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!

4 Responses to “18 weeks and jogging, biking and hiking”

  1. Hey there. Good to hear u’re on your way back and to be back on the slopes early coming season. Got interested in your rupture since I also did it in the mountains and almost at the same time. I’m also approx your age and very active so it would be interesting to hear about your progress. Furthermore I also had an infection in my scar that set me back some in the rehab. And I also at the moment do a lot of biking. Both on my road racer and on my mtb.
    I had a very violent rupture when crashing on skis down a mountain in Austrian backcountry (I’m a Swede living in Central Europe). Tore my calf muscle and, a lot more serious, my achilles. They had to open me up 17 cm to even know where to start stiching the tendon up. Turned out they had to do it very high up, almost up in the calf muscle.
    But enough of that. Good to hear someone else very active and even having started jogging. I’m used to doing about 7-8 hours every week. Mostly trail running before the rupture but now a lot of biking and roller-skiing (am a Swede after all so gotta keep the cross country skiing going). But haven’t dared to go jogging yet.
    Good to here u felt ok doing it. U been out jogging more? How swollen did u get? I’m also just at the edge of getting rid of the limping.
    What bothers me though is that I havent taken care of my stretching enough (maybe I should start yoga). This, my PT says, can be quite dangerous in the future since my muscles arent flexible enough which means more strain on the tendons since the muscles so to say bottom out too early.
    And yes I have the same problem with irritation. Partly because I had an infection in my scar due to taking the stitches a tad too early. So the scar opened up for one centimeter or so and I hade to go through two rounds of antibiotics and creams and what not. It has healed ok now though although the scar is much less “flexible” over that area.
    And I also get pretty swollen after my bike rides and roller skiing but that’s supposed to be normal my PT says…
    Would be very intersteing to hear how u are doin on the issue of getting back on the mountain. I do a lot of skiing and ski touring and really hope the coming season wont be wasted!
    Anyway: good luck with the recovering!
    Anders the Swede

  2. Nice to hear from you, Anders the Swede! I am doing even better than the last time I wrote. I spent the last two weeks in Park City, Utah, doing a lot of tough technical mountain biking and long hikes, as well as yoga. My achilles held up on steep climbs and after all of the many falls off of my bike. I have also been running more and my achilles lasts longer than my bum knee. My incision is less red but still not completely flesh colored and still gets irritated after a long time in sneakers, hiking boots, or bike shoes. But I haven’t really had any swelling to speak of. I’m still stretching as much as possible and icing at least once a day after my workouts. I have no limp at all at this point. I am planning to be snowboarding in December, but I definitely want to get new stiffer boots. How are you doing?

    Stacy

  3. Hi,
    That’s great news! I am five weeks out from surgery and getting into a boot this coming Monday. I am a serious runner so when my surgeon’s PA told me that I might eventually be able to “jog”, it broke my heart! When I run, I mean run…which means sub-five minute mile pace. I’ve done that for 30 years fo my life, so the thought of having to become a “jogger” doesn’t sit well with me at all. I am hoping that your situation is one of temporary “jogging” with being able to “run” later. Is there anyone else out there who has come back from this injury to do speedwork and competitive (sub-40 min.) 10K’s? I’m trying to stay hopeful but it’s hard to see all my friends going to fun races and I’m having to be a couch potato :-( Best of luck! MM

  4. MMM, this may not be the best place to have this discussion, since the post and the earlier comments are all ~7 months old, and some of these folks may not still be on this “conveyor belt” we call AchillesBlog.com!

    I’ve never been half the runner you are — I’ve only run a timed mile once, and a 12-minute run a couple of times. The mile took 6:35 (and I thought I was going to throw up and die!), so my hat’s off to you under 5:00!

    But I play pretty aggressive and competitive volleyball, and I’m also pretty solid at squash and tennis and badminton, and all of those activities are very “AT-intensive”. I’m on my second ATR now (both torn by volleyball), but you should know that my functional recovery from the first was absolutely 100%. I think it was around 10 months before I went back to volleyball, but I quickly forgot about the AT and regained or exceeded my level of play before the ATR. I’ve seen many blogs here from people who say that their AT was stronger after they healed up, and that was my experience, too.

    In fact, when people asked me if I wasn’t nervous about re-rupturing that AT, I always gave the same answer: The ONE part of my body that felt the best and that I trusted the most was my healed AT, and the one part that I worried about the most was my other AT. And sure enough, 8 years later, the other AT did pop.

    BTW, I had a surgical repair, like you, on the first one, though I’ve gone non-op on the second, based on the results of the last 4 good studies, which I’ve just reviewed on my own blog, at http://achillesblog.com/normofthenorth .

    So there’s my good and encouraging news, FWIW! And I am planning to return to competitive volleyball in the Fall, or maybe some beach volleyball sooner, depending on how quickly my calf-and-AT strength recover.

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