Recap from Injury to Current

I ruptured my achilles tendon on Wednesday May 18th during a Crossfit WOD. Anyone familiar with crossfit knows boxjumps are one of the exercises of many of the WODs we do. ATR I have found is also a common injury from doing box jumps. Anyway I was doing a 20 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of

4 shoot throughs

8 kb sdhp 70#

12 box jumps 24″ box

I was 6 rounds in, and in the middle of box jumps when I came down, went to spring back up on the box and it sounded like a gunshot went off. I thought somebody behind had dropped their kettle bell on my ankle but turned around and nobody was there. I fell to the ground, felt the back of my ankle and immediately knew what had happened. I went in to the nearest Urgent Care and was referred to an Orthopedic Specialist the next day. He confirmed what I already suspected and suggested surgery asap. I was devastated as I had almost every weekend for the next 2 months planned with golf and lake trips. I crossfit 4 times/wk, play golf at least once/per week and usually hit the lake on the weekend during summer. I do all of this on top of working about 50-60 hrs/wk. So if you haven’t realized I go 200 mph daily. I love to be active and enjoy life so the week leading up to the surgery I was very very depressed and feeling sorry for myself.

I had never had a major surgery before so was pretty nervous about being put under. My surgery was Tue May 24, 6 days after my injury at 7:00 in the morning. My fiance and I had already prepared for the next few weeks by taking off work for a week, stocking up the kitchen, buying a shower chair, and arranging the bedroom with my xbox, tv, and magazines to keep me occupied for the week ahead. I came out of the surgery pain free because they did the nerve block from the knee down. It wore off early the next day and I started taking the pain meds prescribed. The day after surgery was the most painful day I had. The next 4 days I stayed in bed, only getting up to use the bathroom. I even waited to shower for the first time on Friday. I was dreading using the shower chair and having my fiance help me. I went back to the dr. on friday 4 days after surgery and they took the splint and wrapping off. My ankle was pretty swollen and the incision looked pretty nasty. It was about 4 inches long just on the inside of my ankle. The PA had a look at it and told me I would be put into a cast for 3 weeks. So I got my cast put on, they pushed my foot up toward my body as far as I could stand it when they put the cast on.

Week 2 I went back to work and had my foot up on top of my desk most of the time I was there. It would immediately start swelling and throbing when I lowered it down to the ground. Everything was pretty much a pain in the rear: showering, making myself breakfast, driving, crutching around trying to get dressed. Everything literally wore me out. All I could think about was getting back to the gym and playing golf and chillin on the lake. My fiance was awesome in helping keeping my spirits up and helping me when she could.

Week 3 I felt like my achilles as a whole was feeling much better. I could move it around in the cast and even started flexing, pushing my foot down against the cast and flexing upward with my toes. I was definitely ready to get it off and see how much my calf had shrunk. Finally the day came to get the cast off. Time seemed to go by so slow the week before I was to get it off. On a good note I had returned to crossfit, our coach put together some WODs that were strictly upper body for me. Anything to get my heart rate up and get a workout!

The cast was sawed off and I looked everything over. My calf and shrunk even more than I expected, but my incision looked like it was healing nicely. I waited for a while wondering if I would get to see my surgeon or the PA again. I had many questions and was hoping for all around good news. The surgeon and the PA finally came in, he started poking around on it a little and said everything looked good. He said the next step was another cast at 90 degrees and it would be a walking cast. This is not what I was wanting to hear!! I was hoping for the boot. I put on my selling shoes (sales is what I do) and explained why I wanted the boot over the cast. He stated, “I trust you about as far as I can throw ya.” He knew how active I was and how much I wanted to get back to walking. I finally convinced him I would keep the boot on 24/7 and would be very careful. I asked about starting out with wedges in the boot to progress to the 90 degree angle that the boot was. He informed that “that was for baby’s.”  As I tried to get my ankle all the way down into the boot I became very nervous because the tendon was sooo tight. He assured me that it would not rupture again and it would be ok to immediately stretch it to 90. I couldn’t physically push my heel all the way into it, so he instructed me to take a deep breath and let it out slowly, he then pushed it down in one sudden shove. I about sh** my pants!! I felt an unbelievable tightness from my heel all the way to top of the calf. I didn’t sleep at all that night as it was throbbing pretty bad. It got used to the stretch within a full 24 hrs though. I was pretty excited to be able to shower without having to worry about keeping my bad leg dry. I also liked that I could ice my ankle directly, and that my incision would have air so it could continue to heal faster. I also inquired about the steps ahead and he said as follows: let the achilles adjust to the new stretched position for a few days then start putting partial weight on the leg, ditch the crutches as soon as comfortable, come back in two weeks for follow up and start PT.

So today I am exactly 4 weeks post op. I am totally off of the crutches walking in my boot. It is so nice to be able to have my hands free to do just the littlest things! I actually stood in the shower this morning (I know I shouldn’t have!) it felt so nice to have the hot water running down my back! I ice my achilles area atleast twice a day and try to move my foot a little when I have the boot off, still feels very stiff and tight. I am still going to the gym and getting upper body workouts in. I will start PT hopefully in a little more than a week, and I hope progress will start to move a little faster at that point.

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