Cross posted on mtb Britain as well but I thought I'd get a stw massiv opinion as well.
I popped my left Achilles Tendon (AT) 3.5 weeks ago doing some DH at the FOD. It happened so quickly, one minute I was flying down the hill and next minute I felt a blow to the back of my left calf and I ended up eating dirt. I thought at first I'd slipped a pedal and that had caught me on the back of the calf. But the more I think about it, I dont think I did - my left foot is my lead foot, so if it had slipped, wouldnt the pedal would have caught me on the shin? Also, I have flats with pins, and there were no puncture marks on the back of my left leg.
Anyway, I thought it was just a severe sprain because I could still extend my foot, and gave it the RICE treatment. I went to the GP at 1 week, who also didnt think it was a rupture (to be fair to him, there was a lot of swelling still). At 3 weeks, the swelling/ bruising had all gone but I still couldnt extend my foot. A trip to A&E confirmed an AT rupture. The surgeon (whom I've met before - more on this later) insisted on surgery even at 3 weeks, I am booked in on tuesday 21/05/13 to have it repaired. He thinks it would still have a slightly better long term prognosis if operated on now rather than being left even at this late stage.
I have already ruptured my left patellar tendon 18 months ago, and the consultant that fixed that was the guy I saw again. "You again!" were his words! My PT went when I slipped down an embankment - I was out on the MTB, but I wasnt on the bike at the time - I was walking down a gnarly bit I didnt have the confidence to ride. I slipped, and as my left shoe dug into the ground there was an almighty POP as my knee twisted. I went to A&E straight away on this occasion because I knew straight away what I had done - I coudnt extend my leg at all and my kneecap was 2 inches higher up than where it should be! Operated on 2 days later.
Annoyingly, I'd just got all my fitness/ strength/ confidence back and now this!!! Sadly I know what to expect in terms of recovery for my AT rupture thanks to my previous experience and this very helpful thread.
So the point of my post - Those of you that have had an AT rupture / know of someone with an AT rupture - how many cases are caused by mountain biking?? Out of all the posts on all the forums that I have managed to find, I think Ive found one case. Would it be safe to say that cycling alone would be very unlikely to cause an AT rupture?
Secondly, this is the 2nd major tendon to pop in my body in 18 months. (same leg). It sucks to think that by the time Im recovered from this, I would have only had 6 months of being able bodied in 2.5 years!!! Has anyone else had the misfortune of having multiple tendon ruptures? Has anyone asked their consultant if there is a reason for this? What was their reply?? Just bad luck??
What Im trying to do is to gather as much info as I can before my op, so I can question my consultant. Im also very worried now that my tendons may be naturally "weak", and that it may be time to get the golf clubs out. I really dont want to do that, as biking is great fun and brilliant exercise. And at age 39 with 2 young kids to run around after, I want to be fitter now than ever before.
Thanks for reading,