43 year old runner, Achilles debridement and haglands excision.Getting there!

by Gillian
(N. Ireland)

I have found this forum really useful. I had a heel spur removed on right heel as a teen and almost forgot about it. I had no issues.

5 years ago I got very keen on running and was running approx 30 miles a week and racing 10k, half marathons and did my 1st marathon in 2010 with no problems and a 3.47 time! Ran a half a few weeks later and no problems.

Went on holiday and did an aerobics class at the poolside in bare feet, crazy in hindsight, and this is where it all went downhill. saw a physio who didn't think too much was wrong, so iced, stretched and ran on. Got accepted for London Marathon and ran on.

Eventually pain and limping set in and i was diagnosed with haglands deformity and bursitis aqnd tendonitis. Had a couple of injections and pain settled. Ran on limping on through London and ran 3.53. Pain and limping meant I had to give up the running. was still able to spin.

Saw a foot and ankle specialist and eventually had surgery for debridement, removal of spurs, all reattached with 3 fastenings on April 26th this year.

Almost 8 weeks post surgery. 2 weeks non weight bearing. followed by 4 weeks in cast, weightbearing with crutches and then no crutches.

Now have done 2 weeks in boot, which took a while to get used to, but great to get it off at night. Wound healing well and am able to rotate ankle in both directions and stretch toes up and down. Starting physio in 2 weeks. Then will have 2 weeks were I wean myself off the boot.

Am keen to get back to my old life of spinning and running as soon as possible but want to do this right and not set myself back. Would like your views on what activities are likely over next few months and beyond.

Put this surgery off for almost 2 years as have 3 kids and life is busy. Glad I am through it and hope for a good result. The godsend was getting my automatic car adjusted with hand controls. otherwise I would have gone mad!


Joshua Answers:

Hi Gillian.

Your limping time was only ten minutes slower than your regular time? Wow. Good job.

Ok, so you had surgery etc. Heel spurs off.

What do you mean 'all reattached with 3 fastenings'. Please elaborate specifically.

Do you mean tendons were severed and then reattached?

Sounds like things are healing nicely.

I don't think spinning will be much of
a problem, but I'd not put getting back to running on your schedule any time soon.

Get walking first and see how things are.

Achilles Tendonitis is bad enough. And you've had that dynamic since you were a teen, as evidenced by a Bone Spur and Haglunds 'deformation'.

You had a dynamic of too tight muscles and connective tissue and compensation pattern that put too much tension on the bone, and the body does what it does: shapes itself to the forces placed upon it.

Thus, bone spur. And more compensation, and more muscle not doing it's job optimally.

Then you did barefoot aerobics out of the blue and your foot/lower leg structures, where were already problematic (you just couldn't feel it), were pushed over the edge into pain dynamic.

That's the common result of decades of Pain Causing Dynamic.

That's just how Tendonitis works. Meaning, the body works and compensates as long as it can, but at a certain point it starts to really lose and it goes 'Now it's YOUR problem.'

See: What Is Tendonitis

The activities you're likely to experience with Physical Therapy rehab is stretching and strengthening and ultrasound and hot packs and maybe some electrical stimulation.

I'm not convinced that that's going to get you back on the marathon trail, as none of that address the problems that caused the pain/problem in the first place, the same causes that are still in place because surgery just addresses the symptoms, not the causes.

Personally, I'd get busy with my Reversing Achilles Tendonitis ebook.

It's going to take a bunch of work to get you back on the road. You're going to do a bunch of work -anyway-, so you might as well do the right work that will actually move things towards a fix.

That's my general answer. If you have more specific questions, I have more specific answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for 43 year old runner, Achilles debridement and haglands excision.Getting there!

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Jul 21, 2017
Runner with leg in air, heart in mouth after achilles debridement surgery
by: Graeme

Hi, I am a 3 hr marathoner, love running.

Insertional achilles tendonosis has become progressively worse after 6 years of running, 7 marathons @ roughly 70 kms/week average.

Large haglunds bump and some calcification of the tendon. I was referred to ankle surgeon who recommended surgery.

Last Thursday had achilles debridement, removal of haglunds and diseased tendon, re attachment with bone anchors.

I am sitting on couch with leg elevated reading some forums with horror. I expected to be back running in 12 weeks (that's what my surgeon said) nearly all the forums (with similar procedure involving tendon detachment and reattached with anchors) report a far worse outcome.

I had no idea, I am now really concerned I'll get back to running the way I used to at all. I still have the left heel (which was only slightly better) to worry about.

HELP Is there anyone out there who has had a similar procedure who got back to intensive running?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Graeme.

3 months post Haglunds removal, partial Achilles tendon removal, Achiles detachment and reattachment, and expected to be back to marathoning in 3 months??

That doctor's crazy. or smoking solid optimism.

Just the Bone Bruise from the haglunds removal is going to hurt for 3+ months, easy. Removal is serious bone injury.

And achilles detachment/reattachment is a major alteration to the structural integrity (and ability to function) of the whole lower leg structure.

If the tendon was effectively shortened, that's extra challenge to have the body readjust AND become functional again.

It's doable to get back to active running, but it's gonna take some serious smart effort.

And that includes dealing with all the factors that got you to 'needing' surgery in the first place, which surgery ignores and tends to make worse.

Give us an update on where you're at now with your recovery.

See Related:
Achilles Tendonitis And Want To Be Running Again

Achilles Tendonosis Surgery And Bone Spur Debridement Happy And Ready To Do It Again

Apr 21, 2014
Runner had Achilles debridement with plasma therapy
by: Melissa

I have been a runner/triathlete for years. When I was training for the ironman in 2012 I started noticing a bump forming behind the Achilles' tendon. I continued training through the pain. In the winter or 2012 after the race I started in physical therapy. I continued in and out of conservative treatment for 1 year before deciding to have Achilles' tendon debridement surgery in October 2013.

I am 6 monthes post op and have daily pain. I just had my first post operation MRI. The MRI showed worsening/progression of the tendonosis now involving the entire length of the tendon. So my tendonosis and pain is worse post the surgery.

Have you send any other cases of this happening to anyone else? What should my next step

I am ok not doing long distance endurance running or sports at this point. I just would like to be pain free while walking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Melissa.

Have I heard of tendons/tendonosis getting worse after surgyer (of any and every kind)?

Absolutely. Injuring the body with surgery doesn't fix, or even help, the CAUSE of the tendon problem in the first place.

What your doctors didn't tell you (and unfortunately, mind bogglingly, probably don't even know, is that a href="https://www.tendonitisexpert.com/tendonosis.html">Tendonosis (or any kind of Tendonitis for that matter) doesn't just show up out of the blue. Tendons don't go bad for no reason.

Surgery ignores all those reasons and tries to fix the tendon. But the tendonosis isn't actually the problem, it's just a symptom.

See: What Is Tendonitis

Your next step is to start reversing all the factors that are causing the tendonosis.

I suggest you get the Reversing Achilles Tendonitis ebook (see picture/link over on the right of the page). It tells you what you need to know to decrease/get rid of pain and get back to running again. You need a complete plan, not a suggestion or two.

If you want to REALLY speed things up, I would -also- spend some time with The ARPwave System. It's definitely a pricier alternative than my $20 ebook, but it's surprisingly badass.

Jun 28, 2012
Reply from Gillian
by: Anonymous

Thanks Joshua, all this makes sense.I only wish I had looked at the site a long time ago.The achilles as far as I am aware had to be stripped back to get at the heel spur. The surgeon thought he may have to detach more which could have meant 8 fastening(his decription), but I was lucky in that i needed only 3.

Found reading about the formation of scar tissue very interesting as one of my "will this let me avoid surgery?" strategies was seeing a physio who attempted to break down the scar tissue with friction therapy. This was very painful and the situation got worse.

I am hard to part with cash but I have spent a fortune on this and I am going to purchase the E book and be fastidious about it.

As I said before, physio starts next week. There has been some talk of using a zero gravity running machine. Will keep you posted.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Gillian.

Cross fiber friction is great and useful, but it was the wrong tool for your bone spur pain/problem.

Cross frictioning the tendon/bone spur is targeting the wrong issue/factor, by far.

So you're where you're at. Nothing to do now but apply some smart rehab.

Keep me updated here, and if you have ebook specific questions, use the contact form.

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