prior to january 2007 i'd not had any athletic injuries whatsoever.
then came a fateful day on the squash court.
planting my right foot for a quick dash toward a front-wall dropshot, i felt a snap just above the ankle. i thought that there was an accompanying audible sound, but that might have just been in my head. the odd thing was that there was no crippling, even grimace-inducing pain. just the knowledge that something very, very wrong had just taken place.
after a bit of a debacle at the after-hours clinic and the local emergency room (whether neither of the two doctors nor the observing medical student could tell that i'd fully ruptured my right achilles tendon) i waited a week to see a sports medicine doctor. the sports med guy took about 10 seconds to feel where my achilles tendon used to be, left the room, and returned a minute later to tell me that he'd booked me in for surgery the next day. he was absolutely baffled as to how three other medical specialists could not have determined that my achilles was completely blown.
long story short, the next day my surgery took place under the careful hand of dr. john o'sullivan. the operation itself was surprisingly simple (thanks to an epidural and a book to pass the time on the operating table) ... the five hours spent in the recovery room awaiting feeling to return to the lower half of my body was a bit nerve-racking.
i wound up with a pretty gnarly scar that instills fear in young children (think Frankenstein) and prompts the occasional stranger to come up to me and (pointing toward the scar) say "i know what you had done!".
the caveat that dr. o'sullivan gave me was that under optimal conditions i could expect to regain 80% of the strength and flexibility that i had pre-injury.
that was seven marathons and easily over 10000km ago.
if i had to comment at all on my now repaired achilles tendon, i'd lean toward 110% capacity compared to pre-injury status.
quickly compare that to my brother-in-law's achilles repair job ... he ruptured his right achilles tendon springing off of a pool diving board. his doc must have had plastic surgery skills because his scar is almost invisible - razor thin and maybe 3 inches long. but you know what? his achilles is tight and tender at the start of every morning. while he's managed several half-marathons on his repair job, he would tell you that it's not been the same since the injury.
i'll take the mondo scar tissue but bionic achilles any day.
have you had any sports injuries? how have they healed up? have they hindered your ability to perform/enjoy your sport at all?