Hi Everyone - Hope I can share my journey with you from a Full Achilles Rupture in Dec.

Some details about me and my injury.

My name is Mickey I am 59 years young and I was playing regular soccer until Dec 15th 2015.

My journey to date is as follows:

Injured the Achilles during Astra Pitch Soccer match on Dec 15th it was classic I felt somebody kicked me at the back of the ankle and felt a sharp burning pain.

The match was late and I went to A&E the following morning. After some deliberation I went the conservative treatment path and I was put in permanent plaster on Dec 22nd.

I had plaster changes every two weeks over a seven week period the first four weeks were NWB.

The last two weeks I was FWB and I was out of plaster on Feb 2nd.

I started Physio on Feb 5th and I am having regular Physio since that time. Today I am 11 weeks since the injury and 5 weeks into rehab and I am trying to understand when I will see some real progress in my rehab.

I did a lot of reading on the AchillesBlog and thank you all for sharing your experiences it has been very enlightening and frustrating in equal measure because the journey is very individual and we are all different in our makeup and physical attributes.

My Physio Journey to date is that when I came out of plaster I was wearing standard shoes and weight bearing I was shocked at the level of wastage and weakness in the injured calf muscle and I was quite swollen and I am not as bad but the good ankle and bad ankle bear no resemblance to one another.

The exercises I am doing are simple I am using parallel bars for support and I have a triangular board which sets my injured ankle at 45 degrees to the floor and I bring my good foot beyond the injured foot and this stretches the Achilles tendon.

I also do some balancing on a disc which I am told helps the smaller foot muscles function again. I have been told to go to a swimming pool and get chest deep in the water and walk, the buoyancy works and you can really stride out on the injured foot.

 

At this point I am beginning to get a bit frustrated with my progress or lack of it and I know my PT as told me with this injury you cannot afford to overdo the rehab and less is more in the long run.

I would value any advice in terms of types of exercises after 5 weeks am I being unrealistic in my expectations I forgot to mention earlier I told my PT that my goal is to be golfing in April is this unrealistic.

That’s my first post all responses very welcome and thanks for looking at this post.

 

Cheers, Mickey   

11 Responses to “Hi Everyone - Hope I can share my journey with you from a Full Achilles Rupture in Dec.”

  1. MickeyC, I am 62 and 12 weeks post injury, also non surgical. The big difference is that I wore a boot after 2 weeks in a cast, and followed an aggressive rehabilitation protocol, being partial weight bearing as of getting the boot, and moving on to full weight bearing, in the boot, as soon as my foot allowed it.
    At this moment you have the issue of weak muscles: that is one side effect of wearing a cast. And you probably lost strength on the other leg, too, since you didn’t mention doing exercises for that one.
    Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not beating on you nor criticizing, just commenting on facts that all in this blog group have had to face: recovering muscle strength is just as critical as getting tendon strength (and flexibility). For really aggressive rehab you can check out bobbie, bonnie, stuart, and mountainclimber (I shortened most of the nicknames ’cause I forget the numbers). they are all hard working athletes that are working very hard to get back into training. MountainClimber is actually older (and crazier :-D) than you and I, using a knee crutch to go up and down mountain trails! Wow!
    My suggestion: Keep your eye on the prize. Recovery is slow but we do have at least one breakthrough every week. have you tried dancing (easy steps), doing the “side of the foot soccer kick” gently (so you don’t run or run the risk of re-rupture), open a pedal-garbage-lid? These are just examples of little things that made me happy.
    Another suggestion is : Walk in shoes that have one or 2 inch heels: they protect the tendon from getting hurt. :-)
    I might be walking at half speed from usual, with a little limp, getting tired quickly, but I’m improving! :-D And you are doing the same! So don’t lose hope.
    Happy Healing………….. Manny

  2. I don’t see why you can’t golf since you are FWB. I would definitely be careful on any hills and recommend you take a motorized cart for the walking part as not to over tax and it gives you a chance to rest between holes.

    I do aqua therapy as part of my maintenance program for multiple health problems and I LOVE my water. Doing the aqua exercises first makes the ‘LAND” exercises so much easier.

    Good luck

  3. Hi Mickey, it sounds like you are right on track with your progress, I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, sorry! I know it’s frustrating and slow but I think you’ll find that over the next few weeks things will pick up. At this stage the best rehab you can do is to walk making sure you don’t limp, so allow a roll from heel to toe and go slow enough and with a short enough stride so you walk smoothly. Avoid hills. I live in a hilly area, so I paced the passage in our apartment or walked on a treadmill. I also walked in the pool and it really does help, so if you can get to a pool do this. I was also allowed to do balancing, gentle kicking and two legged heel raises in the pool, but please ask your PT before you do any new exercise. You can speed your progress by doing balancing, marching, stepping forwards and backwards, sitting to a chair and standing up with no hands (couch squats) as often as you can at home. You may also be allowed seated heel raises already, but ask. Once you can do these then you can slowly add weight to the injured leg while you do them.

    I could hardly walk 300m at 10 weeks and yet by 15 weeks I was doing 4km and 17 weeks I was up to 8km. So it improves fairly quickly. I agree with Metonia, you should be able to play golf in two weeks time just use a buggy for the distance and go carefully on the uneven terrain. Maybe try 9 holes first. Doing what you love will make everything feel better. All the best and happy healing!

  4. Mickey, I should also have mentioned the exercises I was doing from 6 weeks which were: using a theraband for resistance (a) point toes down and then slowly return back up to neutral (don’t pull toes towards face yet), (b) attach to a table or use other foot as an anchor and twist foot inward keeping foot on the floor and slowly return to neutral and (c) twist outward and slowly return to neutral .. twice a day, start at 20 reps each and increase as you like, I ended on 2×40 of each twice a day; towel scrunches; seated foot slides - you sit with foot at 90 degrees but heel must touch the ground (so further away if it doesn’t) and then push foot out along the floor and then pull back to 90 (after 12 weeks I was allowed to pull back as far as possible, the idea being to eventually match the good foot). I kept doing these exercises up to about 20 weeks though less frequently as time went on and other exercises replaced them.

    For a full list of exercises I was doing by 13 weeks see my post here achillesblog.com/beanie/2015/11/27/2m-toe-walk-at-13-weeks/. Also look up Evan Brown on YouTube, he was non-surgical and has had an excellent recovery and posted videos of the exercises he was doing at each stage in his recovery. He also has a blog here with all the links, look for achillesblog.com/ejbvmi/. Finally a guy who had a record breaking recovery and was extremely brave and did far more than most achillesblog.com/bryanb/.

    Please remember in all cases, use what you can as examples but be sure that you are ready and if in doubt ask your PT first. For example, I would not have done what ryanb did so early on because the chance of re-rupture and starting again is higher when pushing as hard as he did. His blog is inspiring but I think possibly quite risky. There are many stories of people re-rupturing at 12-16 weeks because their PT asked them to do single heel raises and they weren’t ready. So err on the side of caution, but push hard within reasonable limits. I think Evan’s example is really good and follows a sensible timeline for most people with this injury. Good luck again, I hope this helps!

  5. Arg, sorry - it’s ryanb not bryanb … so achillesblog.com/ryanb/

  6. Hi Mickey,
    I ruptured mine a couple weeks behind you and I’m on my 14th week post surgery. My advice to you would be to keep track of every little improvement daily, and set little goals for yourself every day. There is improvement, it’s just hard to measure without tracking. I have a spreadsheet where I have weekly goals, and everyday I do a little bit more than I did the previous day. Take care, it’s a long journey, but on the positive side you will learn a lot from it and maybe accomplish different things that you didn’t do before you were injured. Cheers.

  7. Hi Manny,
    Thanks a lot for your response I agree I was surprised with the amount of muscle wastage I have I know I have a long road ahead but its great to be joined on the journey by you and the other bloggers I now realise I am part of a bigger family with common goals and steady as you go is the motto.

    Great to hear your are doing well yourself and unfortunately I have two left feet in terms of dancing, I am useless its one of life’s great mysteries according to my wife how I can move effortlessly on a pitch and not able to put any coordination into a dance… what can I say….

    Thanks again for your kind words of advice and welcome I will keep you posted on the recovery and I will also watch with interest your progress.

    Cheers,
    Mickey

  8. Hi Metonia,
    Thanks for your reply I actually play in Strandhill Golf Club in Sligo if you google it or better still if you come over its a lovely seaside course but you are right it is hilly.
    From all the lovely replies and my own short experience Achilles ruptures do not like hilly or any uneven ground it really irritates the Achilles and its also very risky.

    I will keep the goal and work hard at the rehab for now and see where I am in April, I really appreciate your reply and words of encouragement.

    Good luck with your recovery journey and keep in touch.

    Mickey

  9. Hi Beanie,

    Thanks a million for your comprehensive reply it is very much appreciated I just replied to Metonia andI agree with you both hilly or uneven ground has to be avoided at the moment.

    Appreciate all the advice/info and exercises and I will check with my PT before I push the boundaries I will do my best to keep you informed on my journey and I will look into your blog and others with interest but already I feel part of an extended family.

    Best regards, Mickey

  10. Thanks Beanie !!

  11. Hi s40love,
    Thank you for your reply and that’s a great idea I need to get myself more organised and from what I can see so far there are no major improvements with this injury it is slow progress but as you say it is important to document all the little milestones along the way.
    I will do my best to be a good blogger and I will also watch your blog to see your progress.

    Best regards, Mickey

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