Ryan Howard’s Achilles and how a phanatic podiatrist deals with frustration

March 1st, 2012

Ugh. Another year my beloved Phillies bowed out of the postseason early. But this year was different:  Howard swung.  He exploded out of the box to beat out a groundball and ended up exploding his Achilles Tendon.

Howard Achilles Injury

Next Year is our year

The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest of all the tendons in the body. It’s function is to lift the foot/heel off the ground when running and walking.  A rupture of the tendon may occur after abrupt calf muscle contraction.  This occurs more frequently in males over the age of 30 who sporadically engage in sports.  My weekend warriors:  beware!

There may be an audible pop, and the injured warrior may feel like they were struck in the leg.  In a complete rupture, you would not be able to stand on your toes, let alone walk.

So when should you consider surgery?  Surgery has a 68% reduction in re-rupture when compared to non-surgical treatment.  There is also a quicker recovery especially when followed by physical therapy and rehab.  With a healthy patient that is active and able to tolerate the surgery, repair is usually the optimal treatment.

Our slugger underwent surgical repair and is recovering. Unfortunately, it will be  long time of recovery and rehab (4-6 months) and although it breaks my bleeding red heart, he may not return to his previous level. But! I choose to take the positive Zen-like outlook. Plus, I refuse to root for any other team.

How can you prevent an Achilles tendon rupture?  Be prepared for the sports you play. Be sure to stretch appropriately prior to activity and warm up well.  Don’t just jump in,  forget your high school glory days and play within your means.

The new update is that Ryan had an infection cleared out of the surgical area. This is a common complication with ANY surgery and fortunately for our slugger, the infection is cleared and he is on antibiotics.  Be patient everyone. While I got excited hearing about Howard blasting home runs in bp the past week, this is gonna be a process.  Let’s face it friends:  We need Howard in October.  I promise you he will be rocking and rolling then!

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