Tag Archives: recovery timeline

8 month in my Achilles recovery

It’s been 8 months since my Achilles surgery on Oct 23rd. Well the journey has entered it’s last spurt. I recalled Dr. J telling me that by 8 months I should be back to 100% all sports activities. It hasn’t happened but I am not dissapointed. I haven’t visited Dr. J since my month 6 appointment and in all honestly, there hasn’t been too much major improvement since then. I think from here on the progress would be less apparent. Currently, I am experiencing the following:

  • Minor tightness when I wake up in the morning or from sitting too long in one position
  • I am able to jog in good form with very little pain up to 10 min. Pain starts to come after with minimal swelling
  • Sprint very short distance
  • Bike with no pain or swelling
  • Jump with no issues. Not much vertical though
  • Less scar tissue and Achilles more defined although not as much as my right foot
  • No pain whatsoever even walking at long periods (mall, amusement park, beach)

It has been a challenge to do all the exercises I should continue to do. Occasionally, I take out the band and do some foot pumpts and diagonal pumps. During shower, I would do some heel lifts. I can do 10 single leg toe raisers but still find it difficult to do them unsupported. It is interesting how even putting one finger against the wall helps with the balance and is less load on my calf while doing calf raisers.

Even with professional athelets with a great training staff, it takes 8 months to get into full recovery for fitness. I know I need to be much more patient.

Currently, I am trying to lose weight before I attempt any streneous exercising. One major issue I notice is the weight I have been putting on my legs, back. The extra weight strains my body and my heart. I do not think I am in any ways obese but at 6’1″, I should weight around 190. I was around 210-212lbs when I ruptured my Achilles and being lethargic didn’t help. I have since lost 13 pounds and weight 198lbs. My target is to drop to 180-185lbs then start working out aiming to be able to play basketball and soccer again.

I know I haven’t done a good job but I will work to fill in previous blog posts and create an exercise video to help everyone!

Brandon Jennings recovery timeline

I was watching ESPN when I saw on the ticker that Brandon Jennings of Detroit Pistons likely suffered a torn Achilles during the game against Milwaukee Bucks. An MRI conducted today confirmed the rupture. I cringed as I knew exactly what he went through. I saw the actual footage of the rupture and it brought back flashbacks of when my left Achilles ruptured. I also sympathize with him as recovery will be slow and his season is officially over. The sequence went like this. The Bucks was trying to inbound the ball at the sideline. O.J. Mayo quickly gave him a push to gain some distance between himself and Brandon Jennings. As Jennings tried to close the gap, he overextends his left Achilles where the rupture occurs. He is then carried off the court by teammates and wheeled off into the locker toom for x-rays.

Here is the video. (Warning: may be graphic to some..)

Here is his projected recovery timeline:

Jan 26 – Surgery
Feb 9 – Start light rehab – non weight bearing
Feb 23 – Crutches and boot – 50% weight bearing
March 12 – Single crutch and boot – 50% weight bearing
March 26 – Lose the crutches but still with boot – 75% weight bearing
April 26 – 100% weight bearing with no restriction when walking
-gradually ease to non impact exercises like cycling, rowing, can be swimming already, anti gravity exercise machinese-
Aug  (6 months) – start jogging, running, jumping, shooting. Non contact.
Oct  (8 months) – Sprinting, contact sports.

If all goes as well, he should be ready for pre-season but may miss first few weeks of the 2015 – 2016 NBA season. I wish him smooth recovery.

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

First Weekend with Achilles Rupture

Truth be told, I was just getting used to life with just one leg. I was actually scheduled to play in a soccer game that Saturday with my cousin who just moved to the U.S. That was out of the question.

Part of me was glad that I got the adjustable Maxtrax ROM Air Walker walking boot. I didn’t care much about the air pump but it did feel much more secure instead of the soft / hard splint I got at the ER. I was always paranoid about getting that thing wet.

There wasn’t much I could do other than wait for surgery date to be confirmed. We didn’t get any confirmation of the surgery date / time so my wife and I decided to find another orthopedic surgeon. We went with a referral from a friend who was an oncologist. He knew a orthopedic surgeon from his days in medical school. Upon calling the referral, the office indicated that he only worked on shoulder issues and referred me to their ankle and foot specialist. I guess a referral’s referral was better than finding someone blind. Appointment with Dr. J in Pasadena was made for Tuesday.

I spent the weekend at home icing my foot several times a day while keeping it elevated. I pretty much planted myself on the end of the couch with 3 cushions from our backyard patio set. The cushions were much more flat than any pillows on our house and stacked well.

A new norm

With this injury, I had to revise my daily routine which was the most inconvenient part of this injury. First of all, I had to humble myself to accept help from others. This included help from friends, neighbors, relatives, and especially my wife. God bless her. I actually help out around the house a lot from doing chores, grocery shopping, picking up the kids, and even cooking. All this was out the door for the time being. My primary goal during week one was to keep my foot elevated and reduce the swelling – in other words, just sit.

With the iWalk 2.0, I was able to somewhat do more than being on traditional crutches. But I was still very limited. I am fortunate to be able to drive as my right foot is fine but I kept my activity level at a bare minimum. This weekend, I only went to church and that was it.

Taking a shower was also out of the question as I was not allowed to get my splint wet and it was not possible to maneuver myself in and out of the shower safely. I resulted to submerging myself in my bathtub with my injured leg outside the bath. It was very straining for my back and extremely difficult to get in and out the bathtub. Not much choice and I really wasn’t looking forward to doing this for months to come.