Week 16 Post op 4 days away from 4 months

Definitely getting back to exercising and tennis. Played 3 sets this week and at the end I was done. Wouldn’t want to play a league match. It’s hard to stop and I really can’t sprint to get to balls I could previously. My ankle is tight and occasionally there is pain on the outside, sometimes the heel (on the bottom) feels warm (but it is not to the touch) and sometimes there are just pains on the bottom of the foot. Again, all because there is very little calf strength. I am no where near being able to lift the injured heel off the ground solo. Limping is less and usually happens after stressing it, morning or after sitting for a while. I’m hoping that at the 6 month mark league play will be ok, realizing of course this is at least a 12 month recovery. Balance is everything, don’t do too much, don’t do too little. I have gained 7 pounds. The truth is I haven’t stuck to my healthy diet and with limited ability to exercise and family emergencies, the last two months were not good for weight gain. It will be ok! Now that moving more is a reality, I can stick to a healthy diet and those pounds with go away!

Week 15 post op

Happy New Year! At week 15 I’m able to clip in to the road bike. It is a little painful to clip out the way I normally do, so I clip out with the other foot then slowly move my foot out of the other pedal. I also can jog. With the jogging milestone, I wanted to try my first doubles tennis game since the rupture on September 9! This is one week away from 4 months since the injury. It went well. There are balls I would normally go for that I didn’t, but that isn’t bad. I didn’t expect to play exactly the way I did prior to the injury on my first try.
Still swelling. Not limping as much. The PT percussion massage actually feels good now! By wearing shoes with arch support, the pain may have transferred to the outside of my ankle. This is new. The PT thinks it will be o.k. and that new pain that shows up is probably the body letting you know not to advance too fast. The inexpensive flip flop shoes really have resolved the planar fasciitis.

Week 14 post op

First of all Merry Christmas! The update for this week is that I can jog a little bit. I tried a short jog just to see and plan on increasing that to a jog/walk on my normal route. (normal for what seems like forever ago). I’m hoping to hit some tennis balls with friends and sign up for a tennis “boot camp” which is basically drills just to see what I can do. The physical therapist said not to try pilates yet. I think I’m going to veto that and just do what I can. New this week at PT, lunges. One leg heel lifts on an incline are incredibly difficult.
After 3.5 months I still have the swelling. The achilles is tight. The bottom of the heel is sore without the heel support of a shoe. This is tragic for someone who loves to be barefoot.
I’m going to try to clip in on the road bike this week and do the full 20 miles. I want my active life back.

Week 13 post op

The exercises with the physical therapist advanced to heel drops and one leg heel lift on an incline. This is my new difficult movement. I am able to raise both heels to balance on the toes. The non injured foot does most of the work so it’s not equally balanced.
Swelling is STILL THERE! It’s so aggravating. I figured out my planar fasciitis at the end of the day might be because I walk around barefoot on a hard floor. I bought these flip flops that have really good arch support and it’s much better. I was able to fully tolerate the percussion massage and the “combing” of the achilles. New this week hot heel. I don’t know how else to describe it. The bottom of my heel feels hot but when you touch it is is not.
shoes

Week 12 post op

I saw the surgeon and he likes the way things are looking. He said it is ok to start doing standing heel lifts and lowering the heel beyond neutral. This should help stretch out the calf and head in the direction of full range of motion. Also coming up…jogging! Not until the mechanics can be executed correctly because you want to be in correct alignment so you don’t injure something else. The doctor still thinks match play won’t happen until the 6 month mark so March/April. I told two team captains about this so I may be off the team. Still, I’ll be back and there is tennis for anyone who wants to play.
I still have tightness, still get planar fasciitis more towards the end of the day and am still swelling. I’m on and off with limping. I still do PT everyday on my own and once a week with the therapist. I increased my last cycle ride to 10 miles and rode a paved trail with the mountain bike. I’m pretty sure I could clip in with the road bike but will wait until I do the full 20 miles I usually do. On the inclines I’m relying on my other leg to do most of the power for now. The trails are mostly flat. I put on some low boots for a picture and couldn’t walk in them on the injured leg. For now just tennis shoes which is ok with me. I think I might start pilates next week.

Week 11 Post Op

This week is all about patience! I really want to advance my therapy and physical activity. However the Physical Therapist admonished me to follow directions. I’ve got one shot at getting this right.
This Friday will be my 12 week follow up with the surgeon. Hopefully I will be cleared to stretch the calf so that I can move towards full range of motion.
Leg presses hurt on the right side of the ankle. I can tell if I were to push it by running I would throw the rest of my body off because I can’t do the motion correctly … yet. I know there is progress because I can do the step off without pain. I still have stiffness in the morning.
Towards the end of the day the ankle and foot still swells. Still have occasional planar fasciitis and am still limping, PT still says this is because I don’t have full range of motion engaging my calf.
Still have hard incision nodules on both sides of my ankle that don’t hurt with shoes. The calf percussion massage doesn’t bother me as much anymore. But the calf scrapping tool is ridiculously painful. I call it torture! So formal PT once a week in the office. And the other days I repeat the same exercises in my other post. The PT didn’t add anything new this week. I’m up to a six mile bike ride a few times a week.

Week 10 Post Op

Week 10! My typical stiffness is still there in the morning, followed by PT repeat at home, an activity like cycling (I am up to 6 miles now/30 minutes), then swelling. The plantar fasciitis that I get towards the end of the day might be getting a little better. The doctor keeps doing the percussion massage once a week, while it hurts like hell, I did better with it this week. Then he does this scraping thing all over the muscle. He went a little deeper with that this week and that hurt. Still walking with a limp and the physical therapist says that is because I’m not able to fully stretch the calf muscle yet. By the next post op visit I should be cleared to do calf raises and really stretch out the calf muscle. I can’t wait!!! That will be week 12.
Also new this week I balanced on a square bosu flat side up for 2 minutes in a partial squat. Stepping off a 4 inch step (equivalent to a curb) is much improved! Much less pain.
Mentally I’m hanging in there. I’m missing tennis a lot. My fellow achilles recovery friend hit with me again this week and is helping me change my serve. That is something to look forward to there is nothing like hitting the snot out of a ball. For now the next milestone will be the post op visit in 2 weeks and moving into full range of motion. Yippeee!
I really don’t see the difference in my calf size from the left or the right. I’ve always had pretty big calves.
calf

Week 9 post op

I showed up to PT without the boot. So I am officially out of the boot and in shoes. It’s easier to walk around in shoes versus barefoot. The tightness is annoying as well as the limp.
The physical therapist added leg strengthening exercises (leg lift supine, then on the side and clamshell with resistance band) 3 reps x10
He had me step off a step with my non injured foot. Wow is that difficult! It’s gotten better through the week.
I rode my mountain bike on a paved trail 4 miles with a long rest in between. The ankle really swells up. The PT doctor said that is normal and will lessen over time.
I still have the hard knots at the incision site above where the anchor was and hopefully is partially attached to the bone. Luckily those spots aren’t irritated in the shoe much.
My day has been wake up to stiffness, do my PT, the achilles feels good and has the best mobility. Do an activity and the ankle swells, ice it and then later in the day the bottom of the heel hurts (plantar fasciitis). I use a tennis or lacross ball for soreness, myofascial release.
I was able to get on the tennis court and hit a few balls that were fed to me and practiced serves. This makes me so happy!!!!!
Physical Therapy once a week followed by me repeating those exercises plus some I found on YouTube that correlate with the week of recovery I’m in. Such as towel slides, ABCs and ankle pumps with the foot elevated on a Swiss ball as well as gentle rocking on the Swiss ball moving the ankle forward backward and side to side while on the ground.

Week 8 post op

Now transitioning into 2 shoes. This week I took off the boot and tried to walk barefoot around the house. The achilles is super tight. I’m limping because of the tightness. If I decrease my stride I can walk without the limp. Hoping I don’t do too much too fast impeding recovery. I want to get back on the court so badly. I really hope the physical therapist is onboard with the doctor in letting me out of the boot. I am now walking really well with the boot on. If I can ride a bike (not just a stationary one) I will feel some sense of normalcy.
Physical therapy is once a week and exercises are done at home daily. The therapist used a percussion massage gun on my calf and it was really uncomfortable. He added 3 minutes of:
toe crunches with a towel
seated heel lifts
seated toe lifts
step up and off a step
leg press
Even though eight weeks is a long time, the next recovery milestones are likely going to be farther in between. I recognize this is a long recovery. I’m hoping to be back to tennis by the six month mark. Only time will tell. Everyone recovers differently.

Week 7

At 7 weeks I’m walking around pretty comfortably in the boot with the even up shoe on the other foot. It is easy to do too much though. With the new found freedom I’m walking all of the time. At the end of the day my heel hurts.
I purposely walked a mile and it was no problem. I have two inserts left in my boot and I’m taking one out today. The first physical therapy session was virtual because I had to leave town. I have a stretch band for resistance and have isometric exercises (30 seconds x 3 reps) to move the foot eversion/outwards, inversion/inwards, plantar flexion to neutral.
I will transition out of the boot next week!
The physical therapist gave the approval to ride a stationary bike with a seat. I will see the therapist again tomorrow. That is one small step towards progress and a giant leap for my mindset!
Also, I began driving last week. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was careful to be sure I could drive around the block with no issues first. The injury is on my right foot which of course is my driving foot. I’m confident that I can drive safely so that is just another slice of freedom to enjoy!