strengthinumbers’ AchillesBlog

No PT?
April 7, 2011, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The end of my 3rd week post-op is coming to a close. So far, things have been really good. I’ve been walking a lot in my boot, walking (cautiously) around my house without my boot, and sleeping without my boot (which is pure heaven after two weeks of sleeping with it on).  I haven’t been prescribed physical therapy, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not(?), but I do a lot of range of motion and stretching excercises.  I’ve been able to flex my calf and so far I’m just trying to stay as active as I can. 

I have a desk job so this injury has really not affected my work schedule (except for the time off I took for the surgery and subsequent recovery).

I would love to know what people do to stay in shape endurance-wise.  I do a lot of upper body work outs that involve crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, and free weights, but I would love to get a really good sweat on like when I was trail running full time. 

I’m also very curious as to how long it actually takes for a tendon to heal after being surgically re-attached to itself.  With the Achilles tendon being so large I just wonder if it takes longer than other tendons.  My biggest fear at the moment is re-rupture, but I don’t want to fall into the mental trap of beleiving my body will always be weak and vulnerable. 

The worst part of an injury such as this one, especially this being my first tendon rupture, is that I feel like the hardest part will be trusting my body again.  I’m sure it will come with time, and once I start doing the things I used to do again I will eventually forget that fear. 

In any event, I still fnd myself watching television and getting insanely jealous of all those care-free people I see running around like it’s no big deal.  I would kill(!!) to walk around without the assistance of my lovely boot.  In fact, when I get the okay from the doc to not wear this thing anymore I’m going to burn it, ritualistically.  I’m never going to take walking, running, jumping, hell, even standing on my toes for granted anymore.

2 Comments so far
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SIN, once you’re well past the 12-week “bright line” (the vast majority of re-ruptures happen before then), you’ll be able to start quietly worrying about your OTHER AT rupturing, as you begin to resume “high-risk” sporting activities! ;-)

Once you’re reasonably fully healed, you really can start trusting the ATR leg again.

Post-op, I think PT is most important if (a) you’ve got surgical “adhesions” that either create nasty lumps or impede your flexion. That’s when adjacent layers of tissue (between the tendon and the skin) heal TO each other, so they can’t slide OVER each other. Or (b) if you’ve got a serious deficit in ROM that you can’t fix yourself.

At 3 weeks post-op, I’d be very gentle with the stretching and ROM stuff, specifically in the dorsiflexion direction. The last thing you want to do is to stretch things (the AT) out too long, and I think that’s easy when the healing tendon is still quite weak. I lost a bit of dorsiflexion after my first ATR (repaired surgically late 2001), but my surgeon told me he was trying for that. And it never bothered any of my aggressive and competitive sporting pursuits. (Tearing the other AT in late 2009 certainly DID bother those pursuits, as did getting open-heart surgery in late 2010! I think I’m slowly creeping back to the volleyball court, but we’ll see. . .)

If you can, install the “ATR Timeline Widget” (details on the top of the Main Page), so we can all easily check your essential info.

Comment by normofthenorth 04.08.11 @ 2:33 am

About cardio: I started bicycling (ATR heel on the pedal) while still in the boot, and riding a stationary bike is much safer. No limit to how much you can sweat, and you’re even using your lower body!!

Comment by normofthenorth 04.08.11 @ 2:34 am

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