strengthinumbers’ AchillesBlog

5th Week Post Op!
April 20, 2011, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

The end of my 5th week post op is finally in the bag.
Last weekend I went out for round two f climbing. I was much more confident this time out and managed to get around with a lot less apprehensiveness. I led 14 routes in total ranging from 5.6 to 5.11b! Needless to say I had a great time and I have been utilizing my boot in a much more efficient way on climbs instead of just letting it dangle helplessly in the air. I’m still extremely cautious when it comes to situations where I might fall (I have not taken a lead fall yet thank god), so I stay to routes where the potential for such a hazard is minimized.
On the healing front, I saw and felt my tendon for the first time this week. The scar tissue and swelling have all receded to the point where I can actually see what looks like my old tendon. It feels good, strong, and more importantly in one piece! My poor calf muscle looks like a deflated balloon however, a sight that brings me much sadness. I can flex my calf, but the rigidity of the former muscle has been completely ravaged by time. I’m not quite sure what to do to remedy this yet, so I continue to walk as much as possible in my boot, and flex my calf whenever I am engaged in range of motion activities. I have an appointment with my doctor next week (the 6 week milestone) who will evaluate my progress and let me know if I can shed the boot and start walking in regular shoes. I keep stretching the tendon whenever possible and everyday it feels more and more flexible (read normal).
For now, I just look forward to gaining more strength in my tendon without aggravating it and am planning another outdoor adventure this weekend. The weather here in Washington is beautiful (a little crisp/cold) and as long as the sun is shining I’m going to try and get outside. I’ve adapted to the boot quite well, but I still get a very angry heel after hiking for some distance which is always soothed by getting out of the boot and off my feet. I really hope that I get some sort of PT assigned to me by my doctor on this next visit because I’m really at a loss as of what I should be doing to regain strength in my calf muscle and what a transition from my boot to normal shoes would mean for my recovery and rehab.
I really had no idea where I would be at 5 weeks, and I’m happy to report that I feel as though in another 6 weeks I should be completely back to ‘competitive sports’ (as the doc put it). In all reality I would just love to get back to hiking, running, and climbing the way I used to. I could really care less if I never play basketball again (it was more of a fun hobby than a serious sport for me, at least in the last 3 years), but I do realize that a lot of people have mentioned I now need to worry about rupturing the other tendon (yikes!!). Any helpful hints in making an efficient and safe transition from boot to shoe would be much appreciated, and if anybody has any tips about maintaining a healthy ‘other’ Achilles tendon while healing I would love to hear them.
Thank you everyone, I hope you are all enjoying life while in a boot/cast and staying as active as you can. I’m sending my healing energy (what is left of it) out to you all!