1 year post op - second ATR

It’s been a long journey demanding more patience than I though I had… I ruptured my right achilles for the first time in April 2008, then reruptured one year ago. To all of you I will say - keep up your mood and have patience - it gets better but it sure may take a long time! I’ve had recurring pain at the point of insertion of the achilles into the heel bone since I underwent surgery, although the rupture was 4-5 cm above. During this summer - especially the last 3-4 weeks - progress has been remarkable and the pain now is almost gone. I am not really sure what has happened.
I have taken small steps and listened to my body, which I did not do after the first operation. I had an acute back pain 1 1/2 month ago and consulted a chiropractor. He examined my ankle and said it was a stiffness there that put strain on the achilles tendon. He meant that the back pain was a result of this. Since then I’ve had four treatment sessions. The back pain is gone and the achilles feels a lot better - life begins to smile again!!!! Good luck to all of you!

Best wishes from Raoul

6 Responses to “1 year post op - second ATR”

  1. Good on you Raoul!

    How did you do your second ATR 4 months after the first? Usually the tendon is pretty strong by then?

    Tommo

  2. Hi Tommo!
    I’ve been a runner and before my first surgery I had achilles tendonitis for 5 years. I tried almost everything to get rid of it - RICE, lowering of training intensity/ freqency, alternative activities like biking and swimming, eccentric calf muscle exercises, laser treatment, ESWT (shockwave treatment) and - here’s the point - cortisone injections. What I believe is that the cortisone weakened the tendon even more than the tendonitis itself - in fact, the surgeon that did the first operation told me that the tendon looked almost like spaghetti. I will never ever have cortisone again!

    Best wishes from Raoul

  3. Hello Raoul,

    I too had a cortisone injection in an effort to rid myself of tendinitis - 3 months later full rupture !!. A physio friend of mine went bananas when he heard what I’d done, his view was that giving the injection was bordering on malpractice !

    However rupturing does seem to have cured the tendinitis (rather an extreme cure I know)
    Also the surgeon made a comment that he could, if I had been referred earlier, operated on me prior to the rupture to cure the inflammation. This would have meant a shorter recovery time and an intact ATR.

    It amazes me that the medical authorities know the dangers of cortisone but continue to use it. The danger comes when it’s put into weight bearing tendons - underlining the stories one hears about cortisone working very effectively on shoulders,elbows and wrists.

    All the best
    Richard

  4. Hello Richard!
    Sorry to hear that you ruptured your tendon due to the cortisone injection you were given. The only good about it seems to be that surgery cured your tendinitis, although it must have been a long and frustrating way of healing. Doctors and physiotherapists that I have talked with have been as critical to cortisone treatment as your friend, and information on the internet also says that this is a risky treatment for achilles tendon injuries.

    Best wishes
    Raoul

  5. Raoul,

    If you are full standing on the tips of your toes without shoes and just leaning for support, do you feel any dimpling or some other squeezing sensation at the tendon point of rupture/suture? Does it feel like a hard knot now or in the past few months?

    I have this sensation currently and am not sure what to make of it. I have talked to the orthopedist. I am afraid it is the (tight) suturing that has created a knot-like sensation. I look forward to your feedback.

    Robert

  6. Hi Robert!

    Usually I feel no pain or discomfort standing on the tips of my toes except from after exercising. I certainly can feel a knot like you describe at the point of rupture though. When I touch and massage the tendon after exercise I feel sore at this point of the tendon. Earlier in the recovery process I often experienced stiffness and tightness, but ROM exercices and massage of the tendon has really helped. Now I experience tightness only when I take the first steps in the morning and sometimes after exercise. As I understand it’s normal that the tendon becomes thicker and anatomically different after rupture and surgery. As long as this doesn’t affect function or lead to discomfort or pain I wouldn’t worry so much about it.

    Good luck
    Raoul

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