Week 10 post-op in the books

Even though my tear and surgery feel like a distant memory, it’s hard to believe it’s been 10 weeks already. My doc’s aggressive recovery program has worked like a charm - I’ve been weightbearing since week 2 and boot-less since week 4 - and haven’t had so much as a close call with my Achilles (even with a now-walking 11 month old and her assortment of booby traps around the house). I can do 2-footed heel raises and am thisclose to being able to support my body weight on just my injured Achilles.

Taking a step back, I can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as helpless as I did during those first 2 NWB weeks post-op, but here I am 8 weeks later where if you didn’t know I tore my Achilles, you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at me.

I’m not sure what I would’ve done without the wealth of information and positivity on this site in the days and weeks right after my rupture, so if you’re reading this having just joined the “club”, hang in there because there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though I’m nowhere close to returning to the basketball court, I’m making progress and I gotta say, it feels good!

Keep healing guys!

Yup, it’s torn (3 weeks post-op)

Back on April 18th at the ripe old age of 33, I tore my left Achilles playing basketball. Nothing special about the how, I was just reaching for a ball and felt the “kick” to the back of my leg. I looked back to see who did it and realizing there was no one near me, I knew exactly what time it was…

After heading to the emergency room that night to confirm what I already knew, I found my surgeon and had my surgery 6 days post-rupture. The surgery went fine, the tendon was sewn up and reinforced it with 2 anchors into my heel to add extra strength as it heals. I had a surprisingly low amount of pain after the surgery and the only real discomfort was resting my heal on my pillow due to the anchors.

Fast-forward to today and I just hit 3 weeks since my surgery and am making progress. So far, my surgeon’s been super aggressive about my recovery: after 2 weeks NWB, he removed the stitches, put me in a boot and told me to put as much weight on it as I could tolerate. He also referred me to a physical therapist for ROM exercises with the goal of getting me out of the boot and back into 2 shoes at my next follow-up (which is less than a week away). On one hand I’m excited (I get to wear shoes again!) on the other, I’m scared. to. death. of re-rupturing it.

Having read many of the other blogs on this site, this seems like a REALLY aggressive recovery timeline and I honestly wouldn’t mind it too much if he called an audible and kept me in the boot for another week or 2. That said, my surgeon came highly recommended for this surgery so I’m wondering if he’s just a bit on the cutting edge here and if this is a lot of worry about nothing. My achilles/ankle/foot feels pretty good, but I know that’s fool’s gold at this stage so I’m not putting too much stock in it.

Now that I’m past the doldrums of NWB, my ultimate recovery goal is to get back on the basketball court in the next 6-8 months, but only if I’m ready.

A few lessons I took away from my recovery: an iWalk and knee rover are absolutely worth the money if you can afford it, I used the iWalk throughout my NWB phase and it was amazing being able to maneuver around the house and have use of both hands (I barely touched my crutches). The knee rover is still in use for work, shopping, and other errands. Above all, I’m thankful for an extremely supportive wife who has unexpectedly been forced to deal with 2 babies now (in addition to the 9 month old that was there before I got hurt) and has done so with little visible resentment at having to change diapers and change ice packs exclusively for 2 weeks.

That’s it for now, but I’ll update this after my next doctor’s appointment to see whether he (I?) actually went through with getting out of the boot.