Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Snapped achilles tendon

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

I'm a rugby coach for my son's U14 team, and while trying to demonstrate the speed that they should be achieving off the mark at our Wednesday night session, I heard a loud twang and it felt like someone had kicked me in the back of the leg. I hit the mud immediately, and although I was able to stand up a minute or so later and limp off the field, there was clearly some damage. I somehow managed to drive home, and got a slightly disturbed night of sleep, but when I couldn't stand on it in the morning I went to A&E to get it checked out. Four hours later, and with a confirmed Achilles rupture, I left with what I am told is an expensive plastic boot. I did ask if it came with a free snowboard, but fortunately not as I'd have no idea what to do with one. It did however come with some aluminium crutches. They told me that it could be uncomfortable, so I asked them whether they'd ever tried ski boots, and the answer was no, so I'm assuming this is a relative level of discomfort and I'll be fine.


I'm told I'm likely to be in the boot for at least 8 weeks. It has both an angled sole, and an adjustable back which can change the angle of my foot. As the recovery progresses, they will change the angle to bring it back towards 90 degrees, stretching the newly-regrown tendon in the process. In the meantime, I have to self-inject once per day with a blood thinner to prevent DVT. They say that after about 10 weeks I should be able to walk without support, and that the recovery to full fitness from then is down to my rehab efforts and fitness.

Or at least that's the theory.

Has anyone had experience of this and it's impact on skiing? I've had a read through a thread from 2017 at https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3027419 which doesn't really go into any detail on the rehab and recovery time, but based on the 9 months quoted there I'm thinking that this season is even more of a non-starter than it already was from Covid. I'm 52, overweight, and less active than I should be apart from skiing and running rugby training sessions where I typically jog and run with the boys for some of the time.

Day 2, and I'm semi-mobile but struggling with balance due to the large wedge on one foot. I've learned to turn light switches on and off with the end of a crutch, and also found that meal preparation involves moving items around the kitchen in several transfers - if it has to move from one side to the other, I have to put it as far away from me along the worktop as I can, hobble to the other side of it, and then collect it and put it away from me again, and repeat until I get to where it is needed. Then I remember the other thing I needed from the same place, and repeat the process...


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 25-11-20 17:32; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
No experience of this, but I can offer sympathy, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
snow report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Snapped my achilles in 1981. There is still a noticeable difference in the size of my calf muscles but that's possibly down to me not doing rehab etc properly. I was playing squash when I found myself on the floor after hearing a loud BANG ! and I felt like my opponent had hit me in the back of the leg with his raquet. I couldn't walk. At the local hospital I was told to lie face down on a bed with my feet dangling off the end of the bed, toes pointing downwards. All the students then trooped in as the doctor pinched the top of my calf muscle just below the back of my knee. On one leg my toes twitched. On the other leg, nothing. The doctor told the students that that shows it is a complete break, not just a partial tear.
No fancy plastic snowboard boots in 1981. Plaster cast with my foot in the position as if standing on tiptoes. A month later, that cast comes off and a new one goes on with my foot half way to "normal" position. Another month and the cast is replaced with another, this time with my foot in "normal" position.
I can't say how long it took to be able to ski, but I am pretty certain I was skiing in Scotland within 12 months.
Good luck.
I think the most important thing is to do the rehab
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@ousekjarr, ouch. Sympathy!

My father did the same, playing badminton, at a similar age, and made a good recovery.

On the +ve side, at least you’re unlikely to miss much skiing in the near future.

One tip from my own time with crutches (for another issue) is to put a bottle cage (from a bike) onto one of the crutches (duct tape &/or cable ties works well), to carry water/ beer etc around.

Heal well
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Inboard, that's a useful tip, thanks. I'm tempted to keep a rucksack handy as well for transport, but it's not great for a bowl of soup wink
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@ousekjarr, Another thread here.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Try and pick up a cheap pair of platform/wedge soled shoes (or at least one for the good foot!) to redress the temporary leg length difference with the boot.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@ousekjarr, yeah, I’d forgotten - I also found a sling pack (eg Patagonia Atom) really useful as could pull it to front for easy access, but back for moving around.

You could also try a whistle to summon your son for errands!?
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Did mine a few years ago and had a Rooney boot like yours. Complete recovery, it may even feel better than the other natural one. No impact on my skiing.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Sad to hear this. Fingers crossed for half term. If not, Mrs Ousekjarr and the Ousekjuniors will have tea and cake waiting for them at the end of their ski days!! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I know of two; they were both 100% in a year.
snow conditions
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Klamm Franzer, 14 weeks is pushing it. I may be designated driver, with no ski gear
snow report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Look up exercises to develop Proprioception... for example after my tendon repair I couldn't "remember" how to stand on tip toes on that side. It was a weird and frustrating experience and took a while for my brain to re-engage. Good luck.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I would question closely your doctors as to the best course of treatment. A work colleague did his playing football, did the natural/boot method + rehab and it went again in short order. Surgical reattachment sorted it. I believe that is not an uncommon sequence of events.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ousekjarr, ouch and sorry to hear
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Did you have Orthopedic consultation?
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I’d agree and get a decent consultation as an Achilles tear is something that can be debilitating
latest report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There is definitely a snowHead with experience on this. Now what was his name? Ah yes, @achilles Toofy Grin
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Laughing
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When I was the site manager for EpicSki the biggest thread was one that had nothing to do with skiing but Achillies Tendon Rupture.
When we launched Pugski and Epic was nearing its end someone started a new version which has become one of the highest ranked google searched resources tendon rupture and rehab, reaching members who are from all walks of life.

This version is not achillies specific but very informative.
https://www.pugski.com/threads/quadriceps-tendon-rupture-repair-and-rehab.4769/
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
anarchicsaltire wrote:
Try and pick up a cheap pair of platform/wedge soled shoes (or at least one for the good foot!) to redress the temporary leg length difference with the boot.


This. Alternatively, a well padded trainer or croc can help redress the height difference. Otherwise you risk a sore hip/back because of the pelvic tilt.
You can buy/rent a knee walker:
https://www.rentakneewalker.com/learn-about-nonweight-bearing-medical-conditions/1/
Or do what I did, acquire a cheap used office chair on castors for a fiver and use that to scoot around the house with both hands free. It makes life much less frustrating.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Chamcham, I would certainly use a knee walker for a lower limb injury, having done the whole crutches thing. I saw a girl on one in the gym doing upper body work
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately I live in a 17th century cottage with narrow and steep stairs, steps between rooms, and in one of the only villages in the fens which has a hill worthy of the name. The walker looks like it would be useful if I lived in a bungalow, but in my house I really need the crutches to get around. So far I've had two unintentional sit downs on the way down the stairs plus one uncontrolled descent of the last two steps which I managed to catch with the crutches, so it will take some time to adjust.

I also work from home, in a dedicated office upstairs which I cannot easily relocate while remaining productive. As I'm supposed to keep my foot raised, I'm going to have to make some adjustments anyway, but I'll still be in that room.

I did query the course of treatment, and given my age and profile, surgery was not seen as offering any advantage. I have private medical cover through my job, and will be asking for a specialist opinion next week. I suspect though that completing the physio correctly, not rushing into anything too strenous, and losing some weight will all have a bigger impact on the long term prognosis than the initial treatment will.
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@ousekjarr,
Quote:

I suspect though that completing the physio correctly, not rushing into anything too strenous


This. ^^^^

I "pulped" my left achilles tendon in a motocross accident many years ago. At the same time I also broke several bones in my foot. The consequent swelling was so bad that I had to wait 10 days before it was put into a cast. (I just had a back cast lightly strapped on.) The tendon had already started to shorten when it was put into a cast so a nurse cranked the front of my foot up towards my knee whilst it was set in plaster. No fancy adjustable boots or casts back then. This was repeated a couple of times over the next few weeks. Despite this it still seemed to shorten considerably and took a fair bit of physio to give me anywhere near the range of movement of my other ankle.

I had to return to work as soon as I was mobile and probably lost focus on improving the range of movement. So, to this day I have reduced left ankle flexion. It aches like a bu66er sometimes when the weather's cold and damp, and the rear of my ankle above the joint is much wider than the undamaged one.

Good luck with your recovery and take advantage of your medical cover where you can.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sat 31-10-20 15:26; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@ousekjarr, were you shown how to use crutches on stairs? If you have a handrail you shouldn't be having accidents. My stairs have a curve at the bottom and the handrail stops short so I went up and down on my backside
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ousekjarr, I was encouraged to stay active and later on use the boot to bear weight. Regular physio and exercises at home to the letter very important.
snow conditions
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@holidayloverxx, no handrail, 180 degree turn with triangular steps in the corners. Not designed for cripples...

Using the crutches is OK - the issue is the wedge under my foot and the difference in balance
latest report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@ousekjarr, sounds like mine
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I snapped mine country dancing after some ciders, doh!

Full recovery over about a year, skiing no bother.

IMO physio > ortho if you're not getting a repair. I build an Achilles tendon wedge and bought a plantar fascitis sock when I was looking to stretch it out more.....this was about 6 months down the line. Start low and go slow....it's a drag.

The insoles good to start with but in the long run can lead to a shorter tendon if you never take them out, this can lead to issues.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Are you going for a natural repair or an operation. If they say it will heal naturally really make sure that it is a good idea as it will not always work satisfactorily. Either way the bad news is that you won't be skiing this season. Then again a lot of people may not be skiing.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Snapped mine completely on skis over a decade ago, had to have a full surgical reconstruction, was sliding again the next season. Don't even think about it now.
2 bits of advice.

Don't try to shorten the healing process, no matter how good you/it feels

Do do all the progressive rehabilitation
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have huge sympathy with you on this. Ruptured my right achilles playing cricket (setting off for a quick single, explosion in the back of my leg, instant discomfort) in August 2010. No surgery but was in plaster for six weeks (three lots of two weeks with my foot set at a different angle). No weight allowed on the injured leg and became a dab hand with the crutches and getting up and down stairs on my backside. Then six weeks in an orthopaedic boot, firstly with crutches, then without. Hated every single second of it, but loads of physio afterwards and skiing again, with few problems, the following March. Was told to be very careful when removing my ski boot at the end of the day. Other than that, hardly noticed anything.
snow report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks all, we have a tentative half term trip booked for February, where it looks likely that I’ll be no more than the driver. If the docs and physio see enough progress by then to approve light skiing I’ll be amazed, but happy to try.
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@ousekjarr, did mine a few years ago but did need surgery and with hindsight this was good. I had surgery early April and cycling holiday in September but the surgeon and physio worked together as we had the cycling trip as a target.

When it comes to skiing, don't forget the ski boot actually gives you great support.

The important thing I kept being told was take it really easy in the early weeks as it pays long term dividend. When you get to physio stage don't skimp and do at least what is recommended.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ousekjarr, saw this hands free crutch and wondered if it might make your life easier? https://peglegs.co.uk/
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@homphomp, thanks for that - interesting idea but not for me as the boot I am in comes up to the bottom of my knee cap and leaves no space to kneel on anything easily. There are a few reviews which mention balance issues with it as well.

I’m currently able to move around without the crutches most of the time. They are needed for stairs, but not much else.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Good you're getting around ok.....I saw it recommended by someone who'd had planned foot surgery so they'd been able to practice in advance which I guess made it easier!
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Snapped achilles myself! And was snowboarding the next year with no problems. DO. YOUR. PHYSIO. Calf raises. Calf raises. Calf raises, then more calf raises. Then weighted calf raises. Then bent knee calf raises. Then more calf raises.

But for the first 8 weeks enjoy lying down and doing nowt! Keep it raised. The calf actually does a lot of 'pumping' when it contracts, so natural drainage from the calf is poor unless you keep it elevated.

PS Rugby for me too, but at least I was playing wink
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Week 2 - been back to the clinic for a checkup and change of liner, and that also gave me a chance to see all the pretty colours - for an injury to the back of the ankle, the bruising on the front and side is pretty impressive.

Naked foot

latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Did they get you in for surgery or are they letting it heal by itself?
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy