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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2013, 01:02 
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birding&table.tennis wrote:
RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Hi Steven, this is a most interesting topic you have raised here for me. We have something in common. I ruptured my left achiilles tendon in 2008. Completely snapped it as you did. How did it happen? Chopping a ball from almost to the floor where I'd gone down so low I was totally on my haunches. It was in doubles and so I was pushing back up on my heels through my knees to get ready for my next shot. Something gave and I fell backwards. I thought I'd twisted my ankle, it was godawful pain! Being the fanatic I am though I kept playing. Not just the doubles, but the 2 other singles I had scheduled for the rest of the night. I played with my left foot barely touching the ground and without being able to take a single step in any direction. Needless to say I lost the other 2 matches, as well as the doubles we were in the middle of.

The next day I was off on holidays, and thinking I had just badly twisted my ankle I went off thinking I'll see a doctor somewhere if I really need to, or get some bandaging for it...or something. I hobbled around on the week's holiday and I did get some strapping for it. Over the course of the week it improved somewhat and so I figured my injury was getting better. When I got back I started a new TT season and I was bearing weight on the leg well enough, so I just kept playing. It was about 7 weeks since the injury and I'd been walking on it a lot and playing and while it had improved, I decided it should have improved more. So I finally went to see a doc and he ordered an Ultrasound on it. I went to the ultrasound clinic and the operator started scanning my leg and then asked me how I got into the clinic. I said I drove. She said, yes but did you then come on crutches or a wheelchair? I looked at her funny as she knew I'd walked into the scanning room. She said I had a 13cm gap between the two ends of my achilles and it was virtually impossible that I was walking. After this she went on got a doctor to verify what she was looking at and he was confounded that I could walk.

After that I had surgery ordered and I went and got it all stitched up and after 8 weeks in plaster and 6 months off TT with rehab I was fine again. When the surgeon spoke to me after the surgery though, he said one end of the achilles had started to attach itself to flesh inside my leg and was trying to knit there as its way of natural recovery. It never would have been as strong as the stitched up achilles, but I guess its what it had done to try to support the weight I'd been putting on it in the time it was broken.

I'm not sure if what I had inadvertently done was some crude form of the non-operative method referred to in your link, as they don't seem to detail what is involved in that method. But if it is, I reckon the rehab would be very hard as I know the exercises I had to do after the surgery to rehab mine would have been nigh impossible without the surgery (like heel raises on the left foot alone).

Thanks for raising the subject. Its always interesting to exchange experiences like this.


RebornTTEvnglist, I am so sorry for being slow in responding to your comment on my post. Before writing my post, I had read everything that you had written about your achilles tendon rupture. Of course it was all fascinating to me. So, I had been expecting that you would write something in response to my post.

Your experience sure is incredible. I sure don't have the ability to put up with pain like you. It is amazing that you could move around with 13cm gap between the two ends of your achilles tendon. I would have guessed that that would have been impossible, since you couldn't contract your calf muscles. Your 6 months recovery is impressive too. My recovery took about 12 months, and my would-be surgeon was impression with my recovery. He told me that my recovery could not have been quicker even with surgery. The attachment between your tendon and inside of your leg sounds sort of gruesome. My physical therapist told me that this re-connection involves stem cells, but I don't have the background to understand this. In a study of about 30 National Football League players that completely ruptured their achilles tendons, I read that an 11-month recovery is average. About 1/3 of the football players retired after their achilles tendon rupture, and the remaining 2/3 had much diminished careers afterwards. None returned to their former level.

My concern is that I completely rupture an achilles tendon for a third time. My physical therapist told me that the most outstanding risk factor for injuries is a previous injury of the type under consideration. I can't help but wonder whether I am at risk for another achilles tendon rupture.

Steven


No problem Steven. Discussion of this topic is a good reminder for me to be careful, especially when I hear you have ruptured yours 3 times. Believe me, I am not martyr when it comes to pain either. It did hurt a lot for days I recall, but then so does a twisted ankle I think. I hobbled on it barely able to walk the first 2 days, and quickly sought out some strapping to aid it. On the holiday, I went with my elderly mother as my father had died only a few months before and this would cheer her up a bit. So fast walking was not required. When I returned home I began to walk everyday for 20-30 minutes and it was still painful, but slowly decreasing. I focused on trying to step correctly without too much limp, but this was almost impossible. It did improve, but after 7 weeks without complete recovery was when I decided I should get it investigated. As you mention, my calf muscle was decrepit (and still is). The loss of condition of it was immense. I always had large calves and now the left was half the size of the right. It has never come back anywhere near original size and probably never will. One thing the doctors told me was the stitched achilles was thicker than the original due to it being thicker at the join (something to do with it being overlapped - I am going from 5 year old memory here lol). So it surprises me when you have done yours 3 times, as my understanding is my risk or re-rupture is low (crossed-fingers). Well, 5 years and so far, so good. I must admit, I play TT with still just as much nonchalance even though I try to tell myself risking myself isn't worth it. A couple of months ago in a tense doubles final at a tournament I went for a chop retrieve shot that was deep and wide on the BH side and the only way to get bat onto the ball was to dive and fall, trying to hit the ball as I fell. Aware it was going to hurt if I didn't land properly, after contacting the ball I went down into kind of a "push-up" position. The only injury I sustain was I crushed my finger between bat handle and floor :oops: and it bled and bruised for several weeks. That's the worst position I've probably put myself in of late, although I do run into the solid barriers at my club now and then. And I do stretch out for retrieval chops off the BH away from the table (which I sometimes get :lol: ), and I wonder how close I am to doing an injury with the stretch. I really pray I don't as I'd hate to be out of the game again, but I have to say the sounds and expressions people make when they see you get the ball back from 12 feet off the table and 4 feet wide of it, with a chop that you are turning for so much that you don't get a chance to see the shot yourself is a rather special feeling...even if its dangerous |( :whew: :D

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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2013, 06:32 
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It makes sense to me that an achilles tendon rupture is more likely with a defender simply because he is more likely to move forward rapidly. Offensive players probably move suddenly in lateral directions more than forward and backward. That said, it can happen to anyone and it seems that better traction from things like rubber mats would make a rupture more likely.

I've been doing more chopping lately and now you've got me a bit concerned. I'll be a bit more cautious about lunging forward. I may look up exercises to strengthen the achilles as well.

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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2013, 14:20 
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I'm not sure you can strengthen the achilles, but if you find a way please let us all know. I think possibly that having very strong calf muscles may be detrimental to the achilles as they can pull harder on it. It is possibly natures way of protecting a recovered achilles that the calf muscle strength is reduced. This is only my opinion though, no science or research behind it really, except for my own experience.

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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2013, 03:07 
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I saw a show on TV where a baby was born with a bent foot. To fix it they cut his Achilles tendon with a scalpel (took about 3 seconds, just nicked the back of his foot), Then bandaged the foot straight and said it'll regrow longer and then attach itself and it'll be fine and it was!. Amazing how the body can heal like that, I guess being a newborn with rapidly dividing cells helps. Reb are you sure your not 4 weeks old :)?.

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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2013, 16:07 
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I am 4 weeks old...er than I was 4 weeks ago :P :lol:

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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 01:29 
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I ruptured my achilles tendon about 12 years ago during a game of squash. It took me about 9 months to come back playing table tennis again back at my old level. I happened quite suddenly and wasn't painful at first. Adrenaline????? Beside the court was a fysiotherapist watching our match. I just heard a hard rip and thought that my shoe ripped beacuse i was overstretching my achilles tendon. I was not able to stand up. I pulled off my shoe and the fysiotherapist put his finger under my big toe and asked me to push his finger away. I was not able to.

In the hospital they checked the rupture by squeesing very hard in your calf.

I think because defenders move more back and to the table they are more at risk getting a achilles tendon injury. Especially coming back to the table from behind and overstretching the achilles tendon is a risk.

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