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My story so far (up to week 11)

February 14th, 2010 by marina

So, I ruptured my Achilles tendon  on the 21st November 2009, starting a sprint at first dribble on basketball practice. Felt like somebody was behind me and kicked me. Pain was terrible for few moments, but creepiest thing was actually seeing my foot without the tendon. When my coach and teammates tried to lift me up, I realized how huge the damage was, not been able to stand on my feet or even feel the ground underneath. We ran to the hospital where the doctor officially diagnosed a full rupture on my right Achilles tendon and put me on a splint. 6 days later I got an operation that lasted appx. 1 hour. Soon as they took me to my room, on my splint, I was frightened, not been able to move my legs from anaesthesia for about 15-20 minutes. Same night I suffered A LOT of pain, thankfully nurse visited me many times giving me painkillers. I slept a total of 4 hours that night. Next morning I went out and spent the night over my parents house that was close to the hospital and I can say it was pretty comfortable, unless I had to go to the bathroom. My foot was terribly swollen and numb, which made me really want to keep my foot elevated at most times, as the doctor suggested.

I visited the doctor each week for 3 weeks in a row, to check my leg. At first weeks, I wasn’t feeling much comfort (even though I had my husband and people and friends around me to do things for me) but I manage to go to work 4 or 5 days after op. I didn’t ever think I would say this, but it really helped working and joking with my colleagues, it made me forget my injury for a straight 8 hours.

All this time I experienced much of problems. First week after op, I visited the surgeon again and made a change on the bandage. Same night my heel suffered a lot like I was standing on a rocky beach barefoot for hours. My husband helped me unwrap the bandages and I put the splint to a position that felt comfortable and re-wrapped it again. That pretty much solved this until the week after, when I visited the doctor again, so I did same thing, same night..I was sleeping with pillows underneath my foot and kept the blankets folded where my foot was, as I could not stand its weight at all times.

Soon as I got rid of the staples (had 14 staples on) it felt much better. A week later I got rid of the splint also and was put on the cam boot. I spent 2 first weeks on the high heel and it was nice feeling again my foot on the ground, even with the crutches. When I reached one level prior to flat, my ankles where injured, since the boot was too tight on the sides, no matter the padding inside. This is when I started PT, mid-week 9. After getting my second PT, my therapist advised to remove one crutch, which I did, and the day after I left the other also. Wooh hoo! Here I am, FWB at last!

PT starts with tens, ultrasound (must say this feels uncomfortable when it passes over my incision), ¬†massage and tendon stretching. This hurts a lot! Last week I wear two shoes and I drive. I limp, but my therapist advised that I should walk normally and not on the side, to remind my ankles and foot how to walk again, no matter how slow. Last one week, I started also a bit of strengthen using a soft rubber band and he gave me ‘homework’ also with this band. I try to keep the tendon warm (after bath or using fluffy socks) prior to the exercise.

Last week, I visited the doctor for the last time (unless if I need him myself again) and he advised that I should go back to sport activities in about a month. That is of course, a little running, not full activities..looking forward to it!

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4 Responses to ' My story so far (up to week 11) '

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  1. "Frouchie" or "Grouchie", or just "Chris" said,

    on February 16th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Wow you’re further along than I am. I wish you the best of luck!

    Remember..”Slow and Steady Wins THIS Race”.

  2. marina said,

    on February 16th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Thanks mate, hope your healing go smoothly too :) It’s hard and am not a patient person at all!

  3. normofthenorth said,

    on February 16th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I keep repeating my old (2002) Doc’s rule of thumb for my return to volleyball: When I can do 1-legged heel raises without grunting or groaning or sweating, I’m ready — and not before then. It felt right and worked great, and I plan to follow that same rule of thumb this year, for my other ATR. (So far, at week 9-ish with NO surgery, I’m not up to any 1-legged heel raises yet, but I’m very close to a balanced 2-legged heel raise. One step at a time.)

  4. marina said,

    on February 17th, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Yesterday I’ve visited the PT again. Soon as he saw my foot he was kind of excited, he told me that the tendon is getting thinner and ROM is going great and in total my recovery is running smoothly. That sounded nice. We moved on to the daily program, which yesterday included electrostimulation and ultrasound and rubber bands again and then I had massage and stretching which I admit didn’t hurt as on first times. I asked about the ‘menu’ in the following week and he said that we will start to move, like walking, walking backwards, trampolin, standing on one foot and heel raises. I’m so happy about it. I think I’ll do this pretty well, I can already stand on this foot while dressing myself if I put weight on my calf. Still anxious though, because he says I should walk normally without limping, but this hurts on the ankles :(

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    • marina has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: marina
      Location: Athens, Greece
      Injured during: basketball
      Which Leg: R
      Status: 2-Shoes

      695 wks  3 days Post-ATR
      694 wks  4 days
         Since start of treatment