9 months into Achilles Rupture Repair

Wow, it's hard to believe it's been 9 months since I ruptured my achilles. It feels like a lifetime but also a wink of time since this all started.

If you haven't heard the back story, my husband and I went on a date night to a group tennis session and with 5 minutes to go I felt a sensation like someone stepped on my heel and heard a loud pop. The surgeon I ended up seeing prefers to let achilles repair naturally than surgically. I spent 3 weeks in a cast, then another 7 weeks in a walking boot before being allowed to start wearing shoes. I've written about the initial recovery here and here.

Where am I now?

I have been running for 2 months (actually 3 months if you count the time I spent on the altra-g treadmill). I have slowly built up to 3 miles. How that 3 miles is completed is still hit or miss, depending on how my ankle/achilles is feeling to what I have going on that day because running + being on my feet all day is still too much. Some days I can do the 3 miles straight jogging, other days I have to break it up into smaller intervals with some walk breaks. I wish the return to running was a straight line but with the achilles being such a large component to running, the path to recovery is not linear. I was hoping to be able to run a half marathon by the end of the summer but I don’t think that is a realistic goal anymore so I am now focused on building my strength and improving my gait. I think a more realistic goal is to try to “race” a 5k by the end of the summer. My gait is still a bit jumpy so I think until I get a complete return of motion, I’m not going to add more miles.

My PT exercises now focus a lot more on power, like plyometrics, change of directions, and pushing off that foot. I still am seeing my PT about every 3 weeks or so to check in on progress and for her to keep giving me new drills. I have learned in this process just how important foot and ankle stability is on top of strength. I will share the exercises that I do daily to work on these things soon (I imagine I will continue to do these as long as I continue to run).

Have I stepped back on the tennis court? I thought the mental anguish of the injury would lead me to be very hesitant to start playing tennis again. But just like with my return to running, I have taken it slow and listened to my body. Back in April we went away for a week and I started to hit a bit then. Since then I've gotten more and more comfortable moving side to side on the court. I still am not ready to chase down balls or play a match but I know that will come. 

Am I back to normal? Honestly I think that is the most frustrating part. While I can run and jump and play with the kids, I still “feel” my achilles a lot. From being stiff in the mornings to getting sore while walking around the house barefoot to it being super tired at the end of a long active day. I know that it’s still healing, I was just hoping by this point I would be back to my full volume of activity and it being less prominent part of my day.

I know patience is key and I have been lucky in my recovery. But still more work ahead.

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UR Enough Surprise Box - Koala Clip
UR Enough Surprise Box - Koala Clip
UR Enough Surprise Box - Koala Clip
UR Enough Surprise Box - Koala Clip
UR Enough Surprise Box - Koala Clip

UR Enough Surprise Box

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