses to “5 Months and 10 days Post Op”

  1. That’s great that you have been so diligent about your PT!!!

    Strength on the injured leg takes a long time to get back, a full year at least. Most people never regain the strength they once had. So keep working on it, but be careful to not overdo it!

  2. Thanks for the reply S40Love.

    It seems like you and others are recovering faster than me! I cannot really run still…..and this tendonitis thing will set that back further. Really wanting to get my old life back.

    Frustrating week I guess……

  3. Not a doctor, but I don’t think you should be doing the eccentric heel drops if they hurt you. Try working other leg muscles doing leg press, curls, squats, thigh abdduction, adduction, etc. Go back to the heel drops when your pain subsides. There are so many other exercises you can do to help you gain your leg strength back.

  4. I second S40. Pain shouldn’t be a normal sensation at your point in recovery. Check with your provider. A little soreness is certainly expected. What level is your pain on a 1-10 scale?

  5. Thanks mibball,

    Yes - I have stopped the heel drops about 7 days ago and have rested. Today I did a relatively low intensity spin bike, and then walked backwards on the treadmill and my ankle has swelled up with a lump on the tendon above the heel.

    Last week I would put the pain at a 7-8. It definitely is not panfry when walking.

    I have another physio tomorrow…..I will bring it up.

    Thanks everyone for the response.


  6. Hey Kevin, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having problems and getting pain in the tendon. The eccentrics are supposed to cure tendonitis not cause it so it’s not good to hear that they’re making things worse for you!

    When you do the eccentrics how quickly are you lowering down from tip-toes to either the floor or below a step? When I do them I take 2-3 seconds so it’s very slow (and very boring). Also how do you get up to tip-toes? Are you using your calf strength or are you using a step so that you use quads or a table so that you support your body weight as you go up? I mention all these things because I have read that there are 3 things to watch out for on the eccentrics … 1) if you have pain where the tendon joins the heel then don’t lower your heels on a step only go to the floor, 2) if you go quickly down then this can put too much tension on the tendon tissue and break it down instead of make it stronger, and 3) using the calf to raise to tip-toes (concentric) can also put strain on the tendon and should be avoided unless it’s healthy.

    I hope that you come right and get back to running soon! All the best!

  7. Hi Beanie,

    Thanks for the input.

    I have been going up on the good leg and then shifting weight to the bad one and doing the negative. I have tried to slow the eccentric phase down but my calf is so weak that I originally couldn’t! I have only been doing them on the floor so stay neutral at this point. I have started to ramp up activities again after taking a few days off….and I feel I can slow the decline better than before now. I am going to stay at this level for the week and slowly increase the volume.

    When this flared up I might have started too much too soon as I started to hit the heavy gears on the bike, incline treadmill and lunges….lesson learned.

    I’ll write back more after gauging this new level of activity.

    Thanks again.


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