I cannot believe it has been seven months already…
I stopped PT three weeks ago. They had been super helpful but at that point I did not need them any more, the marginal benefit was way smaller than the big hassle of going to PT twice a week after work. I am doing the exercises by my own in the gym. I also started running again like a month ago. Only in the treadmill so far, it is too cold outside… I am building up distance and speed. Each day, I try to go longer and faster but I always stop as soon as I feel any stress or pain. Now I can run up to a mile at 12 min/mile. It is not remarkable but honestly, it feels great! I have set my new goal of running the NYC marathon in 2014, that will keep me motivated next year. I also walk a lot, 10-15 miles a week
It is probably time to make a summary of the best advice I could give to someone who is starting the rehab process.
1- Rupturing the Achilles sucks but it is worthless to get upset or sad, just move on and set goals all the time and try to keep positive. Set realistic goals, btw, and always according to your doctor or PT advice. The first weeks are the worst ones but it only gets better after that.
2- Each Achilles rupture and each person are different, so set your own timeline, do not worry if you are going faster or slower than other folks here. In the long run a couple of weeks more or less of rehab do not make a different but a re-rupture really does, so avoid any risk, especially during the first couple of months.
3- Be super cautious for the first 8-12 weeks until the risk of re rupture is low. There is not too much you can do those weeks but there is a big risk of re rupture if you do silly things
4- Do rehab every single day, whatever you feel like, strength, flexibility, mobility or all of them, but do something every day.
5- Keep doing the exercises until you feel 100%, it is easy to give up once you start walking well again. Please do not do that. Hang on there until you get 100% back, which should take a year
6- Do not be happy with a 85% recovery. Many doctors say you can only recover 85% of your previous strength. Do not believe that, we can get back to 100%.
This was the second time I ruptured my Achilles. The first one was when I was 17 in an unfortunate accident. At that time I did not do the proper rehab and I paid it 20 years later with another rupture. This time I am going to make sure that I get more than 100% that I was before this second rupture
Have a very Happy Holidays
All the best
Antonio, from NYC