On March 24th 2013, I was playing in a basketball game and I reacted to a quick steal with a quick change of direction and as I made my move, it felt like someone kicked me in the back of the leg. It felt as if I did not have a foot when trying to walk and there was a gap in the Achilles’ tendon area. This injury happened in the first couple minutes of the game and I was wearing a brand new pair of Nike Air sneakers which seemed to be extremely stiff when I put them on. I limped my way off the court and paced back and forth on the heel of the injured foot hoping to walk it off (hahaha yea right). I was sick to my stomach. I had heard stories about Achilles Tendon injuries but the thought of it happening to me never crossed my mind. After coming to grips with reality and beginning to understand the severity of the injury I hobbled over to my car and drove myself home (somehow). I was in complete shock and utter disbelief.
Once I arrived home, I started doing some research on the ATR injury and what I would now need to do to get back on my feet. I came across the AchillesBlog and started reading through blogs and saw that I had two options. “Surgical or Non Operative”. I choose the Non-Operative route thanks to the studies, stories, and information I found on this site and started nursing myself back to good health. I never saw or consulted a doctor. (My family and friends were not happy about this hahahaha definintely not recommended but I am extremely stubborn and took it upon myself to get myself back on my feet)
The first days and weeks were accompanied with excruciating and unbearable pain when trying to move. I dreaded having to make my way over to the bathroom While lying down and keeping the foot elevated, the pain and discomfort was minimal. I did not take any pain medication or anti inflammatory medication after the injury. At this point, I ordered my “Bledsoe Achilles Boot” which would end up arriving a week later.
9 days later, on April 2, I started wearing the boot with all provided wedges (4 in total). After 3 days wearing the boot, on April 5 (Day 12), I removed the first wedge (3 wedges remaining). At this point, I was partial weight bearing and beginning to start ROM (up and down, back and forth, circles).
On Day 18, April 11, another wedge removed (2 wedges remaining). Now I am full weight bearing. There really is no pain at all while wearing boot. I am moving around quite quickly with no fear at all of causing damage to the tendon b/c the boot makes that pretty much impossible as long as all straps are secure.
The 2nd and 3rd week, were dark days for me. I continually did ROM exercises along with icing to relieve swelling. I began using my treadmill after 20 days. I would start with standing on my good leg off the treadmill while using the injured leg to gently begin the walking motion. Applying weight and pressure as tolerable.
On Sunday, April 14, 21 days after the rupture, I went for a drive. (definitely not a good idea) I have a manual transmission car. I use my injured right foot to break and accelerate and shift with the left. So we were driving along and there was a park to the right and I glanced over to check it out and once i turned to look everyone quick stopped in front of me so i had to apply quick pressure to the brake. Lets just say i think I got lucky. I pushed hard and everything in my line of sight went white. Anyway, no damage was done to the tendon but I really had no business driving a car at 21 days.
Another wedge removed (1 wedge remaining), April 18th, 25 days after ATR,
By 28 days, April 21, I was able to walk without any assistance on the treadmill. There was tightness and pain as you would expect as the the injured foot extends back and tries to lift up on the toe but I continued pushing myself to recovery. Obviously never to much that I might hurt or reinjure myself but of course enough to regain strength back in the tendon. Im pretty much running in the boot. Not literally but I am almost not even aware I am wearing it.
Day 31, April 24th, Happy 30th Birthday to Me
Not really a happy birthday at all actually. Not they way I envisioned my 30’s starting. I heard Shaq in an interview after Kobes’ injury say over 70% of ATR happen after the age of 30. Im definitely not a kid anymore. That could not be anymore clear to me. Probably never going to do anymore backflips either hahahaha I know I never mentioned it but I’m pretty athletic
After 1 month, everyday I am continually doing ROM, walking, stretching, and icing like clockwork.
I work in a startup out here in San Francisco so I live and work in the same place. This was crucial to my mindset and recovery b/c I never had to miss a day of work and at the same time I am able to rehabilitate whenever I fee like it.
Now its Wednesday, May 1st, 38 days later and we are moving Start Up Headquarters to a new location. Oh and by the way, we live on the 4th floor with no elevator however at this point in my recovery, Im not even worried about it. I probably made about 30 trips up and down the steps with the boot this day. I’m pretty sure the Full Weight Bearing of this operation added a lot in the strengthening of the tendon.
So, Sunday May 5th, 6 weeks, 42 days post ATR, believe it or not, I am running on a treadmill. Never had surgery, never saw a doctor, or anything. Just hard work and steady rehabilitation everyday.
I still have a long road ahead and no where near ready to do one legged toe ups but I am confident I will be there soon!
Feel free to ask any questions you may have, I know I was kinda rambling here and there but I did my best to recap the recovery process.