I ruptured my Achilles at the gym on 10/20. Funny how I knew what it was immediately, even though I had never read what these felt like or knew anyone personally who has experienced this.
I had gone to the gym for my Pilates session (1 hour), then did a 15% incline walk on the treadmill (30 min) while waiting for an Intro to Boot Camp class to start. The class was being held outside in the parking lot because of the nice weather that day. We did some stretching and warm up exercises and then started to get into the workout. I was 40 minutes into the hour when we started doing some running (slightly uphill, on hard pavement/asphalt). We were to run to the top of the hill, do 10 squats then run back.
Now, I thought with all the other working out I had done beforehand that my muscles were plenty warmed up. I felt good during the BC class as well. However, during the second run up the hill and completing my squats, I turned to run back and SNAP - I felt this sharp pop in the back of my leg. I turned to look behind me to see if I stepped in a hole, hit the curb or what. But as everyone else says, there was nothing there. That’s when I knew…it registered in my head immediately and then the dreadful thought ‘oh no, not my achilles’. There was a warm sensation through my calf, then I started seeing stars, feeling lightheaded and thought I was going to throw up!
A trainer came out and carried me back into the gym, where they proceeded to ice it immediately. I managed to drive home (a bit difficult), uncertain if I needed to go to urgent care (only because some trainer said it probably wasn’t a rupture because he’d had one and that I wouldn’t be able to feel anything if it was - ha! wrong answer). Trusting my gut, I got home and had my mom take me. They diagnosed it as a partial rupture.
Two days later, had an appointment with an ortho clinic. Their foot/ankle doctor took an X-ray (not sure why, didn’t seem to provide any insight). I asked if he did percutaneous fixes, as I didn’t really want open surgery. He said he did not; he would do a tendon transfer. Now, I had to actually ask him what that meant and why. Apparently, that was the only type of ‘fix’ he performed. I did not want to have surgery, but couldn’t really find alternatives in a good amount of time - I didn’t want this to go untreated for more than 10 days. So, I got online and started doing research.
Luckily, this site is one of the first things I found. I must have read 200 posts/stories throughout the course of the first week. It has been very helpful to read the different triumphs and tribulations everyone has gone through.
The worst part of the surgery for me was waiting for the nerve block to wear off. I was going nuts! I cannot stand to have that numb or tingling feeling. I don’t use novocaine at the dentist for the same reason. What a nightmare.
After coming out of the pain block (30 hours), the worst part was noticing the muscle atrophy (which seemed to happen within a week) and then just having to sit around and be patient, leg elevated.
One thing to note, my ortho said that my tendon probably ruptured due to degeneration. I was a bit put off by that answer, as I’m quite active and didn’t think I was that old. Maybe I ignore my age more than I should, but I don’t think 48 is that old, especially when healthy and active. As I read more online, I found that one other factor that can attribute to weak tendons is the use of corticosteriods. This is concerning, as I was getting a corticosteroid shot once a year for allergy/sinus issues. My doctor had always said having the shots - which are systemic - were not good to continue long term. While I’ve been very concerned about my other achilles since this injury occurred, this heightens the feeling even more.
I think when I return to my activities, I will skip the boot camp and running, and instead will go back to focusing on pilates, yoga and strength training.
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