Alex Wong

WOW - I was watching “So you Thing You can Dance”.  They announced that Alex just ruptured his other achilles tendon during a dance audition.  (He ruptured a tendon during last year’s season).  He was to be on the show next week as an Allstar.  How depressing!!!  I feel so bad for him!  We are all suffering, but at least my career does not depend on it.  Best wishes to Alex for a complete recovery.

6 Responses to “Alex Wong”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    And tearing both ATs at ~1-year intervals sounds like the pits! Just as you’re getting up to 100% from the first one, POP! My other one tore ~8 years after the first, which was only a “normal” bummer. I’d had 7 great years of competitive volleyball in-between, so it seemed like a good bargain.

    Dancing can be very explosive and AT-risky. Kerry May Treanor, Olympic Gold Medalist in Beach Volleyball, tore hers in a rehearsal for “Dancing with the Stars” a couple of years ago.

  2. Luis Says:

    Norm,

    Were you strengthening you achilles before the second injury. I just want to know if that would help or it does not really matter.

  3. normofthenorth Says:

    No, unless you call being hyper-active (including lots of competitive volleyball — including court 4-on-4 and beach 2-to-4-on-the-same — strengthening my achilles. Anything that will put your AT under stress will probalby strengthen it (if it’s more-or-less healthy), but it will also strengthen your calf muscle, which is an important part of the “system” that ruptures ATs. If your calf muscle was much weaker than your AT, you’d never tear the tendon, because your muscle would “give” first.

    By design, all our tendons are normally stronger than the muscles that pull on them. Our experiences show that there are exceptions. The elevated risk of tearing the other one after tearing the first (~200x normal), shows that we have some unusual risk factors, probably largely congenital but also partly lifestyle. (There’s a link to a study on that in the main “Studies & Protocols. . .” page.)

  4. runnerwannabe Says:

    Norm,
    Your story is what we all fear. Rupturing a second time. YIKES!!! I agree with you about some genetic predisposition or just an increased risk from being exercise junkies. Most of the people on this blog are athletic and we know what we need to do to prevent injury. If we could have prevented an achilles rupture, we would have!! It does not seem to be that simple. Wish their was a magic exercise to prevent a future incident! If you find one, let us know :) I am petrified to have it happen again.

  5. normofthenorth Says:

    If I find the magic exercise, you can definitely trust me to share it! But I don’t think there’s any such thing. The relationship between pre-exercise warmups and injury is fairly weak, AFAICS, and the relationship between pre-exercise STRETCHING and injury (and performance, too) is actually NEGATIVE, according to the latest studies I’ve seen. I.e., stretching before sports actually makes you perform LESS well in those sports, and definitely does not protect against injury, and probably makes it more likely. Lots of things we learned from our coaches and teachers was right, but this stuff never was based on any evidence, and when real studies done, they kind of proved the opposite, it seems. (There’s a good NYTimes article online that summarizes the info on stretching.)

    People who are petrified enough about tearing the other side, after reading the evidence and the odds, can always give up high-ATR-risk explosive sports, which will presumably drop the risk very significantly.

    For me, it was a risk I accepted willingly, in return for doing sports I love. I lost the bet, and the second time around was mostly way quicker, less painful, less disruptive, and less unpleasant than the first (partly because I skipped the surgery). Mind you, so far the recovery has been less complete, with a straight-kneed 1-leg heel raise that’s still labored and wimpy. But my walking, cycling, and running seem fine, and I’ve just been cleared (by my Cardio Rehab program, post-open-heart-surgery!) to try competitive volleyball again, so I may have more details to report fairly soon.

    The other good news to cushion the bummer of tearing the other AT, is that (as one of the “two-timers” wrote here) “unless I grow a third wheel, I don’t think I have to worry about THIS injury again!”

    My decision (to return to volleyball after the first ATR) was right for me, but everybody has to make that decision for him/herself, for sure. It would be great to have follow-up data that goes on for much more than 4 years, to see what the TOTAL risk of tearing the other AT are, for those who go back to the high-risk sports. Most people here who’ve “done” the other AT have done so after a reasonably long period. In addition to my experience (8-year interval), I recall another “two-timer” here with 11 years in-between.

    Wait, I just re-read your first post. Was the tendon that Alex tore a year ago an Achilles, or something else?

  6. luis Says:

    I have set the goal of returning to play soccer again in a more competitive level, MLS, Second division etc, I will give it shot for three years, I am aware that I might be too old (25 years old, I have not done it in the pass because I wanted to finish school first) I am also aware that I might break the other tendon, but it is because I broke the first one that I realized how small We are, you never know what can happen, I might go without playing soccer and then 2 years latter I break my other achilles coming out from the shower.
    There is also a chance that for some of us the injury was not because of a weak achilles but because of a very unlikely mechanical error in whatever we were trying to do , sprint, jump etc.

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