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Rehab for snapped Achilles

Published: 13 Jun 2007 - 20:12 by squashfossil

Updated: 08 Oct 2007 - 09:36

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Hi, just looking for some info or advice on resuming playing squash after snapping an achilles. Eighteen months ago I snapped my achilles playing squash, I previously played for about twenty years and gave it away for three years to start a family. Two kids and ten kilos later I thought it would be a good idea to have a hit and try to lose some weight, about three months in I joined a comp and shortly after had the injury. I have had all sorts of advice regarding playing and not playing but I love the game and would like to get some other opinions or stories from others who have similar experiences.


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From jdonovanwv - 08 Oct 2007 - 09:36

fossil --

I ruptured my achilles 18 months ago at age 55.  At the time, I had a mild case of tendonitis in the heel and played notwithstanding 2 days later.  The game was with a 30 year old and was competitive but vigorous, more so than with my normal partner.  I had no history of heel trouble. The tear happened on a retreat to the back wall followed by an abrupt sprint to the front.  the rear foot on which I shifted my weight tore.  It was a complete rupture -- surgery was the only practical alternative.  After surgery, I was on crutches for 10 weeks then gingerly walking for 2.  Then, I started rehab by regular cycling (no hills).  I did not get a clear message on whether or not to play from my doctor, but felt good last fall and decided to try.  I played my first squash (solo workouts) at 9 months.  within 3 weeks, I had progressed to <light> non competitive matches with a friend.  By March (11 months) I felt strong enough to play competitive games.  I was able to ignore the heel -- in fact, it seemed that when the OS relaced the tendon, it was <longer> than before and I had more range in stretching than in my other one.  That may be an illusion or perhaps it is thinner than before and therefore stretches further.  
At present, I feel the tendon is 100% and I am playing actively 3-4 days a week.  I stretch carefully for 5-10 minutes on both heels before each game.  If I feel stiffness or soreness in heel or calf, I break until  2 days after pain subsides.  I have not had problems.  
I have analyzed why the tear occur and relate it to 3 issues: (1) the antecedent tendonitis, (2) my shoes, and (3) "pushing it".  I can be forgiven for missing the tendonitis signs once but watch for this.  I used to wear regular old Nike Monarch "cross trainers" and take switched to Ektelon NFS II court shoes, which are VERY comfortable and don't "catch edges".  The cup the heel and i feel are much better than non-court shoes.  The Prince NFS shoes are equivalent.  Also, I use a gel heel wedge under the insole.  I avoid setting too active a game schedule after a layoff.  
How you respond should be based on how you feel, and you should go in stages should you wish to rehab.  these are ideas that worked for me.  I also think I had a great surgeon.  But if your tendon was repaired effectively and you are capable of regular activity and of controlling your weight, it is possible for you to regain your game form.

Hope this helps

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From rippa rit - 16 Jun 2007 - 14:18
This link looks very helpful for your problem.
I would definitely go to a Podiatrist (preferably one who is involved in Sports teams) as you probably will need a build up in the heel of your shoe as the tendon will be shorter now since they did the repair.  The other thing is, why did this happen?  A professional person will also look at how you walk, etc to see if orthodics will help, and also give some stretching exercises, etc.

I have not had this problem so I cannot give first hand info for you. 

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