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15 weeks post ATR and all good so far


It has been a while since my last post - (that sounds a bit like a confessional!) so thought I would do a quick update. On the whole things seem to have been going pretty well and am pretty much back to normal life. But then “normal” life for me isn’t running marathons or cycling 100km a day - much as I would like it to be! Anyway, am still seeing the physio and she is very pleased with how things are going and when I saw her today she was basically saying go for it and do some jogging - but then I didn’t jog before so that would be impressive if I started now! But more seriously she was encouraging me to do a lot more heel lifts and walking up hill and for longer and yes I could try horse riding again. To me it all feels very tight and I am very underconfident about doing too much, especially with stories like 2nd timers and others who re-ruptured in these early days. I am tending to have a more softly softly approach, and besides it is quite tricky keep up a rehab routine that is very intensive around the kids - I might get a couple of heel raises in and then get interrupted. I find I am managing to get through most of the stretches done in the shower first thing in the morning but then often I may not do many more later in the day. Whilst I haven’t got matching legs quite yet, they are getting more similar by the day and very little swelling these days.

Hope everyone else is moving forward too; it does get better just very slowly. A friend of mine has just dislocated and fractured her elbow and she also lives rurally with young children - she struggles to even cook dinner - at least with an ATR once your are positioned somewhere you can get on with things - it is all relative isn’t it!

2 weeks in 2 shoes and something strange for swelling….

Hi, the time is plodding along literally and it has been 2 weeks since I have been going around in 2 shoes. No huge leaps in improvement just slightly more movement everyday.

Had another session at the physio and she is encouraging me to stretch it more and start a bit of strengthening, she also gave me a lovely massage and it all felt a lot looser but was not good at the end of that day. Am still walking with a limp unless I really concentrate on getting the heel toe movement, which is becoming easier.

Had a bit of a treat at the weekend as a friend kindly offered to stay with the children while I went with my husband to a nice hotel in Wellington overnight. It had a swimming pool so I went swimming for the first time since the injury. It was good but I certainly felt that I had lost quite a bit of fitness, not that I was super-fit to start with.  Did quite a bit of walking as well and apart from not being very fast and being in trainers all the time it was starting to all feel a bit more normal again.

As I was swelling quite a bit some days I was given this suggestion for swelling, I haven’t tried it yet but I have bought some washing soda - if anyone tried is it would be good to hear how it goes!

Get hold of some washing soda (sodium carbonate), if it is crystal form, blend to coarse salt. Get a piece of cotton fabic (old cloth nappy is good) about 6×10inches, masking tape, towel, plastic rubbish bag. Just before bed make a sandpile of washing soda in the middle of the cloth about  1/2-3/4 inch deep. Fold the long ends of the cloth over it in thirds. Place over affected area and tape it on with masking tape. wrap a towel over it and stick it down if necessary. lay the plastic bag under leg on bed and go to sleep! Remove and wash in the morning.

I would be very interested to hear if anyone tries it - I am just starting to enjoy my sleep again and don’t want anything extra on my leg at the moment - but I might well try it later in the week if it starts swelling again.

Anyway, good luck to everyone, hope the healing is progressing.

Walking with a small limp

Well it is now over a week with 2 shoes and things are going quite well. Managed to get to my son’s soccer on Saturday and made it to the beach for the evening, so sort of back to normalish.

Have found a physio near my children’s school that fits in really well with dropping them off. She seems quite good and knowledgeable and given me much the same exercises as posted on this site.

Decided to start driving afterall as was going slightly mad, but have limited myself to the school drop off and pick up at the moment. Am finding my ankle swells a bit and gets a bit throbby if am on my feet a long time but not really painful. I have a hiking stick that I take with me if the ground is going to be uneven, but am finding I don’t really need that now, but then again have not gone very far yet. Have set myself daily tartgets to gradually increase what I am doing and trying to gradually build up rather than doing too much too quickly.

The chocolate shoe did not last very long and first bath was blissful!

2 Shoes but…

Well, had the long awaited appointment at the hospital today and it lasted all of 2 minutes! It was a different surgeon who was more conservative that the last, but bascially just the Thompson Test and a feel of the tendon and yes you can stop using the boot now. Is that it!? I asked are you sure, how do you know? don’t you want to do another scan? No, we see so many of these we know when they are healing OK - really? What if mine is the one that isn’t?! No really it’s fine, take it easy, have some physio, here’s a list of exercises, and it will be fine. What about driving? Well probably not straight away as you might re-rupture if you have to do an emergency stop. Ok, well I need another certificate for ACC so I can get my kids to school and someone to drive me to physio! No problem will sign you off for another 28 days. Bye, we don’t want to see you again.

Feeling a bit deflated after that, I guess I though they might at least want to see me try to walk before I left the hospital. I wasn’t game enought to walk out fo the hospital and back to the car in 2 shoes but waited until I got home. So am  walking, well rather shuffling, around home like an old woman trying to get some heel-toe movement going. Everything feels very unbalanced and one foot still feels higher than the other.

Saw my Bowen woman this afternoon, she was much more helpful! Gave me some warm up exercises to help rebalance my body in the mornings and more positive about what I can and can’t do. Basically listen to my body and don’t overdo it.  She also suggested walking barefoot as much as posible around the house, not so sure about that after Sam’s experience! I was hoping to be walking better (and faster!) and drive sooner, but at least I can have a bath tonight and don’t have to sleep in the damn boot!

There is just so much variability with this injury, everything seems to depend on the health system you are in the the particular doctor you get - there do not seem to be any absolutes.  Perhaps this site needs to be turned into a research project?

Anyway, one small step at a time! Am now having a celebrationary wine to get this far and my husband bought me a chocolate shoe which I intend to hide from the children and eat all by myself!  Cheers to everyone, take care on your journeys, have a good weekend.

5 sleeps to go in sexy boot (I hope!)

Is everyone counting the days til their next appointments!? Time is definitely relative to where you are at at the time. Looking back it feels like the last 7 weeks have gone quite quick but at the time it was all feeling very slow! Anyway I have my next appointment on Friday when I am really hoping that I will be able to say bye bye to the boot and be able to drive again (and walk of course! - will save the running marathons for much later). Have reached the stage where I do not know where my crutches are and probably should think about getting them back to the chemist but I think I will wait until after Friday. Am finding my “bad” leg is absolutely fine, I just get a bit of tingling after I have possibly over done it a bit. However my “good” leg is feeling the strain a bit now, the tendon on that leg and the knee are feeling a bit strained. Probably got quite bit to do with the height difference between the legs with the boot on.

FWB and I think I’ve overdone it!

Still in the boot and was down to one crutch and feeling quite comfortable and happy to get one hand back - at least I could start to carry things again. Then I ended up leaving that crutch behind and it felt fine. I was so excited to have no crutches I got a bit carried away doing things - feeding chickens, putting out the washing, carrying my own cup of tea and even walking up the drive - so nothing mega but not being able to do much for a while I was very happy. However I think I paid for it as had more pain in the tendon over night than I had had before - nothing major but twinges and niggles - hopefully just nerves finding themselves again. Anyway today I am taking it a lot more easy with my foot up again occasionally.

It feels like it is all on the mend but the imagination does get a bit carried awayand I keep visualising the tendon - I am not sure whether that scan picture on someone’s blog was helpful or not! Also go round in circles on the conservative/operative approach - time will no doubt tell and having read everything I can find on the subject I don’t think there is a “right” answer; the medical profession clearly cannot agree so it has to be an individual approach. I wasn’t a mega-fit athlete before my ATR so how could I possibly expect to be afterwards?! If I had gone the operative approach I might being feeling I can take more risks and try harder as that tendon is stitched together but then it might stap somewhere else! As it is I am seeing this as a real wake up call to gradually increase my level of fitness again and expect it to take a year - I expect I will play squash again but not for a while and when I am in better shape overall. Playing after a 15 year break and thinking like a competitive 20 year old probably wasn’t a good idea!

Anyway I am probably prattling - this is a great site and so helpful to get through this thing - good luck to everyone out there.

Day 1 PWB - very nervous

Well, one wedge has come out of the boot and I am supposed to start putting weight on it, but boy does it feel strange. I can stand up OK but walking am still keeping the crutches handy. The sole and heel of my foot hurt an bit when I am putting weight on them and getting slight tingles from the tendon if I am up too long. Am hoping this is all normal and part of the healing plus the fact that have not walked for 6 weeks. Have managed to walk a bit with just one crutch and am hoping I will be able to gradually ditch that over the next few days.

A good friend has lent me her exercise bike so I am starting on that to try to get my fitness back, and that seems quite doable with the boot on. I am not game to try real cycling with the boot just yet, I saw someone’s post who was doing that! All feels like a bit of a step forward though.

“The big bang” by my 8 year old

hi, I’m Chris and I’m going to tell you a story about my mum and how she broke her tendon.

It all started on a dark and cold night when my mum went to play squash. I never like it when parents go out at night because they get some time to themselves and sometimes it means that we have a babysitter and I don’t know why they are called that because it sounds like they have to sit on babies. Luckily we didn’t have a babysitter because dad was staying. Mum was yelling orders such as “where are my shoes?” nd “give me that” and so on. My brother was fiddling with things that he knew he wasn’t supposed to touch, dad was doing the dishes with bright red cheeks and I was following mum around the house saying “I’ve got that” and “stay calm” and so on. When mum was ready to go to squash we all said goodbye and mum drove off into the dark night. It was quite a long drive to get to the court but when mum got there she was greeted by all her friends and had a bite to eat (this was actually afterwards). Now was time to have a game of squash. Mum ran to the right hit the ball over the net (he hasn’t seen me play squash and think’s it’s tennis!), she ran to the left and bang! Mum collapsed on to the floor, everyone rushed over to her asking “what happened?”. Mum got onto a chair to have a rest before she drove home (very carefully with other people!) and told dad about it. (we looked on the Internet to work out what the problem was!) . Dad insisted that we should go to the doctor’s to have it x-rayed. next morning we all got up and went to the doctor’s to see mum get x-rayed (actually it was scanned). The doctor said that she had broken a tendon. She got it plastered up, now she is walking on crutches.

What will they do to get the kids to school? Find out in the next insallment……..

Moon boots today!

Well, 4 weeks after ‘the incident’ have transferred from cast to moon boot today following conservative treatment. I must say the cast seemed a lot more comfortable but I guess I will get used to it. Still not weight bearing but am supposed to remove 3 or 4 times a day and exercise my foot for 5 minutes by pointing and flexing. It feels quite stiff but the range of motion is not much different to my good foot so am quite hopeful all is mending well. Has anyone any experience of any complementary therapies that have helped as well? I have been taking so herbal tissue repair tonic and homeopathic remedies, has anyone tried anything to help?

Hello from Wellington, New Zealand

hello there,

this is great to find a community of fellow sufferers and share experiences. I ruptured mine a month ago playing squash - gosh it made a noise but no real pain, just rather tricky to walk anywhere. I have been getting a bit phased by the number of people haaving operations for this injury when in New Zealand they seem to prefer conservative treatment with early motion - no doubt I will see what happens in my case. Have been in a cast for 4 weeks now and tomorrow should be getting a moon boot.

Have never had an injury like this before and am struggling with the inability to drive. We live rurally and have 3 young children, so rather a challenge at the moment. On the positive, I have got to the bottom of the mending basket and read more books than have read in years. Wish there was some way of transferring a cup of tea across the room though - any suggestions?!