Tag Archives: achilles rupture

2 Year Since Achilles Rupture

2016-09-11-13-05-53It has been two years since my Achilles rupture and I thought I post an update. No update is a good thing right? I’ve pretty much been going on about life as if I have never had the injury. There is no tightness when I walk or run. I have no reservation when I exercise. I don’t need to take any medication or supplement. For my wedding anniversary, my wife and I scaled a 1000 ft hike and I had no issues. Here is the picture from that hike!

The only slight inconvenience is some tightness when I squat and some muscle atrophy. The atrophy is not noticeable but I am reminded of my injury when I explode my calf muscles to jump or kick a soccer ball. I cramp often when that happens. To be honest, I haven’t kept up with all of the exercises. Daily life and busy-ness got the better of me. It’s just a matter of commitment. I do occasional calf raisers during shower and try to tire it as much as possible.

All in all, I am doing well. Very happy with my surgery. Treatment was very good. My scar is very smooth as well as the skin. Aside from the incision marking, you can’t tell from the texture of my skin that I had surgery. After the surgery, my Achilles was extremely thick due to the scar tissue.

My left Achilles that ruptured compared with my right one. (Sorry for the bad angle).

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Below is my batte scar. You can’t tell from the picture but it is very smooth. All the therapy worked!

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At this time, I want to thank you for reading all the posts and joining me in this journey. I see each and every one of your visits and can see this blog brings value to your journey whether you are going through this yourself or someone you care for. Keep it up. There is life after this surgery which is an active one. Feel free to email or contact me for any questions. I’ll be glad to elaborate.

Finally! Stepping back on basketball court after Achilles rupture

The day has finally come! I’ve overcame my fear and stepped back onto the basketball court 15 months and change after my Achilles injury. I honestly thought I would be playing an year after surgery but recovery took longer than I imagined. Part of it is due to slowing down of my rehab. I lost my consistency to do my exercises I’ve picked up from physical therapy since my insurance deductible reset back in April of 2015. It is really unfortunate. I did have alternative options such as gym membership or just using the machines at the physical therapy center but I elected not to. I did a lot of biking but stopped when the weather got cold. I did manage to go jogging a few times but again nothing consistent. It is much harder in the winter months and daylight savings as it gets really dark by 5pm.

The opportunity came to play basketball. I’ve stayed connected to my basketball pick up games facebook groups where we rent a gym at a neighboring city. It was the holiday and my son’s league took 2 weeks off. I was oddly free for the entire Saturday! I decided it was the time. I haven’t felt any pain when jogging for some time. I just haven’t really tested my Achilles or my leg on more explosive activities. I realized that this was also a mental issue. I had a mental block and some residual fear. Fear if my repaired Achilles would hold up but the bigger fear was how my non-injury Achilles was. Since this injury, I became a bit concerned at the structural integrity of my other Achilles. There is no fact to back this. It’s all in my mind.

A week before open gym, I jogged around the neighborhood twice and ended each run with a sprint. I felt good. Aside from being a bit short of breath, I was fine. I was ready.

Game day came and there were of course no fanfare. I did joke to my friend’s to get the intro video ready! Some of them were really conscious that I haven’t played in a while and expressed some concern asking if I was ready. I made sure to do some warm up and stretch well before starting. I moved quite well which was surprising. I guess playing organized basketball for over 16 years does a number to your body. My mind was triggering my body to do the motions but the question was if my body was able to keep up. After all, that is how injuries happen to people like me. I reminded myself to not explode 100% and not to jump high. There were a few defensive sequence where I forgot and jumped high to block a shot. I was fine. I believe my weight loss highly contributed to this. Surprisingly, I still had wind left in me. It may be because I was moving on the floor strategically, not wasting energy. About the 4th game in, it happened. I went for a bank shot and jumped – I sprained my left foot. It wasn’t the ankle but the upper left side of my left foot. I limped my way to the bench and asked for a sub. The gym became eerily quite as I assured everyone it was just a sprain. I took in some water and called it a day.

A week later, I went back. I recovered quite well and also ran about 2 miles leading up to the open gym. This time, I felt more comfortable on the floor. No cramps. Made some baskets. In the end, played about five 10 min games. Recovery was fine. I can now say I have returned to my old self. If I play another 4 weeks, i can probably regain my explosiveness prior to the injury.

Hi, I ruptured my Achilles.

This is my personal journey to recovery from a full Achilles rupture on my left foot.

I am 35. male, 6″1′ and 208lbs and in relative good health. On October 13, I was playing basketball when I slipped and felt a pop on my left foot that resonated through my body. It was like a flash went through my entire body including my head. It was an awkward sensation. Something I have never felt before. I slowly manuevered as teammates came alongside me asking if I was ok. I was hoping for my ankle to swell up as it has many times when I sprained my ankle. No chance. My left foot kept shaking, that is when I knew something was really wrong.

I had surgery to repair the rupture on Oct. 23 which went well. I want to document my journey as a support for myself and others who are going through the same thing. I will share how I went through my decision process, Achilles recovery exercises, nutrition, and more.

Feel free to post on the forums section and interact with others alike.

 

Day 2 – MRI and diagnosis

Despite the trauma I somehow manage to fall asleep. After all, there wasn’t much I could do and I didn’t have much pain. The ER doctor told me that if it was a full rupture I wasn’t going to have much pain. I kept mum at the time as I thought it was a partial tear. I wrote a quick e-mail to my boss and fell asleep.

The following morning, my wife helped me look for available in network orthopedic surgeons in the neighborhood that were part of UnitedHealthCare. That’s one thing good about having PPO is that I can directly go to any in-network surgeon without going through my primary care physician (PCP). I first attempted to call a referral from the same physician’s assistant friend. However, they outright did not take my insurance. I was a bit disappointed but nothing much I could do. My wife then found another doctor nearby who was available the afternoon. I hesitated. I’m not sure I want to see an “unknown” orthopedic surgeon with no reviews available that is so available.

I then recalled my chiropractor who helped me previously with some aches and pains. I called him. His admin explained that he normally does paperwork on Tuesdays but after giving her my name, he came on the phone. I explained I likely have a partially torn Achilles and he told me to come in right away.

I showed up at his office in about an hour. He also did the Thompson test and confirmed an Achilles injury. Below is a picture my wife took. You can see a well defined Achilles on my right foot but my left Achilles has no definition. It is rounded out and blunt. If you run your finger over it, you will feel an obvious gap.

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His administrator helped me call an MRI center down the block and I headed over there.

The MRI
I soon realize this was the first time I have been in an MRI machine. I laid down on the bare table with a huge ‘Siemens’ machine which we see on TV but I like to think of it as a time machine. A time machine to when I am fully recovered (wishful thinking…). The technician asked if I wanted a blanket and handed me earplugs. He said it was going to be cold, loud, and would take about 30 min. I accepted his offer and was glad I did. The buzzing and whirling as well as the sub 70 degree temperature was somewhat bearable with the blanket and earplug. I tried to take a nap but found it futile.

30 min passed and I head on home, waiting for the result.

 

The Rupture

ad9c12243ddb11e2968922000a1fbe74_7I hesitated a bit before I left to play basketball at an open gym hosted by my friends every Monday evening. The day before, I ran pretty hard at my son’s parent and child game time. My feet and legs were a tiny bit sore because I didn’t do much stretch or warm up as we did relay races around a game circle. Some of the relays I had to carry my 50lb son and run around the circuit twice. Hindsight, this may have contributed to the rupture the following day.

After dinner, I looked at the clock and had the typical, “dont’ want to work out” thought that often creeps into your mind. I squeezed every bit of motivation out of myself and started to put on my contacts and find my gear for basketball.

“Don’t get hurt!”, yelled my 5 year old. I always ache of pain when I play basketball and a few months ago I flipped my toe nail and was out of commission for a while. Little did I know I was going to suffer a more serious injury just an hour later.

I drove to the nearby private school where we rent the indoor gym. I enter with not much fanfare. We all know each other with the exception of a few friends or visitor. I proceed to fist bump people who are sitting on the side waiting for the next game while a game was ongoing. I put on my indoor game shoes and proceed to warm up and stretch. Growing up playing varsity basketball, volleyball, and soccer, I knew how important it was to warm up and stretch before exercising. I don’t think any amount of stretching would’ve prevented my injury. It was bound to happen.

I started off with a few games where I couldn’t contribute much. At this age and my shape, I don’t go all out competing as I just want to get some exercise playing the game that I love. In the 3rd game, I started feeling it and made a few layups. On the next possession, I got the ball on the right wing and I dribbled to my left and launched a left hand hook shot. Everything happened so fast. The defender didn’t jump to block the shot and as I elevated and released the shot, I watch the ball bounce off the glass and went in. I landed on my right foot and the moment I planted my left foot, I felt a hard POP-SNAP on my left foot. It was nothing like I’ve felt before. It felt like someone kicked my left foot and my entire body ricochet through my neck with a flash. I fell hard and grimaced as I held onto my foot. I was trying to find a culprit as I wrapped both hands around ankle waiting for it to swell. However, no one came to apologize. Then someone confirmed that no one was near me when I fell.

“I swear someone kicked me!”, I protested.

“You must’ve torn your Achilles dude…”, jokedĀ  another as people started to gather to see if I was ok.

As I waited and hoped for my ankle to swell, it didn’t happen. Then the sudden realization that I may have an Achilles rupture crept into my mind. My ankle didn’t swell. The pain wasn’t great. Something wasn’t right.

I couldn’t move my foot.

Thoughts of long recovery and how inconvenient things were going to be sunk into my mind. I thought about my family and my business trip I was supposed to go on the following month. No more playing catch or playing soccer with my son for months. I gave a big sigh as I was helped off the court and proceeded to call my wife.