Newsletter

Sports

Body

Conditions & Symptoms

Treatments

RSS feed

Syndicate content

Question for Achilles Tendon Rupture

Question: Question for Achilles Tendon Rupture

I was an active/ competitive basketball player in high school and university but I played a lot less since I started working. Basically a weekend warrior.

I usually play 2-3 times of pick up games now. Recently after a very light game, I was just walking and heard and felt a snap on my ankle. It feels like someone kicked me from behind or my ankle was hit by a ball. But no one was around me. I was surprised because I didn't fall, or slip or twisted my ankle.

Is achilles tendon the only thing around the ankle that would have caused that? What if one of the joint ligaments is torn, would it also cause this "snapping" feeling or sound?

After a surgery is done, is casting for 6 weeks to let the tendon heal a better approach? I heard from some Dr and Physiotherapist that the advanced method is not to cast, but instead, they put patients on a removable brace so the patient does not lose flexibility and strength in other unrelated joints, tendon, ligaments. In addition, physiotherapy treatments can start 2 days after the surgery. They believe (or their study shows) this will help to yield better recovery and maximize the strength and flexibility after the rehab is done. If so, would the cast actual hurts for recovering to a level for someone to play competitive sports again?

Can someone with achille tendon rupture heal fully? or close to fully?

I would appreciate if you can share your opinion if you have the expertise and/ or experience with this type of injuries.

Thanks alot.

Answer:

Achilles Tendon ruptures are typically a result of one of the following or a combination thereof (most likely)...
1. prolonged altered biomechanics that continually stresses the gastroc/soleus complex and leads to an overload and eventual failure
2. prolonged poor nutrition in athletes leading to daily microtraumas at the achilles tendon complex that never truely heals, day in and day out\
3. poor liver function (due to #2 above or other factors). Liver is responsible for healing. A stressed, inefficient liver will compromise any tendon, muscle or ligament repair. Remember, exercise and sports result in daily breakdown and microtrauma to the tissues.

Recommendations: Seek a professional or professionals that fully understand and treat biomechanical dysfunctions in the entire lower kinetic chain...i.e. ankle, knee, hip, sacro iliac, and lumbar spine. Inefficiencies or restrictions of segmental movement in one area can lead to an overload, or compensation in another. Also need someone to check and review liver function and nutritional/supplemental needs of athletes.

Unfortunately finding a manual physician that understands biomechanics, kinetic chain relations, mobilization, manipulation, neuro education, proper strengthening and activation of muscles is hard to find all in one. Few physical therapists, chiropractors or osteopaths can put it all together. Ask alot of questions and have them explain their strategy to you.

Good luck...
Jason Amstutz DC. RTP, CCSP*, CSCS
Active Release Techniques
Trigenics
www.dramstutz.com

Answer:

Hey Chris

Don't lose hope. It is a common injury, usually to men above 40 years old however, I ruptured mine in late August 2003 at the age of 26 playing flag football. I was devastated when it happened. I also play ice hockey 3-4 times a week and softball in the summer. So like you I was fairly active at the time of my injury.

I was in a cast for 2 weeks post surgery and then used the removable brace/cast. My doctor was very hesitant to approve any physical therapy at any time during the healing process; he wasn't an athlete and kept asking me "why are you so eager to play sports again? That's how you injured yourself in the first place." Not exactly the vote of confidence that I was looking for. Needless to say I ignored him and I consulted with a physio therapist immediately after the cast was removed at the 2 week mark. He gave me some gentle stretching exercises to do. Be very careful early on, it can tear the stitching in the tendon if you push it too hard. Besides it won't feel very good for a while. I also took a more aggressive approach on the angle of my foot while it was in the brace; I had my foot flat in about 2 months. Again be very careful with that, it is very weak. Long story short, I played my first game of ice hockey in January of 2004 4 1/2 months after surgery. All along everyone told me it would be 6 months before I could do anything.

Jogging was difficult when I started in March of 2004. I have lost a little bit of acceleration speed, so I play a different position in football and I miss the occasional fly ball that is hit into the gap in the outfield that I used to be able to catch. But no big deal. The only set back that I had was a sore groin and back when I started playing sports again. Probably because I was favoring my left ankle. Oh yeah, I have no calf muscle on my left leg after almost 6 years. It is very strong but it doesn't have the definition that the right calf has. Again no big deal.

Good luck to you, push it. But be very careful not to push it too hard.

Ryan