Posted by: rougemac | July 16, 2010

Pre-injury Question

With all the time I have to sit around and do nothing, I starting thinking (and yes it did hurt a bit).  My AT started to bother me about 1 week before I ruptured it.  A friend of mine who ruptured his 8 years ago just told me he had pain for about a month before he blew his.

The question I have for everyone out there is did everyone have discomfort in their AT prior to rupturing it?


Hi rougemac, I had no pain whatsoever prior to my rupture running to first base while playing softball.

Same here, both times, both ATs.

I think I read somewhere that some big percentage, like 80 or 85%, of ATRs happen to people who have had no discomfort, much less tendinosis or other AT problems. “Pop” out of the blue seems to be quite typical.

It stands to reason that the people who tore their ATs doing relatively gentle things (dancing, walking, running gently in a straight line) probably had ATs that were hanging by a thread when they woke up that morning. While those of us who tore ours doing aggressive “moves” (like running backwards then trying to switch to a forward lunge as fast as possible) might have just over-stressed a SLIGHTLY weakened AT.

Maybe after big cities get UltraSound sensors mounted on every intersection, we’ll be able to find out the answer! ;-)

Mind you, every time somebody starts second-guessing and wondering how they could have prevented this, I suspect that it’s somewhat inevitable, once you (a) have the “background” tendency and (b) do the high-stress activities. The AT is notoriously weak on blood circulation (except for OURs, which are subject to post-injury or post-op inflammation!), so I don’t think a lot of healing and recovery happens there normally. . .


I ruptured in a waterski fall. The AT let go when faced with the unnatural stress from equipment and high speeds. 20 years of skiing has given me occasional and chronic pains over the last 7-8 years. The pains have been VERY low on both heels but the rupture occurred on the left at the typical location about 3 inches up. I always thought I’d tear the tendon off the bone but that was not the case.

At 9 weeks post-op I’m in shoes and back to daily life, minus sports, but still boot around when mowing the lawn and such. This site has been great but I’m finding less and less time or need to visit - what a great feeling! At the outset I thought I’d be in the boot for at least 3-4 months.

Heal Up Everyone!

Yes my tendons did hurt more than usual for 3 weeks prior to my rupture. I’d always been running, doing yoga regularly - then restarted tennis recently. For about 3-4 weeks prior to my injury, I knew I was sort of over-doing it - but I enjoyed tennis so much, I did a lot of downward-dogs and stretching, to overcome the pain. In hindsight there probably was a red flag. But my ER physician said typically, no matter how much you warm up, this just happens. Which I interpreted as somewhat comforting, somewhat disturbing.

Rougemac, I thought of you today while driving through Orangeville, ON! On our way to and fro an extended family get-together at a little farmhouse just north of the big wind-farm near Dundalk/Shelburne. Nice place, nice group.

Lotus, I agree with your ER doc. Many of us were very thoroughly warmed up when we popped our ATs. (And stretching before activities doesn’t seem to help ANYTHING, according to the latest studies!)

I was 5 2-game sets into a long evening of 4-on-4 court volleyball this time, about as warm as I get. Yes, it’s disturbing that there doesn’t seem to be a “magic” way to prevent an ATR, though being a couch potato can probably delay it for a long time.

Rougemac, my experience was similar to yours. My tendon was soar for about two weeks pre-rupture. I thought it was a slight ankle sprain and basically ignored it.

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