Why did it happen?

Just out of curiousity, has anyone ever wonder why this happened? My mind’s been wandering, and I’m trying to figure out why it happened to me. (Out of all the people that were playing badminton that day.) Is it due to the lack of warm up, or is it a genetic thing, or is it a lifestyle issue, or is it just random? How do we prevent a rupture in the future?

Injury update: It’s now one month post surgery and I’ve been watching way too much TV, and having too much free time to ponder about life. Foot’s still somewhat swollen, and I need to keep it elevated. Two more weeks until the cast comes off, and the Aircast starts. Work also starts in two weeks, and I’m actually somewhat looking forward to that.



  1. ultidad Said,

    October 25, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    Given the wide variety of stories on this site, I believe that we ruptured for the same reasons that some people develop cancer: genetic predisposition combined with an environmental trigger catalyzed by bad luck. Any one else?

  2. captbb Said,

    October 26, 2009 @ 1:30 am

    3 Main reasons for Achilles Rupture
    1. Not in good shape
    2. Having sterorloald injection in or near heel.
    3 Cipro( antibotic withen year of injury.
    This is what my extensive research has come up with.

  3. Tom Said,

    October 26, 2009 @ 6:16 am

    Re. Why Did This Happen: I vote genetics / aging. I was very fit, very active - played all sorts of start / stop sports (tennis, lacrosse, basketball, sprinting, etc.) regularly. I am 49.

    I do think I might have avoided it with a warm-up & stretch, so that’ll be different in the future.

    I think, as we get older, our bodies simply become weaker. I had a ortho warn me about my other leg and I asked him what he meant. His response was “God gave you weak Achilles. Look down at your boot for proof of that.” He said the real risk in the future was a rupture of the other leg.

    Oh well, it ain’t cancer, people.

  4. 2ndtimer Said,

    October 26, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    Age/not being warmed up/trying to do something i am not used to/ignoring the cramp

  5. 3littleones Said,

    October 26, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    I’m still wondering this myself. However, I was in pretty good shape (running/hikimg 4-6 miles a few times a week, yoga 1-2 per week, tennis 2-3 hours per week) and I had been exercising for over an hour when I injured myself (very warmed up). I am a little older in age than I am in mind (I’m 41 but seem to think I am 31), so perhaps I was trying to hard for my body? I keep thinking I must have tweaked it in a weird way, but my dr. thinks it was just bad luck…

    but I agree, we do have our health if not our mobility!

  6. Brandon Lazzaro Said,

    June 2, 2010 @ 12:25 am

    I can’t believe I found another person who ruptured their Achilles playing badminton!!!!!!!!!! Same thing happened to me and it seems I have been the butt of jokes ever time I tell someone that badminton was the sport that ruptured it. I just tell them that as with all sports I play to win.

    P.S. I am 24 years old

  7. normofthenorth Said,

    June 2, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    Brandon, I’m not sure if Michael is still paying attention to his 7-month-old posts here, or not. I hope he’s doing well, and “caught up” from his slow start on rehab.

    But if you look down the list of all the ways people “here” tore their ATs — say, at achillesblog.com/atrpt.php — badminton is right up there — disproportionately so, I’d say, compared to the number of competitive players. (And yes, I’ve played competitive badminton, though I didn’t stick with it for long, because I was so much better at squash back then.) It is a ferociously “stop-and-start” sport, played on “sticky” floors with gummy shoes that “stick”. So — say, when you’re backing up, expecting a “clear” and you actually get a deceptive drop-shot — you’re applying as much force to your AT as you can. If it’s going to tear, that’s a perfect time!

  8. daviduk Said,

    June 2, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    Brandon / Norm: I know several people who ruptured or at least badly injured their achilles playing badminton. I did mine playing suqash, but having played regional representative badminton for some years, i know it to be a fairly common injury. As norm say’s, it’s the stop / start / push-off / bounding that does it - as for squash / volleyball etc so for badminton.

    I have come to see ATR as the injury of the active / fit person rather than of the sedentary or not in good shape. This is a common injury amongst top class footballers (aka soccer players!) here in the UK, and, interestingly, also for top class cricketers. Since i ruptured in January (and re-ruptured in April!) i have been struck by how common the injury is. I know personally and through the media many very active / professional sports people who have suffered ATR, i know of no unfit / sedentary people who have!

    Couple of other things that have struck me from other people’s stories. Like me, many ruptured after warm up and well into their competitive activity (for me, 20 mins warm up then half way through game 4 of a squash match). It doesn’t seem to be as simple as ‘playing cold’. Also, i am struck by how many of our kin redouble their competitive efforts post-rupture, using the rehab as a springboard for renewed vigour in their sporting activities.

    What a great bunch of people we are!!


  9. normofthenorth Said,

    June 2, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    Thanks, David, best LOL I’ve had in a while! And I think you’re spot on with your observations, too. Mind you, there’s always a 10-15% minority of ATR cases that have nothing to do with competitive high-risk sports: “NOT stepping on the cat”, being sliced by a falling sheet of glass or a sharp door closing on your heel (OUCH!!), falling off a ladder, etc., etc. And the age distribution for the sports ATRs — mostly >30, with a peak around 40 or older — suggests that age-related deterioration of the AT does have something to do with it.

    So the profile is of a relatively-to-very fit and very aggressive “aging” athlete playing a very aggressive sport that USUALLY (but certainly not always) involves a lot of start-and-stop or at least “cutting” from side to side, or sometimes jumping. And I think a more-than-random minority are people who’ve recently come out of semi-retirement from the high-risk sport, though far from a majority.

    Of course AFTER the ATR, we all micro-examine everything we did or didn’t do or felt leading up to it, and we usually over-generalize from it, conditioned by our beliefs — e.g., that stretching and warming up are both key to avoiding this sort of injury. Me, I’m a HUGE fan of warming up and staying warm (though not of pre-sport stretching), but I’m very impressed with how many of us seem to have torn our ATs late in a long match, while totally “warm”! That seems pretty typical for the whole group, including both of my own ATRs.

  10. Gunsel Said,

    August 15, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    ive been thinking about that question since the day this happened to me. WHYYY ME ? i was just playing a friendly game of handball . im only 18 and i strt college dorming in a week. Why at this time in my lifeee? who knows, maybe its karma, badluck, lack of stretching , to much stress on the ankle. What ever the reason was, it doesnt matter because it happened and now we alll have to deal with this unfortune. Thatttsss lifeeee =(

  11. bcurr Said,

    August 15, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    I did mine playing badminton and would considering myself very active and fit.
    I put mine down to:

    a) Hardly eating all day (breakfast only)
    b) It was 20+ degrees outside and the sports hall has no air movement at all
    c) I was playing a hard game and at about 40 minutes into the hour my body was saying to stop, I ignored it and managed to squeeze another 19 minutes out of it before running back and attempting to smash forward

    To me the above seems far more likely a reason than I’m pre-disposed.

  12. normofthenorth Said,

    August 16, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Bcurr, there are lots of ways to overdo, and to suffer from overdoing. But if normal average humans had tendons that were weaker than their attached muscles, we’d ALL be in wheelchairs, 24/7! By design, tendons are stronger than muscles, so the muscles (etc.) get exhausted before we cripple ourselves. We select members of this club managed to do it the other way around — excluding the few that sliced their ATs externally.

    Yes, you were overdoing, and yes, you were loading your calf muscle and AT about as hard as a person can. But the AT still shouldn’t have popped, unless it had an unusually weak spot, for some reason. The reason is what some of us call being pre-disposed. If this weren’t a major factor, the risks of tearing the other one wouldn’t be so sharply elevated, would they?

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