I’ll summarize, and then you can read the details that I felt lead up to the injury. On April 5th, I had a complete rupture of my right achilles tendon. I was at the CrossFit gym, and we were doing a “fun” warmup that got too competitive, and when I hopped up from my last burpee and sprinted to try to beat the other team, it felt like someone kicked me in the back of the heel and I heard a loud pop. I’ve heard this injury described so many times, I knew what it was. We immediately got it wrapped, on ice, and elevated. Pain and swelling wasn’t bad, and I could wiggle my toes, so I was hoping for just a partial rupture or maybe, hopefully, something even more benign than that.
I set up an appointment for 2 hours later with a friend that is an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in lower leg surgeries. It took him all of about 5 seconds to diagnose it as a full rupture with the Thompson test, and by just feeling along the back of my leg where my achilles should have been.
Note: If you didn’t feel along the back of your leg, you missed out. You can feel your healthy leg, and the strong, fibrous band of your achilles. On your injured leg, your fingers just went in, with no resistance. Kind of gross, but a pretty obvious test for rupture.
Surgery was scheduled for 2 days later, Friday, April 7th. I was put in a boot, and could get around well enough, and didn’t have hardly any pain. I used the next 2 days to stockpile groceries and supplies at my house, because I knew I would be stranded on a couch for a while.
So, what do I think contributed to this injury. The obvious one is doing burpees and sprinting with no warm-up. But other things that I think contributed are my general lack of fitness, and overworking my posterior chain. Because of work, my gym attendance has been sporadic to non-existent the past 2-3 years. I put on about 45 pounds, lost strength and conditioning. I’m just generally not in very good shape right now. I was kind of in my first month of getting back into a steady schedule and eating healthier.
I’ve always enjoyed lifting, and especially legs. So the Sunday before the injury, I went out in my garage and hit a ton of deadlifts. 150 reps total. That was enough to really cause everything in the posterior chain to be tight and sore. Then, I went to the gym on Monday, and they had more deadlifts scheduled in their workout. Great! I love deadlifts! I took Tuesday off, and then went to the 6:15AM class on Wednesday. So, the whole body was cold and tight from too much lifting of the same muscle groups, and not enough warmup.
We decided to warm up with a game. I highly discourage this now. It just ended up getting competitive and not being a proper warm up.
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