Week 11 - Walking

It’s now 10 weeks since the incident (feels like more, Christmas was ages ago!). So I had 3 weeks in a cast, 5 weeks in a boot, and now 2 and a bit weeks in 2 shoes.

I mentioned before, these last 2 weeks have been a bit harder than I expected. Whilst the boot is a pain, especially to sleep in, you get used to being pain free, mobile and “safe” in it. 2 shoes does feel like a bit of a step backwards to begin with.

Starting again

I’ve learned to really appreciate the Victorian era gardens over the road from my flat. This is where I go to stretch my legs at lunchtimes, and every day I try to go a bit further so I know I’m making progress. There’s also a cafe in the middle I go to in order to have a bit more human contact whilst I’ve been stuck at home.

When I first went out in two shoes (with a crutch) I could only make it to the first bench in the gardens. I could see the cafe in the distance but there was no way I could make it.

The next day I put my boot back on, but it was very uncomfortable because my leg was now swollen and hurting, whereas before I could go miles on it. I failed to get to the cafe again. This was pretty disappointing.

Over the next few days I switched back to two crutches (I really didn’t want to go back to the boot). I pushed on to the cafe one day and found that the next I couldn’t make it again. Progress wasn’t linear like it was in the boot. I did notice that the “bad” days were always damp, grey days, so maybe I could blame the weather.

One weekend I got my girlfriend to carry my crutches for me and I managed to walk quite a chunk of the way to the cafe, but the next day it was like I’d gone back a week.

Breakthrough

I started to worry that I was lagging behind on my progress. I remembered that Don from here is a couple of weeks ahead of me and talked about walking miles after 2.5 weeks. At 2 weeks this didn’t seem likely.

However, the day after I finally let my girlfriend massage into the big lump I can now feel on my tendon, I felt a marked improvement. (Fortunately for me she’s just qualified as a soft tissue therapist, I can honestly recommend her!) In the last couple of days I’ve really come on. I take a crutch out with me but find I can just carry it and wobble along for a reasonable distance.

I still seem to waddle side-to-side a lot but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as sketchy as before, and I can brace my ankle as I roll through to the toes without feeling pangs of pain or discomfort.

This morning I even drove myself to get my hair cut, and it felt fine. The feeling of freedom is a hell of a buzz.

I see my physio again on Monday. Last time she was keen that I still wasn’t to do any stretches, and she hasn’t given me anything like heel raises to do yet. Whilst I’ve only seen her twice I feel reassured that she knows what she’s doing. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Anyone else struggling with two shoes stick at it, it’ll come :)

12 Responses to “Week 11 - Walking”

  1. Looking good Morcs! I think it’s more of a swagger than a waddle! And definitely speedier and less stiff than the last video you posted. Since I had a big day on my feet I have really struggle to do my physio exercises so I guess it’s a balance between fatiguing my leg and strengthening It! Good luck at physio on Monday.

  2. Cheers :) My physio did say it’s a cycle of push & recover - just like strength training etc. so I guess it’s the rest days where the real progress happens.

  3. Hi Morcs, I am sorry if I got you worried about your recovery. I have realised that although I have only been in shoes for 2 more weeks than you, I am actually 4 weeks further along than you overall, as I didn’t go into shoes until 10 weeks after my ATR, whereas you were in after 8 (I had 6 weeks in a boot, which I felt was a bit long, but that was the NHS protocol that I was on). So if anything you are further ahead than I was at 10 weeks post ATR, and I am sure that your recovery will speed up from here. I also didn’t start heel raises till 10.5 weeks after ATR, and that was seated calf raises (working up to weighted seated calf raises the following week, then standing 2 legged calf raises at 12.5 weeks). One good tip that my physio gave me was when practising walking at home, just to take little steps, and that helps with the heel to toe roll through.

    Smillea, I also had the same issues as you regarding getting the balance right between fatiguing the leg and strengthening it. When I went to the physio at the beginning of this week, he suggested cutting down on the long walks and instead focussing on calf raises and stationary cycling at the gym. That’s helped me quite a lot this week.

  4. Congratulations! I also just graduated up to 2 shoes and started my PT yesterday… The most profound thing my torturer (therapist) said to me was “Steve, try not to limp.” Ugh. I’m looking forward to walking as much as you have. Good luck and know that you’re not alone with that wobble…

  5. No worries Don. Yeah one of the exercises my physio gave me was “tandem walking” which is basically as little steps as you can take, heel to toe. That feels good in terms of moving the ankle properly.

    sskarupa mine also said “try not to limp”, though she did back it up with “I know I’m asking a lot”! I didn’t get marbles though - appreciate you’ve been through the works with this, good to see you’re on the recovery path.

    I just watched the replay of the moment David Haye’s Achilles went last night. I wonder if he’ll start a blog :D

  6. Hi Morcs!
    You’re walking really well! Congrats! I am now in week 2 of two shoes and walking is still a bit of a struggle. I know we are only a day apart on our injuries, but I’m definitely waddling still. But that’s better than the hobble I had last week. I’m just looking forward to exercising and actually breaking a good sweat again. My therapist is reluctant to let me ride an exercise bike or walk to much on the treadmill because of my blood clot. But I’m happy to be moving on my own two feet again.

  7. hey Morcs, how did Physio go?

  8. Will try and do a new post about it when I get time! Pretty positive :)

  9. Hi Morcs. I know what you mean about needing human contact; I have to get out every day or I’ll go spare. Impressed to hear you tried driving; if you’d needed to make an emergency stop how would you have got on?

  10. I drove to work today! It feels fine, though it is my left foot so only needed for clutching.

  11. Hi Guys I’m from Philippines. Just want to share my ATR timelines coz we’re on close date of rupture.
    Dec 13- ATR (left Achilles)
    Jan 12 Sugery :(
    2weeks in semi cast tip toed
    4weeks fiber glass cast neutral position
    now in 1st day of shoes, with slight limp.
    also in 2weeks of driving using my left heel for clutch.

    I hope nothing serious on my recovery since I feel that I am way too fast.
    Am encountering burning sensation on the upper portion of the incision from the start of my therapy almost 3weeks ago. Is this just fine?

  12. Afraid I can’t answer Onix as I didn’t have surgery, hopefully someone else can help :)