Thursday, November 28, 2002

My Achilles Rupture

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Back in the Game
by Carolyn La Duca Torella
For the Poughkeepsie Journal

I wish I could capture on film all of the faces that people make when I tell them about my Achilles tendon rupture. I get a variety of sympathetic gasps and grimaces, but the words are invariably the same: "Oh MAN, that must’ve HURT!!" Then I show them the scar and I get a few more cringes. I know it’s cruel, but when it comes to Achilles injuries, you have to get the laughs in when you can.

I certainly wasn’t laughing the night I injured it. I doubt that NY Giants rookie wide-receiver, Tim Carter or Giants tackle, Keith Hamilton were laughing when they ruptured their Achilles’ this season, nor did Vinny Testaverde or Patrick Ewing when they were injured during their careers. While the pain subsides relatively quickly, the gravity of the situation does not. The Achilles tendon rupture is a potentially career ending injury for a professional athlete as well as the weekend warrior.

I guess you could say that this was my first, official "weekend warrior" injury. I made it all the way to the age of 36 without one, lucky me. I’ve been playing volleyball every year since high school and I never missed a game due to injury. It was a pretty good run, too, until I ruptured my Achilles tendon in March.

The injury:
I agreed to be a last minute substitute for my friend’s men’s volleyball team at the Casperkill Country Club. My women’s league there had ended a few weeks prior, so I was happy to play again.

I arrived a few minutes before the game started and tossed the ball around briefly with a friend as our pre-game "warm-up." The first game went by without incident (ok, we lost). A few points into the second game, I found myself in the back row ready to receive serve.

All I did was move to lunge forward, like I had done a hundred times before this season and quite a few times that night. I pushed off on my toes to dive for a hard hit jump-serve and that, as they say, was all she wrote.

I don’t remember the ball coming over the net or even falling down. I just remember feeling an explosive, burning pain in my calf, rolling over and asking the tell-tale Achilles rupture question: "Who kicked me in the leg?!" Of course, no one had.

I screamed, "I think I just ruptured my Achilles tendon!" My teammates carried me off the court where I sat, stunned and immobile until the ambulance came.

I knew mine had ruptured as soon as it happened. Just like I knew when I saw Giants wide receiver, Tim Carter go down during their game against the Vikings. I knew. There was no one near him. Half a step off the line of scrimmage and he went down hard. Achilles.

I had taken an Athletic Training course in college and I remember that section, because I was the "mannequin" the day in class. "The athlete often says that it feels like someone just kicked them in the calf," my professor’s words came back to me in a flash, "The explosive pain is a result of the tendon ripping away from the bone or being completely severed above the bone. The athlete will be unable to move the foot in the downward (plantar) direction."

"The Thompson Test is a clear indicator of a complete rupture," he said. I was lying face down on the desk, with my leg straight and foot hanging off the edge. Then he squeezed my calf muscle (essentially contracting the muscle manually), "If Carolyn’s tendon was really ruptured, the foot would not move."

Like it didn’t move in the emergency room that night. Nothing.

Maybe it was bad karma. Maybe someone else should have been the mannequin that day. Maybe I should’ve just let the guy next to me take that serve. Whatever the reason, what’s done is done. And my Achilles tendon was done. That’s what the ER doctor said. That’s what my Orthopedic Surgeon said, "You’re done for six months."

Trouble with tendons:
Named for the mythic hero, Achilles, whose only weakness, was, you guessed it, his heel, the Achilles is the largest tendon in the human body. It attaches the calf muscle to the heel, allowing a person to rise up on the toes and point the foot. It is necessary for jumping and pushing off.

A rupture of this tendon is often compared to the fraying and eventual breaking of a rope. The tendon is made of bundles of fibers. The tendon fibers become weak over time and can break, weakening the whole tendon. In some athletes, the tendon can completely snap in two, or rupture. It can be caused by trauma like being hit by a stick in lacrosse or being kicked in the calf in soccer. Or the injury can occur without contact, by simply pushing off on the toes, as in the case of Jets QB, Vinny Testaverde’s season ending injury in 1999.

This "non-contact" type of Achilles injury is most common in the over-30 age group. Over time, tendons can suffer repeated micro-tears and become weakened. Poor conditioning can result in a decrease in flexibility, strength and resilience in the tendon. Inadequate blood circulation to the area, due to age and inactivity, excessive exercise on steep inclines and carrying excessive weight, have also been linked to Achilles’ ruptures.

Injuries to the Achilles tendon in people over 30 years old are becoming more and more common. "Weekend warrior" types, ala yours truly, who don’t exercise regularly, are poorly conditioned, fail to properly stretch out and then play aggressively during one or two days of activity are highly susceptible to this type of injury. In a recent study of patients who had Achilles tendon ruptures, the average patient was 37.9 years old, and 83% of the patients were male. Nearly 75% of all Achilles ruptures are sports-related.

In my case, I had a lot going against me. I played volleyball, an aggressive stop and start game, for 20 years, which, my surgeon said, took a toll on my tendon. I was power walking up steep inclines for a 6-month period just prior to my injury. And, up until I lost the weight by walking up those hills, I did carry around extra (let’s call them child-bearing) pounds. That last push-off was the final insult to the tendon.

I was admitted to the hospital that night. That morning, my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Spyros Panos, Mid-Hudson Medical Group, briefly, but thoroughly explained the reasons why I would elect for surgery as opposed to more conservative, non-surgical options. He said that due to my age and desire to compete again, surgery was the better option. Although both options would take the same amount of time to heal, surgery would repair the tendon, to nearly full strength, where non-surgical repair would most likely not and would have a higher possibility of re-rupture.

Dr. Panos said that I had a complete rupture, not a partial tear, about halfway up the length of the tendon, a very common place to rupture and easiest to repair since the heel bone wasn’t involved. He would make an incision just to the side of the tendon, a few inches long and re-connect the tendon with one stitch and then close the incision with surgical staples. The whole procedure would take about 45 minutes. I would be put into a hard cast from just below the knee to the ball of my foot for six weeks, he said, and then I would have some rehab without "aggressive" activity for up to 4 months.

Later that afternoon, I was off to surgery. One injection into the IV and two breaths into the oxygen mask later, I was out. I groggily awoke to a bouquet of flowers and apologetic cards from my teammates and family visits. The "get well" phone calls came. I had a cast, some flowers, SportsCenter on TV, sole possession of the remote control and painkillers. All went well, until the drugs wore off and I had time to consider the calendar.

As the surgeon explained, there was only one stitch holding my little tendon together. After removal of the cast, there would be no hopping, jumping, darting, sprinting or otherwise "aggressive activity" involving my left foot for at least four months. Okay. So six weeks in a cast. That’s mid-May. Four months from there…mid-September. So there goes the entire spring and summer. Two seasons. It hit me, "I am out of commission for a half a year." Pass the Kleenex, please.

Recovery and rehab:
I was in the hospital for two days, in a non-weight bearing cast for six weeks and a total of eight weeks on crutches (seven of which my children said, "Can you pick me up this week, Mommy?"). My foot was cast with the toe pointed down to put the least amount of strain on the repairing tendon. After the first four weeks, and every two weeks after, my cast was removed and recast so as gradually stretch the tendon.

When my cast was finally removed, the calf muscle in my injured leg suffered from severe atrophy, and was nearly half the size of my healthy one. The tendon had repaired itself, but the area was much thicker than before, which is normal but challenging when you’re trying to find shoes that fit, even after seven months. I had no range of motion in the ankle area as a result of six weeks in a cast and let’s not forgot that lovely scar from the incision and 13 staples. I needed rehab.

The goal of rehab was simple: to regain range of motion in the tendon and strengthen the calf muscle. I started rehabilitation two weeks after my cast came off. My therapist started out by measuring my range of motion post surgery. The tightness in my tendon prevented me from even bringing my foot to a 90-degree angle to my leg. We started out slowly with heat therapy, electro-stimulation, stretching and massage. We progressed to increasing my range of motion and balance on the "Baps" board (a round, tilting board like a wide skateboard without wheels). I eventually graduated to weights, wall stretching and toe raises on both feet then on one. It was slow and painful, but my mobility improved with each visit.

I was in rehab for six weeks in the office and I continued with two months of rehab on my own. I spent the summer walking, swimming, stretching and strengthening. And exactly six months from my surgery, my surgeon gave me the green light to play again.

Back in the game:

I am, as recommended, taking it easy at first, until I regain full strength in my calf muscle. Right now, my game isn’t what it used to be. I have trouble moving left quickly, my defensive range is decreased and I am not jumping as high as before. Be the reason mental or physical, I still have not attempted a forward lunging dive. But my reduced mobility has helped me to anticipate the other team’s moves because I know I can’t get there at the last minute.

My fellow wounded weekend warriors tell me there won’t be a Nor’easter or low-pressure system that I can’t predict and I am reminded every morning by a stiff tendon that I should stretch.

And I do. Before every game, I walk or bike to warm-up and then I stretch. And so do my teammates. All I have to do is show them the scar.

Note: This story was written in 2002. Things have come a long way since then in terms of rehab and post-surgical treatment. My friend had surgery for his rupture recently and he was out of the cast in 3 weeks, then into a walking boot. The walking boot helps maintain muscle tone in the leg - unlike how I had experienced recovery - 6 weeks in a non-weight bearing cast. So...when the next one goes, at least I know it won't be as bad! = )


At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story, thanks for the info! My sister ruptured her achilles and it will be good for her to read this.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nice to read your story. I ruptured my achilles also, and am in the middle of that slow road to recovery. It is nice to know that other people out there have/do go through the same frustrations. I knew it would be a long recovery, but I dont think I was really prepaired LOL. I think mine feels even slower though because I had to wait almost two weeks for surgery, because our surgeons are so busy. It is now only three weeks since surgery, and 5 weeks off of work so far, with the possibility of another 12 - 13 weeks off of work. I am driving my children nuts!! LMAO I cant drive them anywhere and we live out of town, so the days get pretty boring and clausterphobic. Anyway.........longwinded LOL........can you tell ive been housebound for 5 weeks now............LMAO
Thank you for your story!!

At 8:34 PM, Blogger CarolynVB said...

Oh, that's tough...12-13 weeks off from work?! I guess you don't have a desk job. I it was back to work as soon as I could get around on crutches.

Now's the time to catch up on all that reading! Also, make sure you complete the rehab when they prescribe it. I didn't and my calf muscle is still weaker than the other one. Heal well and I hope it goes pretty quickly for you.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

Hi, fellow achilles sufferers. Welcome to the blog. Over 1480 of you have clicked and read my story. I hope it helped in some small way. Please heal well and remember, finish your rehab!!!

Also, a word of advice, don't let your kids leave their HotWheels cars on the floor while you're on crutches.

Crutches + Hotwheels = very bad

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Shamim said...

Hi there...

Im only a few years late guessing your injury was back in 2002?
I completely ruptured nmy tendon in June 2007-it is now the last week in August and I have been cast free for a week.I opted for surgery and the wound has healed very well.The foot and leg have been peeling and I am shedding skin like a Anaconda!I am also suffering from swelling to the foot which makes it impossible to weight bear on.I still have my crutchs but my Consultant has not offered any further advice apart from NO PHYSIO as they are overzealous and responsible for re-ruptures.I have been off work nearly 11 weeks and still dont think I will be back for another 3-4 weeks (its not a desk job and I have to drive 30mins+)
I am little concerned that I still cannot stand straight as my left (injured) leg is still sore and restrictive.I can stand up unaided with left leg in front of right but cannot walk as it would mean standing solely on left leg.It is now a weeks since cast removed and I am little worried about healing and starting some rehab.I have found your tip helpful and will be using them but hoping you could advise of other rehab techniques that you found helpful.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger jayharle said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment and the info! That's greatly appreciated! Come to think of it I was very thirsty the night that I had the spasms.

BTW what did you mean by bruising sensation?

At 4:48 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

Hi! I had my cramps after I'd had the stomach flu. Nothing I could do in the way of stretching the cramp out when it was in the cast. Awful.

re: bruising sensation...I still have a pain where the cramp was, even after 5 years. It comes and goes, usually when I'm dehydrated. My doc said it's likely a permanent thing. Maybe from lack of oxygen/blood supply there when it cramped? I'm not sure.

So you have the "boot" thing? Back when I had it, I just had a cast for the whole 6 or 7 weeks. The boot is so much better...less atrophy.

Good luck!

At 8:10 PM, Blogger jayharle said...

Oh no! Stomach flu AND this!? Yikes!!

And wow I'll really make sure to stay hydrated now. It only happened a week ago and I have felt a few cramps since then but not like that night.

And I'm actually only 2 weeks post op. And I'm in a cast. Hoping to get into a boot if my doctor gives me the OK. My leg is already shrinking and it's a little unnerving!

So since you wore a cast and you say that the atrophy is worse, did your calf ever recover to the full strength it once was?

At 9:31 AM, Blogger CarolynT said...

My calf never got back to its old strength. It looks as big now way as strong. Now they use that boot so you can use the muscles. I have a friend who just ruptured his and he got the boot after three weeks. Amazing.

Good luck & don't quit your rehab, as lame as it seems.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger rhonda said...

Did anyone have a cast all the way up the thigh? talk about not beeing able to move! I wonder if atrophy is worse with a bigger cast?

At 7:38 PM, Blogger rhonda said...

Did anyone have a cast all the way up the thigh? talk about not beeing able to move! I wonder if atrophy is worse with a bigger cast?

At 9:41 AM, Blogger adrian said...

Adrian, Manchester UK.

Just read your story.
Your story has just brought back a load of bad memories from last year.

It is very similar in circumstances etc to my injury of last september 2007.

I was a very fit and athletic 38.5 years old Male at the time ( the perfect demographic for this injury).
I have played sport since a small boy and played Football to a high standard for years and have kept fit upto the day of my catastrophic injury.
I was playing Football (Soccer)taking my Coaching Qualifications along with 30 other students.

We all had a thorough warmup stretches, quads, hams, calfs, achillies etc for about 20 mins and all was well. Then we all took turns in the drills organised by the Coaches.

I was involed in the first drill, which was just passing the ball to others and performing some basic moves.
This lasted 10 mins then others were used in the next two drills, which meant i had to spectate for a least 30 mins ( i had seriously cooled down by this stage and was begining to stiffen up).

I was then asked to participate in the final drill, which was a full on game which was to last 15 mins.

After 5 mins of the game....
BANG!!!! "Who the f*** kicked me" i screamed as i crashed to the ground holding my calf and looking around me for the likely candidate..

The loud snapping noise and the force i felt on the back of my leg suggested that i had succombed to a crunching tackle by some wreckless opponent!

"Not me mate " said the nearest player to me some 5 meters away, thinking i was going to take some kind of retribution on him.

"I thought the loud snapping noise was the the plastic training cone nearby, i thought you had stepped on it" the guy next to me said.

At that point i new what the outcome was!!!

I lay there for 30 mins waiting for an ambulance. The pain was horrendous, but soon subsided as the shock of what happened set in and the realisation of my sporting future flashed before me..

I had surgery next day but i had an epidural,(injection in the spine, as happens sometimes in difficult cases of child birth), so i was fully awake. Now can you believe what happened next....
i watched the whole operation (40mins!
Above me there was a large chrome plate (approx 2ft x 2ft) surrounding the theatre lighting ... what a surreal experience!!!
As soon as they cut me open i could see the Achillies tendon and a 2 inch gap between both ends of the complete break.. it was in two pieces... oh my god i thought, that is the end of any kind of sport fitness or fun for you!

The whole procedure looked very straight forward and seeing inside my left leg was an experience i will never forget.

Spent the next 4 days in hospital drugged up to the eyeballs as the pain was immense, mainly due to the fact that when you are immobile in bed with your leg elevated in a cast, you are permanately resting the weight of your leg on your injury / scar.

Had the plaster on for 12 weeks with a new cast every two weeks for adjustment of the ankle.

This is a real bummer of an injury and it really took alot out of me, mentally and physically.

Spent months thinking will i ever be able to do this again or that again, can i run about and play the athletic father with my two young boys!!!

So many doubts and anxious feelings.
I would have rather broken my leg or had torn my carlidge for a 4th time.

This Acillies thing is dead serious i thought.... "that's it NO MORE SPORT"!!!

Did my first 4 mile run last week 17.4.08.
All OK.
But i do feel slow and have no bounce in anything i do.. if i was a race horse i would be descrided as Lame.
But time and effort do heal, however physcologically .... well that's another story!
I think we should form a support group on this.. what do you think?
All the cases / stories i have heard on this are the same.
Liked your story alot as it was just like mine.

Still on the road to recovery...
Struggled with footwear early on as my foot and calf would always swell up.

Good luck in the future.

Adrian ( just turned 39yo)

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading your story, it was like reading something that I had written about myself. (only basketball) I honestly thought someone had jumped on me from behind. I had surgery the 1st of March and it is now the 1st of May. I have been back to work for 3weeks as a scrub tech, though I can't stand for long periods and I am still in a walking boot. I am really interested in the rehab time, so I was glad to find this site. I just turned 50 and was not planning on walking around like I was 80. I guess I am doing better than some people, but I just thought I was being wimpy since it has been 8 long weeks, but now I don't feel so bad. I just wish I had a nickel for everytime I'm called "hop along", gas wouldn't be a problem!! Thank you for your story and all the comments, they have been helpful. I haven't started rehab yet but at least I knnow there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Debbie

At 9:24 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

There is'll get patient and don't overdo at first.

You're the 2nd person this week to tell me of their rupture. Another basketball player, too! hard to stop a good athlete, right?

Speedy recovery to you!

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five and a half weeks into recovery from my Achilles rupture... I trip and fall, re-rupturing my tendon. I also caused a transverse tear in the incision. This is injury hell.
Not sure what, at some point, was worse... my physical injury or the emotional. As an "open" level volleyball player, I'm not sure if I'll ever get to play again. My age, 42, is not a helpful factor in this mess.
Glad to hear that there are others out there who share the same sentiment.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for an entertaining and very well written story of your AT injury! I am 18 days post op from my AT surgery which I completely ruptured just above my heel bone. My surgery was text book perfect followed by plastic surgery on my incision. I kept my rt. leg elevated non WB for 13 days. I had three nurses (my wife and her two sisters!) so life was not so bad. I am a very active 64 year old in fair condition. I played Div. 1 basketball and have tried to stay in shape. I tore my rt. AT playing frisbee of all things! After my 13 day post op check upI I was fitted with a Aircast walking boot. Its like walking in a ski boot. I feel really optimistic about my recovery and know I have to work hard to stay patient. Thanks again for your wonderful story! You write like a professional writer which I believe you are! Best, Jim Ranes from Providence, RI

At 12:39 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

Jim in Providence - hi! Wow...who knew frisbee could be so rigorous! ;-)

The Div. 1 hoops thing sounds exciting...and the plastic surgery sounds intriguing! I wonder if that's the routine treatment in RI? I have the WORST scar. I hope you recover well! (Yes, I've professionally doing non-profit PR, but writing still. )

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Tony said...

Great to read these stories... Tearing your achilles, really is an emotional and life altering experience. Forces you to contemplate your sporting and recreational future... really scary stuff!

I'm just over 9 weeks post surgery now from my tear - mine was tennis related (pushing off hard to serve), I heard a popping noise... as i went to the ground, i was turning expecting to see the dog that must have somehow come onto the court and bit me! But with no one within 15 meters of me i knew something bad had happened. I was hoping it was just a bad muscle tear. I was wrong.

I was in a cast for about 3 1/2 weeks. Then a walking boot/cast for another 5 weeks. I've been out of the boot for a week or so (wearing a heal lift in my tennis shoes).

So, life is looking up! I have another orthopedic appointment in a week. And, I'm expecting to get the go ahead to start PT.

Surprisingly I actually don't have a lot of muscle atrophy; I started some mild ROM exercises (toe lifts and foot stretches) about 2 weeks ago, so that is looking good. I still have some swelling around the incision but applying ice and compression (wrapped in an ace bandage) to it is helping.

I plan to have my first hit of tennis in a few weeks. Of course no serving and no quick movements at all. Yes, I know i need to be extremely careful... re-tearing it would just about kill me.

Good luck to everyone, and stay positive!

At 11:16 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

I just heard the news that Misty May Treanor ruptured her achilles on Dancing with the Stars! Misty - you're our Vball hero! Heal well! See you back on the court in a few months! Hang in there!

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Stic said...

Hey there. I just read your story. I'm a fourth year vet student and fully ruptured my right Achilles this past Tuesday evening while playing volleyball. It was such an innocent play: a simply bump of a serve to the setter.
But I won't ever forget the look of shock on all of my teammates faces when they heard 'the pop.' Or how I looked around sharply to find the person I thought had fallen on the back of my leg.
So the surgery is Tuesday of next week and I find myself freaking out. I have always been an athlete. Professional hockey, triathlete, volleyball. And I've had some great injuries - stress fracture turned full fracture, fractured patella, fractured 8th thoracic vertebra. But none have required surgery and admittedly despite knowing I can come back from this if I put my mind to it, I'm definitely worried.
It was really great to read stories of people who have come through it. Best wishes to you all!

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Have just read yr story, and everyone else's, it does lift the spirits up somehow....!!!!
I ruptured mine on june 21st 2008, had conservative treatment, finally was out of casts in october 08, had physio, then on november 5th 08 it completely ruptured again....argh...!!!
Had surgery on nov 25th, and am currently in casts again. I'm used to it all now, i haven't been able to work since it first happened because i need to drive 30 mins each way to work, and stand all day (hairdresser). I now have no job at mo to go back to because i've been off for so long which is depressing, but once i'm ok, my boss has said he will let me apply again if he needs me..!!!!!! nice of him !!!!
My main worry is how long it will take to get back to some sort of normality as my right leg seems to now be the size of a childs !!!! it's had 6 months of no use and has vanished !!!!! I know that just with one rupture it can take up to a year to build up the calf muscle, i'm wondering if it will take much much longer this time. I have made some wonderful friends on the injury update forum site, but cant believe i have only just found this thread.
I know yrs was in 2002, but it is so interesting to read how you are doing, ie the aching still.
I hope you are doing well still, and good luck to everyone in our ever increasing worl wide club...!!!!
Fee in England xx

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At 9:34 AM, Blogger Adrian said...

Adrian Manchester Latest update.

Just thought i had better post this along with my first post furter up the list..playing Soccer.

But in June last year 2008 whilst approx 9 months into rehab of my achillies full rupture i fully ruptured the other one on my right leg!!!!

Fortunatley my wife was there and saw what happened .. so i had no need to try and convince her that i was not over doing things!

I did the second one training my 8 year old sons football team and i was moving slowly with the ball and decided to pass it and then i just pushed off gently and BANG!!!! I could not belive it and thought that i had been kicked by one of the kids.

My wife came running over staright away screaming "no no no youve not done it again have you" "no it was the other one" i said .

It was terrible to see my wife and my boy and the team upset at what i had done.

Another trip in an ambulance was arranged!

This time following the op i was put it a special adjustable boot.. this was excellent!
The pros were..
you could take off the boot and scratch any itch you had, bathe your foot regular,let the frsh air get to it and after a few days you could plantaflex etc etc.
After about two weeks i was already getting back good movement however i never ever left the sofa when the boot was off, cos one fall or trip and that is it.

Back to the injur....i had started jogging some 8 weeks prior to the second injury and i was doing very well.

However after every run i could feel some tightness in my "good" calf this seemed to persit and would take some days to subside,.
The stiffness and slight pain (not much) stared to manifest more in my lower calf and achillies.

I would rest with ice and Ibroprofen to aid the strain but it would not go. so i laid off for a week 10 days. But i kept feeling tightness in my calf and then it wruptured as described earlier.

I must have been wrecking it the last two months.

The mental strain this time was far worse than last time and to this day i do not know how i coped.

The only consulation is that i have two calfs the same size.

Anyhow i am taking things with great care as i am nearly 8 months post op with the second injury.

It was funny last year during late summer and when having shorts on people noticing my matching scars on both legs and my akward walk... my wife said that people must think that i was born with a disability and had had corrective surgery to straighten my feet!!!!

The lesson in this is to look after your calfs and achillies and listen to your body!!

Adrian Pennington Manchester UK.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Steve Hammel said...

Great stories. I totally tore my Achilles tendon Feb 23, 2009 playing pick up basketball in a 35 an over league. I am 39 and have played basketball once a week at least for as long as I can remember. I had the classic sign, It snapped and I felt like someone kicked me. Tried to stand back up and fell flat on my face again. I had 2 buddies carry me to the sideline so I could just get my breath and I quickly realized what I had done. I hopped out of the gym on my good leg and headed right for the ER. The ER doctor told me I didnt tear it because I could move my foot. So he sen me right out and told me to go see a Ortho Doc the next day, The Ortho they recommended did not take my insurance, took me another 3 days to find one who did and had time. Si 1 week after I get to see the doctor and he told me what I feared. But did not get surgery for 3 weeks to the day after i tore it. I left the hospital 1 hour after surgery and the first 36 hours were very painful but after that the pain is all but gone. Went back to see the doctor 10 days after surgery and they removed cast and gave me a walking boot. Still no full weight bearing but I am putting like 30% on it. He basically said do what I can until I feel pain but def no weight bearing yet. will update soon!

Steve Hammel

At 12:35 PM, Blogger CarolynT said...

Hi, Steve. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm still kind of waiting for my other achilles to go. Now I'm very aware of that tingling sensation when I put too much weight on it when I'm on my toes.

I'm amazed how long they wait to do the surgery now - it must be incredibly painful if you push off on it by accident - and amazed how fast they get you out of the cast. Do write back to keep updated - it's interesting to hear how fast you get back to normal.

At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all
I ruptured my achilles on Tues 12th May whilst playing badminton. I can relate to everyone with the whole 'popping' thing and I also looked around to look for the 'culprit'. I am in a cast up to my right knee at the mo. I am going wild with boredom as I usually never sit down. I am a sporty 41 yr old who loves running, badminton going to gym etc so I am so frustrated. Can anyone tell me if its ok to get around on all fours. I find it alot quicker than the crutches and I also just drag my right leg very carefully. I obviously also spend alot of time sitting down with the leg up. I just can't wait to be normal again. I also have a hubby and two children who are getting used to waiting on me and doing small tasks as I direct them from the chair. Also very frustrating.
Can someone cheer me up.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger CarolynT said...

I can't imagine getting around on all fours would be comfortable for your back or other knee! A few more days of crutches and you'll be a pro...although be careful on stairs and watch the toys on the floor. I think it was about a week when I couldn't take being still anymore. You'll get used to it and before you know it, the cast will be off. Are you having surgery?

At 8:43 PM, Blogger stev4n said...

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At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I ruptured my achilles playing basketball on April 7, 2009 and just got the ok from my doc to hit the treadmill. Just as you described, I am a thirty-six year old weekend warrior, though I exercised regularly.

I spent two weeks in a cast on crutches, then two weeks in a walking cast, and then several weeks in the boot. It's been a long haul but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Though I still haven't recovered the strength in my calf, I can finally run around the yard with the kids. I look forward to getting back on the court this winter. Best of luck to all and remember to be patient.


At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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