I was pretty confident that my last post, 7 months ago, would be the final time I blogged about my Achilles tendon. But, here I am with another post. Why, you ask? Well, my recovery has taken a new twist. It appears that I may be suffering from an elongated tendon.
My recovery went relatively well, but I’ve struggled to regain strength in my calf. Even after spending countless hours at the gym focusing on calf exercises along with mile after mile of running and biking, there was still very little mass to my calf muscle.
At first I chalked up the situation to the injury and long recovery time. Most information I read mentioned the recovery can take up to a year. But, I started to get more concerned when my one year anniversary came and went this past January and my calf was still weak. I decided to consult the internet for additional information. Although the information was sparse, I concluded that my Achilles tendon may have elongated at some point either during or after the initial repair.
I knew I wasn’t doing any more harm to the tendon, so before returning to the doctor I thought I would change up my exercise routine in hopes that my calf muscle would suddenly wake up. To start, I decided to stop my leg workouts and give my calf some rest. I took a 6 to 8 week hiatus from calf exercises as well as running from January to March. Towards the end of March I eased back into the calf exercises and running.
Over the next several months I noticed slight improvement, but I knew my calf strength was still not close to where it needed to be. So, in June I finally raised the white flag of surrender and set up an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist. It didn’t take long for the doctor to confirm what I had feared – an elongated Achilles.
According to the doctor, the only way to regain more strength is to surgically shorten the tendon and start the recovery process all over again. After spending a few weeks weighing the pros and cons of another surgery, I set up a date with the surgeon. I also have an MRI scheduled tomorrow so the surgeon has a better idea what he’s working with. Assuming the MRI confirms the surgeon’s diagnosis, I’ll go under the knife again at the end of July.
While I’m not excited about the prospect of another surgery and starting the recovery all over again, I also don’t like the idea of living the rest of my life with a weakened calf muscle. My intuition tells me that a weak calf muscle will probably lead to problems with my knees or back at some point down the road. So, I guess I’m considering this surgery as “preventative”. It looks like I will once again be lining up at the starting line to the virtual achillesblog marathon.
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