Post tib tendon tear (ankle) - anyone been through this?


Original Post
Ernest W · · Camarillo, CA · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 0

Took a ground fall when a hand hold broke off while reaching to clip the first bolt on a sport route. Badly sprained ankle and tear of the posterior tibial tendon. Just got out the boot and start PT next week.  I've sprained ankles before but this is a whole 'nother level of hurt. Hoping it responds to PT...the surgical fixes don't look like fun.

Already seeing an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot/ankle; looking for climbers who've gone through a post tib tendon tear/recovery. Did your ankle ever get back to 100%?  How long did it take?  

MattPin · · San Jose, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

Hey man I know this really doesn't help much but I had a tear in the posterior tib 2 years ago figured it out last year "exactly" what it was through an MRI and had surgery on it exactly a year ago where they wrapped a graft of tissue around the tendon

its been a year and the ankle is at close to 95% pretty much fully functional but I know I can feel it's not back to normal and a day of foot jams and toe jams really makes it feel week

all I can say is probably what most people would say is that you need to do the physical therapy excersizes as much as you can and everyday if they recommended it

i got into climbing and stopped soing the excercizes as often because I was using may ankle more often through climbing, hiking, other sports 

also If your tendon is still giving you sharp pain during those excercizes and it's been awhile (a couple months) you probably wanna go see the doc again 

good luck dude this ones gonna suck but we get through it!

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91

Multiple ankle injuries here. The good news is, you'll climb on it again and will probably feel back to 90% in a year. The bad news is, it will take a lot of work and time to get back to 99%. 

The key will be to take really good care of it. For me that means lots of stability excersises, tons of stretching, daily supplements, and changing my drinking habits. When you get back to climbing and working out, don't push it if you feel pain, but don't necessarily back off of it just because it feels tight. Make sure you go to PT so you don't develop bad compensations, those can be worse than the original injury.

In the meanwhile, stay strong physically AND mentally. Research as many sorts of workouts you can do while your joint is out of commission. When I couldn't even bare to weight my ankle, I found a bunch of excersises for veteran amputees. You'll get your core, upper body, and cardio in amazing shape. I stayed stoked by buying guide books and planning a challenging climbing trip for the indefinite future. (Today is 2 years later and I just came back home from that trip!) 

You'll get back up there!! 

Ernest W · · Camarillo, CA · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 0

Thanks for sharing your experiences and some great advice. Sounds like this will be a long slow process. I've been diligent with the PT/exercises but marginal improvement. Went back to doc yesterday and have MRI scheduled. We'll see what's next after that. Meanwhile I'm taking advantage of being out of commission and having the climbing shoes resoled!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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