Tag Archives: basketball

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.

Introduction and Timeline

On Oct 13, 2014, I ruptured my left Achilles. At the time of the rupture, I was a healthy 35 year old male, 6′ 2″ and about 210lbs. My physical fitness was semi-active. I work from home but try to manage cycling 1-2 times a week and play full court basketball at least once a week. So I wasn’t completely out of shape but I wasn’t in super great shape either.

In hindsight, I don’t think you can pinpoint the cause of the rupture. I played competitive sports throughout high school and lettered in volleyball, basketball, and soccer all 4 years. I put my body during those years very hard. I was young so I thought. Much of my problems came from my knees but never any foot or ankle problems.

About a year before the rupture, I did see the doctor to have my left Achilles checked out. I often would wake up in the morning with a very stiff left foot. The doctor indicated it there was some swelling on my Achilles and was diagnosed with tendonosis. I was given a few leg strengthening exercises and off I went. One more checkup and the pain went away. Laziness got the better of me and I stopped doing the exercises. At no point did the doctor say there was going to be a risk of a rupture. Thinking back, it was likely precursor to the full rupture.

Here is a timeline view of my blog posts of my recovery.

Oct 13 2014 – The Rupture
Oct 14 2014 – visit chiropractor, MRI
Oct 15 2014 – MRI confirm full rupture
Oct 16 2014 – Dr. L. No surgery date. Soft cast taken off
Oct 17 2014 – iwalk arrives
Oct 18 2014 – First Weekend
Oct 21 2014 – Dr. J. Surgery confirmed for Tuesday Oct 23
Oct 23 2014 – Surgery
Oct 23 2014 – Immense Pain Post Surgery
Oct 25 2014 – Side effects
Oct 29 2014 – Pain in Calf / Cast Removed
Oct 31 2014 – Nutrition post Achilles surgery
Nov 4 2014 – Post Op appt, stitches removed, limited exercises
Nov 14 2014 – physical therapy
Nov 18 2014 – Post Op appt – 50% weight bearing
Nov 21 2014 – physical therapy
Nov 24 2014 – physical therapy – 75% weight bearing
Dec 1 2014 – physical therapy
Dec 3 2014 – physical therapy
Dec 8 2014- physical therapy
Dec 10 2014 – physical therapy
Dec 15 2014 – physical therapy
Dec 16 2014 – Post Op appt – No crutches!
Dec 17 2014 – physical therapy – 50-50 Boots
Dec 22 2014 – physical therapy –
Dec 29 2014 – physical therapy – no boots
Jan 13 2015 – Post Op appt
Jan 21 2015 – physical therapy
Jan 23 2015 – 3 months post op update!
Jan 28 2015 – physical therapy
Feb 4 2015 – physical therapy
Feb 12 2015 – Legoland Trip!
Mar 11 2015 – 4 months post op
March 26 2015 – 5 months post op and end of physical therapy
May 2 2015 – Business Trip
June 29 2015 – 8 months post op
Oct 2 2015 – Jogging
Dec 18 2015 – one year and 2 months post op
Jan 4 2016 – Back to basketball!
March 25, 2016 – Visiting New York City after Achilles Rupture
Nov13, 2016- Two years update