Posted by: pezfuerte | February 12, 2009

Overdue Update, and Hope for Everyone with the Achilles Blues

Hey all,

Sorry for the long overdue post, but as everyone says as life starts to get back to normal you start to neglect your Achilles Blogging Duties.  The purpose of this post is to catalog my recovery and give hope to some recently ruptured people out there.  I know I was devastated when I first saw the doc and he told me it would be 6 months before I could start doing all my favorite activities.  So right now I’m at 13 weeks, and I saw the Doc last at 8 weeks when he took the boot off and gave me the green light to start wearing shoes.  He told me that I could start doing strengh excercises for the calf and that once I could start walking without a limp I could start jogging.  Well within a week I was walking normally without a limp, and my Physical Therapist who is familar with all the outdoor sports I enjoy told me that I could start doing them again very gradually.  I was also doing toe presses (not sure if this is the right name) with the bad leg on the squat machine and making reps of 20 with 80 lbs weight.  He also had me doing several balancing excercises like standing on the bad leg and throwing a ball at the trampoline and catching it again.  I started to go to the gym and at around 9-10 weeks I was taking Yoga classes, and climbing on tope rope in the gym.  Also at 11 weeks I went surfing for the first time, at a real mellow break on a Long Board which was very stable.  That went great, I was a little sore after, but no complaints.  At that same time I also went on my first mountain bike ride on a real easy non-technical trail.  That was great and no complaints, even standing up on the pedals descending.  I’m now up to reps of 20 at 120lbs on the toe press, and climbing 2-3 times a week and yoga 2-3 times a week.  I also took out my shortboard last weekend in some bigger surf and had no problems.  For the most part my leg feels very good.  It is definitely not as strong as it should be, and I know it still has weakness and instability.  I notice that doing one legged balancing poses at Yoga on the bad leg is noticeable more wobbly and unstable than on the good leg.  The calf itself is back to its normal circumference, and it’s good to look down and actually see a muscle again and not just a little chicken leg.  The leg is still stiff in the morning, and after sitting or laying down for a long time, and takes a minute or two to loosen up.  I’m still probably only pushing it about 65%, but it is great to be back out and doing active things.  I think the biggest thing for me has been being positive about the recovery, and making sure to warm up the leg with walking or stretching thorough before any activity like surfing etc.  Also, just taking it slow and letting my leg dictate how much I push it.  For example my first day surfing on the longboard, I tried my friends short board for one wave to see how it felt and it felt very unstable and insecure on such a small “fidgety” board, so I immediately switched back to the longboard which was a lot more stable.  The last thing is my scar is quite thick and tough, and it seems to bulge a bit when I use it, like when doing the toe presses.  My PT says that is normal and just scar tissue which we have been massaging as much as possible trying to work it away.  There is still a little swelling in the anke, and when I wear socks they leave a noticeable mark around the ankle from the pressure of the sock and the swelling around it.  But that’s pretty much it.

I’m seeing the doctor again in 3 weeks, so I’ll try and update again after that appointment and let you know what he says.  Hopefully some people will find a little hope from this email and it will help them get through the first couple months which are definitely the toughest.  Also, I don’t think this information is shared that often, but I’m 26 years and in very good health and have always been extremely active.  I just think my age is pertinent because I’m sure if you’re 60 and reading this you might take a little longer and if you’re in your 20’s then this is right up your alley and totally within reach.

Cheers and best of luck to everybody!

Danny

Responses

Thanks for the update and encouragement. I’m 42 so will likely take me a bit longer to recover but I am looking forward to getting back to multi sport activities before summer rolls into MN.

Danny,

I too had my achilles tendon severed — mine by a door on April 30 with surgery the same day. Am anxious to hear how you’re doing now and if there are any tips that you could share that helped you or would have helped you, had you known at the time.

Cathy

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