T Nation

Blown Out Achilles Catastrophes

Team,

I don’t know if this is a common injury, but about four months ago, a guy I work with blew out his achilles tendon while taking part in a rigorous game of dodgeball. I’m not sure of the exact prognosis, all I’ve heard is “achilles tendon tear”. Also, earlier today, another guy I work with had the same injury, this time during a game of soccer (initial prognosis is a severe class II tear).

Since I’ve never heard of an achilles tendon tear before this first injury a few months back, and now I’ve heard of two so close together, I consider this to be an issue that warrents investigation. Also, both guys with the injuries are “larger” people (about 215-230, which is about my weight). As an avid rugby player / guy-who-does-debatably-athletic-things-outside-of-the-gym, I’m a little concerned about this type of injury.

My question; does anyone have insight into this type of injury? Is there a specific warm up protocol that can help prevent an achilles injury? Short of calf raises, I’m drawing a blank. From what I’ve heard, the two guys won’t ever be 100% again. Personally, I’d like to mitigate the risk of an event as important as… dodgeball.

Thanks for any replies in advance.

I personally know someone who tore their Achilles tendon years ago and had to have it reattached. Honestly I don’t know too much about it other than the fact they said the pain was incredible and they have a scar where it was reattached. Still an active guy that can for the most part run and do active things but it does bother him at times.

[quote]ZSchaeff wrote:
Team,

I don’t know if this is a common injury, but about four months ago, a guy I work with blew out his achilles tendon while taking part in a rigorous game of dodgeball. I’m not sure of the exact prognosis, all I’ve heard is “achilles tendon tear”. Also, earlier today, another guy I work with had the same injury, this time during a game of soccer (initial prognosis is a severe class II tear).

Since I’ve never heard of an achilles tendon tear before this first injury a few months back, and now I’ve heard of two so close together, I consider this to be an issue that warrents investigation. Also, both guys with the injuries are “larger” people (about 215-230, which is about my weight). As an avid rugby player / guy-who-does-debatably-athletic-things-outside-of-the-gym, I’m a little concerned about this type of injury.

My question; does anyone have insight into this type of injury? Is there a specific warm up protocol that can help prevent an achilles injury? Short of calf raises, I’m drawing a blank. From what I’ve heard, the two guys won’t ever be 100% again. Personally, I’d like to mitigate the risk of an event as important as… dodgeball.

Thanks for any replies in advance.[/quote]

I’ve known a few people. First couple were older (late 40’s) and played racquet sports. Same basic pattern of getting there late and deciding to just start playing without a warm up. Seems as we age this is the most common way it happens.

Another friend was in his early 20’s and was rebounding off the floor. Timing was off and he mostly landed on one foot (heel off ground) while explosively using his glutes/hammies.

Last one is a co worker (50-ish) who ended up on Prednisone for an extended period due to various health issues. He said it felt tight and just blew out partially (75% tear) when he started down the steps. This was about a month ago. His meds have a reputation for upping the incidence of tendon rupture, like Cipro and some other antibiotics too. Always read the package warnings for any meds and tell the doc if there is an issue. There is usually something else they can give.

In the first 3 cases, surgery was required and while it really hurt and had a slow recovery, all made fine recoveries. Last guy is still limping around but they think it will probably fully recover w/ time

None of these guys is large, the 3 athletes were all pretty lean in the 150 - 175 lb range.

– jj