Ross’ first post

Hello all. This is my first post to achillesblog.com. I am currently 3 weeks in to a full right ATR surgery.  Injured the Achilles March 5 playing in my weekly basketball game and didn’t have my surgery until St Patrick’s day the 17th. The distance between injury and surgery is due to me thinking I just sprained my foot again. After a week and a half of walking flat footed, I knew something was wrong. Never thought at 30 I could rupture my Achilles but after reading a lot of blogs it seems common. Days are being spent with the foot elevated, reading books, and watching sports. Thank goodness for March Madness and the Masters! I’m a very active person so the adjustment has been a struggle. I have to remind my self that rest and immobilization is the best treatment right now.

As far as treatment, I was in a splint for a week and half and am now in a bright orange cast (favorite color).  I got back to the doc on the 20th and will start PWB in a boot. I’m very much looking forward to getting out of the cast.  I’ve had very minimal pain which has been a blessing so I’m remaining positive that I can continue to progress each week. My goal if everything goes perfect is to go on our yearly golf trip in the middle of June. It would be 12 weeks post surgery so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Anyone else have any success stories for that time frame to be back golfing?

11 Responses to “Ross’ first post”

  1. Ross,

    I tore mine 1/28, surgery 2/2. Splint weeks 0-2, no weight bearing. Was in walking boot and told to be not weight bearing until week 6, so I scootered around. Leg was very weak upon assessment by surgeon at week 6 mark. Was then given theraband and told to stationary bike. Was told to keep boot on for 2 more weeks until week 8, with walking around house without it OK.

    You will notice progress as soon as you are able to bike, stand, and move it around more generally. I noticed big gains in week 9 in terms of strength, stability, flexibility, and my limp. I am slowly regaining push-off through plantarflexion. I try to really concentrate on stride/gait when walking on firm ground. In week 9 this has just now become easier.

    3 months is very possible for golf. Be sure to follow instructions and keep that ankle/heel moving when you’re given the OK to do so. As long as you keep your movements non-explosive and within the parameters your provider’s given you, do as much as you can tolerate. It will mean a faster recovery.

    I read a story from someone else here who I believe was given the go-ahead to golf at the 2 month/8 week mark. That is very aggressive but it was his claim.

    Best of luck. You’re past the 2 week post-op depression mark. Take it easy, progress will come bigtime in the weeks after your 6 week checkup.

  2. Thanks for the comment and suggestions! I also have been reading and hearing that around the 8/9 week mark is when you really start to see progress. Did you do stationary bike as part of PT or just on your own? Sounds like people have good and bad experiences with PT in general. I’m lucky that my Orthopedic surgeon has a PT place right at their offices and everyone seems to have positive experiences. I’m anxious to get going on that too so I can get off the couch.

    Glad to hear your recovery seems to be going well. It’s nice to read about people’s successes. Proves there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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  3. hi Ross, i havent a clue about golfing so i can’t comment on the actual mechanics of it. one thing is a fact, you will be able to be at the golf course by three months (unless there are delays due to your personal journey) but to what extent you can actually play is everybody’s guess and down to your own progress too.

    i’m almost 11 weeks now, non op (funny, same as mibball 28/1), and been out of the cast for 2 weeks on tuesday coming. the last two weeks have been remarkably changing on a daily basis, from limping like there is no tomorrow to almost walking without a lift. i have been working bloody hard at PT (self given) and will start PT at hospital on wednesday too. some of my ‘achievements’ have been dancing occasionally, i dance salsa, and it is very demanding on the tendon, and this has been good for self esteem and flexibility.

    thing with golf poses the question of ‘twisting’ the ankle during the shot motion, so you probably need a professional opinion about it. what i was told, and others here do, is that you can always go back to your CAM boot for any strenuous activity (you can pretty much do anything with the boot other than running) such as golfing 3 months after ATR and then jump out to your own shoes at the end of the round.

    suerte

  4. Thanks for the reply and sharing your journey! I’m assuming if you are able to do some salsa dancing at 11 weeks and assuming everything goes to plan for me I should be able to golf in that timeframe.

    What type of exercises are you doing on your own PT? I’m assuming you got clearance from your surgeon to do that at home? I feel anything I can do at home will help me feel a sense of accomplishment throughout the day. Im in the process of obtaining a stationary bike that I can use as soon as I’m allowed to.

    I have heard that golfing in the CAM boot is an option too. I guess I’ll see where I’m at in recovery. I know for one thing, I won’t be climbing up hills or walking the courses just yet! I love golf but I’m not gonna sacrifice missing the ENTIRE season rather than just a part of it!

  5. i think you are right, and again the CAM boot is always an option. i’ve kept my dancing to stints of 1.5 to 2 minutes and take a good 30 or 40 minutes in between (since it is rather intense), it has worked a treat in terms of building strength and stamina for the muscles down there.

    my PT has been a private one, and i simply took the following to the appointment http://achillesblog.com/files/2008/03/achilles_tendon_rupture_mass_gen.pdf my surgeon simply didn’t give a shit, he said ‘i’m a surgeon and i’m not qualified to clear you for particular exercises, that is a PT matter’. don’t you love the NHS in the UK?…… so i got my own.

    i’m doing all the theraband exercises three times a day, give or take 1 (depending on pool session and dancing), and whilst at work i take two breaks of 10-15 minutes to lie on the floor and do them with my leg elevated. this helps a lot for swelling reduction too. i’m still using the knee-high sock that came with the CAM as it holds the leg together nicely.

    one further thing i discovered by mistake, i know small steps, is that i can walk much better with shoes than with my boots (as i thought i was protecting the AT that way), so it pays off to try different shoes!

    how does it feel to cycle? heel only or full motion?

    sensible approach, i’d do the same !

    suerte

  6. I see that we did surgery almost on the same day. I’m also a keen golfer and hope to be back on the course asap! Any advise please share wih me, thanks

  7. rossthegolfer -

    Our stories are very similar I’m just a few weeks ahead of you, and a decade older. I had surgery on my right Achilles (full tear) 2/19. 2 weeks in splint, 4 more in walking boot NWB. After 6 week checkup, Dr said to transition to FWB in the boot which has gone really well. I’m barely walking with a limp now but has taken a week or so to get used to it and strengthen the ankle again. My ortho doesn’t want me to do any official PT until week 12 so I’ve got 4+ weeks to go. Conservative in my mind so I’ll start doing some things on my own. I’m an AVID golfer and even went and hit some balls a week ago with the boot on. Hard to get a full turn but nevertheless, was out on the range. My boot comes off early may so I will keep you posted on my progress to give you an idea of timeline. Ortho tells me I’ll be golfing in no time so we’ll see. Good luck!

  8. My surgeon advised me to ride the stationary as tolerated starting week 6. He was not pleased with my strength level at that time so he has held me off of official PT until 4/20, the 12 week mark.

    I am riding on both toes without the boot. Works wonders to loosen it up. Regimen is to bike 20 min every day. Every third day I ride 35+ to the point of feeling like I’ve pushed it. The difference between week 7 and week 9 on the bike is immense. I’ve been careful to gradually ramp up the intensity.

    The pool has been a great setting to work on flexibility, ROM, and heel raises. I informed my surgeon that I was doing some additional movements in the pool and was actually told to wait on weight-bearing exercises in the pool until the 12 week mark. These exercises entail light heel raises.

    This is interesting because it is the complete opposite of the instructions I was given at the 6 week mark to work on heel raises on solid ground, as tolerated. I will continue to do light work in the pool as tolerated.

    Stay positive. You’ll be worlds apart from the 6 week to 9 week marks. Keep it all gradual!

  9. Chad,
    Thanks for the reply! Good to see you are progressing nicely for what should be a return to our wretched passion of golf soon! I’m thinking I’ll probably be hitting in the boot too when the time comes. I’ve never done PT in my life so I’m no expert, but it seems odd to me the doctor would have you wait for PT if your strength is weak? Isn’t that the point of PT to strengthen the muscles back up? Almost wish they would start PT right after the cast came off in some capacity…oh well. Yes please keep me posted on your progress and anything you are doing that has seemed to help as far as golf exercises with the foot and what not!

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  10. Oh man, someone else that bleeds that they can’t golf yet. You’re younger than I so will probably heal quicker. And your a bit ahead of me. So keep us posted on your golfing progress and if you try the CAM boot. (and your experience when the marshals see you with the boot on the course. You could be the guy who writes “The Golf’s Guide for Achille’s Tendon Rupture recoverers.” lol

  11. I didnt have an Achilles injury but last year I broke dislocated my left ankle in May. I was NWB in a cast fro 6 weeks and a walking boot for another 4 weeks. I started playing quasi golf in August. Chipping and putting first , and then hitting wedges and short irons on the range. When I stated playing real golf again, I quickly noticed how much stress the ground and uneven lies puts on your foot. I never had trouble swinging the club, but Walking up and down hills , side hills, getting in and out of bunkers really stresses your foot. It took me about 4 weeks of playing to to feel comfortable again. My advice is to phase in very slowly.

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