Hello world! The Opening…

Hello Everyone!

I found this community a couple of weeks ago after tearing my Achilles and its been great being able to read everyone else’s stories of recovery and tremendously helpful to my overall mindset as I face this.  I thought it’d be cool to share my story and recovery, both as a way to help me through recovery and maybe help others!

A little background on me, I’m 27 and recently moved to Miami for work.  While I don’t consider myself a truly "active" person in the sense of working out several times a week, I’d consider myself pretty athletic.  I’ve never been a weight room person, but I played basketball several times a week for much of my life.  It’s been cut down to once or twice a week over the last couple of years, though.  Other than the occasional rolled ankle or jammed finger, I’ve never had an injury from playing a sport.  I most certainly have never had to go to the doctor for an injury.

Well, playing in a recreational basketball basketball league on Thursday, January 9, that changed.  It was a non-contact injury, as I guess most of these are. I was backpedaling on defense and tried to stop and go forward towards the guy I was guarding when I fell down.  I thought someone had stepped on the back of my foot and tripped me, possibly trying to set a screen, but play didn’t stop.  When I went to get up, I immediately knew something was wrong.  I tried to walk, my right foot just wouldn’t behave properly.  I can’t really explain how it felt at the time, but I know now that I couldn’t walk in a heel-to-toe normal fashion.  It was weird to me because there was no pain whatsoever.  I always imagined an injury like that would be much more painful

Initially I was pretty shocked and mildly freaking out.  When I felt my ankle, I knew it was an achilles injury.  I went to the ER and waited for 4 hours (Tip: Do not go to the ER at 8:30 at night.  It’s a zoo.).  They took an x-ray, which didn’t reveal any breaks and did the Achilles test where they squeeze my calf.  ER doctor told me he thought I tore it, which I already was pretty sure I did, and that I need to go see an Orthopedic Surgeon.  I’m not sure how helpful going to the ER was, as they couldn’t tell me much.  But they gave me crutches and pain killers, although my ankle really wasn’t in a tremendous amount of pain.

So Friday morning, January 10, I called the Orthopedic Surgeon to set up an appointment as was able to get my initial one on Wednesday, January 15.  In the meantime, I just tried to ice my ankle and keep it elevated, but a tremendous amount of bruising developed.  My 1st appointment was basically him asking what happened.  I explained and he referred me to get an MRI that day with a follow up on Friday. He kind of gave me the run down of my options if it was torn as far as surgical repair vs. non surgical and I was on my way.  The Orthopedic Surgeon is a doctor at University of Miami hospital and does a lot of work with Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams, so that definitely gave me a little peace of mind that he knew what he was doing.

I went to get the MRI, which wasn’t terrible.  When the technician came in, he said "so you have the same injury as Kobe."  Not sure if he was asking me or telling me, but either way, I was pretty sure that I had the same injury as Kobe anyways.

Anyways, I have a friend who tore BOTH of his achilles tendons at different times when we were in college, and both while playing basketball.  One tear he had surgically repaired, and one he did not.  I got a call from him and he told me about his different recoveries.  He still plays basketball all the time, and he told me that his surgically repaired one definitely feels much stronger than the one he did not have surgically repaired, both while he’s playing and after.  At this point, I’m still trying to decide if I’ll ever play basketball again, but I know that at some point the desire will just get too much.  I love doing it and I don’t want to drastically change my lifestyle for fear of injuring myself again.

My follow up was Friday, January 17, and the orthopedic surgeon confirmed that I tore my achilles.  He said that the tear was not wide, so all options were available to me, and he was certain that either way would allow me a full recovery.  He was not pushing me in one way or another, but I had kind of already decided that I was going to get the surgery.  After talking to my friend about his achilles (even though all recoveries are different) and listening to pros and cons of both from the doctor, I thought surgery was the best option for me to get back to being able to be as active as I wanted to be, and also give me a bit more confidence in the ankle.  We scheduled my surgery for the following Tuesday, January 21, and I was on my way.

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