The Achilles Decision: Surgery or No

I wasn’t quite sure what had happened to my leg.  Immediately after the injury, I knew SOMETHING was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what.  I thought it was my Achilles, but the people I was playing with weren’t so sure about that.

So here I was, three days after the injury, and seeing a doctor.  But first an MRI…

Not my ankle, but the doc showed me something very similar.

I had neve had an MRI.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  But if you’ve ever seen one on television, it’s about the same.  They lay you down on a bed, tell you to not move, and move you into this horizontal silo.  The machine makes a bit of noise, but the Christmas music that they were playing for me more than overpowered the noise.  It was quite pleasant.  My only issue was that they said that I couldn’t move at all.  Much like a kid who was told not to eat candy, I was struggling not to move.  20-30 minutes later, I was through.

The meeting with the doctor was short.  He laid out my options.  I could go into surgery and keep my power, but increase my risk of re-injury* or I could let it heal naturally, but be in a cast for much longer.  I went with the cast.

* After doing some research, I found out what the doctor was saying was wrong.  The re-injury rate (at least according to everything that I’ve read) is LESS with surgery.

I’m at peace with where I am right now, but I probably would have gone with surgery if I had known that not only would I not lose power, but I also would have been less likely to be re-injured.  It also may have been a shorter recovery period too.  But what is done is done, and I’m fine with the route I have taken (even though I probably could opt for surgery this week if I wanted to.  The complications of surgery bother me, but not too much.

I’ve accepted that I’m 32 years old and will never be able to dunk a basketball.

Someone Kicked Me in the Calf

At least, that’s what I thought happened.

And just like that… my dream of dunking a basketball goes up in smoke.

I was playing basketball on my lunch break.  It was my first time playing a “game” of basketball in quite a few years.  I’ve shot around and played a title one on one, but we had actual TEAMS!

During our third game, I went up for a rebound and then it felt like someone kicked me in the calf.  I came down and knew immediately that something was wrong.  I couldn’t get ANY kind of lift from my right foot.  I could walk… well, I could hobble and put weight on it, but my right foot wasn’t giving me any push.  At first, it felt like I was numb.  Because I couldn’t get any push, it seemed like I lost all feeling down there.

After they finished with their game, a colleague of mine gave me a ride back to my place (oh, the benefits of working right by your place of work!) and I called out of work for the next few hours while I attempted to take care of myself.

“RICE” was something that I heard a lot.  So I did it to the best of my ability, but it probably was a little substandard: I was hobbling rather than resting it, the ice wasn’t that cold, my compress was ugly and not super effective, and the elevation wasn’t that high.

So here’s where we go from here…  Avoiding surgery and being in a cast for the next month or so while my torn Achilles tendon heals itself.  I’d like to bring you along for the journey.  Come join my Road Through Recovery!