Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Training & Nutrition
Reload this Page >

Cycling after Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

Cycling after Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Old 05-22-14, 09:29 PM
  #1  
smurfy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
smurfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cycling after Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Today I was in surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon (work-related, not from cycling). Needless to say my 2014 riding season is pretty much over. I was diagnosed at a sports medicine center and my doctor said I could start to cycle on a stationary bike as part of my physical therapy after I get my cast off in about eight to twelve weeks. He said it's possible to be back on a bike after six months but probably not endurance cycling that soon like I do with my club. I don't want to take any chances so I wanted to start cycling again in the spring of '15.

My problem is I'm scared to death that something like this will happen again and/or I'll never be able to ride a bike. I know I'm probably just being paranoid and I've been told by my doctor and others that this has happened to many sports stars such as basketball players for example and were back on the court after six months.

I'm 53 years of age but definitely not in a hurry to get back on a bike as I want to heal the right way, so I'm looking for any type of training/exercise that would be of the best benefit for me. Cycling and weight/resistance training are my only activities. I don't run or jog as that activity has always been hard on my knees.

Sorry for the rambling post but any advice from experienced cyclists here would be greatly appreciated.
smurfy is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 03:55 AM
  #2  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,388

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 127 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2848 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 30 Posts
I tore (micro tears) both my Achilles in 2002. Fortunately it happened toward the end of the season, and I didn't really get back into cycling again for about 6 months. And I had to wear braces for a long time. I still wear braces on long, hilly rides.

I tried to get back into it earlier, but that just created a setback ... made things worse.

Talk to your doctor about walking/jogging. Somehow I don't think that would be a good idea either.

While I was recovering, I focused on the upper body ... weight lifting and core work.


Are you seeing a physiotherapist?
Machka is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 04:20 AM
  #3  
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,061

Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
Today I was in surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon (work-related, not from cycling). Needless to say my 2014 riding season is pretty much over. I was diagnosed at a sports medicine center and my doctor said I could start to cycle on a stationary bike as part of my physical therapy after I get my cast off in about eight to twelve weeks. He said it's possible to be back on a bike after six months but probably not endurance cycling that soon like I do with my club. I don't want to take any chances so I wanted to start cycling again in the spring of '15.

My problem is I'm scared to death that something like this will happen again and/or I'll never be able to ride a bike. I know I'm probably just being paranoid and I've been told by my doctor and others that this has happened to many sports stars such as basketball players for example and were back on the court after six months.

I'm 53 years of age but definitely not in a hurry to get back on a bike as I want to heal the right way, so I'm looking for any type of training/exercise that would be of the best benefit for me. Cycling and weight/resistance training are my only activities. I don't run or jog as that activity has always been hard on my knees.

Sorry for the rambling post but any advice from experienced cyclists here would be greatly appreciated.
Both of those activities will tend to tighten muscles, joints, tendons and so on... I think you need to add a flexibility routine -- but with caution that it does not overstress your repaired tendon. Your upcoming PT would be a good place to start that and build an ongoing routine. Too often, PT is used to simply fix a problem then it is forgotten. It is better to use it build an ongoing routine that you can continue after your discharge from PT. But, you will probably have to push the therapist to get him to develop such a program for you. If he is using machines that you do not have access to, then it will be 6 weeks of therapy and then nothing...

At 53 you are getting to the point where people often transition from young and fit into older and stiff. But that is not so much a function of aging as it is a result of improper conditioning (or the lack of...) Essentially, your body need 3 things to keep it functioning at optimal levels:
-- Aerobic / cardio-pulmonary training
-- Strength training -- including Core Training as well as the traditional weight/resistance training
-- Flexibility

The last is often overlooked by men in their quest for performance. But, things such as yoga or Pilates, or even just a structured, well managed stretching program (not just a warm-up for other exercises) will pay benefits as you age.

It has been said that a stretching program will never be able to increase flexibility, but it can help to maintain what you have. I don't know if that is true or not. But I am sure that it is common -- because most stretching programs are pretty wimpy and are mainly just used as warm ups for the 'real' exercise.

Also, statins have been shown to generate a 20% increase in musculo-skeletal injuries (such as yours). If you take one of them, you need to be extra vigilant to maintain your flexibility.
GeorgeBMac is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 05:54 AM
  #4  
smurfy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
smurfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you for the responses. No I'm not seeing a physiotherapist yet as I just had the surgery yesterday. Actually my goal is just to get back on a bike at all. Unfortunately where I live is the hilliest city in the Midwest but even sticking with bike paths, rail-trails and grocery shopping would make me happy. Fixed-gear riding is probably out, too, but I've already had my fun with that so I won't miss it too much.

Interesting about wearing braces for long hilly rides. I'll have to ask my doctor and PT about that when I get closer to starting therapy. I will also ask about walking if that helps. I am a gym member so I will check them, too. My gym has helped my wife tremendously with strengthening her foot/leg after about a dozen surgical procedures on it and she doesn't have near the problems she used to have.
smurfy is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 06:18 AM
  #5  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,388

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 127 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2848 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 30 Posts
If you live in a very hilly area, you'll want to check your saddle height. It might be all right already, but for hills, the saddle should be slightly lower than what it might be if you lived in a flat area. Easier on the Achilles that way.
Machka is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 09:01 AM
  #6  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 14,873

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 84 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1756 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
You said you ruptured your Achilles, but that it had to be diagnosed. When I did mine, I didn't need a diagnosis. My foot just flopped on the end of my leg. I also had a surgical repair, that day. My cast was on 8 weeks. When I got it off, I rehabbed by hiking. That's my suggestion if it's possible. It was important to break up the scar tissue by moving the foot in all directions in a gentle fashion, for which hiking in the mountains was perfect. I rehabbed for cycling by doing one-legged pedaling on my rollers. Again, that's gentle exercise that stresses the lower leg in many directions. This happened in my mid-forties. My calf took over a year to get back to where it was. I've never had another problem with it, though now I'm more careful about my foot placement when running. I don't think cycling will bother it at all if your surgeon did a good job. There's just not much stress on it when cycling. RSI yes, but not the high stress that ruptures something like that.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 05-23-14, 09:13 AM
  #7  
MEversbergII
Senior Member
 
MEversbergII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Lexington Park, Maryland
Posts: 1,185

Bikes: Current: Origami Crane 8, Trek 1200 Former: 2012 Schwinn Trailway

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Good luck on your recovery! Make sure you get plenty of raw materials in your diet - protein, collagen, gelatine, etc. I also have achelies issues - mine reach max length when my foot is still flexed downwards 45 degrees. I still cycle!

M.
MEversbergII is offline  
Old 07-17-14, 08:49 AM
  #8  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,673

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2958 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 43 Posts
I injured my Achilles when I started running. research lead me to cycling as a good recovery sport. you are protective of your body. that;'s normal self preservation. after my knee surgery it was 11 years before I started going at it again. knowledge is power. you'll heal, be patient. try swimming, it's weird but makes you feel amazing!
rumrunn6 is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.