Healing long?

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on this site (which, by the way, kept me sane during my Achilles recovery ) but, unfortunately little ‘achilles related’ things keep popping up. I’m wondering if anyone in the Achilles world knows what’ healing long’ means ? I’m thinking that maybe that applies to my healed achilles as no matter what kind of stretches I do, I feel no tension on the achilles but the tendon from my knee to groin is very tight and is causing some difficulty. As it was a ‘right leg rupture’, it’s my gas pedal foot and I’m finding that after driving for about half an hour I have pain in the upper leg which is only alleviated if I put my hand under my thigh which isn’t conducive to safe driving.
Any ‘healed’ Achilles people out there who have had the same problem?

To those who have just injured themselves - take heart - life does get back to normal - almost!

Much more optimistic re: full recovery

Happy, happy, happy - periformis strain seems to under control so now I can concentrate on stengthening my achilles which, I didn’t realize, runs the length of the foot as well as up the calf - hence the difficulty with heel raises. I am now, on my PT’s recommendation, doing heel raises (still supported somewhat on one unless I hop) at every convenient opportunity. Probably shouldn’t throw myself on a restaurant table but do have to restrain myself. Using the scale( with a similar height board beside it, achilles foot on scale) pressing the achilles foot til the scale shows half my body weight to be sure I’m not relying on my ‘good’ foot, biking, swimming, doing aquafit, becoming mellow doing yoga (wasn’t too popular when my cell phone jarred everyone back to earth - darn memory)……… and can now walk a short distance with NO LIMP. I can tell that as soon as the foot is stronger and I can roll off the toes, things should progress more quickly. I can now, with cautious optimism, see that a full recovery is possible. It will be nice to give my brain a rest from ‘achilles thoughts’. You know the - well, I’d better do some exercises, should I cross country ski this year - no, yes, no, well - maybe, boogie board?? dance??? jump with wild abandon????

Be Gone Achilles thoughts, BE GONE. The world is my oyster - I think! Keep up the good fight everyone and happy healing!

20 weeks - having a bit of a struggle

Noone ever said this would be easy. But, does it have to be so, so, slow? Sometimes I think that maybe I’m just not trying hard enough or maybe my ‘mature’ status makes the healing slower. I had a bit of a set back in that my ‘periformis’ muscle (other major butt muscle) became strained so I couldn’t do the exercises for my achilles because of the pain in the hip area. Had an acupuncture treatment and have been faithfully doing the assigned exercises. After a week and a half, the pain is definitely better but is still there as a constant reminder.

My main concern, ( I know the periformis is getting stronger) is my inability to walk without a limp unless I am going very, very slowly. Was in the big city for a few days and was so discouraged as I just could not keep up with the general flow of foot traffic. I certainly have developed an empathy for the elderly and the disabled though. Having people streaming by and being left in the wake is very isolating. Actually, if people could have read my thought bubbles they probably would have been amused. My mental mantra was "Squeeze the glutes, even steps, damn glutes not engaged…. " as I  limped along…….

So, I’m wondering -  is anyone else still having difficulty at week 20? Shouldn’t I be able walk at a normal speed without a limp?  Any ideas, suggestions?

My Shortlived ‘High’!

Been awhile since I’ve posted re: my ‘high’ and my new ‘limpless’ walk. Seems I was a bit premature. Frustration has set in as I still have quite the limp unless I’m really concentrating and taking small, very small steps. Seems I’ve developed bursitis in my ‘good’ hip and now can’t do the most recent physio assigned exercises because of the hip pain. I even have to ‘peg’ leg up stairs to avoid the pain. Of course, a few of my activities have aggravated the hip - overzealousness at aquafit utilizing my ‘good’ leg as my ‘bad’ leg tired, lugging two kayaks (one at a time) whilst portaging this weekend when a friend and I got caught in big surf on the north coast of Vancouver Island , trying to keep up on walks while on the same camping trip etc. Now, I’m in a quandry - am supposed to be going to Hawaii on the 20th of November with some friends but am seriously wondering if that’s a good idea considering my present status. Questions raging through my head in the wee hours of the night - Will I be able to at least walk in tourist style? Is it too early to take the chance of going out of country with my 5 month benchmark recovery when, if any problem arises, my insurance would not cover medical expenses as it would be a ‘pre-existing’ condition. Decisions, decisions…….. Darn! Physio on Tues. - maybe she has a miracle cure for my hip and can give me some input to help my indecisive thinking!!!! Any advice from fellow bloggers will be greatly appreciated.

Glad to hear so many of you are recovering well. I am always impressed with everyone’s positive attitudes as well as the grit and determination shown.

I’m high!

I’m high . Amazing how the little ‘victories’ in this long struggle are so HIGH! Worked really hard at the physio yesterday and have managed to almost get rid of my limp entirely. Just have to continue to strengthen the glutes and to watch my stride. Apparently my good leg stride was twice as long as the ‘bad’ leg - caused by clomping around in that boot for so long. So, for the first time since ditching the boot, I can see that a normal walk is just around the corner. Some of the new exercises are a little daunting and took some courage to do the first time. When the physio explained the ‘heel drop’, I said, "Are you kidding?" "Nope’, she replied. "From now on alot of your physio will be aimed at rebuilding trust in your achilles." Took me a few attempts to put faith in the ‘drop’ but did finally manage it. Will we ever get rid of that nasty fear of re-rupture?

“Walking is not your friend..”

" at this point" said the physio today. My frustrating robo-cop, stilted, sort of limpy walk is caused, she says, by my hip not my achilles. Because of the strain on the good leg and the use of the ‘boot’ which does not allow for a ’stride’ behind centre, the brain has trained that side to limp so now, I’m not to go for long walks but am to walk very slowly or go sideways, or backwards or with a very high knees up walk (evidently I don’t limp when doing these and am ‘retraining’ my brain). I have very strict instructions on exercises to improve the glutes and my inner core. On the up side, I can get back on my bike (starting with very limited times and increasing slowly),can hit the pool and swim and I mean really swim! So, while I’ve taken a few steps back with my walking, I’m looking forward to getting some good cardio going and maybe, just maybe losing a few of the unwanted pounds I seem to have acquired. Oh please,please…….

Whoops - forgot I have an injury!

So, was very excited about heading up the local mountain with my son and grandson. Envisioned a lovely chairlift ride to the top - which happened. It was wonderful. However, I forgot that, once there I might have some difficulty navigating the trails. Went up a bit, then looked down at the shale rocks and thought ‘Oh my god - what have I done?’ I descended very slowly - leaning on my son’s arm feeling like a very old, old disabled person. I parked myself under a tree and sent them on their way. Duh? The good news is, I forgot momentarily that I’m a recovering ATR patient. I’m happy for my progress but, oh, how I long for the days when I could freely run, jump and play! Okay - off to do my roller exercises, my heel lift, my balancing…… Happy recovering everyone!

One small concern

At my final ortho visit at week 12, I forgot to mention my one concern. The concern is that when I do a full body stretch - the early morning still in bed mostly involuntary one- I get a severe cramp in my upper calf. While it seems as though it lasts for a lengthy time it’s probably about 5-10 seconds during which I’m grasping the calf, gritting my teeth and doing a bit of moaning. Anyone else experience this? Is this a concern or will it disappear as the old achilles completes it’s healing journey?

But Norm - saying ‘No physio’? I do understand why dr.’s are afraid of going overboard and doing too much too soon. My discontent and concern ( actually more for his future Achille’s rupture patients than for myself) centres on the fact that he gave me no advice re: rehab/physio and I really believe recovery would have less than satisfactory results. I felt that he wasn’t informed on the benefits of physio  to both the physical and mental health of the ATR patient. I certainly do respect your opinion, however. You must feel somewhat gratified to see that we, on the forum, regard you as the ATR guru and you are definitely the ‘go-to’ guy. We all really appreciate you.

Signed off - free to go?

Well, I’ve been released by my ortho. He felt the good tendon, felt the Achilles tendon saying, " The scar tissue is forming nicely , it will eventually join with the tendon and make it stronger. Your tendon right now is still very weak  and it will take up to a year for a full recovery. So, carry on you don’t need to come back unless you have a problem."  I don’t want to be too critical of this particular doctor as he did advise the conservative care and he followed the standard protocol BUT his total lack of any kind of rehabilitation advice, specifically no physiotherapy, has me pretty discouraged. If I had not been pro-active re: my recovery and found this site, done reading etc., I think I would be a physical disaster. I had gone to the appointment with the intention of trying to change his opinion on ‘ It’s too early for physio’ and ‘physio doesn’t help’ however, the ortho clinic was busy , and I didn’t think the timing was right. But REALLY - no suggested exercises, no helpful tips, no precautions, no wondering as to why my scar tissue was forming nicely (thank you PT and foam roller). GRRR……. and, I think about other Achilles patients who may not have the confidence or skills to research on their own and I wonder how a doctor , who does promote conservative care can be so ill informed as to the importance of rehab. Norm, would you like to be my mystery writer and send me a letter I might forward to him?

Okay - time to let this issue go and get on with the healing! Am working hard to get rid of the darn limp. My PT’s tip of putting my hand on my hips while walking to ‘catch’ the hip when it drops and to correct it seems to be working. Heading to the pool today, to do ‘water walking’ - forward, back, sideways etc. Extra pounds - it’s time to go! I will not think about ‘it takes a year to recover’ - I WILL NOT!  On with the day, positive spirit engaged!!!! Thanks for listening to me vent!!!