First Post.

I am a 40 year old squash player who has sustained one of the most dreaded squash injuries. In a previous life ( before marriage & children ) I played squash 3-4 times a week for 4 to 5 years. I have seen many people carried off court with their achilles tendons ruptured.  It was like they had been shot. Never thought back then it would happen to me.

Now fast forward over ten year. Finally I am able to get back to doing some exercise to get rid of my middle age spread. Two weeks back into my squash come back I rupture my right achilles tendon. I heard it go pop and felt a sharp pain at the back of my ankle. I knew immediately what it was but tried to fool myself by thinking by putting some ice on it would make things better. I was able to drive home and climb stairs albeit with difficulty.

My sister in law who is a physiotherapist told me that I must go to A+E  to sort it out. A+E confirmed the rupture but told me that I would be in a cast for six weeks. Once in the cast they made me an appointment for fracture clinic in the next few days.

At fracture clinic the doctor broke the bad news to me. Nine weeks in a cast then a long rehab program afterwards. I was given the option of surgery or conservative treatment. Through facebook advice form friends who were medics I decided to have surgery which was booked in for the following week.

The doctor said that I ticked all the boxes for this type of injury. Over 40, weekend athlete, returning to sport after a long break and squash one of the most explosive sports.

The worst thing about this situation is not the crutches getting in the way or the fact that everything takes ten times as long or the  fact that I can’t drive. It’s the fact that I have become so dependent on other people. This is the one thing that I am finding hard to  live with. Going to the shops or dropping & picking up my children from school all depend on someone helping me. I have had many offers of help but for the next nine weeks or more I am going to be a pain in the arse for a lot of people.

It has been two weeks now since surgery and I have a wound check appointment tomorrow. Not sure what they will do. I know the wound is fine. Just need the stitches taking out which I could do myself being a nurse. I will post up tomorrow how it went.

8 Responses to “First Post.”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Welcome to the club! You might be able to use some tricks to “win the mental game” about accepting help. Having too many people doing too much to help you through a time of need is FOR SURE what I would call “an enviable problem”!!

    I hope they are mostly giving the help graciously and generously, rather than constantly reminding you that they’re being inconvenienced. Especially if so, the least you can do is to accept it graciously, and the MOST you can do is to bask in the warmth of the assistance and Thank God (or Whoever) that you have a network that’s willing and able to pitch in. (If they’re being unpleasant, they may partly be mirroring your attitude, and vice versa. Break that cycle!)

    Many of us have always been in control, and have liked it that way. Try to take a deep breath and gratefully let somebody take care of you for a change. I’m sure you’ll get lots of chances later to pay it back, or “pay it forward” to other friends and relatives who need it.

    And by the way — do as I SAY, not as I DO! ;-) (I’m good at being grateful for all kinds of blessings, but I ALSO do like to be in control all the time!!)

  3. Hi USA,
    I can relate to your story. I too am 40 and recently ruptured my right achilles playing tennis. When i was in my teens i played tennis competitively and loved the sport. I have not played much since and returned to the game just recently. This is not to say i have not kept active over the years i just changed my choice of sports: Skiing in the winter and golf in the Summer, Swimming year round. I have always been fit and routinely warm up before playing sports, as i did the day of my rupture. I never thought it would happen to me! :)
    My emergency room doc told me that ATRs are very common with squash, badminton and tennis-little consolation for me.
    Good luck with your recovery and i look forward to your posts.


  4. The “best” sports for tearing an AT are those with lots of starts and stops, and especially those that mix back-pedaling with racing forward. The “gear change”, from back-pedaling to lunging forward, usually subjects the AT to more peak load (tension) than any other single move.

    Aggressive squash, badminton, volleyball, basketball, tennis, football (esp. defense), soccer. . . all of them make a competitive player do that “gear change” fairly often, and at very high intensity. Running and skiing and dancing and bicycling are much more common strenuous activities, but not as well represented here, as those especially “AT-scary” sports.

    You’ve all got some time to plan the rest of your lives, but if this is your first ATR, you will eventually learn that those sports are just as risky for your OTHER ankle as they are for the one you’re concentrating on NOW! :-( There’s one study — linked in the “Studies” page that’s linked near the top-left of the Main Page here — with “contralateral” in its title, that tries to calculate the risk of doing the other side after this side finishes recovering. It’s by no means a sure thing, or even “likely”, but it’s not vanishingly unlikely, either. (It’s around 200 TIMES the initial “first-timer” risk, just during the first 4 YEARS after your first ATR!)

    I returned to competitive volleyball with my eyes open, knowing I might tear the other one — and sure enough, 8 years later, I did exactly that. I don’t regret my choice for a moment, but that’s me. It’s one of those personal “do what’s right for YOU” choices that nobody else can make for you.

  5. Hi
    I’m some way on from you, I had surgery on the 28/8 and had 9 weeks in a plaster.I’ve been on my feet for two weeks now and gradually getting back to normal.
    It’s great you have lots of people offering help - take them up on it! This is not the time for heroics, you need to accept that you won’t be able to manage on your own, though you will find your own ways of getting things done. I don’t know how old your children are, but if you can find ways of letting them help you, even if it’s just carrying something, they will cope better and may amaze you in how they rise to the challenge.
    Ignore the mess, get the shopping delivered and concentrate on your recovery.
    This blog is great for sharing the every day frustrations, we have all experienced similar problems.
    Oh and read Melanie’s blog - she describes her situation so well, it’ll give you a laugh!

  6. Hi USA,

    Welcome! I too can relate. Just remove squash and insert soccer from your story although I did both my achilles and I wasn’t able to drive home (not that I didn’t think about it). The dependency is somewhat the same however. I don’t like to incovenience anyone, even my husband. When he told me he was going to move a bed to the main floor of our house I told him not to and that I could just sleep on the couch. I am glad he didn’t listen and now I sleep in comfort. What I have learned over the last few weeks (I’m 41/2 weeks Post-op) is that if someone offers, take them up on it. I initially filled my days with visits from friends, and neighbors. It took a bit to get over the guilt that all I do is sit around and drink coffee but you’ll find that people want to help in some small way even if it is washing up a couple of dirty dishes. However, with all that said, I am so looking forward to the day I will be able to drive! Good luck in your recovery. We are all here with you every step of the way.


  7. Thank you all for your replies to my first blog. Reading them has made me realise that it could of been a lot worst.
    Cheryl!! Doing both tendons at the same time. Surely that can’t be very common. At least I am sort of mobile. Doing both would make you a prisoner in your own house.
    I will take all of your advise on the offer of help and swallow my pride.
    Had my week 2 check of the wound yesterday. Slightly disappointed that all they did was remove the cast, change the dressing and put a new cast on. Did not even see they Dr (deep down inside I knew that I did not need to see him). Thought I would get some advise form a physiotherapist about leg exercises, but no all I got was see you next week Mr Green.
    I know that this is going to take a long time to heal but I just wish I could speed up the process.
    Do you think I could get a new one for Xmas because I am skiing late January!!!


  8. I was skiing just fine 17 weeks after I started my non-surgical treatment. You should be able to match that with surgery, but your odds will be better if you can follow a faster rehab schedule than 9 weeks casted. I just gave aileenscotland the pitch for my recommended “one-two punch” to convince an old-fashioned Doc to follow a new-fashioned rehab protocol. Basically, give them a copy of the protocol AND a copy of the study that followed it, including their report on their excellent results! Check out Aileen’s blog for the links and details, and a summary of that modern and successful schedule.

    You sound like you’re in the UK. Many of the bloggers here who get stuck in casts for 8 weeks or longer are, both with and without surgery. It’s Old School. The results of a slow schedule post-op don’t seem to be much (or any) worse than with a fast one, especially in the long term. But they’re definitely no better, so it’s short-term pain and inconvenience for no gain, so skip it if you can.

    Almost everybody reports better satisfaction with boots than casts, too, so I’d push for that, too. Early mobilization and early WB seem to produce better outcomes in some studies and identical ones in others, and they’re also good for your soul, and your career, and the people around you. . .

    Good luck, and good healing!

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