Jul 28 2011
Hi! Thought I’d check in with my progress. I’m not surprised to see mostly new members of the ATR Club here and some familiar faces, too–Norm, Gerry (my "coaches"). You guys are the best:) Hope you are doing well, as well as Bronny, Liverpoollass, parisski and Theresa.
I’ve mostly recovered and can do everything except play tennis (not yet!), but my PT experience was hit and miss with what I would call "benign neglect." I think my PT thought my choice of non-surgical repair was risky (he called me a guinea pig at one point) and therefore seemed not very invested in my rehab outcome despite my providing him with background info, the UWO protocol, etc. In spite of that, I’ve done pretty well, and my PT thought I did better than some of his surgical ATR patients. But, I’m finding even 10 months later that I’m still not where I thought I would be at this stage in the journey. When I do too much, the back of my ankle still feels stiff, lumpy and sore. I can hike, bike, walk, run, ski, but I have soreness and need to apply ice afterwards. I’m still fearful of getting on the tennis court (a sport I love and miss). I have other concerns as well and I know, for sure, that a friend of mine (same age) who ruptured her ATR at about the same time & had the surgical repair is back on the tennis court without any pain, stiffness, etc. Maybe my PT made all the difference. Maybe I didn’t do the exercises correctly, or ice enough. I’ll never know. Will I make it back to a totally normal functioning leg which allows me to play a game of tennis without the threat of re-rupture, or even to wear a ballet flat without soreness? Time will tell.
For newbies considering which route to take, please take your time in weighing the two options. My experience with the non-surgical route (in the US anyway) is that the surgical solution (right now) is considered the "gold standard" by the medical community and you will spend considerable time explaining, educating, advocating for your non-surgical decision. I was considered a "trail blazer" and called a "guinea pig" and when I needed medical support, the only place I could turn was this blog. And, the people here are truly amazing with their knowledge, patience and support. I don’t know what I would have done without them. But, in my experience, once you chose the non-surgical route, you are largely on your own.
I wish all of you the very best in making the right decision for you to have a surgical repair or not. Think it over carefully. Good luck and good healing to all.