There was a definite irony when on 22nd July 2014 I ruptured my Achilles tendon while boxing. I have treated MSK injuries for over 12 years explaining the process and emotional rollercoaster that patients go through with severe injuries like this, and now I will go through it myself.
There are many ironic parts of this story:
1. I was boxing, and as many people have already asked me in jest: “Isn’t that just with your hands?”
2. It was at the end of a session and I had warmed up well. If anything we were over time.
3. Commonwealth medallist Mike Grundy was watching on, waiting for me to finish, so I could treat him before he travelled to Glasgow.
4. Instead of me treating Mike, Mike was taking me to A&E.
5. When I walked into A&E, they asked my occupation! There was a real awkward moment when I told them I was a physio, with a big grin on my face.
I, like others faced with this condition, decided to do a little self-research. Rather than just using Google, I opted to use medical journal databases, after all I am a professional and I understood all the medical jargon. Oh how I was wrong! Every journal I read was inconclusive or contradictory. I even contacted peers in my phonebook or those on Twitter who always use the social media channel to promote the latest research. Still no real conclusion.
After three weeks of urgently trying to find out the condition of my tendon to see if I needed an operation or not, I had a US scan. This confirmed that even in the shortest position, there was still a 19mm gap between the two ends. I knew immediately I had no choice. Surgery it was.
I saw a fab surgeon Mr Zubairy a few days later, who confirmed it, and then said: “See you in two days.” He told me the two ends of my tendon were like spaghetti and they needed to come back together. He explained how he would perform the operation and we discussed rehab. Jokingly, he asked: “Which one of the Summit team is brave enough to rehab you!?”
His actual opening line was: “So, as a sports physiotherapist, what made you think it was a good idea to rupture your Achilles?” He then chuckled. A fantastic introduction!
So off to the operation we go! Progress to follow.