Sep 10 2011

14 weeks, no surgery - walking, some pain and PT

Published by mtbrider at 8:27 pm under Uncategorized

Well I am now 14 weeks post ATR. I have been 2 shoes for just over 2 weeks and I feel pretty good. I would say my walk at normal pace is about 90% normal looking and when I slow my pace down it looks even better.

I have also been doing a few half hour sessions on my exercycle, pedalling with what I would describe as about 20% resistance. I have been told to stop using the black theraband by my PT. Just as well as it snapped the other day from putting too much tension through it. The theraband that is, although I got one hell of a fright when I heard the snap!

For the last week I have been experiencing an increase in pain in my tendon and the back of my heel when walking (when on my toes and pushing off) The PT says this is because when I am doing my 2 foot heel raises I am not tensing and working out the calf muscle on my injured leg. This means that when I walk I am relying on the wrong muscles. Her solution is to do 2 foot calf raises but tense my calf muscle on my injured leg heaps and work it heaps. Man it is hard work too! And how often was I advised to do these- as much as possible.

I also find it helps to lean my body slightly so I have more weight on my injured side. When I am doing my heel raises I was also told to do them on a step so I am on my toes with my heels hanging off the edge. When lowering from my heel raises I now go past 0 degrees. I noticed tonight that when I sit on the floor with my legs straight and bring my toes towards me as far as I can both feet stretch to the same point. Yay!

PT also advised me to swim with a flutterboard with some short flippers.  I HATE pools and swimming - can anyone advise me as to how useful you found this exercise to motivate me to get into a pool!

Cheers to all the people who read my blog and  reply, and to all those others who have their own blogs. It does make this recovery easier knowing there more people who know exactly what you are going through. It seems there are a quite a few other mountain bikers on this site so once you recover and if you ever get to NZ and want a tour guide give me a yell!

Take it easy all

5 Responses to “14 weeks, no surgery - walking, some pain and PT”

  1. normofthenorthon 11 Sep 2011 at 6:17 am

    I think swimming pools are magic earlier in the rehab, esp. for walking and doing heel raises with the buoyancy taking part of your weight off your feet. At your stage, I’m not convinced that using flippers is worth overcoming your pool hatred (though there might well be other benefits of getting over it).

    I’m more concerend about your pain in the AT and the back of the heel, which is where the AT connects to the heel bone (calcaneus). I developed a pain there (post-op, ATR #1, ~10 yrs ago) from overdoing 1-leg heel raises at ~17 weeks post-op, and it lasted a month! I went back into my hinged boot and stayed in it for a month until the pain went away. After that, my recovery was straightforward and perfect, back to competitive volleyball with no noticeable deficit at ~10 months.

    If parts of your still-recovering AT, or that AT-calcaneus join, are complaining from overuse, I’d be nervous about working through that pain. It’s good to put your faith in your PT and your other professionals — except when it isn’t! ;-) The trick is telling which time is which. . .

  2. mtbrideron 11 Sep 2011 at 8:47 am


    The idea of going back into the boot did cross my mind but the PT did not mention it. I have my next appt. on Tuesday so I will bring it up with her. It would not be at all cool going back into the boot, but that would be better than re-rupturing. One step backward, two steps forward eh.

    Hopefully the exercises the PT gave me two days ago work, that would be the best option. Will let you know the outcome of our conversation on Tuesday.

  3. Stuarton 11 Sep 2011 at 9:12 am

    MTB - do you still ice down after a workout? It is hard to tell from this perspective what is causing it. If it is a pain around insertion with the heel it could be from over use. I would be less concerned about a re-rupture at the injury site. The pain could also be bursitis. The heel lifts you are doing is giving that tendon a stretch as well. I get a bit of an ache in that area when I stretch and have had concerns about whether I am doing too much. If there is degeneration in the tendon that caused a rupture then there may still be degeneration at the insertion and the healed area is going to be stronger. I worry that it may give somewhere else. I am happy to say I am less worried about a re-rupture at the injury site after some recent events. Not sure if you are into rugby but it would be great to see an NZ/Aus final to the world cup. I am a bit disappointed that the Bledisloe is only a two (really a one) game decider. Best out of 3 is the only way. If I were to put money on it, I would have to go with NZ at the moment. I don’t think Aus have the discipline yet to see it all the way. If you are not into rugby then I have just bored everyone (again).

  4. mtbrideron 11 Sep 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Stuart, I expect NZ to win, but then again I have expected them to win for the last 5 tournaments too! Their game was not the best against Tonga but that is ok, no issues there as they were playing some players in interesting positions, and they left out some 1st team players too. England and Scotland both got a good scare yesterday which was interesting to watch.

    As for my heel pain it is there constantly when that foot is on the ground when I am walking. I really, really feel that my limp is due to the pain in my heel not the tightness of my achilles/calf.

    My achilles feels really strong, and ROM is really good it is just the pain that seems to be worrying me/holding me back.

    I do not ice down after a workout at all. Never have. The pain is there all day too, not just after working on it, but it is worst at night.

  5. Stuarton 12 Sep 2011 at 6:49 am

    I thought Aus/Italy was going to be a close game but it turned out only to be the first half. If Aus plays its second half for the rest of the tournament then I may change my bet. There were glimpses of the old Aus - running rugby and quick ball at the change over. Too many penalties. Anyway, hope this problem resolves with you soon. After your workout, put your hand on both heels and see if the amount of heat is the same. If your bad one is hotter then I would consider ice.

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