One year since ATR

So today is the one-year anniversary of my Achilles tendon rupture. I did it snowboarding on March 8th and was back on my snowboard on December 25th on black diamond runs in Utah. I feel like I was 99% recovered at about 7 months (even with an ongoing infection scare) and I feel like I’m 110% now (my “affected” right calf is slightly smaller than my other one, see photos, but I think it’s just as strong). Although my Achilles gets sore, especially after lots of activity, I am even more active than I was before, doing more high impact activities and more cross-training (road biking, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, jump rope, running, spinning, yoga, rowing machine, stair climber, etc). I even started playing ice hockey for the first time last week (so much fun!). I am very proud of my progress. Recovering from the repair was an amazing challenge for me and I gave it all I had. I started doing the rowing machine with one leg within a week of surgery and did my rehab religiously. My advice to others is to try to be as active as possible as soon as possible and push your ortho and physical therapist to be relatively aggressive with your rehab and recovery.


18 weeks and jogging, biking and hiking

Well, I hit the 18 week post-op this week and my PT gave me the clearance to start jogging, which feels surprisingly good. We’ve decided that I do not have an infection now, if I ever did, and I can start pushing it harder. I’ve gone on two 15+ mile bike rides with some huge hill climbs and two 6+ miles hikes and can now teach my full spinning and power yoga classes with no modifications. I just kicked the limp this week and have full range of motion on dorsiflexion and almost full range on plantarflexion. I can do one-legged heel lifts without holding on, but my range of motion is pretty small right now. The leg is still pretty stiff in the morning and after sitting for a while, but it seems to loosen up fairly quickly. I still get some irritation on the incision site after wearing shoes with backs. Are others still having this problem with irritation? I’m starting to feel stronger every day, which is great. Hoping to be back on the slopes in December!

No infection and walking almost without a limp at 3 month mark - woohoo!

Saw the ID doc yesterday and he thought my incision looked good so no PICC line for me! I leave for a long weekend at Canyon Ranch with some friends next week so that is really good news. I’m also walking almost without a limp and hoping to do some biking and hiking at Canyon Ranch, but that may be pushing it a bit. With the biking outside, I’m pretty nervous about unclipping from the pedal and stomping my bad leg down on the ground. I’m clipping in for spin class, which feels fine, but outside is much scarier. Any words of advice from post-ATR bikers out there?

Possible infection update - does your incision get red?

So I had a pretty serious reaction to the antibiotic I was on and had to go off of it. The next step would have been an PICC line for IV antibiotics. The day I was going to see the infectious disease doctor, I sat on the couch and did nothing all day so my incision was not red and inflamed because this is the only basis on which they suspect I have an infection (my blood work was all normal). The doctor said it looks much better and that we should wait and see what happens over the next week before we try another antibiotic. So my question for the rest of you — does your incision get red and inflamed after being active all day? Mine starts light pink in the morning when I wake up, but after walking around, working out and doing PT, it gets more red, especially at the bottom near my heel. Is this normal? The uncertainty of this infection thing is driving me crazy and I don’t want to go on IV antibiotics if we don’t even know whether I have an infection.

Infection and scared

My ortho thought I might have an infection at the bottom of my incision because it was red and a little puffy and there was still a small (2 cm) scab at 11 weeks post-op. He sent me to an infectious disease specialist who also thought it was infected. I’m now halfway through my second course of antibiotics (Keflex and Bacrim) and it may still be infected. Has anyone experienced this? My PT said that the worst case scenario is that they would have to go back in, scrape the infection out, and redo the repair. Has anyone heard of this happening? I am making great progress with my rehab, walking almost without a limp, and am terrified of a set-back at this point.

Two shoes but possible infection?

At my 8.5 week follow-up appointment today, the doc gave me clearance to ditch the boot. He was concerned about how red the bottom part of my incision (the back of my heel) is, though, so he put me on a course of antibiotics (although it may just be irritation). Has anyone had this issue at the around 8 week mark? My incision has generally been healing really well so it’s a bit strange.

Walking in two shoes feels very weird right now. I feel like I’m learning to walk all over again. If anyone has tips about footwear or other walking issues once in two shoes, I’d love to hear them.

I cycled yesterday on a spin bike while clipped in and it felt pretty good. I’m going to try it again today.

Two month mark

Tomorrow will be 2 months since my ATR.  I am now walking pretty well in my boot without crutches and expect to ditch the boot on Monday at my follow-up doctor’s appointment.  I taught my yoga class on Tuesday and was able to much more than I expected (in the boot, of course).  I can’t wait to get back to cycling  - I am getting very tired of the rowing machine (although my upper body is very strong these days).  ROM has been the toughest part for me.  At least the NHL playoffs have been a distraction.  Go Caps!

been lurking for a while…time to write (7 weeks post-op)

I am 7 weeks post-surgery and just went to 50% weight-bearing with one crutch.  Still in the boot.  I ruptured my AT snowboarding in Utah (Brighton) on March 8th.  I just went to turn toe-side and it popped.  I am a 40 year old female full-time attorney in DC with two kids, ages 7 and 9, and I teach spinning and power yoga on the side.  I am very active so this has been challenging for me.

About 10 days post-surgery, I figured out that I can use the rowing machine with one leg so I’ve been rowing at the gym almost every day for 30 minutes.  Aside from my injured leg, I think I am in better shape than I was before the injury.  I taught my first yoga class since the injury last night and, although I can’t do a lot of it myself, I was able to talk the students through class pretty well.  It’s also amazing how much you can do with one leg.  I am going to PT twice a week and this is my third week - it’s helping a lot.

I’d love to hear from anyone who ruptured their AT snowboarding or who has gone back to snowboarding after ATR.  I’d also like to hear when folks first started cycling, indoors or outdoors, while clipped into the pedals.

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