Oct 08 2011

18 weeks, no surgery - on downer with tendonitis

Published by mtbrider at 7:26 pm under Uncategorized

Yeah I have not been back in about 3-4 weeks ‘cos it is getting tough. I had a ultrasound this week and an appointment with the doctor at the hospital as I am still experincing constant apin in my achilles when walking when I put weight on the ball of my foot. The outcome was that my tendon has healed properly but I haven tendonitis.

Put in a nutshell it is basically my healed tendon has been doing too much work the last 8 or so weeks as my calf has shrunk so much. The tendon has started to do the work my calf should be doing resulting in tendonitits. In hindsight I should have taken my exercises a bit slower but that is with hindsight. What you could do in life if you had that as your superpower.

The doc said that the solution with tendonitis is to rest. However he said that that would not help me as I after the ‘rest’ my tendon would still be doing the work of my calf as it would still be weak.  What I need to do is exersise my calf to strengthen it so it will work properly and basically put up with the pain until I get there. So two foot heel raises and stretching is the plan for now. Doc said could be 2 months (although he gave me a 3 month prescription of diclofenac!).

So here I am battling on. No offense to people out there in achillesblogland but one of the things I am finding really tough is knowing I am now behind most people. The thing I am finding hardest about this is hearing what other people  are doing and how well they are progressing. It sounds so selfish but I am sure you all will understand where I am coming from.  Reading what people are doing makes me feel down about how slow I am going.

So people, my advice it take it easy, do not try to be the fastest healer you can be by doing lots on your newly healed tendon or it might just turn around and tell you to piss off. The result… tendonitis. More issues.

I will check this post to see if anyone has any words of encouragement or advice. Things are pretty tough but I do know I will get there it is now just a matter of when. Happy healing and take it easy all.

I do not mind the pain idea when exercising as long as I know I am allowed to feel it.

12 Responses to “18 weeks, no surgery - on downer with tendonitis”

  1. Neville Clementson 09 Oct 2011 at 2:28 am

    Hey MTBRider. Sorry to hear about the tendonitis. I’m just a bit behind you in terms of time and a really keen Mountain Biker, hence my urge to step on the gas and get this thing healed. I’ve been doing a lot more of late but your words have given me a ‘rain check.’

    I haven’t re-read some of your older posts but what kind of exercise have you been doing the past 8 weeks? Static bike, walking, swimming? I have been increasing all of the same over the past 3 weeks, especially the static bike with increased resistance. I’ve noticed this past week my slight dip in my walking gait has got slightly worse. I can’t figure whether it’s due to increased exercise causing a problem, or the bit between my ears causing a ‘mental block’ in how I should walk. I’ve realised after reading your post that I have been neglecting my duties in the heel raise stakes. I haven’t stuck to the routine given by the PT and done my own thing in the gym. But reading your post I could end up the same way with a lack of calf strength affecting the AT. I’m going to re-think my exercise routine now.

    Don’t get down about things now. You’re a way down the marathon course, and no one ever said it was a jog round the track. I’ve reset my goals re my biking to nothing for another 3 months. But then it will be winter then in the UK so it won’t hurt me too much. I guess 3 months and it will be a Souther Hemisphere summer and you will be well down the road to recovery and likely riding a few trails again. Keep smiling as these slight setbacks are all part of the recovery process and designed to make us mentally stronger. Good luck!

  2. suthrnmanon 09 Oct 2011 at 2:58 am

    I agree it can be discouraging to see yourself fall behind the pack; however, you’re not behind everyone e.g. suthrnman.

    Taking it easy is good advice. If you’ve read my story . . . I pushed too fast and had partial ruptures at 13, 14 weeks and fully ruptured at 19 weeks. This go round I am at 14 weeks and things seem to be going better (I am non-surgery both times). However, I am still understandably quite cautious. I have found that pushing the recovery in the first few months really doesn’t get you there faster and may compromise one’s progress. I can now basically stand on the ball of my bad foot with all my weight, 175 lbs, without pain. I could never do that before.
    Blessing and good healing.

  3. Marion 09 Oct 2011 at 4:31 am

    I can so relate.
    I had surgery after my last half marathon and was keen to get started again, now!
    Surgery was in October and I put on the running shoes in march.
    Yeah, not.

    It was pretty clear I was not going to be walking any half marathons soon.
    And then at the same time there were some people here who ruptured after me who went skiing, one ran a half and here I was gimping along still.

    Everyone is different, everyone will heal different.
    Listen to your body!

    Take care

  4. bcurron 09 Oct 2011 at 7:24 am

    Hey mtbrider

    Don’t get down, you’re still doing pretty damn well at 18 weeks if you think about it. I think at this stage we all realise its going to be a minimum 6 months, likely 9 months and possibly 12 months to full recovery. 6 months is still 8 weeks away for you so a long long time!

    If it helps any read my blog from the last couple of weeks. My physio is all about building the calf up slowly to get it to its maximum as best as possible. Hhis advise is little and often so for example when stood around talking to people, just stand on your toes and hold it, maybe lean to one side, then the other.

    Best of luck and try and think positive. For all the good ones we can read where people are doing “amazing”, there are plenty of others like suthrnman who would give anything to swap places with us!

  5. ryanbon 09 Oct 2011 at 8:17 am

    mtbrider- Your tendon can’t “contract”. It can’t do “work” in lieu of your weakened calf. Think of your Achilles like a cable which connects your calf muscle - the actuator - to your heel. It moves (slips/slides) up and down, but should not change length. If it were me, I think I’d be asking for a better explanation.

  6. alion 09 Oct 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Is it definately tendinitis not tendinopathy. Don’t mean to question, but they are two different things. (Having gone round this loop myself I have to ask). Bcurr is right. I think we are beginning to realise its 6 months to a year at least. Yours ruptured on the same day as my op, and Im nowhere near where I used to be. Its not mind over matter either which is the frustrating thing.

  7. alion 09 Oct 2011 at 9:58 pm

    P.s. if its tendinitis it will improve with RICE.

  8. normofthenorthon 12 Oct 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Good luck and good healing, MTB. Like Ryan, I’m having trouble with the explanation you got, and my understanding of the basic mechanics is the same as his. In general, it’s a very strong calf muscle, not a weak one, that puts the greatest tension on an AT. . .

  9. Stuarton 16 Oct 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Mt - maybe you will feel better if the All Blacks beat the Wallabies tonight then you will have one over on me. I know it has been hard for you and I feel there are many others in a similar position. I think your words could be of great comfort and encouragement to them, knowing they are not alone. Hard times but you can battle through. I will check back in a couple of weeks

  10. Stuarton 18 Nov 2011 at 6:27 am

    Mtbrider - hope things have improved for you over the last few weeks. You said the All Blacks would take out the title and you were right. Maybe that gave you a lift. I know it is hard to read all the things others are doing and you may not be visiting the site as much so it doesn’t get you down. I can understand that but know that as we all share in the joy of others success, we also feel the pain when one of us has a set back. Keep posting and being honest.

  11. bcurron 18 Nov 2011 at 9:33 am

    An updated post would be good. Firstly you can get all the stuff people without this injury just don’t understand off your chest and second, it will serve as a great record for the next person who comes along and experiences something smililar.

    Best of luck!

  12. Stuarton 01 Dec 2011 at 6:26 am

    Mtb - it has been 3 weeks since your post and I hope things have improved for you. It will be great when I read in the near future that you managed to get some riding done this summer. Keep well, stay positive.

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