3 years

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are recovering well.  I am 3 years post surgery for a 95% torn right achilles tendon.  I have some both positives and negatives to share with everyone (mostly all positive with only 1 negative).

The positives are that I can do just about everything I did before I tore my achilles.  That is to say, play volleyball, softball, golf (not a huge challenge on that one), flag football, and I have run two 5Ks (I ran my 2nd 5K this past Sunday).  I never bothered to run 5Ks before the tear.  So far, the best strengthening I have experienced (aside from the formal physical therapy) has been jogging on pavement.  When I jog on pavement, as opposed to a soft surface or a treadmill, the weak calf gets a great workout.  I get a good sore feeling for the next few days (which I currently have).  So, those are the positives.

There is one glaring negative.  Despite 2 full cycles of physical therapy, as well as returning to full activity, I still cannot do a single leg calf raise on the bad leg.  I can obviously do it on 2 legs, and I can do seated calf raises.  However, I cannot do a single leg calf raise without the assistance of pressing down on a bar/surface with 1-2 fingers on each hand. From what I’m reading, I’m somewhat of an anomaly.  Most patients eventually do get to doing a single leg calf raise on the affected leg.

Any other long term stories about recovery and things that do/do not return to normal?

Best of luck everyone with your treatments.


2 Responses to “3 years”

  1. Hi, showing my ignorance here…

    If you can do all that good stuff, do you need to worry about a single leg calf raise? I can do it, but did I do one before my atr? Probably not, why would I have?

    It was probably a target to reach, but you’ve achieved a more than good enough fitness level, maybe better than pre-atr. Relax now and stay fit.

  2. Hey, Savi, I remember you, welcome back. You were in Med School, weren’t you? Are you an MD now?

    We have a lot in common, as you can see from my blog. I too am “impaired” in the straight-kneed 1-leg-heel-raise department, but totally unimpaired by my ATR(s) in all other departments. I can lift my heel off the floor far enough to slip my other foot under it past the knuckle on my big toe, but nowhere near (or as easily) as on the other side. In my case, that’s post-NON-op.

    My other leg’s ATR got the surgery 8 years earlier, and has excellent 1-LHRs, but its repaired-short AT has apparently helped push my right knee out of alignment. I’ve been doing several months of PT and exercises (including lots of stretches), and I’m still recovering from my first volleyball session of the season (indoor beach, 2s, 3s, and 4s). My whole body is still stiff THREE DAYS later(!), but my right knee isn’t too bad, so maybe the program has been working well enough.

    I think your experience AND mine proves that the last bit of calf-and-AT strength it takes to do a good 1-L HR is over-rated as a necessity for sports performance. AFAICT, anyway.

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