I am finally partially weight bearing and using 1 to no crutch depending on how I am feeling.  I have now taken out 2 of the 3 inserts in my air boot and next week I will be flat on the ground.  I feel like I could tumble backwards at any moment, as if I have little to no muscle strength available to hold myself upright.  Walking is extremely difficult!  I am starting to have pain on the top of my ankle and the tendon is still tight which is to be expected.  It takes about 10-15 min. to get my ankle into the boot in the morning.  I have to use my hands to physically manipulate/flex it into place in the aircast.  Is this normal???

I would love some tips for walking "correctly" in the air boot.  I watched the video posted on the site, but am finding it very difficult to apply since my leg isn’t strong enough to push off effectively and propel myself forward.  Are there any exercises that any of you have done that have helped you at this point?  Could scar tissue be the issue?  I feel like Frankenstein with a horrible lurching gate!  Help please!

I would love some reassurance and advice…

I am so excited!  I finally succeeded in walking around the house on one crutch!  I have been in the airboot for 1.5 weeks now and was beginning to feel like a total loser.  Like I would never be brave enough or coordinated enough to walk around without crutches again… Try as I might to stay focused on my own journey, trust my body and intuition, I couldn’t help but compare myself to other recoverees on the blog or hold the flipant words of my doctor too close to heart. (He basically told me to just start walking…)  I have been taking it slow, it took me 1.5 weeks to take out the first of 3 wedges.  Which I did today, and surprisingly it feels really good, almost easier to walk.  My tendon is feeling strong, the scar is completely healed.  Overall, today feels pretty good!  A few small, but noticeable successes!  Wishing everyone happy healing!

So today the hard cast came off.  My doctor wants me to start walking around on it without crutches, which seems crazy.  It doesn’t hurt, but it feels very tight and mechanical.  When I move, it feels like a rubber band tightening, but the nerves feel raw and buzzy, particularly on the inside of the heel.  Anyone else experience this?  And does it go away?  I guess I’m just nervous that there might be some permanently damaged nerves.

On an up note, it is wild feeling the air on my skin!  I washed away the yucky skin that was under the cast and applied some aloe vera with comfrey and camomile.  Massaging it in felt amazing!  When I crutched around for the first time with nothing on my calf or ankle, it was actually exhilarating.  We don’t realize how much information our nerves ignore.  It was like I could feel the air rushing past every cell.  So cool!

As for bearing weight on this leg, I am nervous.  I’m starting really slowly.  Anyone have any good advice for building up to being fully weight bearing in the aircast?  I don’t want to rush it, but I also don’t want to baby it too much…Wish me luck!

I have been having a lot of success using this tea blend to speed up my recovery and make myself feel better in the process.  I could feel the difference after just 2 days!  It helped strengthen the tendon and decrease the pain I was feeling in my heal bone.  The incisions are closing up nicely and it also helped alleviate the knee and hip pain I was feeling from sitting on the couch/crutching around all of the time.  I have more energy, am sleeping better, and am SO much happier!  Try it out if you are into a different approach than the old western medicine cabinet.  Let me know if you have questions, Happy Healing!

Ingredients: (yield 2 week supply)

20 ounces of drief Comfrey Leaf

2.5 ounces of dried Oregon Grape Root

2.5 ounces of dried Red Clover Leaf

2.5 ounces of dried Nettle Leaf

2.5 ounces of dried Horsetail Leaf

Other Supplies:

Large glass jar with lid

Wire mesh strainer

All of these can be purchased online at mountainroseherbs.com or at your local herbal apothecary.  The total cost of the ingredients for a 2 week supply is about 30$ after shipping and it is well worth it!

To make a days worth of tea: Use 2 ounces of dried herb to 4 cups of water

The combination of the herbs is key, you want the blend to be 70% comfrey and the other 30% is split evenly between the other 4 herbs.  That means, If you were making enough for a day you would weigh out 1.4 ounces of comfrey and 0.15 ounces of the other 4 herbs.

To brew a days worth of tea, place the combined 2 ounces of dried herbs in a glass jar and add 4 cups of boiling water, stir the mixture briefly the seal the jar. It is important to seal the jar, as some of beneficial compounds in these herbs become gaseous when heated, sealing the jar prevents the good stuff from escaping.  Let the mixture sit for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight.

Serving per day: 3 cups of tea per day for 2 weeks

This mixture is a bit bitter tasting, to improve the flavor you can mix 1 cup tea with 1 cup apple juice.

When using herbal remedies, it is important to pay attention to your body to see how it feels.  I felt much better right away, but everyone’s body is different so trust yours.  If you hit a point where you are just like, blegh, I couldn’t drink another drop of this stuff if my life depended on it, then your body is probably telling you it has had what it needs.  Conversely, if you are craving the stuff increase your intake to 4 cups per day.  Listen to your body and trust yourself.

So, this is my very first experience with blogging!  I was looking for an opportunity to connect with others who are going through the same or similar ATR journeys and stumbled onto this site, very cool.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Kristen, I am 30 years old, and on December 17th I ruptured my right Achilles tendon while bouldering at a local rock gym in Portland, OR.  At the time, I was uninsured….EEEK, I know.  Fortunately, I was able to get Cobra back insurance to cover the cost of my treatment, phew!  But, the insurance didn’t kick in until the 26th of December thus I didn’t have it repaired until 12 days after the accident!

I had surgery to repair my tendon on the 28th, everything went great, though not as the doctor had initially expected.  When he got in there, he realized that my tendon had not in fact torn, but rather disconnected from my heel entirely.  It turns out that I had a Haglund’s defect that caused the tendon to wear abnormally.  So, the doc chiseled down the bone, inserted some bone anchors and reattached my  Achilles to my heel.  Done deal!

Every part of this process so far has worked out well, but only because I have been able to see this as a blessing rather than a curse.  Trust me, it has not been easy.  There has been pain (obviously), the fear of not being able to get insured, pain meds that reacted so poorly with my body that I didn’t sleep for weeks plagued by the WORST nightmares of my life, financial troubles with not being able to work, and my having to learn to be inactive (probably the hardest one of all).

This entire experience has been a process in acceptance, slowing down, and presencing.  I have been a meditator for several years, and now more than ever, I realize that this is a huge part of how I manage in the face of fear, pain, and change.  I wanted to share this with others that are going through the ATR process in hopes that it helps.  I have a long way to go with little to do, so I figure at least I can serve others this way (while not leaving my couch).

Thanks Dennis for this space and hello everyone, please reach out!


  • mindfulatrofhealing has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
    Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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ATR Timeline

  • Name: mindfulatrofhealing
    Location: Portland, OR
    Injured during: Bouldering
    Which Leg: R
    Status: PWB

    536 wks  2 days Post-ATR
    534 wks  5 days
       Since start of treatment

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