Oct 09 2013


One year to the day: Happy Birthday to me!

Posted at 7:57 PM 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. :)

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “One year to the day: Happy Birthday to me!”

  1. micah1on 10 Oct 2013 at 10:24 AM 1

    Congratulations kkirk. I hope you are in celebration mode. Good to hear that your recovery has gone so well.

  2. normofthenorthon 10 Oct 2013 at 2:20 PM 2

    You (& I) should add “knee” to our tags. I’m still working on my own trick knee, which seems to have been injured by my repaired-short right AT. (Details on my page about Healing Short.) Haven’t played volleyball since April — or since I started PT (&c.) to fix the knee so I can play. We’ll see fairly soon…

  3. kkirkon 10 Oct 2013 at 11:10 PM 3

    Man, I hate to hear that, but I have found that I have to expect what my body allows me to do and what it won’t. I’ve been playing a few games of basketball and doing short runs occasionally, but my knee get too sore for all the pound it I try to do any distance more than a 5K or so. Concrete is now not forgiving at all and none of these things were issue until my ATR, which I think has affected my gait. I thinking about going back to the Tri store and let them record and analyze to see if I can figure anything out new and until then I’m going to keep on keeping on and focus on weight / resistence training, lots of stretches, hiking, and spin. Good luck with the knee Norm, and thanks for all the stellar advice during my recovery.

  4. loumar747on 12 Oct 2013 at 2:31 AM 4

    Happy Birthday kkirk. It’s encouraging to see that people really do make a full recovery in this long achilles recovery journey. Congrats! Hope you’re able to resolve your knee issue.

  5. kkirkon 13 Oct 2013 at 9:15 PM 5

    Thanks Lou, I hope so to. It just keeps on stiffening up after my workout, hikes,etc… a lot more than it used to. :)

  6. superjewgrlon 14 Oct 2013 at 11:56 PM 6

    Yay! Congrats to you. We had the same procedure. I’m at 11 1/2 weeks and just moved to 2 shoes. Although initially I was upset with the 6 weeks NWB in a splint then cast (although I did cheat and went to PWB after about a week in) and then 5 weeks in a boot, since I was a re-rupture, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

    I am really fascinated at your doctor evaluations. I wish my doctor did what your doctor does. My doctor released me to normal activities as tolerated. I can’t stretch the calf (he doesn’t want me to ruin his work) or work on my dorsiflexion. It’s my prerogative if I want to do PT. In Ohio, you don’t need a doctors referral for PT.

    When I googled “Why do i need dorsiflexion” I came across a very good blog by the “The Gait Guys” and after reading one of their posts, I now understand the importance of gait and biomechanics. So I’m going to PT tomorrow to work on my gait.

    You are an awesome role model for achilles tendon recovery. I’m curious, do you think you need 6 more months of recovery?

    Congrats on your milestone. In my opinion, you’ve achieved much more than 95%.

    Take Care.

  7. dennison 15 Oct 2013 at 1:05 AM 7

    kkirk - congrats on the 1 year anniversary. Glad to hear that you are back to playing bball, and happy continued healing for the year 2!

  8. kkirkon 15 Oct 2013 at 9:22 AM 8

    Superjewgrl: I live/walk/run because of my PT. IN fact my therapist Rachel (Hyfrotherapist) now is one of the trainers I work with at my gym :)

    I also believe that PT is an ongoing thing. i still talk to them about strengthening my AT and now my knee, when and where to stretch (which is very benefical to the knee), how much is too much (might need to lay off all the squats, and maybe increase the calf strengthening again).

    I wasn’t allowed to start much dorsi-flexion until 9-10 weeks, and definitely no “passive” streatching until I start 2-shoes. Most of my PT was controled by my physcian (when to start PWB, what degree to set my boot, when to start active streching, dorsi-flexion, passive, (plyo didn’t come until after I finsihed PT he directed and I started myself at the gym). I didn’t start pasive streching until week 12-14, I think.

    Personally, I still believe my gait is off. I think this is why my oppsite knee gets inflammed when running, cycling, and doing squats. Each week though it seems to get just slightly better (I Hope).

    If you look at my muscles my ATR leg is still “shorter Looking” (posssibly from healing slightly long, and smaller tjan the left. There is a strength difference, but I can sprint, jump, and do most activities I used to do, although there is a difference in my endurance. This is really what I should gradually be working on. So next weekend I will try my first bacjkpacking trip (20 miles), which is a short one, but a good one to start with. I’ll keep up with your recovery and good luck.

    Dennis - Thanks for the congrats and much thanks for creating this site, it was such a help with my recovery. :)

  9. debvnon 15 Oct 2013 at 3:57 PM 9

    Happy Birthday Kevin! errr I mean Happy Anniversary!

    Congrats on the progress and positive feedback from your doctor. I thought I’d chime in on the knee pain since I’ve been having some too. For me it’s the opposite knee to my ATR (not sure if that makes any difference). I’ve only been once to the PT for it and he immediately said it was the knee alignment and recommended 3 things:

    1) calf stretches (both sides) 5 x 30-60 sec./2 x day
    2) IT band stretches (both sides)5 x 30 sec./2 x day
    3) foam roll the IT band (both sides) (see utube for instructions)2 x 10/2 x day

    I’ve been doing these for 5 days and pain is almost gone!
    Sorry for the long post but I just thought that maybe these stretches and the rolling might help you out. The roller I got is the one that has the ‘grid’ pattern on it. A word of caution to go incrementally (as we all know!) because it will be uncomfortable!

    Also, a fantastic site for knee pain is http://www.knee-pain-explained.com/

    Hope this helps!

  10. kkirkon 15 Oct 2013 at 10:03 PM 10

    Thanks for all the info Deb. It very similar, but more intense than what one of the trainers (Rachel my old PT) at the gym said to do. Thanks again :)

  11. kellygirlon 16 Oct 2013 at 11:29 AM 11

    Congratulations, Kevin! It sounds like you have hit the home stretch. I’d be happy to be 100% at a year and a half. I’m still kind of surprised at how much work this injury requires. Keep up the good work and I hope you let us know how it feels to be at 100% again!

  12. Sandizonaon 06 Jan 2014 at 5:09 PM 12

    Hey Kevin…….I haven’t been on “our atr recovery blog” for quite a while. I will be at my one year mark in 6 more weeks! Can’t believe its’ been a year since my injury. I still have trouble going down steps, not every time..but I’m cautious going down. When I walk for longer than 2 miles, my calf tightens up. I have done the “Thompson Test” many times during this year, and I still have NO movement, as when I had the rupture. Have you tried that test again, now that its’ been a year. Would love to know. I’m going to take some time and read others’ stories here. I can remember how helpful this site was to me , especially during the NWB and into two shoes was. Happy continued healing KK and others. (((((Sandi)))))

  13. Ankle Supporton 27 May 2016 at 8:18 AM 13

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Vissco Knee Cap

    Keep Posting:)

  14. wheelchairindiaon 09 Jun 2016 at 6:29 AM 14

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Patella Strap

    Keep Posting:)

  15. Lorence Andersonon 22 Dec 2016 at 4:33 PM 15

    Hey Kkirk, I also had a misdiagnosis on my ATR and as a result it was 10 weeks from injury to surgery, so I lost all my calf strength. I’m wondering how you’re doing now? Can you backpack without limitations? Are you back to your normal pre-injury self? I’m 6 months post op now and having a hard time seeing myself getting my old life back. I’m 27 and was in great physical health before this injury and now that’s all gone. Is it possible for me to get it all back? My email address is lorenceanderson@yahoo.com

    Please respond if you get this and you have the time. Thanks man

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