Oct 09 2013

kkirk

One year to the day: Happy Birthday to me!

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

It’s not really my birthday, but 12 months ago I had my lengthening operation to fix my chronic Achilles Tendon rupture.  Its been a long road to recovery, but I would change much of anything (other than my conservative protocol) :)  For those of you just starting your recovery, it gets better (especially after you get FWB). Best advice is to stay incremental, persistence, and stay positive.

So yesterday at my final Dr’s evaluation about my ankle. My surgeon said my Achilles is at 95% and that we couldn’t of asked for a better result. HE was satisfied with my gait and the strength of my calf raise. He said 6 more months to complete recovery, but many don’t even recover this well. Also, took the time to ask him about my knee to which he said. “That is part of being active and getting older”. HE said he felt some malformation in the cartilage and I should ask the trainer(s) what exercises I could do to improve the anterior part of my knee. He also said I needed to be smart about my workouts and it was a personal choice how hard to push yourself (that seemed kind of open-ended to me). In the last few weeks I’ve backed off my running since my knee is getting inflamed (hope this issue goes away), but I’ve also been hitting the weights harder, TRX,  some plyo, LOTS of calf raises, still hiking (Occasionally), and cycling.  Anyway, it a great feel to be finally released from the doc and put those long drives to the ortho behind me and now off to the gym for some incline walking and some upper body strengthening. Happy healing bloggers. :)

15 responses so far

Sep 12 2013

kkirk

11 Months: One more to go to Finish this Marathon

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

Greetings fellow Achillesbloggers. I’m not on this site as much as I used to, but I’ve also been a very busy man. Sometimes its hard to remember what a long road it was to recovery from this injury, surgery, and lots of therapy to get back to normal. I’m up to running about 5 miles, although if I wasn’t so lazy I could push myself to do more. I been focusing more on weight training and cycling recently, which has felt great. Also, starting plyometrics a month ago or so has put alot more mass back on my calf muscle IMHO. There is still a noticeable difference between each calf muscle and I can’t go up as high on a single-heel raise on my ATR leg, but I’m very satisfied with my results. My final doctors appointment is next month and I can’t wait to be completely done with my Ortho.

I still haven’t played any basketball games yet, but that is more by choice and not because I don’t feel like I can. I also started putting some short hill sprints into my workout, although the other day, it left my peroneal tendon a little sore for 24-30 hours later. That being said I made a video of my calf raises earlier this week for a workout site I’ve joined (In fact one of the “beachbody” guys on their just ruptured his during some part of the T25 program , I think). I told him about this site, but never followed up. Anyway, here is a short video my daughter shot earlier this week. Enjoy and Happy healing.

11 Month After ATR Surgery: Calf Raises (Sorry I never learned how to embed video)


3 responses so far

Aug 12 2013

kkirk

Month 10: Turn that PT into a Total Body Workout

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

Not much to report, but I’ve decided to post something each month until I hit October (a year from my surgery). The amazing thing, is like others I’ve talked to on this site, I’m in better shape now than I was before the injury. My calves are still different sizes (a little), and my ATR can’t do as nice of a calf raise as my other leg, but I’m stronger and in better shape than I was in early college. The only difference is instead of doing ROM exercises, leg strengthening, and learning to walk again. I’m doing much more cardio (Spinning, and trail running, treadmill, weight training, body pump, and some p90X. The only issue is I’ve plateau on my couch to 10K program to focus on improve my speed running a 5K (although that has more to do with other things other than my ATR). Now I just need to get my nutrition back in action and it will be perfect.

So the purpose of this short post is to offer the advice that if you have invested many hours into your PT (more than you use to exercise). Use your schedule after you have achieved your recovery to work your whole body. Happy Healing everyone. :)

4 responses so far

Jul 26 2013

kkirk

9.5 Months: Back to normal (for the most part)

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

ITs been a month (or so) since I posted on here, and life has basically gotten back to normal. The only times I realize my past injury and surgery is when I really push myself at the gym or completing a hard/long hike, which I feel elsewhere anyway. ALthough, I still haven’t felt confident enough to play basketball “yet”, but that might change in the next few weeks. I’m still plugging away at the Couch to 10K Program (I’m interval running) at 45-50 mins this week. I still don’t have the endurance to get to 6.2 miles, but I suspect I’ll be there by fall. I been back into strength training my whole body for the the last 2-3 months. MY squats and lunges are getting better every week. So all-in-all, I feel great about my progress, although it did take 7-8 months to get to that point. The best thing that’s happened to me besides finally correcting my chronic ATR (problems) is I’ve translated my physical therapy into a consistent exercise program and having been in this good of shape since college. I’m weght training 1-2 times a week, 1-2 sessions of Body Pump, spin class, biking, running, trail running, jump roping, and other plyo.

To those of you who are just starting your journey, this is all out slowly and carefully putting one foot forward, celebrating the milestones, and keeping your eye on the big picture. Its all about your (positive) attitude. We are off to the beach next week, which is going to be awesome, since last year I was hobbling around with a ruptured AT in the sand! I also wanted to give a shout out to all the bloggers on this site. Its good to see your posting up a storm Norm :D

Happy healing :)

7 responses so far

Jun 23 2013

kkirk

8.5 Months and then some

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, which is a drastic change for the guy who post at least once a week! But I just  wanted to let everyone know how I’m doing. This has really been the first time since my injury that my existence wasn’t define my the limitations of my repaired Achilles.  I not saying that I’m 100%, but I feel 80-90%, which is a great feeling. I’m running up to a 5K now and still plugging away at this Couch to 10K program. I’m back into regular weightlifting, and spinning to. Don’t get me wrong, I still have issues with lunges for some reason, and squats still get my ankle sore, but the difference is remarkable, from a few months ago. Also just in the last few days, I’m able to do a single-leg heel raise (and my calf muscle is slowly coming back to life). Although, not as pretty or symetrical as my left leg :). Occasionally, I still need NSAIDs and RICE, but what used to be a multi-daily occurrence is now used just sparingly.  The best part is today I attempted my first “real” hike up to the top of Dragon’s Tooth. 7 mile round trip with an elevation change of 1500 ft. It was awesome to hike something other than the mountain bike trails (something with a tad more difficulty).  Here are a few pics from my trip today.

Hiking the AT section to get to Dragon’s Tooth

Dragon’s Tooth pt. 1

Dragon’s Tooth pt. 2

My ATR (right) leg hanging off the side of Dragon’s Tooth

Climbing up to sit near the top of Dragon’s Tooth

The Top Pt. 1

The Top Pt. 2

These trails up near Roanoke, VA are some of the most scenic part of the AT trail in Virginia, and some of my favorite places to hike and backpack. I was pretty sore and stiff my the end of the hike, but glad that I can still do the things I love, which my stale ATR case and recovery kept me from doing for 9-12 months. So for those of you just began your recoveries, to those who are halfway done, and to those who were supportive for me while I was going through my recovery and physical therapy.

Thank you and happy healing.

10 responses so far

May 30 2013

kkirk

One Year and a week: Interval Ran a 5K

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

Last Thursday May 23, was my year anniversary from my ATR while playing a faculty student basketball game at work. AS some of you know I’m only about 9 months since surgery, but a year since my injury (long and boring story) make sure to check out my page on “HOW my ATR happened”. :)

I’m still slowly working through this COuch to 10K program and I’m up to 5 minutes intervals. Although, I think if I slowed my pace I could run a solid 5K…. Slow and steady baby. I’ve also put in more crosstraining days and rest days so I’m running a week behind, but that’s ok with me. Yesterday I manage 3.1 miles in 35.35, which is not bad for me, its close to what I was doing shortly before my injury for this distance.

ON another note, I gradually started introducing some plometric exercises, although just a few (box jumps, jump rope, etc….) Ans althouhg my ankle still reminds me what I did to it, I’m not experiencing any pain. I also feel like I’m getting ever closer to the doing a decent single-leg calf raise, but I’m still dealing with a ton of atrophy. The muscle is building back, but still looks much smaller in size than the other.

Memorial Day weekend my girlfriend and I went to a local music, and arts festival and I got to take my shoes off, dance, and hike around the farm for three days. It was a blast, but the uneven ground left my ankle stiff and sore and my shins hurting for a days or two afterwards. I guess I will consider myself fully recovered when this kind of walking/hiking doesn’t leave me as fatigue, but the improvement so far is enormous. I would be lying if I didn’t say that stiffness isn’t a (Small) issue. So anyone else out there at 9 months or so, don’t feel down if you still have some of these issues and I’ll report back after awhile.

:)

12 responses so far

May 13 2013

kkirk

Week 30: Reflections, Thank you, and Shout outs!

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

I’m hope this doesn’t sound too cheesy……. but it probably will. :)

Since, I joined this site 4.5 months after my untreated ATR, and a few weeks before my surgery, I’ve been posting on (at least) a weekly basis. I hope that my blog will help anyone else who may stumble upon it suffering from the same injury (Hopefully, not as stale an ATR as mine). But if that may be the case I hope they might find useful information or support through these page (and other blog(s) on this site). A big thank you Dennis for creating this site. I still wear my Achillesblog shirt to the gy, on a regular basis, while still rehabbing my leg. A big shout out to those “big shots” around here (Norm, Ryanb, Andrew1971 and others……) who were very informative, especially during the first 4 months of my recovery. Thank you to all the others who have been supportive and also informative around here also (Darryn, Jack, BrokenBride, Alton2012UK, Hungtheviet, Lisa, Soccergotme, RupturedNurse, and many others). Also to those who I’ve been talking to recently like RRR, Kellygirl, Momto4peas, Micah, and others). And if I forgot you…… my bad, there are too many good people on this blog to name.  I wish luck and happy healing to all of you. And a big thanks from Kkirk. :D

As far as my recovery, my ATR leg is still weaker, sore, and generally lets me know what happened to it almost a year ago. I still can only interval run, because a soild 5K makes my knee and ankle get too sore. But my calf is starting to get more and more strength back every week. :) I’m in Week 3 of my Couch to 10K program, which consits of 2 sets of 90 sec walk/run, 3 minute walk/run with a warmup and cooldown. I could feel the 3 minutes of running today, but also completed 2.7 miles in 35 minutes. I hope to start trying some more difficult hikes in the near future, I just haven’t had the chance in the last month or so.

AS you all know our recoveries are slow and steady and hopefully incremental. I would like to stress to anyone reading this who is new to  the club to familiarize yourself with aggressive modern recovery protyocols like UWO. I was on a veryconservative one (6 weeks NWB and not to 2-shoes until 12 weeks) which led to an uphill atrophy battle I’m now starting to win at almost 8 months. Know that with your recovery you will get back what you put into to it also, so try to stay focused, and not be lazy with your rehab. And know that your greatest weapon is staying postive. This will be more use to you than anything else, because I believe so much of this is about perspective. Anyway, this isn’t goodbye, I’m just done psoting every week. So when I feel like updating everyone I will and I’ll still be creeping around.:)

Happy Healing

Kevin

11 responses so far

May 05 2013

kkirk

Week 29: New gym Membership and knee is 100 Percent

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

So this last week, I picked up a new gym membership and hit it hard. The first couple of days I could still feel the stiffness and some pain in my knee, but now that is all gone. I’ve started some lifting, some cross-training (Elliptical, Row Machine, and Spin bike), and finished my first week of my Couch to 10K program. I’ve realized that if I have to take 10 days instead of seven to do all of each weeks workouts, then I might add a couple of week onto the end of the program (But I’m ok with that). This program has me running/powerwalking intervals, so I  complete around 2 miles in a 30 minute workout. I should be up to a 5K in 2 more weeks (I think). I  also participated in my first Spin class (A personal trainer I know from the gym who I go to church with and my girlfriend talked me into it) and it KICKED my BUTT! I was sore that night from all the standing and peddling (MY At still reminds me what I did to it), but I was able to keep up for about 75 minutes or so. I think these class will be great for increasing my endurance and plan on attending one a week. The rest of the week I spent my time weight training my calf, legs,  upper body, and even throwing some core exercises in there, but never more than 2 days in a row for any muscle group. :)

The biggest issues I’m having still relate to the atrophy I’m dealing with. MY calf muscle is getting tighter and slightly larger, but at a very slow rate. I’m still can’t do more than a wimpy single-leg calf raise and can’t hold my weight up on the toes for more than a couple of seconds (This is the same place I was 3 weeks ago). What I’m realizing now, is even if I can’t ever do a single-leg calf raise, I’m getting my strength and endurance back, which is exactly what I want. With these workout I still have to use RICE sometimes in the evenings and my NSAIDs occasionally. MY doctor still wants me to wait until the summer sometime before I start plyometrics, but I’m ok with that to (for now). That being said for those of you out there just starting, everything begins to pick up after a few weeks of FWB and remember this recovery is 6 months to a year.

Happy healing fellow ATR bloggers!

11 responses so far

Apr 29 2013

kkirk

Week 28: Knee getting better and a new program :)

Filed under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

Well since last week my knee is on the mend, its not at 100%, but the pain is gradually subsiding. During the early part of this week, I was still not doing any jogging or strengthen, so I started focusing more on my upper body and core. I’m going to try and put this into my workout program over the next few weeks. Today I finally went back to a gym, since Physical therapy was cut off by my insurance coverage, so its time to continue on my own. Although, I’m considering paying for some personal trainer session to create a better program for myself. This last weekend my girlfriend competing in the Park to Park Half Marathon in Waynesboro, VA and had a new personal best. Since I’m at least a few months away from running, I was the designated support group passing goo packs and electrolyte tablets! :) At one of the viewing points, I had a conversation with one of the runners who had already finished and came back to cheer on the other racers. HE wanted to know about my Achillesblog shirt. He had a laugh with the (#@! > NWB > PWB >FWB) Afterwardsd he said, “I would fall apart if that happened to me”! To which I replied, “You might surprise yourself if you happen to deal with something like this. :)

Here is a photo of us pre-race at 6am (dang it was  cold outside).

Watching all the runners made me want to change my approach to my rehab. Mainly, sticking with a solid and incremental program, so to (hopefully) not have anymore setbacks. So today at the gym, before my calf strengthening routine, I started a couch to 10K program that I’m going to try (to the best of my ability) to stick to. I think its 14 weeks long (3 days a week). These early sessions seem a little on the easy side, but my knee still feels a little weird, so I guess that is ok. I will alternate off days with either rest or low impact cardio and keep at least 3 leg strengthening workout a week to hit this atrophy head on. So tomorrow will be the elliptical, Wed. will be another jog/walk session, and Thursday spin class. I’ll see how this treats my leg over the next couple of weeks and keep everyone posted.  :)

8 responses so far

Apr 21 2013

kkirk

Week 27: 1st Round of Golf, Another delay, and small (knee) setback

Greetings

Took a couple of 2 miles runs and played a round of golf last Saturday (For the first time since last year!), but on Wednesday after a short run and a small calf workout, my knee started to hurt. Its slightly swollen after use and feels like a deep bruise, although I can see anything with my own eyes. The pain is localized right below the inside (left) side of my kneecap and top of my shin. The pain goes away when iced, but comes right back walking around. The motion isn’t affected, its just uncomfortable. I’ve been icing and elevating it the last 4 days. So hopefully, this will correct itself in the next week, so I can resume my full workouts. Right now I’m sticking to light walking, some calf exercises, stretching and Therabands. This is the third time something has set me back a week, so those out there keep it incremental. I should have done that a little better, but the first 3-4 runs felt great.  I guess I ran to much too soon and my knee, which has never given me a problem,  is either bruised or inflamed. If I’m lucky it will heal up over the next few days. :)

6 responses so far

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