Michael's Post Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgery ARPwave Story

by TheTendonitisExpert

Well...I've taken the leap of faith.


My equipment is on its way, and my free eval is Friday afternoon.

I spoke with Justin, and he reiterated the fact that, in his experience, an achilles tendon rupture takes about 6 weeks of rehab to return to normal. I'm NOT playing football any more, that much is a fact, but he said that I could if I wanted to.

Having suffered through this once before, and witnessing firsthand that it took about a YEAR to return to normal, this claim is making my head spin. I also know the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true...it probably is." Am I really that old to be that big a skeptic??

But I've heard enough good things from you to at least give it a shot.

The therapist I'm going to be working with is also going to put me in contact with someone who went through the program for an achilles tendon surgery. Hearing firsthand from someone else who went through the treatment successfully will also play a big role in my psyche.

Mike



Joshua Comments:

Great!

Skepticism is a good thing. A closed mind isn't. And as I like to say about the ARP, the proof is in the pudding.

I'm building an ARP business/office in Sacramento. I'm shifting tactics from trying to explain it, to 'do a free eval/treatment, -then- we'll talk'. Because it does sound too good to be true and I'm tired of the blank looks etc. And as I said before, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't had my first 5 minute taste of it on my back.

And what if you didn't -have- to be done with football.....

Please keep me updated. I'm curious to see how things go.

And do me a favor and take some pictures for me. In the cast, out of the cast, scar, etc.




Mike:

Well, let's put it this way...my wife will probably beat me lifeless if I played football again.

Although...I can't help but think that...what if...the use of the ARP machine restores the leg to "better than new" condition, and the muscle imbalance problem that caused the issue in the first place (which obviously must have a bilateral aspect to it) is completely abated by the machine? So, I guess one never knows how things will play out...

The biggest satisfaction for me would be to waltz into my PT, bootless, with good stride and range of motion, and them wondering how in the heck I did it.

I am quite positive I have lower leg muscular imbalances and/or glaring weaknesses. When they're cured, who knows what I'll be capable of doing?

As for pics, sure. I'll have my wife take some of me...of the cast....and of the injury itself when the cast comes off. I'd like to document the whole rehab process, especially if it goes as well as I'm hoping. I'll send them to you after she takes them.


I'll be in touch after my first session to let you know how it went. I'm VERY excited to get started!!

Mike




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Jul 19, 2011
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Continuing back and forth betwen Joshua and Mike
by: Mike

Hey, Joshua.

Okay, here might be a good way to really test the machine when it gets here.

I'm getting a case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I've had it before, but I could be in real trouble if my right foot starts bothering me while it's my sole source of mobility for the next several weeks. I'm going to have them work on both legs, because I have (obviously!!) a history of leg problems on both sides. I have no idea where they're going to tell me the pain is stemming from, but wherever it is, I'd like to nip the right side PF in the bud!

Mike



Joshua Comments:

You'll be -really- clear about the source of pain. As the pad gets moved around....you'll know.

And I wasn't going to say it quite yet to see if you figured it out, but absolutely, if you're working on your newly hurt leg, you'll be able to work on the other side too with what you learn for the new side.

I'm sure they can talk you through all that. And make sure they know your history of rupture on both sides, etc.



Mike:

My main doc wasn't in. I got my cast wet yesterday morning in the shower, and had to get it changed. The lady that did it, though, was blown away that I was at 90 two weeks post op.

A week from Monday, I'm going into the CAM boot. 23 days post surgery, which isn't too shabby. The reason I'm not in it right now is because my doc is very conservative.

Oh, and in ONE treatment, I knocked out the outer knee stiffness. I placed the black pad at the origin of the stiffness, and searched around and found a doozy of a weak spot on the inner quad. I mean, the pain was excruciating at like a level 15!!! So I did about 20 minutes (split between regular and reverse polarity), and tried a couple stretches while it was on. By the time I took it off, complete ROM was restored.

I'm going to buy one, for sure. My mind's made up. Just have to clear the decks in the next 30 days so that I can budget for it.



Joshua Comments:

Yes indeed.

I love how in life we're used to things that work, but then occasionally we come across something that REALLY works.

Which is pretty awesome.

Good for you for being bold and taking a risk.



Mike:

Too true, my brother. Too true.

Been using it on my right AT/calf region, as well. It's loosening that whole structure up nicely, as well.

And I guess if I'm jumping rope at five or six weeks (the way my ARP web therapist wants me to), I'll officially be in your debt ... well ... forever. Post THAT type of story for your ARP clinic, and the masses will come, I assure you.



Jul 19, 2011
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Cast is off, boot is on, great results with the ARPwave
by: Mike

I should get my cast off tomorrow. It will be exactly 24 days since surgery...but who's counting?

Usually my doc prefers to cast for 6 weeks, or until the foot reaches 90 degrees. I was at 90 degrees 10 days ago, so there should be NO excuses. Although I was pissed off at the time that I didn't get into the boot back then, I can't help but think the extra casted time will prove beneficial in the long run.

Been ARP'g up a storm, as well. I'm doing up to four treatments per day on the casted leg, and sleeping with it overnight. Every other day, I'm doing a treatment on the good leg, too. After that initial heel pain I had before I got the ARP, that leg/foot has been right as rain.

Although I can't place the electrodes EXACTLY where I would want to yet on the bad leg (the cast limits the placement to the ball of the foot and the back of the gastroc), I'm able to move the pads around enough to hit everything.

My therapist is insisting he'll have me walking around the house, boot free, within a week. That would be walking...boot/crutch free...approximately 30 days after surgery. Amazing, if it comes to fruition. His goal is still to have me jumping rope by 6 weeks post op. Again, if it happens, it will be nothing short of miraculous.

I've also become quite familiar with the ARP searching protocols. It's amazing where the source of one's pain can actually be. All signs for me point to weaknesses in the FRONT muscles of the lower legs as being the cause for my woes. Time will tell.

I'll be in touch !



Joshua Comments:

Yep. Pretty amazing indeed. As I always say, it's amazing what you con do with the RIGHT tool for the job.

So you're in the boot now, yes? And it's removable, yes?

Doctor was pleased with the 90 degrees plus range?




Mike:

Hey Josh. Doc looked shocked actually. But im so BUMMED b/c he gave me the boot with a 3/4 heel wedge and told me no weight bearing for 2 weeks and then I can be full weight bearing.

He was reluctant to even give me the boot!! He never gave a boot this early before post surgery. But the reason im bummed is that I was practically full weight while in the cast, and at 90 ROM, and now the thing is gonna shorten up again with this damn wedge ... and I have zero ROM in the boot whereas in the cast I was constantly moving my foot.

I feel like i could walk right now which is very depressing. But he said that the tear was up high so he's being extra cautious. My ARP trainer was ready to have me walking barefoot around the house. Ugh!!!!



Jul 19, 2011
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Doctor is SO conservative and scaring me
by: Mike

Yeah, the boot is removable, but it's the principle .... very conservative doc making me scared shitless to do anything.


Joshua Comments:

Yeah, I hear you.

You're straddling two paradigms, the doctors, and ARP's. Would it be BAD if the tear re-tore some/a lot? Yes. Can you push it with the ARP and avoid that? Survey says yes, but what -if-?

It's a balance. And while I have all sorts of faith in the ARPwave system, still, ya know.

My thought is, BE AFRAID, and push it as much as possible. Don't jump rope -today- as that would be a bad idea, but push it now with the ARP for a couple more weeks, as per the plan.

I don't put much faith in the surgeon's paradigm. In their defense, they don't know what the ARP can do (nor, unfortunately in general, are they interested in finding out). I've seen too many people get really messed up from 'simple' procedures.


The fact is, people have felt like they could walk at various points after surgery and they pushed it and walked and then later figured out they should NOT have. But, they didn't have the ARP.


My suggestion is to pay attention, be scared and conservative while pushing it with the ARP. It's already proven itself, and in his defense, your doc is just being conservative. That's his job since he only has the tools and experience that he has at his disposal.


My neurosurgeon that saw me for my back, still thinks I need surgery even though I 'm up and running and lifting weights etc etc.

*shrug*



Mike:

Heh! Thanks, Josh, that perspective helps.

I talked to my ARP trainer, and he said he's normally not this blunt, but he thinks regular PT for my achilles is a bad idea...and I have to agree. I know what they're going to do, I've been down the road. A lot of pushing and pulling on the foot, which will only make the tendon angry. Possibly ice, which will only serve to shrink what is already a tentatively loose structure ... and of course, regular electric stim, which will cause everything to simply contract. Maybe some TENS, which would be useless since I have no pain.

I will proceed as planned ... full on ARP, but cautious with things like weight bearing. I'm feeling a little less stressed after this conversation and the talk with the ARP trainer.

Re-rupture is BAD. Awful, in fact. But I'm not training like a maniac to return to my $65 million dollar football contract. I want to be just plain 'ol walking as fast as possible so I can enjoy the summer with my family, and not be lumbering around 9 months later still waiting for the thing to finally heal.

I have less pain/stiffness now at 24 days post op than I had 3 months post op after the '99 rupture with traditional treatments. Didn't even mention the ARP to the doc. Even if he wasn't treating 3 patients at once, I doubt he'd want to listen. Maybe when he sees me in 6 weeks and I'm doing a lot of things that normally folks do in 3 or 6 months, he'll want to know how I did it?



Jul 19, 2011
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20% stronger overnight with the ARPwave
by: Mike

It was quite a manic day yesterday.

I had to actually go to PT. My insurance will require five visits, which will protect me in case anything untoward happens to the leg. Luckily, in only 5 sessions, they can't screw me up too bad. Here's what they did:

Theraband calf presses
Leg extensions
Various leg raises to work on the hips

Hmmmm...let's see. Therabands cause your muscles to move unnaturally. In a normal calf raise, the biggest force is in the beginning of the movement. Therabands are easy in the beginning, and place stress at the end of the movement. Unnatural. Not good.

And is there anything more unnatural than a leg extension?

I guess the abductor/adductor work can't hurt, but the movements are still quite unnatural.

So...I came home from PT feeling SORE, and not in a good way.

Then I had my ARP treatment, the very first uncasted treatment! We did a search, and found a hot spot, not surprisingly, at the bottom of the heel. My ARP trainer looked at my leg and was amazed that there was no visible "lump" from where the incision was. He also noted that atrophy was pretty minimal. He credits it to all the ARP work I did while the cast was on.

As far as the treatment, I actually was able to do seated calf raises with the repaired leg! At first I was nervous to do such a motion, but quickly overcame the fear when I realized that the ARP was allowing me to increase my ROM. Worked that puppy up to an intensity of 50 on regular, and 60 in reverse polarity. Not bad for the first uncasted effort! Protocol is to work my way to 100, and if there's no pain after 5 days, we move to standing calf raises. STANDING calf raises, one month after surgery.

So I wore the ARP in passive mode overnight, and woke up this morning with the leg feeling, no lie, about 20% stronger. No pain. Very exciting stuff!!



Jul 19, 2011
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Updates
by: Mike

LOL, yeah, Josh, we're kind of on the same wavelength. No pun intended.

BTW, I'm walking crutch free all day today. Woohoo! 27 days after surgery :)

But...like you...I GOTTA have it. I've seen what it can do. I've seen how it's turning this injury from a 6 to 9 month nightmare to a very bearable 6 to 8 week recovery. Simply amazing. And I appreciate it all the more because I went through the same injury once already with traditional treatment. The person using the ARP on an ACL tear (who never had one) might not appreciate it as much as the person who already went through that kind of injury with traditional medicine.

So, I guess, just like you, I'm gonna say, "Thank you, sir, may I have another", and just go ahead and sign the papers.


Mike


----

This blows my mind...I've had outer knee stiffness on my surgery side for the last year. With my achilles injury, I didn't pay much attention to it, but now that I'm walking, I wanted to address it. Five minutes on the ARP after doing a search, and the stiffness is g...o...n...e. Wow.


Mike


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Josh, I'm ... speechless.

Did a set of ARP exercises this morning. Calf eccentric exercises. One five-minute rep. No hands, all calves. Ten days out of my cast, and I'm doing CALF RAISES!!!


Mike


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Hey, Josh!

Definitely curious how your experience goes with your RX-100!

The calf raises are going unbelievably well. 11 days out of the cast, and I could do a FULL calf raise. Basically, I'm doing one super slow 5 minute eccentric movement with the ARP (Jay's a big believer in super slow movements being ideal for creating speed/power), followed by 5 to 10 concentric/eccentric movements. I'm doing that several times per day.

Just finished a three-hour trip to the boardwalk for Father's Day with family & some friends...and let me tell you...my whole body ached after walking around in that boot. Around the house, it's great, because I'm tooling around either barefoot or in sneakers, but I still have to wear the boot when I go out.

I checked out an Achilles blog (Edit: no longer working) and it's unreal how many stories I've read that folks doing traditional PT can't do full calf raises six and sometimes nine months after surgery. I know my right leg suffered that same fate 12 years ago.

Mike



Jul 19, 2011
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Updates - 5 weeks postop doing calf raises and walking barefoot
by: Mike

Hiya, Josh!

Five weeks post op (Only ONE week out of the cast), did first assisted calf lowering protocol with the ARP, and am walking BAREFOOT around the house. Granted, I'm walking in a march style fashion (no pushing off toes), but it's still pretty darned incredible.

I'll never forget the first time I put weight on my ruptured leg from '99, it was probably 8 weeks post op, and the foot felt completely dead, like it wasn't even mine. None of that is going on here.

Still going to take it slow & steady, but....what can I say? These results are just phenom...



Mike



Jul 19, 2011
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Update PART 1 - 5 weeks out of cast, jumping!
by: Mike

Yo, Josh!

Soooooo much to report on, all of it good.

Monday will mark five weeks out of the cast, and as of a week ago, the therapist had me hopping. That's right, hopping! I pretty much stopped wearing the boot after only two weeks (it was doing more harm than good).

But there's two specific instances since the last time we've talked that completely solidify my faith in the ARP...and makes me even happier that I did indeed buy one.

The first happened about three weeks ago. I went for my first real "walk" around the neighborhood with my dog. It was a slow walk, but I focused on maintaining proper gait. About halfway in, I noticed pain/stiffness...not in the achilles area...but in the left big toe/top of foot area. This is the SAME place that I was having pain for almost a year, pre-rupture. Because of that pain, I definitely had created a compensation pattern that most certainly contributed to my achilles problems and the eventual rupture. I mean, when you can't "push" off of your big toe when you walk, you're bound to create compensation patterns that will put stress in all the wrong places.

What was scary, though, is that I had pain along the left side of my achilles/ankle after the walk! The same exact spots that you and I were working to resolve before the rupture! Without realizing it, I must have gone back to my old way of walking when the pain in the toe started.

After this, I went home and did a search with the small pads and found, sure enough, an EXTREMELY sensitive spot on the left big toe. The red pad found its way along the top of my foot. The pain was excruciating, but I muddled through it. I've been hitting the big toes every day since, and have worked my way to nearly 90 power on the ARP. The net result: toe pain, gone. I can now maintain proper gait and push off the big toe.

The second instance involves my tight IT bands and hip flexors, and indirectly my left heel. As you know, my hip flexors were the first body part to betray me when I started playing football two years ago. Everything, I believe, snowballed from there. The stiffness went to the knee, then to the forefoot/big toe, and eventually my achilles.


Continued in next section>



Jul 19, 2011
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Updates PART 2 - jumping with the ARPwave
by: Mike

Continued from last section

Well, now that the toe pain was gone, I still had lingering stiffness in all three of these areas. I could find NO hot spots along the heel, so the problem wasn't there. I found a mild hot spot along the knee, but that didn't seem to resolve the problem. But when I searched along the hip flexors, BOOM! Just as sensitive, if not more so, than the big toe. I've been working that area every day, as well, and most of the stiffness in the left leg is gone, and the heel pain is completely gone.

The bottom line is this: without the ARP, I would never have been able to correct the underlying problems that caused my rupture in the first place. My gait is completely normal ... probably for the first time in my whole life. As a person suffering from flat feet, I've worn orthotics since I was 13, nearly 29 years. I've actually been able, for the first time, to ditch the shoe supports. I don't need them. My feet are actually functioning correctly. It's an amazing feeling.

So...that's my update! It's been an amazing journey so far, and I have you to thank for introducing me to this amazing machine in the first place. Hope your ARP PT practice is going well. If you ever need a reference on its efficacy, let me know. I'll be happy to provide one!

Mike

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