Where is my calf muscle?

It’s like the whole thing didn’t really happen. Over a year later, and I am doing exactly what i did before the rupture. The only difference is that my right calf has never grown back to its former size. In fact it about half the size of the other one. Looks like a childs calf in comparison.

How do I build it back up again - and how are my many sporting activities not doing that anyway?

I am back baby!

40 weeks post injury and am fully back to doing all I was before. I walk, run and play squash without any pain or restriction at all. Even better is that I appreciate it all far more now … the injury has actually benefited my life. I just want to tell all those starting out that you will recover, and sooner than you think. Eat healthy, stay positive, and keep busy .. then before you know it will behind you!

I do have a fear of this injury happending again, but don’t know what I can do to prevent it … So I’ll just be sensible but still enjoy my body to the full.

Good luck everyone!

Hallelujah - back to normal

It’s been a long time since I posted and I feel kind of bad for not checking and supporting others who are starting out. I found words of encouragement absolutely crucial in my healing.

I am now doing pretty much everything I was doing before. Playing tennis - not quite sprinting for every point - cycling with no impediment, running (as clumsily as ever), and walking long distances without any pain. I am so grateful to have had a smooth recovery and to be enjoying my body again, 7 months after the injury.

To all my hommies starting out, my advice is to read this site as much as you can, eat healthy and breath deeply, and know that your disablement is only temporary - you WILL be back before you know it!!

Prevention is better than cure

I have a question that I hope you guys can help with: I’m at 20 weeks and starting to a lot of normal things again, like playing a bit of tennis, jogging, cycling etc. In the back of my mind is a real fear of this happening again. Is there anything I can do to totally minimise my chance of a rupture, on either leg? I guess warm-ups and stretching will help, but is there is any vitamins/supplements/ankle guards that could offer more protection?

I really don’t want to go back to square one again…

Thanks, Withnail

Sloooooow progress

15 weeks and I still limp. 15 weeks! This part of the healing process really takes a long time. I am ready to go hiking and gently tossing a frisbee around, but the foot still gets sore after a while and the heel still gives a twinge.

Any tips on pushing through this phase and getting back to full, proper mobility? Pretty much open to anything except animal sacrifice.

Back to normal … almost

Well, 13 weeks after the injury I am finally walking normally without any observable limp, and pretty much doing everything a normal person does … except play sport. I can now cycle with my cleats on, and go pretty much full speed, provided the road is mostly flat. I am not able to handle any single track or demanding moves because standing up while is kinda painful.

To most people I would be fully recovered, but in truth I am months away from being able to play the sports that keep me sane. Squash is probably another 6 months away, but my doctor advises me to give it up entirely. Tennis is more viable and I estimate only 2 months away.

All in all, I feel pretty grateful to have recovered as quickly as i have. My advice to brothers and sisters starting out on this involuntary journey is:

  • Be patient - it gets better and easier every day
  • Stay healthy - eat properly, take vitamins, help your body to heal
  • Keep busy - start working again asap, and time will fly by
  • Stay positive - find the good stuff, learn some lessons, and remember: this too shall pass!
  • Login here everyday - more essential than surgery is information, motivation and a sense of comraderie and community.

Good luck everyone!


The plateau phase

My walking is really frustrating me at the moment. I still limp a lot, and dont have the calf strength to walk normally at all. After making such fast progress throughout my injury I seem to have come to a grinding halt. I know it will get strong again one day, but its so frustrating how long it takes.

Anyway, count my blessings I suppose. This stage is far easier to bear than the early weeks. My sympathies to anyone just starting out - stay strong, keep mentally busy and be patient!

Limping along

Just a quick progress report … nothing too mind-blowing, but steady progress.

I am now walking with two shoes and one big limp. Strength is returning to my calf buy not yet able to ride a bike with clip on shoes or really support too much weight.

I am being really cautious about walking up stairs or similar high risk situations - these stories of re-ruptures are really freaking me out! At this point - 9 weeks after injury - I dont think I will ever return to the squash court.  I never ever want to go through this process again.

Rapid progress!

In the last 2 weeks I have made a number of gains that have really got my life back on track.

I have gone from 2 crutches, down to one, and then  yesterday forgot my single crutch at home and discovered I dont really need it anymore. So now I have both my hands back!

I have ridden my bicycle most nights after work, and can even pedal up a slope without any pain. I wear the boot for protection as I’m not yet confident with putting my foot down yet.

And today … drum roll …. I drove to work! It was a bit strange wearing the boot, and my breaking was a bit jerky, but I felt in control which is the main thing.

In a week I get rid of the boot entirely and go 2 shoes.

Feeling very positive all of a sudden and greatful for my rapid recovery. To everyone starting out or in the early stages, just hang in there, keep busy, take care of your health and the progress will come faster than you think!

The Mercy method: 8 weeks to full recovery?

I found this information on the website for The Institute for Foot & Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

What I found most interesting was their contempt for the 8 inch scar method of surgery most of us have had, and their accelerated recovery regimen. What do you think - is this the future of achilles repair?

Here is an excerpt:

“Fortunately, now there is a new, unique method available for operating on and repairing the tendon. This new method requires only a tiny incision of one to two centimeters in length. This is far more accurate surgery. Recovery after this procedure is easier and the surgical complication rate is extremely low.

Note the absence of scars in this patient. The stitches were inserted through tiny punctures in the skin, The patient is standing on tip toes three months following her surgery, and has begun a training program to resume ball sports

Rehabilitation after Achilles tendon surgery

Following the tendon repair no walking on the foot is permitted for ten days. Then walking is begun in a removable boot. There were some treatments used many years ago that relied upon a leg cast. This led to tremendous weakness and atrophy of muscle that was often permanent. Approximately fifteen years ago, with a treatment pioneered by Dr. Myerson, the recovery after surgery for repairing the Achilles tendon changed dramatically, leading to maximum restoration of tendon healing and rapid return of strength. Instead of a cast, a removable boot is worn and instead of using crutches, walking is commenced very rapidly after surgery.

Therapy and exercises are begun soon after surgery. This therapy process is critical in the recovery after tendon rupture, and without a carefully monitored program, full recovery is never possible. This treatment has made a huge difference in the recovery process for both recreational and professional athletes.

The rupture of the Achilles tendon here was treated with a short incision and this patient is able to stand on tip toes at 8 weeks after surgery. Rehabilitation with exercise is very important early on after surgery to maximize strength.

Full link: http://www.mdmercy.com/footandankle/conditions/achilles_tendon_probs/acute_achl_tendonrupture.html#pagetop