Ruptured Achilles' tendon.

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  • Ruptured Achilles' tendon.
  • Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Have you taking any antibiotics recently? Side affect of the ciprofloxacin family is spontaneous tendon rupture. Worried the hell out of me when I was in them for 12 weeks for prostatitis.

    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.

    You lucky, lucky %&*%$£! – the surgeon was reluctant to operate on right AT when it ruptured, so it felt like life was on hold whilst I limped around for a few months until he did it, though when he he did do it, he did a bloody good job and have no issues since.

    Fast forward 15 years, a minor tetar resulting in a left AT nodule. First surgeon wouldn’t operate sayin it would heal in 12 months! 18 months later it was operated on, though I stil have “aches & pains” with it.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    A guess here as not my field but it’s entirely plausible that the first rupture caused you to put increased stress on your AT, even after healing you may have continued with an altered posture the result being this.

    petehunjan
    Member

    Hi all,

    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,

    Pete

    deluded
    Member

    I reckon you’ve eccentrically loaded a dorsiflexed ankle outside the tendons normal range whilst the balls of your foot were planted on the pedal.

    Your tendon is not naturally weak – you’re just getting older.

    Happened to me playing football. Conservatively repaired and I was back cycling after 4 months.

    thegman67
    Member

    Hi I snapped mine doing the gap jump on the Shredder at Ae forest landed short on the second run and left foot snapped back on the pedal. That was May 2011 and it re-reptured later that year,it is a long story so best to talk over the phone as I can give you loads of advice. My email is in my profile if you want to talk and I will give you my number.

    deluded
    Member

    left foot snapped back on the pedal

    thegman67 – sounds exactly as I described in the post above. I know you had a few complications – good to hear you got it sorted in the end.

    samuri
    Member

    I have a massive lump just above my knee which I’m told is a muscle rupture. It’s rock hard and good for scaring girls with but that’s about it. I didn’t feel it when it happened and its never given me any problems.

    My doctor saw it during a routine examination and I spent a few days having needles dug into my leg while they scratched their heads. Then a physio took one look at it and told them what it was. 😉

    Tendons very rarely just “go”. There’s normally some sort of underlying tendinopathy or other some such issue that has reduced the strength in it.

    I’ve seen lots of achilles tendon ruptures, some traumatic and some which have ruptured doing simple low load tasks. They’ve all had some sort of lead up to the problem – pain, tightness, stiffness or whatever.

    To pick up where Drac left off, it may be that during the rehab of your patellar tendon you have been putting less stress through that leg. When you do that the tendon (like muscles) gets weaker/smaller and less able to cope with high loads. You may also have an altered walking pattern, but I wouldnt think that this would lead to a weakened AT.

    jet26
    Member

    Not that uncommon an injury – we see a few in men of a certain age who are still active! They take a fair old while to recover whether you operate or not – main aim of surgery is to reduce the re-rupture rate.

    The main thing with an achilles rupture is don’t rush the recovery – takes a while and just be patient – and get some good dvd’s/books!

    jet

    Haze
    Member

    Mine was before I started riding, playing badminton. An ex-colleague of mine has since done the same and a friend of a friend has just done his pushing a car.

    I started cycling partly to help recovery and partly out of needing something new to do…didn’t fancy carrying on with badminton, I can be a bit too competitive and would not have had the self-discipline to take it easy!

    Anyway, I was used to the sharp pains from tendonitis from years back skateboarding etc. not sure if this helps but I’ve never had a problem with it since and the unruptured one has been fine.

    athgray
    Member

    I did mine playing football, however I have had problems with posture and pronated feet, so I would not think that biking is likely to be the root cause. I have always found biking to be fairly low impact on achilles tendons.

    Haze
    Member

    Forgot to add, good luck!

    Premier Icon twonks
    Subscriber

    I suffered a complete rupture of my left AT 2 years ago in August.

    Mine went as I came to an abrupt stop at around 20-25 mph through somebody sabotaging the trail. My heel dropped on the pedal (spd) as the bike stopped dead, and snap.

    Managed to ride 6 mile home too. Oops.

    I used private medical as the local NHS wanted to repair without surgery. The private consultant confirmed that what Leicester NHS wanted to do with a boot device called vacoped was indeed the latest thing and best.

    It was not easy tbh and took 8 months before I was back on the bike.

    Now I can do 90% of what I did before, but it is always stiff and tight so more physio is needed.

    If you want to chat about anything specific, feel free to drop me an email ( in profile)

    sprootlet
    Member

    Just to disagree with glupton, my TA ruptured playing racquetball at the ripe old age of 23 with absolutely no previous problems.
    Surgical fix and POP (which they made a mistake with), back playing hockey in 6 months (just).
    It has never given me any problems since, unlike the other one…..

    Haze
    Member

    Managed to ride 6 mile home too. Oops.

    And I thought my drive home was impressive…

    Tendons very rarely just “go”. There’s normally some sort of underlying tendinopathy or other some such issue that has reduced the strength in it.

    I’ve seen lots of achilles tendon ruptures, some traumatic and some which have ruptured doing simple low load tasks. They’ve all had some sort of lead up to the problem – pain, tightness, stiffness or whatever.

    Just to disagree with glupton, my TA ruptured playing racquetball at the ripe old age of 23 with absolutely no previous problems.

    So what bit are you disagreeing with?

    AndyPaice
    Member

    minor hijack if you don’t mind 🙂

    I had a really swollen AT a few years back from jogging while I was off the bike (tendon was swollen wider than the ankle bone), not ruptured but really stiff and sore. I probably didn’t help it by trying to ‘walk it off’ for a week before going to minor injuries 🙁

    Kept off it for a couple of months as advised by NHS and it went down again.

    It’s been OK since with walking and cycling but is occasionally a little tight. With all the talk above of weakened tendons, should I be worried about it going again? Anything to do to stretch it or strengthen it?

    Look up eccentric exercises for the achilles. That’ll sort it out.

    athgray
    Member

    Depends on the exact cause. I wear inserts in all my shoes now that help raise the instep. These have made a huge difference.

    petehunjan
    Member

    Wow! Thanks for the input guys. We should set up an ATR club!!!

    Havent taken any ciprofloxacin abs recently.

    A guess here as not my field but it’s entirely plausible that the first rupture caused you to put increased stress on your AT, even after healing you may have continued with an altered posture the result being this.

    This is quite possible, and something I havent considered. Will definately ask my consultant / physio.

    Hi I snapped mine doing the gap jump on the Shredder at Ae forest landed short on the second run and left foot snapped back on the pedal. That was May 2011 and it re-reptured later that year,it is a long story so best to talk over the phone as I can give you loads of advice. My email is in my profile if you want to talk and I will give you my number.

    Thanks for your support, Im due to have surgery tomorrow and I’ll keep you posted.

    Deluded – I was definately in dorsifexion as your pic above shows – the “heels down” stance. Quite worrying really, how am I meant to know the limits so it doesnt happen again?

    Tendons very rarely just “go”. There’s normally some sort of underlying tendinopathy or other some such issue that has reduced the strength in it.

    I’ve seen lots of achilles tendon ruptures, some traumatic and some which have ruptured doing simple low load tasks. They’ve all had some sort of lead up to the problem – pain, tightness, stiffness or whatever. Possibly, but nothing obvious jumps to mind other than the patellar tendon injury.

    Mine went as I came to an abrupt stop at around 20-25 mph through somebody sabotaging the trail. My heel dropped on the pedal (spd) as the bike stopped dead, and snap.

    OUCH!!

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Pete

    petehunjan
    Member

    Hey all,

    Had surgery to repair my ATR on tuesday, and so far so good. No pain other than the 1st night, and now trying to get around on crutches.
    Leg to be re-cast in 2 weeks, and hopefully will be able to load bear then.

    My consultant was very helpful (Mr. Matthews – Wycombe / Stoke Mandeville Hospitals) and spent a bit of time with me going through possible explanations for this

    1) – connective tissue disorders – v unlikely as not had any previos problems
    2) – bad luck – possibly, but AT very unlikely to go whilst on a bike in the absence of any other problems.
    3) – I still have a noticeably weaker left leg following my patellar tendon rupture, and he felt that this could have lead to atrophy /weakening in the left AT. This plus loading it with the foot in a “heels down” position could have lead to a partial rupture. He asked if anything else happened after this initial injury, and yes – I slipped on the stairs AND lunged after my little boy who nearly wandered into the road. Both of these things caused a lot of pain, and probably turned a partial tear into a full tear :-((

    Anyway, I feel better for having some form of explanation, I just got to get healing now!!

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