Ultrasound results at least provide some more clarity

I just reviewed my ultrasound results on my achilles tendon (taken 7 months after my original injury). Here’s what it said:

The tendon is thickened, coarse, and hypoechoic throughout most of it’s length due to multiple ill-defined and defined partial thickness tears. The maximum thickness of the tendon is 1.5 cm. The superficial calcaneal bursa is thickened as well. A complete tear is not identified.

I guess the good news in this is that my injury was not a complete tear. The bad news is that I have a lot of healing of the tendon to do. And this also makes me doubtful that the shock wave therapy is going to change anything.

I guess a lesson for me in the future is that when I hurt something like my achilles, don’t assume it’s minor or inconsequential. Take it easy for awhile and assess it. I probably could have reduced the damage on the tendon if I had known how bad it was early. In particular, I would have avoided going on that multi-day 75 km hike.

Shockwave Treatment #2, yet to see progress

It’s now been over seven months that I have been troubled by Achilles tendinosis and I have yet to see any meaningful progress, despite all the treatments and exercises and x-rays and ultrasounds. It’s definitely disconcerting. I get the feeling that this condition is never going to improve and that I’ll just have to give up hiking and even walking.

Yesterday, I went through my second weekly shockwave treatment on my calcific achilles. It is a very short treatment and mostly does not hurt, except for when he does it near the heel bone. The treatment only lasts for a few minutes and then I’m done. During the weeks that I am doing these treatments, I continue to avoid any excercise of the tendon and certainly I am avoiding the Alfredson’s Protocol eccentric heel drops.

This past week after the first SW treatment, my achilles pain was noticeable all week, every day. Not too bad, but definitely noticeable. After this second treatment, the pain is not as noticeable, unless I try to do something like a heel raise. The bulge on the back of achilles is still just as large as it always has been and I can’t say that I see any progress in the tendon itself.

That said, I will press on. And be patient. And try to be hopeful . . .

Shock wave therapy started for Achilles calcific tendonitis

Last night was my first shockwave therapy session for my achilles. It should be the first of about six treatments. During this time, I was instructed to stop doing my Alfredson’s Protocol exercises, which is OK with me. After all, I wasn’t seeing any significant progress.

The way I understand it, the SWT will break apart the calcium deposits in the tendon so that they can be absorbed into the body. The benefit to this is that the calcium is apparently a source of the pain in the tendon and if we can get rid of that, my achilles can get back to normal.

I am hearing different stories on how effective this treatment is. My doctor said it is 80% successful, the SWT therapist said 90%, and the ultrasound technician said it is a very good treatment. I also found a study on this treatment as it pertains to achilles tendinosis and it said that it had an effectiveness of 52% (versus 60% for eccentric loading) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070010/)

A new diagnosis from the Doctor, Calcific Tendonitis

After going for x-rays last week, I had another appointment with my Doctor and was informed that not only is my achilles tendinitis chronic (I already knew that) I have calcium deposits on my achilles tendon. And that could be contributing to the pain as I continue my Alfredson’s protocol exercises. So, to help get rid of these deposits, I am now scheduled for radial shockwave therapy (about 6 sessions are likely) whereby they will blast the calcium deposits and try to break them up such that they absorb into the body and go away. This is a similar therapy to when somebody has a kidney stone and they use this therapy to break up the stone and let it pass. So, all without needing surgery.

My Doctor says that this therapy is successful 80% of the time which is a good thing. That’s promising. At this stage, I am ready to try anything that can help get my achilles back to normal.

7 month visit to Doctor, still no progress

The doctor thinks there could be some “calcification” on my achilles tendon so he sent me to get X-rays yesterday. I’m not sure what the implication of that. We will see soon whether that is the case.

I also have an appointment to get an ultrasound next week as well. I suppose the more information the better.

Still waiting for progress as I continue my Alfredson Protocol exercises. I’m finding very hard to continue when there is no improvement that can be seen or felt. Very discouraging!

Achilles Tendinosis recovery using Alfredson’s Protocol

I hurt my achilles tendon last summer (Aug. 20, 2016) while hiking the Grouse Grind in Vancouver, BC. I didn’t treat it too seriously and just figured it would go away on it’s own. After I hurt it, I went on a 75 km hike and I basically limped the whole way. That probably didn’t help matters. The problem has lasted now over six months. Basically, the tendon hurts on a low level all the time but I am able to walk normally, up until about one kilometer. Then my tendon stiffens up and I start to limp. The achilles has a noticeable lump right in the middle of the tendon that has been consistent from day 1.

I have gone to a couple of doctor’s appointments on this and several physiotherapy sessions (which I started in Dec. 2016). All without any improvement.

I am now doing the Alfredson’s protocol every day, with 90 reps of heel drops, and 90 heel drops with a bent leg. I am using a weighted backpack for this that is up to 50 lbs right now. For this protocol, I am on week 4, and the whole program is 12 weeks. Again, no noticeable improvement so far. While I am doing this program, I am avoiding walking and hiking which has been hard.

Anybody else doing the Alfredson’s protocol to fix their achilles?