WOW …16 weeks and on my way…

Wow….. 4 months seemed so far away when this journey started. Now it seems like life is back to semi normal and I can start to concentrate on the usual stuff.

For those who are in the early stages of the POST Surgery phase I thought I would do a brief timeline of my recovery as this was something I wanted to see when I was early on. It helps to understand how once you get the cast off life and return to a nice pattern if you remain positive.

From the day i got my cast on to the day the boot came off ( 10 weeks) I made a goal to get to the gym every day. I only missed 2 days!. I rode the bike every day (single legged when I was in a cast), I did upper body and core, alternating between pull weight exercise, core on the even day and Push weights and core on the odd. The 3rd day was a 30 min ride and light stuff. It really helped with the mental aspect of being immobile. Also, when i started PT at week 12 I had good flexibility and i was easily able to go past 90 degrees if i wanted (Dr. said don’t until week 12. I think the riding helped keep the freezing of the joint at bay…

At week 12 (when i was allowed to go past 90 degrees flexing) I rode my road bike for 30 min twice, and managed to climb a 500′ hill. The cycling was surprisingly easy on my Achilles, but the shoe was a bit rough on my heel (I had a bone spur shaved off in addition to the ATR). At this time I was walking in the Alter G and at a 20min / mile pace at 55% body weight. I went up about 10% BW per week. I was also swimming from week 10 on but no adding flip turns until week 13…

Today, week 16, I ran for 2 miles at 80% of my weight on the Alter G treadmill ( a body weight / anti gravity machine that supports a % of your body weight ) . I also used the skipping rope and did some one legged jump ups. The tendon feels very strong and I can sense my body is “starting” to forget about the surgery. I say sense because in the morning it takes a while to get going and at night, when it’s tired, I still ice for 15 min (twice daily). My PT has me doing (if I can ) 3 set of 15 single leg heal raises 3 times daily. I’m lucky if i get in 2 of these and i still need to assist as the single leg raises are very taxing. The calf strength is so slow to come back, but it is coming back. I hope to be able to start with a slow easy walk / run outside in a week or so. I rode for 1.25 hrs this weekend with a 500′ climb and it was better than 2 weeks ago. I know from prior ACL surgeries that rushing PT is a fools errand. The risk reward is not worth it….Slow and steady…Listen to your body…

Happy recoveries to all…..before you know I am sure we will have forgotten we had the surgery!

5 Responses to “WOW …16 weeks and on my way…”

  1. Thanks Peter! To me, that sounds like you are doing incredibly well. You’re 5 or 6 weeks in front of me, and it’’s really helpful to have some guidance- to know what to aim for / expect.

    145 single heel raises daily, at 16 weeks! Wow!! Leaves me wondering: when did you find yourself first able to do a single heel raise?

  2. The heel raises are a re target and that is the one area i am lacking. i can do 4-6 with NO assistance. and 3 sets of 15 with assistance. I generally only do 2 sets a day…..But I will say my calf strength has taken a nice positive turn…Life is becoming more normal

  3. I am now 16 weeks post-op. I did six weeks in the cast and approximately 8 weeks in the boot with the last two weeks using the boot for only outside. I had a 90% tear doing box jumps. I had surgery on Nov15 and the injury happened on Nov 8 th. I am now in the gym doing upper body and modified lower body. I was told to use the machines only and no free weights. I am allowed to do spinning but no standing on the bike. The biggest problem I am having at the moment is the swelling daily. I am not sure if this normal for everyone. I do all my exercises, calf raises, one-legged balancing etc. Does anyone experience a great deal of swelling? I am icing and elevating my leg. I am also planning to try the Alter G treadmill to see if this will speed up my recovery.

  4. I started one blog page with a title like “This swelling is really getting OLD!” I forget how far “in” I was, but I bet it was MORE than 16 weeks. The good news is that the swelling resolved fairly soon afterwards. So start your own blog! ;-) Wearing compression socks helps lots of people, too.

  5. Sweet…sounds like you are doing well…I also will be 16 weeks post op on the 13th of march. congrats on the single heel raises, I still can not do them but am getting closer. I do roughly 3 sets of 50lb calf raises 3 x a week on the seated leg press which is helping a lot. Also focusing on eccentric movement on seated leg press using 70lbs( up on 2 down on 1 breaking neutral point). I have been jogging 3x week 1mile. harwright: I am still swell up and ice is best for me and norm is correct…invest in a calf sleeve..swelling is def minimized…what are you guys doing to help w rom

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