Winnipeg ATR

My ATR story. I am no longer young.

March 22nd, 2016 · 14 Comments

It happened. The point in my life where I have realized that I am no longer a “young person”.

My ATR experience sounds a lot like others who have experienced this injury. I was playing volleyball on a Sunday evening. The game started at 5:15PM, a time I can’t stand because it interrupts dinner and the bedtime routine of my two kids (daughter, age 4 and son, age 18 months). On this night, I was running late to volleyball because I had tried cramming as much time in with my kids as possible before heading out. As luck would have it, a train was crossing right before the school where my game was scheduled to be held. “It will just be a few minutes..” I said to myself, it being 5:01PM already. The few minutes turned into 8 and I barely got to the gym for a few warm up hits before the game started. The game itself was uneventful, we were in the lead in a close game.. we were 1 point away from winning the set when I dove for a tipped ball. “POP” - the familiar sound a lot of ATR sufferers will describe. I looked behind me, thinking a teammate stepped on my foot/leg. No one was there. Having had a couple friends suffer this injury, I knew then and there what had happened.

That said, I still drove myself to the ER and waited about an hour to see a doctor before being diagnosed and put in a half-cast. This was March 13, 2016.

Yesterday, at 8 days post ATR, I met with Ortho and he recommended non-surgical recovery. He cited the “usual” talking points on surgical vs. non-surgical, however also added that with where my tear was (up higher, toward the calf muscle) the ability to surgically repair it would be more difficult as suturing the tendon to muscle is like trying to suture to a wet paper bag. It just doesn’t hold that well. To be honest, over the 8 days of waiting for my Ortho appointment I had resolved that non-surgical is the route I would take - it was reassuring to have the Ortho confirm that at our meeting.

I will admit I was somewhat disappointed once I had my half cast removed and the air walker cast put on. The air walker cast is bulky and heavy. It’s actually more difficult to get around in than the half cast was. It also is hot - much hotter than the air cast and I find the sensation to need to itch under the cast to be much more prominent in this one than in the half cast.

The plan at this point is to continue with NWB on my injured leg for another 5 weeks, at which time I will return for assessment and direction as to the protocol for recovery. I have ready some protocol that recommends physio within 4 weeks of injury, but the doctor didn’t seem too inclined when I brought that up. We will see.

At this point it is getting use to NWB and trying to figure out a system with my wife that works for us and my two kids. Also, I will have to go back to work a bit this week and then back to normal starting on Monday, so I need to figure out how best to get around, what to wear and all that other fun stuff.

Thanks for reading. I will be keeping this updated as my injury progresses as a way to document it for reflection down the road.

Oh, almost forgot - here’s a pic of my boot:


Tags: atr