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70 weeks later..

A few weeks ago I completed the annual city2surf race in Sydney in a time of 74 minutes - 3 minutes slower than the last time I completed it injury-free 3 years ago. I was very nervous but had trained hard for the last 6 weeks and felt strong but still didn’t want to push too hard. It’s been a long road back but proof that you can get there if you listen to what your body and what your physios are telling you.

In the week leading up to the run, the Olympics provided 2 contrasting stories for ATR sufferers. First I winced as Liu Xiang hit the first hurdle in his heat after suffering his 2nd AT injury in successive days. Seeing him holding his already taped-up AT was heart-breaking and a harsh reminder of how cruel the injury can be. Later the same day, Alistair Brownlee won gold in the Men’s Triathlon after tearing his AT in February this year - his recovery has been amazing and he’s an inspiration to everyone on this site.

Good luck and happy healing.

24 Weeks - Jogging again

I’ve managed a few short jogs - 4 or 5km -in the past week or so and backed up pretty well….if anything the AT was the least sore part of my body which has been hibernating for almost 6 months! I can manage about 6 one-legged calf raises but there’s still a way to go to get the strength back. Flexibility-wise, my knee-to-wall stretch is at 6.5cm but my physio believes I can get to 10cm if I continue to work on it.

The only negative point is that the numbness in my foot is still persisting. If the feeling is coming back, its doing so very slowly..

Happy healing folks.

Sore AT

I’m keen to hear from others regarding soreness in the AT. I’ve been in 2-shoes for 10 days now and my PT involves the following; 2 x 30 knee-to-wall (as comfortable), 2 x 10 2-footed standing heel raises and 5 x balancing on alternate legs - repeated 3 times during the day. My AT has been pretty sore, as has the ball of my foot. This is most likely fatigue given the lack of activity for 3 months but should I be concerned with the soreness, which is uncomfortable as opposed to unbearable..

Two Shoes

Got the all-clear to lose the boot yesterday and reacquaint myself with my right shoes - which were very dusty! After a 90 minute wait I spent all of 90 seconds with the doc. He checked the range of my dorsi and plantarflexion and did the Thompson test and sent me on my way with his blessing to step up my physio. This morning I pushed my 6-month old girl 1.5km to the park for the first time in months (3 to be precise) and it felt good. Still a long way to go but will be taking it one step at a time.

The lateral side of my foot is still numb and my doc suggests that there could be damage to the sural nerve - either from the rupture or the surgery, although he says he avoided the region during the op. He assures me the numbness will go away but hasn’t indicated by when. I’m keen to hear from anyone else who has experienced this recently - is there anything I can do, eg. massage, to get teh feeling back sooner?

Tips Please!

Ok, so I progressed into a cam boot yesterday with a 1cm removable heel lift. The surgeon said I could start to weight bear as tolerated and the physio showed me how to walk in the boot with crutches. So far I’ve been taking most, probably all, of the weight on the crutches as walking in the boot just doesn’t feel right! Also, having seen what’s left of my poor calf, I’m not sure the little thing could take much more. Maybe its a mental thing but I’m not looking forward to this next phase. Any advice on how to overcome this, especially the walking/weight bearing which is fundamental to the recovery?

Deja Vu

5 weeks to the day from my ATR I found myself back in A&E after stacking it on my crutches and cracking my cast open as I landed full on the bad leg. Fingers crossed there’s only superficial damage to the cast, which gets reapplied this morning after a check-up by the doc. That’s my second fall in less than a week so will be taking it extra careful from here on in.

**Update. Cast re-applied with a good stretch and scar healing well**

I was able to work from home after surgery but decided to go back to the office once I was in the lightweight cast. Lift maintenance at Town Hall is causing all sorts of problems, especially on the way home - such that a 15 minute journey now takes 40 mins (still not a bad commute but not on crutches). Getting around the office was difficult as you cant carry anything - food, notepads etc - and getting to back-to-back meetings on time is impossible. Getting up and in so early as to miss peak hours on the trains means I’m knackered by 2pm and in bed by 7pm. Remote working from home when I can is the way to go….I’m ever so grateful for that little RSA token!!

I love football; both playing it and watching it - following the People’s Club, Everton. But at 36 I fear I’ve played my last game after an ATR. What I thought was a sly kick from a fat Kopite was in fact my Achilles rupturing. I’ve had tendinitis and calf problems in the past but this felt different - toes/heel tingling and a squidgy gap where my tendon should have been so I wasn’t even going to play the remainder of the match in goal. I hobbled back to work and caught a cab to A&E. The girls who performed the ultrasound wouldn’t confirm it but were chatting amongst themselves, saying things like “I don’t think it’s attached” and “oh, maybe a little bit then”. The doc broke the news to me but by then I’d discovered this site and knew what the next 6 months would entail - little or no activity!

Discussing the pros and cons of surgery vs no surgery, I opted for surgery based on lower likelihood of re-rupture. I was cast and told to come back day after tomorrow for surgery. Thursday turned into Monday. I met my surgeon who used my ‘good’ Achilles as an example of wear and tear to explain what typically causes an ATR. How good was I feeling? I woke at 10.30am with the worst sore throat I’ve ever had and a plaster of Paris cricket pad on my right leg. I was kept in overnight where the pain relief comprised of panadeine forte and morphine for the calf and ice cream for the throat.

I spent the next few days on the sofa with the leg elevated. A couple of trips to the beach (in the car) over the Easter/Anzac weekend broke the routine while I waited to have the stitches removed. Then came the burning/tingling sensation in my foot which the surgeon said were the nerves waking back up - very reassuring to hear! The foot was very numb when they removed the stitches and the wound looked pretty grim so I didn’t take a photo. No infection though so they applied the fibreglass cast which was to come off in 2 weeks; then re-cast with the foot more towards 90 degrees for a further 2 weeks then a boot for 4 weeks.

..so will come back once I suss it out!