Achilles Tendon Recovery: 6 month update

This is the 10th in a series of updates about my Achilles tendon rupture and recovery.

When I last wrote about this topic at the four month mark, my surgeon had given my repaired tendon a clean bill of health, but I was still working on recovering from the muscle atrophy resulting from the injury, surgery, and post-surgery inactivity. The quick summary of my status was:

  • Walking with a limp
  • Limited to moderate walking speed (2.5 mph)
  • Couldn’t do a one-legged calf raise

It’s now been almost exactly six months since my surgery (July 2, 2019), and I can now update my status:

  • Walking without a limp
  • Able to walk at a brisk pace (3.5 mph)
  • Can do an assisted one-legged calf raise (e.g. I hold on to something and support some of my weight on my arms)

My physical therapist is very pleased with my progress. We’re now working on continuing to strengthen my calf so that I can actually run and jump again. This involves doing exercises that isolate the muscles involved in running so that in the next month or two, I can start using the reduced-weight treadmill.

My recovery also shows up in practical terms. I’m walking up and down stairs again. For Christmas, I drove my family all the way down to Los Angeles. Given the holiday traffic, this meant roughly seven hours of driving time, with a single break in the middle. While I wouldn’t describe it as comfortable, I managed without any real issues.

(Alisha couldn’t drive because she broke her right foot on Thanksgiving–that’s a whole separate story! She dropped a table on her foot because she didn’t want me to strain myself lifting it. Fortunately, she was able to see my surgeon (who was somewhat surprised to see me, but glad to see that my own recovery was proceeding). She was in a walking boot for a month, and just this week started walking around in hiking boots, using my old cane.)

It’s a good thing that I’ve reached this stage in my recovery, since my upcoming travel schedule is packed. Copenhagen in January, Dubai and India in February, the UK and Germany in March, and Singapore in April. For the first time since my injury, I won’t be requesting assistance at the airport, or accessible hotel rooms!

There’s still a lot more work ahead of me–I easily spend at least an hour per day on physical therapy exercises, and more when I can–but so far the hard work is paying off. Thanks again to everyone for their support and well-wishes during this process. I’ll try to write another update when I’m able to start running again!

1 thought on “Achilles Tendon Recovery: 6 month update

  1. Bjarne Tellmann

    Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery, Chris. Happy New Year!

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