My achilles tendon repture & recovery blog.

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Hello world! - My Story!

Hi All! What a great forum to find during this time.

My ATR story starts with the decision to play in a tennis tournament over Memorial Weekend. I was going out to San Francisco to visit a friend and we both play (or did in our youth) and we thought it would be fun to participate. I hit a couple of times and practiced serves, but was still quite rusty when the first day of play came up. We decided to go hit on our own to warm up and practice serves. So we hit for about an hour then walk back up the STEEP hill (this is SF after-all) to the truck and drive out to the tournament. There we sit for 4-5 hours watching matches and waiting for ours. When I’m finally called, I go down, start hitting and begin my doubles match.*

We were tied at 2-2 when I had to turn from the net and race back to hit a soft lob that had gone over my head. I hit the shot over my left shoulder, turn and planted my feet to charge the net again when I heard the pop and hit the court. My team mates assisted me off the court, found a doctor and began icing it down. I don’t recall the doctor ever saying anything about the tendon. The best I recall he felt it wasn’t broken, and it was a pulled muscle or strain, and I just needed to ice it down and be gentle with it. I asked if there was anything to be done in the ER (since I was from out of town/state) and he didn’t seem to think it would help much.

So my friend picked up a brace/support from Walgreens with laces and velcro straps which provided a lot of support for the ankle. I was able to continue to walk on it, with a limp and of course, only walking on the heel. During the course of the remaining week I was there, it seemed to get better unless I stepped on uneven ground and my heel dropped, then I had shooting pain up my calf.

I flew home 8 days after the initial injury and my leg was throbbing the entire flight. The flight attendants gave me an icebag and Advil to help, but I couldn’t wait to get home, elevate it and ice it down. Since it was hurting so badly at this point, I decided I needed to have it checked out so went to my regular doctor the next morning.

She looked it over and within 10 minutes said she was referring me to an orthopedic specialist. I was a bit stunned, still thinking it was a pulled muscle - not realizing what the note “ruptured tendon” mean on my paper work. :)

5 minutes into the visit with the orthopedic surgeon, he said, “Oh yeah, you’ll need surgery.” Once I realized what they were able to visually see (or rather not see) I understood why it was so easy to be able to tell the nature of the injury.

That was Monday, my surgery was Thursday (June 5th). Fortunately my office is letting me work from home these first few weeks, so I’m able to keep it elevated as much as possible and rest when needed.

* Oh, I included the bits about tennis earlier in the day before the rupture, because I suspect having warmed up my muscles through hitting and that elevated climb to the truck caused a lot of tightness in my legs and had I stretched a bit before the match, I may have avoided this problem. Won’t know for sure, of course, because as my brother likes to remind me, “We’re not 19 anymore.” :)