8MTHS & BACK TO TENNIS/MASSAGE

I have combined my last 2 blogs because I think they are both important.

WOW! What a great feeling to be back playing sport again. Whilst the tennis was a little rusty, my movement around the court was exactly as I had left it.
I am still not 100% and still have plenty of work to do but I was astonished that not only did I feel great playing but there was no reaction, yes, no reaction whatsoever after playing.
If there is a silver lining with this injury, I am fitter now (45 yrs) in terms of core fitness than I have ever been and will continue with my exercise regime.
If it’s of any use to anyone, my routine has been;

Session 1
10 min static cycle
10 min stepper (never thought I would use one of those!!)
10 min treadmill slowly increasing pace.
Stretch calves/hamstrings/thighs/abs
ABS exercises
Double heel calf raises 3 x 12
Squats 3 x 12
Lunges both legs 3 x 12
Added weights to the above 3 eventually.
Alternate each session with last 3 using the Leg Press and the Hamstring & Quads machine.

Next Day
Session 2
Need an aerobics step. (Mine is quite small, no need for large here!)
Step forwards on and off
Step backwards on and off
Stand with step between your feet (narrow) bring left foot up, then right foot up, left foot down to floor, right foot down to floor.
Now stand with the stepper on your right (narrow). Place right foot on stepper and push up so left foot is lifted then return left foot to floor. Repeat other side.
Now the best one, you’ll feel this one in the hips….stand with stepper in front of you (long). Place right foot
on the stepper. Raise left foot from the floor behind you, over the stepper and down to the floor in front of the stepper only don’t put it on the floor. Swing left leg left and right a couple of times. Now lift the left foot back over the stepper behind you and repeat the swing just above the floor behind you completing one cycle. Repeat swapping feet over. This will be a good test of balance on your injured leg!
Double heel lift on the stepper.
Build up to 30 reps for each exercise.

Use theraband tied to banister. Place band along the top of the foot and pull towards you, then out to both sides and finally push away from you.
Eccentric double heel drops from bottom step, raise up and lower below step.
I then go through a series of body stretches held for 30 seconds x 3 to improve overall flexibility.
In an ideal world do each session every other day. In the real world, fit it in when you can and don’t get dispondent, you will get there in the end how ever long it takes.
Slowly build up running ensuring proper warm up. When ready, start with assisted single heel raise until you can do it without assistance.
My training protocol said return to sport after 26 weeks. Don’t rush it, only go back when you are ready. I waited till 36 weeks when I felt I was ready.
I started this at about 15 weeks and I had the odd week where I did nothing for one reason or another.

I can only talk from a non-operative perspective but I had 4 sessions of massage on the injury point and I’m not going to hold back when I say it was the most painful experience of my life but well worth it. The only way I can describe it is like someone massaging you with razor blades - sorry folks but I would rather be honest and yes like a woos, I ended up biting my own finger to bear the pain but I defy you to not do the same! After those four sessions, I went from very slight limp to normal walking. I still do massage myself on the injury site 10 mins a day when I can but it doesn’t hurt at all when I do it!

Massage Important

Just when I thought I had covered everything in my last post, I forgot one key ingredient - Massage of the scar tissue.
I can only talk from a non-operative perspective but I had 4 sessions of massage on the injury point and I’m not going to hold back when I say it was the most painful experience of my life but well worth it. The only way I can describe it is like someone massaging you with razor blades - sorry folks but I would rather be honest and yes like a woos, I ended up biting my own finger to bear the pain but I defy you to not do the same! After those four sessions, I went from very slight limp to normal walking. I still do massage myself on the injury site 10 mins a day when I can but it doesn’t hurt at all when I do it!

8MTHS & BACK TO TENNIS!!

WOW! What a great feeling to be back playing sport again. Whilst the tennis was a little rusty, my movement around the court was exactly as I had left it.
I am still not 100% and still have plenty of work to do but I was astonished that not only did I feel great playing but there was no reaction, yes, no reaction whatsoever after playing.
If there is a silver lining with this injury, I am fitter now (45 yrs) in terms of core fitness than I have ever been and will continue with my exercise regime.
If it’s of any use to anyone, my routine has been;

Session 1
10 min static cycle
10 min stepper (never thought I would use one of those!!)
10 min treadmill slowly increasing pace.
Stretch calves/hamstrings/thighs/abs
ABS exercises
Double heel calf raises 3 x 12
Squats 3 x 12
Lunges both legs 3 x 12
Added weights to the above 3 eventually.
Alternate each session with last 3 using the Leg Press and the Hamstring & Quads machine.

Next Day
Session 2
Need an aerobics step. (Mine is quite small, no need for large here!)
Step forwards on and off
Step backwards on and off
Stand with step between your feet (narrow) bring left foot up, then right foot up, left foot down to floor, right foot down to floor.
Now stand with the stepper on your right (narrow). Place right foot on stepper and push up so left foot is lifted then return left foot to floor. Repeat other side.
Now the best one, you’ll feel this one in the hips….stand with stepper in front of you (long). Place right foot
on the stepper. Raise left foot from the floor behind you, over the stepper and down to the floor in front of the stepper only don’t put it on the floor. Swing left leg left and right a couple of times. Now lift the left foot back over the stepper behind you and repeat the swing just above the floor behind you completing one cycle. Repeat swapping feet over. This will be a good test of balance on your injured leg!
Double heel lift on the stepper.
Build up to 30 reps for each exercise.

Use theraband tied to banister. Place band along the top of the foot and pull towards you, then out to both sides and finally push away from you.
Eccentric double heel drops from bottom step, raise up and lower below step.
I then go through a series of body stretches held for 30 seconds x 3 to improve overall flexibility.
In an ideal world do each session every other day. In the real world, fit it in when you can and don’t get dispondent, you will get there in the end how ever long it takes.
Slowly build up running ensuring proper warm up. When ready, start with assisted single heel raise until you can do it without assistance.
My training protocol said return to sport after 26 weeks. Don’t rush it, only go back when you are ready. I waited till 36 weeks when I felt I was ready.
I started this at about 15 weeks and I had the odd week where I did nothing for one reason or another.

Unable to raise on toes

Things are moving along nicely now. I am running quite happily on the treadmill amongst all the other physio but I still can’t put any weight on my toes, there is just nothing there. Is this normal after 17 weeks or is there something else I should be doing?

Poor NHS Physio Update

I had a call from the head of physio for my local NHS trust and I quote her as saying “I share your concerns about your physio ┬átreatment”. She is going to meet with the head of Physio at my local hospital today to discuss my case. Now into week 15 and still only been given some basic foot exercises and one stretch. I am taking things into my own hands a little and have joined a gym so I can use the static bike, stepper and fast walk on treadmill building up to a gentle jog when ready. I have an aerobic step and doing some basic step exercises, heel raises and easy stretch. I start a group exercise class at the hospital tomorrow so hopefully I will be given better advice and guidance then. I feel I am having to manage my recovery on my own which doesn’t seem fair. Surely there needs to be some sort of test as to whether someone is ready to jog. I have seen protocols stating jogging only once you can jump and 6 months post injury or muscle size on injured leg no less than 10% compared to healthy leg.

At this stage, I’m not convinced the NHS in the UK is equipped to deal with the physio recovery side of this injury but happy to be proved wrong.

Physio Delay and Confused!

Now, I am getting a little concerned. I am in week 14 and have still only been given a couple of foot mobility exercises and 1 stretch (towel pulling foot towards head and hold for 20 seconds). This doesn’t seem to be in line with the usual protocol. The first time I saw a physio was with a physio and a trainee. Now i am in the hands of the trainee only. I have run for a minute on a treadmill and have been told I can resume jogging! Whilst I feel I can probably jog and it sounds great, I am not convinced I am ready, or, am I just being over cautious. 4 weeks ago I am told by a consultant the next 4 months are the most vulnerable to re-rupture. 4 weeks later after wiggling my foot a bit I am told I can go jogging.
I have rung the hospital and asked if I can just run that past a consultant to see what they say. So waiting for a call back fingers crossed.

Non Surgery recovery!

This may help those who have not had surgery.
My achilles went without any warning having just played tennis for 2 hours followed by a kick around with a football. I was advised by a surgeon not to have surgery, don’t yet know if I will live to regret that advice!
I was put into a temporary cast immediately with toes pointing which was replaced after 10 days. Second cast meant I was in a cast for 3 weeks, then into the boot. Ditched crutches and FWB after 6 weeks, boot off after about 10 weeks.
Was surprised how easy it was getting back on my feet and into 2 shoes. Very frustrated by lack of PT thus far, only given modest mobility exercises and towel stretch but I know I have to be patient. Can do 2 footed calf raise. My calves are screaming at me for more exercise. Back driving by week 11 and able to walk reasonable distances with slight limp but no pain with the achilles which is good. Have some pain where I can feel the bone of my heel but seems to be reducing day by day (initially, could hardly weight bear because of the pain).
I have physio again on Monday so will see where that takes me. Last thing, foot still swells; I generally ignore through the day, maybe chuck some iced peas on it if I get the chance but still sleep with legs raised on pillows and when i wake up, foot looks almost normal again. Struggling with the skin underneath the foot even though I keep putting moisturiser on it, the skin gets very dry and peels.
Feel under pressure from work to get back to full duties; not convinced they understand how lengthy and slow the recovery process is!
Desperate to ride my bike or do sport but again I know I have to wait.
Will try and update again.

First Long Walk!

Yesterday was day 74 and I went for my first long walk with my wife. It was lovely, almost felt normal but still a long way to go. Have a slight limp, not from pain, I think it is just muscle weakness. I have only been given 4 exercises to do but I’m doing my own pilates every day although nothing that would affect my lower leg.
I’ve had the conservative treatment so no operation. Just hope it turns out to be the right decision in the long term!

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