Sick Again

I’m baaaaaack!

I’m the 1-in-50 you talk about below, normofthenorth. I ruptured my other Achilles today playing basketball.

This is great news, by the way. I ruptured my left Achilles in January of this year, and I blew through the high deductible of my High Deductible Health Plan. I have ruptured my right Achilles in December, with hopefully plenty of time to get the surgery before New Years Day. You can’t beat those savings!

It is interesting to note that I was doing the exact same thing. Playing basketball, accelerating toward a rebound. And I knew what I did one second after it happened, no doubt whatsoever.

Although I’m not looking forward to another 6-month recovery, I know what to expect. It’s not as scary as the first time.

The biggest bummer is that I’ll never play basketball again, ever.

12 Responses to “Sick Again”

  1. I am really sorry to hear this. I got 15 years in before the other side went. You are absolutely right though the second time is not nearly as scary- nothing beats prior experience.
    Have you chosen to retire from basketball or is this the advice you have been given?
    All the best

  2. Sorry you joined our tiny club of two-timers.

    First things first:

    1) You can still skip the surgery this time, you know. Check out the great results — and Wallace’s great “trick” to perfect non-op treatment — at achillesblog.com/Cecilia/Protocols. Rerupture rates are either totally identical or virtually identical, strength and ROM are maybe virtually identical, complication rates are quite different, wounds and scars can make life hard, Wallace got 100% return to sports among almost 1000 non-op patients…
    I think it’s worth some serious thought. If you can educate an Oakland OS to do Wallaces tests — to determine exactly what ankle angle just gets your torn AT ends to apprximate — and to immobilize you initially at THAT angle, you should be on your way to recovery in a hurry.
    1a) If you do consider non-op, and you negotiate with your insurer, you may get them to apply some of the $ they’ll save on the surgery, to extra PT (which will be mostly in 2015), or to carrying over the deductible to next year to cover PT. Maybe. (If I were the insurer, I’d negotiate to save us both some $.)

    2) One of the guys here, maybe 3 years ago, wrote “Unless I grow a third wheel, I should at least be safe from THIS injury!” There are lots of ways to get hurt, with or without basketball, but ATRs on the same leg that had a previously healed ATR are vanishingly unlikely.

    3) If you’ve been taking any antibiotics recently, make sure they’re not the ones that increase the risk of tendon ruptures!

    BTW, my two were almost exactly 8 years apart, doing the same “move” (switching from reverse to full-thrust forward) in court volleyball. I switched from op for #1 to non-op for #2 and went much faster the second time (following UWO’s schedule). Neither leg is exactly perfect, but they’re both fine and I’m glad I switched.

  3. Also BTW, I hope you’re not really SICK, along with being injured! One at a time is enough!

  4. herewegoagain– Quitting basketball was part of my reaction yesterday. I may change my mind, but to be honest every time I went out and played a little voice was whispering, “You’re going to blow your Achilles again.”

  5. normofthenorth–

    1) Thanks for the detailed recommendation. To be honest, I hadn’t even been considering non-op because my last recovery was so successful (at least, from my standpoint). I hate to play dice with a non-surgery method, especially if I have to find someone that knows the Wallace stuff and/or I have to educate them. But thanks again for at least bringing it up.

    2) That’s good to know. Maybe I’ll feel comfortable enough playing low intensity basketball once I’m fully healed again. It would be great if it wasn’t gone from my life completely.

    3) I had antibiotics back in August, I assume that’s long enough for any effects to have worked themselves out of my system?

  6. BTW I’m not sick as well. I’ve just been titling all my posts after Led Zeppelin songs and “Sick Again” was the closest match.

  7. normofthenorth… It’s interesting that you blew both yours on December 1. In both of my cases, it was relatively cold outside, and I came indoors to a relatively warm basketball court. The first one happened around January 6, the second on December 6.

  8. I can understand your caution and sticking with what you know but after reading Norm’s post and the warnings that surgeons give about potential op risks, it must surely be less risky to go non-op. Looking at Cecilia’s blog that N talked about it is also pretty clear that non-op done well is a good way to go, just as successful and no complications.

    Maybe give the non-op a shot next time? Maybe I’m biased, only tried that way.

  9. So very sorry that you ruptured your other Achilles so quickly after your first rupture. Interesting that you took antibiotics in August. I would think that would have been plenty of time for it to leave your system but wondering if it is more than just a coincidence.

    I ruptured mine in June and had surgery and am very pleased with the results. Saying that, I would most definitely consider the non-op surgery for my second (hoping I never injure my other Achilles) after reading about the success of many people’s experience with it. I was initially a skeptic of it but you can’t deny that it is less riskier and less invasive.

    Good luck with whatever you decide - I really like your attitude! I guess it would indeed be less scary the second time knowing what to expect.

  10. I will reliably miss all the Led Z references! ;-)

    Having had a great op recovery on one side is no guarantee of avoiding the potholes on the second, of course. But neither path comes with a guarantee.

    If your antibiotic was Cipro or related, I’d suspect it. I don’t think the mechanism is well understood, but if it weakened your AT in August, that could have contributed later. We’ll never know, and it doesn’t really matter - but I’d avoid them (and I do!) from now on!

  11. I met with the surgeon today and I’m going under the knife tomorrow. I did consider the non-op route, but my logic was this: Immediately after I injured myself on Saturday, it was interesting that I really wasn’t too upset or stressed out because I knew exactly what was going to happen (assuming I went the op route again). While contemplating the non-op route, I could feel myself getting nervous and stressed out, since it would be a whole different ballgame. And in the end, the potential benefits didn’t stand out enough for me.

    Thanks again for all the well-wishing and advice.

  12. And the well-wishing is ongoing. You had a personal decision to make and you made it on the basis of your own values with your eyes open, as it should be. That’s especially important when there are no guarantees. The worst feeling is dealing with “potholes” when you weren’t comfortable choosing the road in the first place.

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