2 years…

Hi all,

It has been two years since my injury. Time really flies…

I just wanted to give an update on where i am as I found it useful (and motivating) during my rehab reading posts from others that were ahead of me in my recovery.

The very good news is that after two years I am playing sports again. A couple of months ago, I rode the Tour of Flanders (135kms), few weeks ago I ran a Tough Mudder in London and next week i am running a half marathon.

I started to run and exercise a lot last summer, around 15 months after surgery and this winter I trained a lot too, 4 or 5 times a week or even more

I have to say that I still have the AT rupture always in my mind, so every time I go for a run, I am thinking of it, will it hold? Should I run the hill or just walk just in case? Am I pushing too hard? Oh it hurts, should I stop? etc.

My calves are now 34 cm and 37 cm, so still very unbalanced, although 6 weeks after surgery they were 28 and 35

I decided not to play football or other “risky sports” any more. I do not want to take chances of another AT rupture

Well, to all of you in different stages of the recovery, keep it up. I still recommend being on the super safe side for 2 months after surgery and then exercise as much as you can, always following your doctor’s advice, of course. But never stop the rehab or exercising. It is a very long recovery but eventually we all get there

Best of luck


Seven months. Some humble pieces of advice…

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

Back in 2 shoes

Last weekend I started to walk on my shoes again. It was nine weeks and few days after surgery. Since week eight I had started doing short walks without the boot near my apartment but I did not feel confident enough to take the subway in the city without the boot. Btw, I had gotten very fast with the boot. I could walk almost as fast as anyone here.

So last weekend I decided it was about time to park the boot for good. At the beginning it was frustrating because I had to walk very slow and it hurt a lot. The tendon itself did not hurt, it was everything else, hip, ankle and plant of the foot especially. However few days later things became normal and pain was minimal. Now, after eight days on my shoes I only feel some pain in the inner side of the ankle, kind of a tendinitis, but even this is going away fast. Today I went for a long walk in Central Park. I may have walked 3 miles and I got tired but felt very well.

I have also been in the gym 4 or 5 days a week for the last three weeks , besides going to PT twice a week and this definitively helps a lot. My next goal is to bike again outside. I have been doing static bike for 3 weeks and I feel I can go outside soon. Maybe next weekend? will see

After almost 10 weeks since surgery I feel I am getting back to normal and at least I can get around in the City. I also feel that the worst is over (I cross my fingers).

Achilles friends, keep it up!

6 days and 4 days. FWB, it feels great!

Yesterday I started FWB and it feels great. My doctor told me last week that I was able to start FWB as soon as I wanted (It was 5 weeks and 3 days after surgery), but after reading comments and blogs (and feeling afraid) I decided to wait a little bit more. During the week, I gradually put more and more weight on my foot and took few steps without crutches.

Finally, yesterday was the day. I left the crutches at home. As a celebration, I walked to Central Park and sat in a bench for a while. I felt great.

I was afraid that after the first FWB day, my tendon would swollen, but it looks fine, no pain, no swollen.

Next goal is walking on my shoes again, but not before two more weeks. I cannot wait…

Second follow up with Orthopedics. Good news

Yesterday I had my second follow up with my orthopedics, 5 days and 3 days after surgery. It ’s all good news, the tendon is healing well and I can start FWB on Monday, 6 weeks after the operation. She suggested using a cane for the first few days, but I do not have one nor I want to buy one for few days.

I feel excited  for finally being able to start FWB  but I have to confess that at the same time I feel  frighten, thinking how my achilles will feel.

My doctor also gave me a prescription for the PT, increasing the level of my exercises. She also told me that I can start biking in the static bike with almost no resistance and I will be able to swim as soon as the wound is totally healed.

All good news, finally! I feel way more optimistic now that I can start doing something proactively to recover instead of just waiting and waiting

My first five weeks

Hi all,

I have been reading blogs in this site for few weeks and it has been very helpful, so I would like to start telling my own recovery process. In this post I am going to describe my first weeks after the injury. At the beginning I read blogs in order to see other´s recovery timings in order to understand what I was going to go through, so I am going to leave mine, in case it can help others. I am 37 and I live in New York now and was very active before my injury. I partially tore my achilles 20 years ago, when I was 17, in a bike accident and unfortunately my achilles never heal well. My left calf was always weaker and thinner than my right one

Day 0: May 19th,2012: Injury day. Running the Brooklyn half marathon I felt my achilles popped on mile 9. Although I knew something was wrong I did not want to reckon it so I walked to the finish line. It took me 2 hours and three stops in medical services to walk/hop the last 4 miles (not the best decision…)

Day 1 after ATR: When I woke up my achilles and ankle were swollen and bruised and I was in pain. I went to the ER (it was a Sunday) and I got a cast and crutches and they told me to visit the orthopedics asap

Day 2 after ATR: First visit to the orthopedics in  Mt. Sinai hospital (I can only say the best about my doctor, 10 out of 10). She told me that the achilles was torn and I might need surgery and she needed to get an MRI to confirm. I was still neglecting the fact that I needed surgery…

Day 4 after ATR: MRI

Day 6 after ATR: Second visit to the orthopedics: The MRI confirmed an almost full achilles rupture. I needed surgery and I told the doctor to have it asap so we scheduled it for Tuesday May 29th

Day 10 after ATR: Surgery, everything went well. I was back at home around 6 pm. I slept well. I had painkillers for 2 days and antibiotics for 5 days after surgery. Painkillers made me feel very sleepy so I stopped taking them after 2 days. I did not feel pain at all

First 10 days after surgery: I stayed at home all the time. My parents came to help me out for 6 weeks and took care of the logistics besides supporting me all the time. They have made my recovery way easier. They have been great and I am very thankful to have had them this time. My colleagues at my company have been also great, allowing me to work from home some days and taking over some of my projects during my first weeks of recovery

10 days after surgery: First visit to the orthopedics after surgery. Stitches removed, everything fine. Cast removed and I start using my boot with a heel lift of 2″ aprox

2 weeks after surgery: I went back to the office

4th week after surgery: I started PWB (~25%), I reduced the heel lift to 1.5″ and I also started PT. By hopping on my right foot, my right calf  got very sore and painful, like if I had pulled a muscle. Do not hop on your right foot, use the crutches!

5th week after surgery: I increased PWB to 50%

These first weeks have been hard, it is difficult and frustrating to realize how your life have changed in a moment. I was running triathlons and half marathons and now my short term goal is just to be able to walk again

Well, I will keep posting my progress. Thank you to all the bloggers for sharing your experience and advice. It has been very helpful. I wish a quick recovery to all of you