Nearly 1 year now

Hi all! Been almost 6 months since i last logged here, so i thought i’d drop by and share my progress as a way of saying thanks to the different people here who have one way or another gave me hope during the hard rehab times.

Anyway i am around 11 months post op now and pretty much doing a lot of things normally. Still not engaging in really challenging sports but at least am able to run, jump (not as with before) and move laterally with little to no problem. There are still days that my ankle would feel tired if i walk too much but there are days that i almost forget i had this rupture.

Aesthetically, my surgically repaired achilles looks pretty dense compared to my normal one. I think this is normal with all atr folks right? I did notice that there is little bump in my achilles which i assume is the point where they knotted the sutures when they connected my achilles.

I do wonder for the other atr people who have fully recovered, how long did they feel they were 100% again? Or do we have to redefine what 100% feels like after this injury?

In any case, thanks to whoever started this blog. It really helped at the initial part of rehab as well as the whole att experience.  To all new members, hang in there and just be positive. This is the type of injury you can never rush but at the same time be mentally strong.


12 week update - starting to run again

Hi all! Been awhile since I posted so just thought I would share some notes on my current progress.

So I am at week 12 (precisely 3 months and 8 days from the operation). Things are pretty much gettig back to normal for me work wise. Physically though I am still not where I would want to be. I do know this will take time. I am quite happy though to say that I have started treadmill running again. Today was the second day I ran on the treadmill and it really felt great to just run. I was quite nervous when my OS told me that he wanted to see me run on week 12, but he was very confident and the PT likewise was very encouraging. I was really thrilled to be able to do it. I thought was gonna fall off the treadmill, but I did it! Likewise, I was worried that there might be pain in the repair site, but then no pain. My feet were tired though after running for the first time in a while. Still it felt awesome.

Anyway, as somebody on this blog once said, hang in there guys! There is light at the end of the tunnel :-)

8 weeks - trying to get back to a normal schedule

Hi all! So am exactly at 8 weeks now and just had my doctor’s appointment today.  I have been given the go signal to do standing heel raises as well as seated calf raises but both on flat ground.  Other than that,  no lower body exercises yet though (e.g. Squats, deadlifts).  I was pretty terrified when he asked me to do a heel raise in his office and I thought I couldn’t do it.  Amazingly though was able to do it, but of course had to put around 70% of my weight on the good leg.  But,  I’ll take it.

Was able to finally get back on the road to bike again! Was only able to get around 4km, but it does feel so great to have a semblance of normality with your daily activities.  Have to be careful with the dismounting though but I am hoping it will come back with more practice.

I do still limp a lot when I walk due to lack of push off strength with the repaired foot but if I walk slow enough I can pass off for a normal person :) so now my focus is on strengthening my calves to at least try to get more push when I walk.  I also tried going down the stairs using alternating steps.  Still a challenge but definitely got better compared to week 6.

I do wonder about my ROM though.  My dorsi flexion is coming along fine but I still feel tightness in my instep when I do plantar flexion.  I asked my doc and he said it means I have to continue stretching it.  Thing is the only stretch the PT showed me was wall stretches which I think are good for dorsi flexion.  By any chance, can anyone tell me what good stretching method can I do to improve my plantar flexion?

Been a great 2 weeks since I got into 2 shoes and I really feel excited for a lot of us who will be getting into 2 shoes soon. Good luck all and keep the faith!

6 weeks and two shoes!

Hi all, just wanted to post an update as I am really excited to be in 2 shoes now! It is exactly 6 weeks since my operation and doc has given me the go ahead to transition into two shoes.  It is really liberating but the first few steps were really quite disorienting as it felt my repaired foot was like floating on air.  Nonetheless, the therapist got me walking today and though ROM still needs work, I am quite happy to see my right calf (atrophied and all) respond as I flexed my ankle while walking. The problem now is to fix my gait as my right stride is noticably longer than my left stride.  I have to make a concious effort to make them equal but the tightness in my achilles makes it hard.

Likewise, I have heard or read that going down the stairs is one of the bigger challenges as you rehab, and truly it was quite a task. It was quite painful to go down stairs on alternating steps so I had to go down with the bad and the put my good on the same level before going down another step.  I have read that somebody posted a trick to going down the stairs, but I can’t seem to find it.  Can anyone point me to the right link?

Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck to all of us ATR rehab people

Swimming and other stuff?

So here I am at 1 month post on and FWB in the air cast boot.  I have tried to keep myself as active as possible by walking, upper body exercises and1 legged exercises for my lower body. Although my body seems to be craving for more activity.

I just got back from the beach and was totally bummed that I was not able to swim or go kayaking (but still happy that I got to go as I thought it was impossible when I got my rupture).

After reading up on the different posts here it seems that swimming was one of the activities that is very acceptable for atr rehab.  I wonder though is this something that most of you had to get approval from your OS or Pt before you started? Likewise, I have read that some people are able to stand in the pool with both legs.

So can I just jump (or roll) right in and stand/walk in the pool? The pool near our house is around chest to shoulder deep so I am assuming this is a pretty good depth.

My ATR experience

Hi all! Glad to have found this blog. It’s really nice to hear about people’s success stories and best practices (so to speak) regarding rehab as I am sure I will need them later on. Anyway, I decided to write about my experience as the approach my doc is using seems to be quite different (I.e. more agressive) than what most people post here.

I ruptured my achilles on March 1, 2015 on a freak indoor wall climbing accident. On March 2, my sports doc recommended I get surgery and from what I’ve read it seemed like the best choice. Got my surgery on march 4 and the next day my doc fitted me into an aircast boot.

However, unlike most ATR repairs, my doc surprisingly had me go on FWB on the cast boot 1 day post op. I never thought this was strange until I read up more on ATR repairs. It seems like most people go FWB only after four weeks post op (at the earliest). This worried me quite a bit but after talking to my doc and seeing the extensive research and experience he has had on ATRs, it did put my mind at ease.

So I am now at approximately 3 weeks post op, dressing for the stitches have been removed and wound is absolutely dry. Started to do isometric exercises for my foot every other day. I still have to wear the cast boot for tge next 3 weeks though, but as noted above I can go on FWB as long as I am in the boot. However, I would like to keep myself as active as possible during this time so maybe you guys have any suggestions as to programs you use to work your upper body (and your good leg) with the boot on. Also, I am trying to think (outside of walking) what other cardio exercise I can do to get my heart rate higher without harming my rehab.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all of us!