7 month non-op update , Permission to run granted

I know to those of you still in the early days of this injury, 7 months feels like forever! Although it dragged initally, once I got past about 12-14 weeks it seems to have flown.
My walking has appeared quite normal for a couple of months now and I can easily do 3 miles or so with out a limp, walking up rocky ravines and over bumpy moorlands. I get no pain at all from the achilles these days, no swelling for months either. The NHS has provided me with weekly,( yes weekly!) physio sessions at the lower limb gym for the last couple of months. When reading all your fantastic blogs on here I felt a bit neglected at first as many of you had lots of physio in the early days when I was getting very little, but here in Sheffield they step it up from about 3 months….and here I am.
I’ve persevered with the exercises at home and felt like I’ve struggled with the heel lifts and even now its a full body workout achieveing one small single heel raise where I pull the face of an Olympic weight lifter. Nice.
Today I’ve been given the green light for interval running, starting with 30 seconds running, followed by walking X5. Very exciting and I celebrated with a skinny latte (and Danish pastry, oops). I can, of course, increase this incrementally!! (The running, not the pastry eating Lol)
To top it off I’ve just booked a weeks skiing in January in the Alps, I’m going to visit my daughter who has been in NZ for their winter season and my confidence in doing this is partly thanks to this injury and also this ATR Blog. Its changed my outlook on life, grab it while you can.
Thanks to everyone for your support over the last few months, I’ll keep in touch and lookforward to seeing your updates.

12 Responses to “7 month non-op update , Permission to run granted”

  1. Many of us waited ’til 10-11 months to get full normal 1-leg heel raises back. And on my 2nd ATR, I’m still waiting after 3-ish years!

  2. Terrific news, Micah! I’m so happy for you. It sounds like you are making really good progress these days and that the confidence is coming back. Enjoy your running and skiing!

  3. Great news Micha! What an inspirational and uplifting post. Nice that someone is on the upside of recovery. Enjoy the skiing.

  4. Norm, I don’t want to get into a debate re surgery or not. I’m surgery and happy about that at this time and open to seeing it differently in the future.

    I saw the CFL player video who was non-surg and that was amazing. It’s just nice to see people doing well regardless of procedure.

    I hope to run like the wind again even if it means rupturing my other one. From what I’ve read in your posts, it seemed to me that your non-surgery experience was much better outcome. Is that true? If so, how do you reconcile that with waiting 3 years for full normal 1- leg heel raise? My future ATR needs to know.

  5. Bionic, I try to preach non-op only to those who are still deciding and those who are curious about the ongoing evidence. Happy to do what I can to help with your post-op recovery.
    My own personal experience is not average of the UWO study’s results, or Exeter’s. It’s a single data point, and some parts of typical, some not. Typically, my second (non-op) recovery was quicker and way “nicer” — less pain, less time off work, no time moaning in bed, no scar — than the first. It was quicker mostly because it was 8 years later (end 2009 vs. end 2001), the UWO study results were being presented at AAOS meetings, and my new OS had attended and been converted — to fast ATR rehab and also to non-op.
    Also somewhat typically, my first ATR was repaired short, which has been good and bad. Good that I got back to easy multiple full-height heel raises by ~10 months post-op and returned to aggressive full-bore competitive volleyball (court and beach) with no noticeable deficit anywhere. Bad that I’ve since developed a “trick” knee on that side that’s got me stretching, exercising, taking PT, and hesitating to return to competitive (mostly beach) volleyball this season. Both my new-ish podiatrist and my newer sports-med PT are convinced that my knee-alignment problem was triggered by my too-tight AT repair on that (RH) side. Long story, some of it on my blog.
    NOT so typically, on my left, second-ATR, non-op side, my AT-to-Gastroc system seems to have healed a bit long, so I’m left with a maybe 1″ high grunting 1-leg heel lift, maybe half-height and hard, not fun to repeat a dozen times. The UWO raw data does show a small strength deficit (generally too small to be statistically significant among ~150 data points) in their non-op group, but the strength in my two legs is much more different than their two averages. AFAICS, my AT-to-Soleus system seems to be close to 100% full strength, and that may be part of the reason why I again returned to volleyball (mostly beach now, but I’ve played some court ball too, some of it at a high level) with no noticeable deficit, in vertical or floor defense.
    So I’m still the head of the non-op Glee Club, but I don’t present my two ATs as the poster boy for the comparison. My biggest surprises isn’t that neither of my ATR recoveries is perfect (obviously there are no guarantees, with or without surgery) but that (a) my ATR#1 surgeon seems to have created a serious — likely volleyball-career-ending — problem ON PURPOSE, by repairing my ATR “on the short side”, and (b) that my clearly demonstrable strength deficit on my left (#2, non-op) side seems to affect NOTHING in my active sporting life except when I try to do a straight-kneed 1-leg heel raise!
    That’s my (complcated) story. Whether my own non-surgery outcome was much better than my post-surgery outcome, or not, is a matter of interpretation. It sure wasn’t good enough that I’d recommend that people rupture their AT just to experience it, but it — along with the published evidence — was good enough that I recommend fast non-op treatment to my pals who DO have ATRs.
    my demonstrable

  6. If you can find “AJAX Editing” in your options and turn it on (for say 15 minutes or more), it will give us all a chance to correct our own typos, if we’re prompt. (I’m prompt now, and I’m staring at a few typos I wish I could fix.)

  7. Dennis, is it possible to make AJAX Editing ON for 15 minutes the DEFAULT on this site? Is there a downside?

  8. Awesome news about running! Let us know how the first run went. Mine was pretty exhilarating and emotional.

    Good for you for planning that skiing trip also and enjoy the time with family.

  9. Its reassuring to be reminded that the single heel raise normally takes some time Norm thanks.
    Kelly and Lou, thanks for continuing to read my posts, we’re all at a similar stage I think, and this time next year who knows where we’ll all be!
    Craig, the first micro- run in the gym had me brimming with tears and after I’d hugged the physio a couple of times I pulled myself together! I went for a run/walk along my road when I got in and it felt fantastic, and no ill effects the next day either. The calf feels a bit tight when I’ve been sat for some time and when I get up in the morning, but once I’ve done the step exercises it feels almost normal again.
    Feeling pretty happy with it all, I hope everyone else is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel too.

  10. norm, not sure if it’s possible to change the default setting for AJAX Editing, unless I enable it sitewide, I think. If you happen know how to set the defaults, let me know. I am ok with the change.

  11. Dennis, is there a downside to enabling it sitewide?

    I don’t think I understand the difference between the two — making it the default and enabling it sitewide. Do you mean that if you enabled it sitewide nobody could turn it OFF on their own blog page? That doesn’t sound bad to me, but maybe you could announce & explain the possibility first (here somewhere) and see if anybody has any objections.

  12. To top it off I’ve just booked a weeks skiing in January in the Alps, I’m going to visit my daughter who has been in NZ for their winter season and my confidence in doing this is partly thanks to this injury and also this ATR Blog.

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