10 month update.

January 4, 2018

This week marks 10 months since my injury so I thought I’d post another quick update. After what felt like a 2-3 month plateau, I finally made some real progress in December. I attribute that to one particular day early in the month when (I’m totally guessing here) I had scar tissue finally release or an adhesion let go, or something happened that freed up my ankle. I had two flashes of pain that day, once when descending some stairs and once while grocery shopping. The first occurrence was in the lower Achilles area, the second was around mid-Achilles, and both were toward the lateral side of my ankle.

Both times I stopped dead in my tracks - I think I had flashbacks to the actual injury. After the initial fear wore off I realized that my ankle mobility had improved and some nagging tightness and pain on the outside part of the ankle had vanished. For months I’d felt like my foot wasn’t pronating properly, almost as if it was stuck. After this happened (whatever it was) my gait felt normal. It was like night and day, really.

The next day was a scheduled running day and everything felt really good instead of being mildly tolerable with nagging soreness. I’ve continued to progress and now I’m up to 25 minutes of running with no ill effects. I even did a trail run yesterday in some ice and snow, something I wouldn’t have tried a month before due to a fear of ankle instability. (I’m sure I could run for longer intervals but I’m making a conscious effort to slow things down as I’ve been known to add too much time/mileage to my running plans in the past.)

It’s nice to finally have a sustained period of time where I can finally say that my ankle is approaching normal, or a new normal. There’s still stiffness but only occasional pain. I can even walk barefoot around the house without too much discomfort, though I avoid that 99% of the time. I still don’t have a lot of push-off strength and I wouldn’t be particularly quick or explosive around a tennis court, but it’s getting there.

I have no idea what happened in early December. I had been making a concerted effort to massage my Achilles, the scar, and the bump down at the base of my incision. Maybe that helped loosen things up? Who knows? I’m just glad something changed because for most of autumn I was worried about a lack of progress.

It’s another lesson in individual recovery timelines, I guess. I couldn’t help wondering if I was behind or lagging in my recovery, when in reality each recovery is its own beast.