i now have two achilles tendons

My rupture and then re- rupture story .I am 55 years old male , i have been playing league tennis for the last 12 years.Soccer world cup in South Africa ,my business is very busy i don’t play any tennis for 3 months . first time on court after warming up for 20 min Snap ….my worst nightmare has just started.My active youth has caught up with me.rugby ,military parachuting, horse polo ,motor cross.All these cause scar tissue on Achilles making it less flexible.I had surgery on 24 th July 2010 it was a breeze ,off pain med next day . i was going to walk within 6 weeks again!! 23 days post op ,I went to bathroom middle of night ,one crutch no boot ,toe pointing forward, slipped on wet spot and re - ruptured tendon 20 mm higher up.I laid in bed for 5 days lots of pain before going to surgeon to get the bad news. After scan he said my Achilles would have snapped again it was so scared.The surgeon is the leading Achilles specialist in Cape Town ,does up to 8 Achilles a week.He then took my big toe (second strongest tendon ) tendon ,re least  it from my toe ,shortened it then attached it to my heel bone(drilled hole )leaving the other side attached to my calf muscle.Most prof athletes now have this surgery ( that is why they recover so quick )David Beckham is playing first class football after 6 months.The bone heals after 6 weeks (NWB toes down in boot) then re ruptures is unknown to happen .
I am now 8 weeks post re-rupture and foot is nearly back to neutral . My body is so tender from spending so much time in bed (12 weeks)sheets feel like sand paper,bored to near insanity.Robbed from things we all took for granted ,standing ,walking

13 Responses to “i now have two achilles tendons”

  1. “All these cause scar tissue on Achilles making it less flexible.” Did a doctor tell you that? I hope not because the only things that cause scar tissue have to do with invasive procedures that break the surface of the skin, whether by accident or intentionally like surgery.

    By the way, your body doesn’t have any tenons, but it has lots of tendons. Unless of course you are made from wood, then you might have tenons.

  2. @Gerry - It’s my understanding that scar tissue can form from any trauma, including those that may occur during the activities mentioned by southafrican. Perhaps this isn’t the technically correct usage of the term scar tissue, but it’s the way it seems to be used by the general population and medical professionals to refer to internal healing of muscles, tendon, organs, etc. which have been damaged by trauma.

  3. You may be correct, but I have not heard the term used that way and none of the orthopedic surgeons I’ve been to about the occasional problems with my right knee, which I tore up pretty good inside in college, have talked about scar tissue in there.

  4. The more I think about it the more I think you’re correct about the traumatic injury. But, you would have to have a traumatic injury of some sort for scar tissue to build, you don’t get scar tissue just by playing sports. Well, maybe boxing build up scar tissue in the brain. LOL

  5. Gerry, lighten up, man!

    My understanding of scarring is like Tom’s. Heck, I’ve been taught that muscular development is from a kind of scar formation, triggered by micro-tears in the cells. Even tissue “adhesions”, though most often caused by surgery, do occur without it –e.g., as a very rare complication of NON-surgical ATR treatment.

    Tendon, tenon — as long as you’re HEALTHY!! :-)

  6. SouthAfrican, your surgery sounds very interesting, and rare or even unique on this website. If it works reliably and better than standard surgery, I hope your Doc or somebody else will publish some studies on it. Are you expecting any noticeable loss of function in the big toe?

    There’s a published report by two Japanese doctors showing amazingly quick and successful results from their new-fangled ultra-strong surgical repair (with no cast or boot!!), but I think theirs just used extra sutures, not the extra tendon. Novel Approach to Repair of Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture: Early Recovery Without Postoperative Fixation or Orthosis. Am J Sports Med February 2010 vol. 38 no. 2 287-292, Tadahiko Yotsumoto et al. The abstract’s at ajs.sagepub.com/content/38/2/287.abstract .

    Great that Beckham is back scoring goals at 7 months post-op, and got back in the game at 6 months! In one interview, he said he felt ready to play 90 minutes after 4 months(!), but was wiped after running for 10 minutes. Still, not many of us could run for 10 minutes at 13 weeks. . .

  7. patatoe -patatoe …….tomatoes - tomatoes….. tonons -tendon this abc spell check insist it is tenons

  8. The toe has two tendons ,the main tendon is used for this surgery . this leaves u with minimum movements of the big toe . u can not toe paint or pick up a pin from the floor. the sport surgeons do not recommend this op to high or long jumpers

  9. A tenon is one half of a mortise and tenon joint used in woodworking.

  10. @Norm - The procedure southafrican described is actually not that rare, but you’re right that it may be somewhat unique with bloggers on this site. I believe the procedure is generally used for ruptures that were neglected for several weeks and for tendons that were severely degraded prior to rupture. I’m assuming it was the FHL tendon that was used for reinforcement of southafrican’s AT repair. It is the same procedure that my surgeon planned to use for my second surgery if my tendon was not healthy. I’m happy that my tendon was still relatively healthy so the FHL transfer wasn’t necessary. Most of what I’ve read seems to indicate that there is little to no long term benefit with this type of procedure for most ATRs. The short term benefit can be increased initial tendon strength, but I’m not convinced it’s that much different that an early weightbearing protocol.

  11. Gerry the surgeon explained scaring of your A T happens during a activity like sport when you stress the A T excessively .jumping off a wall,getting a hard knock on it.
    We do that all the time (while it is not warmed up first) That is life like i know it. then the tendon string like strands break or tear.only one or two out off thousands.Your body heals that naturally forming a scar on your A T . You just feel a bit of tendonitis next day. The scar is less flexible .After many such scaring over the years that is when you can rupture your A T

  12. Help anyone ! i have had 2 P T sesions , My achilles is much thinner now , but my foot is now shaking uncontrolable, if not suported (.toes jurk upwards).

  13. Can I please get the name of your surgeon in Cape Town???

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