Hello there. This is my blog about recovering from a complete Achilles tendon rupture in my right leg. I’m thankful to have found this community and look forward to contributing. Good luck to everyone going through the same process.

Surgery and recovery timeline (as of November 30, 2017)

  • Surgery - open repair - on 3/10/17
  • Cast until week 3
  • NWB in boot until week 6
  • Conservative PWB (my doc called it “toe touch weight bearing”) week 6 to 7
  • FWB in boot weeks 7 to 10
  • 2 shoes and cleared to drive at week 10

PT started in week 6 with basic ROM and light stretching; I added yellow Theraband plantar flexion exercises in week 9.

Background and random speculation on the injury’s origins

I’m 41 and have quite a few years of tennis and distance running on the clock. In hindsight, I believe my troubles started many years earlier and I probably caused some damage by ignoring warning signs. I had recurring issues with my right ankle (and the Achilles specifically) when I was playing tennis 2-3 times a week - stiffness, some pain, poor range of motion. I continued playing, mixing in a few 2-3 week breaks when the pain got too bad. When I got burnt out on tennis and decided on a longer break, I took up distance running to keep active.

Running brought me some nagging stiffness and pain on *both* sides but I pressed on because the thought of something serious happening never occurred to me. When I added foam rolling and calf stretches to my warm-up and cool-down, I got to a point where I was running pain free and feeling really good.

I stopped running regularly when my son was born and almost three years later had only recently started getting back into tennis when the rupture occurred. It’s the textbook example: 40-something “weekend warrior” who did too much too soon. I was eager to get out and play and skipped my warm-ups or any gradual return to sport.

On the morning of the rupture I was late to get on the court. It was cool, and my right ankle was really stiff from playing two days before. In fact, there was a tender spot on my Achilles that had been bothering me since that last outing. What a coincidence - it was right where the rupture occurred! No warm-up…I jumped right in. Now I look back and think, exactly how many warning signs did I need? I’m guessing that I might have had a small, partial tear from earlier in the week. But my pre-injury mindset was based on 10+ years of playing or running through mild aches and pains. Once I got moving, I thought, everything would be okay.

I made it 20 minutes before making a move to get a short ball. After a second of confusion - I thought someone hit me - I knew exactly what happened. It was like all of the earlier nagging feelings, the stiffness and pain from two days before, it all flashed through my mind in a giant “You absolute dumba$$!” moment. More than anything, I was angry. At myself, at bad luck, whatever. I had been so happy to be moving again, and so excited to be taking my son out to show him different sports and games I like. In an instant I knew it’d be a long time before I could even walk.

I don’t know if there’s anything I could have done to prevent the rupture. I’ve certainly read of the same thing occurring when people have had no symptoms or presumed warning signs. But I’ll always wonder if I could have avoided it by paying more attention and proceeding more carefully into my middle-aged activities. I certainly will from now on.

2 Responses to “About”

  1. The weird thing about a rupture is that after the initial injury you really don’t feel much pain. Sorry this has happened to you! I was really happy to find this place, too! I think the only people who get it are those who have been though it! I keep reminding myself that this is a temporary condition and to feel thankful that it is a matter of months and not a lifetime. Hopefully your specialist will get you in soon so you can get things underway! Best of luck and keep in touch!

  2. Thank you! Yeah, I keep expecting there to be a sudden onset of pain given how crazy the injury felt and how much damage there is. I won’t complain, though, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of discomfort if I end up having surgery. Good luck to you as well and keep posting updates.

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