Was returning from a 10 mile ride last Sunday on my most excellent KH36. The section of trail was flat, but with hardened ruts and bumps. I hit one the wrong way, and UD’d. As I was coming off, the right pedal whacked my right Achilles, and I felt a snap. Examination (on the ground) showed wrinkles where there was usually a tendon! Not what you want to see.
I wobbly-foot walked the 1/2 mile home, told my already uni-skeptical wife about “the event,” iced it and went to sleep. An orthopedist examined it the next morning, and said it was a full rupture of the Achilles. I had reconstructive surgery the next day, and am instructed to remain in bed with it elevated.
Here’s the proposed treatment course:
Surgery, 1 hour, general anesthetic
14 days in bed, leg elevated and in splint
30 days in hard cast, no driving or work (so they say)
30 days in heel-lift boot
Back to “regular” activity in ~six months
Something as simple as a hard Achilles guard could have prevented this. Keep it in mind, because “the event” happened in an instant, and you would do well to avoid this injury!
Sorry to hear that, but yup all it takes is one bad fall. I tore all the ligaments in my shoulder back in 2007. They re-built the ligaments with muscle casing from my leg and now it is as good as new. Hope your recovery is as successful.
I had 2 friends both snap their achilles within a week of each other last year. One of them, Adam, took the doctors orders as gospel, limped around on crutches and it took him months to recover.
The other friend, Matt, was commuting via bike the day his hard cast came off, and his recovery was much quicker. He said riding with the ‘moon boot’ on was quite easy and claimed it was good for his recovery, and even if he did come off his bike, the boot gave so much protection that he wasn’t fazed! I jokingly suggested that I could screw an SPD cleat into the bottom of his boot if he wanted…to which he politely declined.
Given that Matts recovery was much quicker than Adams I suggest there’s some method to his moon boot cycling madness…After all, it’s got a 100% success rate (in a sample set of 1)…haha.
Hopefully you’ll make a speedy recovery and be back rolling again sooner rather than later.
I’d suggest that the “doctors orders” lots of rest version is the safe one - what the doctors know will be safe for everybody. Becoming active more quickly, is probably good provided you were previously fit and you’re young enough, in which case stimulating the broken bits can help with their recovery (provided they’re mended enough to cope with a bit of load). Certainly my recent experience is that complete rest is bad for me - everything stiffens up so that the bits which are injured get additional loading compared to what they’d get if I remain active and loose.
I should point out that I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV.
SPDs on the moonboot–that brought a smile! The thought of twisting out of a cleat doesn’t appeal at the moment…
Will try to find a balance between too-quick and too-slow rehabilitation. I’m 43, and (up to AT snap) seemed to be getting faster with time (especially distance running).
My frequency of injury (ignoring the sample size ;)) is high on the KH36 (relative to other sports I do). Last summer I sprained an ankle during another UD on a trail. I had to bail on the Double Dipsea. Wondering if the 36 is more of a road unicycle. Are you as likely to hurt yourself doing muni on a 26 or a 29?
Planter, very sorry to hear of your injury. I’m in the “moon boot” phase of recovery from breaking my leg in January. I’m pushing physical activity a little, mostly for flexibility, but not too much because I tore a lot of soft tissue that needs time to heal.
I did consider putting a cleat on my moon boot for use on my recumbent bike. I’m not worried about falling off the bike, but the risk of my wife killing me is too high.
After initial learning issues (and by “initial” I mean the first year and a half or so) I don’t find the 36 to be more dangerous than smaller wheels. For example, my injury was from planting my foot down wrong in a UPD off a 26" wheel (on ice). I’ve taken much worse falls off my 29 and 36 without injury.
3 weeks after I broke my leg, my supervisor at work tripped over her dog while on a neighborhood walk. No ice or anything, just tripped over her dog. She broke her elbow and got a big gash in her chin. Sometimes it’s just luck of the draw. At least you and I were doing something interesting to justify our injuries.
Did they have to lengthen your achilles to reattach it? If so do not under any reason flex your calf muscle. I did this a few days after the surgery and tore the cut where they lengthened which resulted in an over lengthened achilles and now I have other issues and my calf muscle wont develop causing limited strength.
Yes, hitting a bump on a trail is not a great story, certainly not worthy of an Achilles snap. How’s this instead:
“I was hopping from car roof to car roof to speed through the traffic jam. Suddenly, traffic got moving and I misjudged how High I had to hop to miss the bridge overpass.”
P.S. Good point UniShark. People get hit by a car walking their dog.
P.P.S. Thanks for the advice DayTripper63, it would be horrible to reinjure. They did not need to lengthen the tendon fortunately. The doctor said he “wove the ends of the tendon together, then sutured it.”
The logical answer should be no, as average speeds should be lower, and distance-to-ground is slightly less. A 36" is a lot of wheel (rotating and other weight) to be dragging up and down the trails. It’s great on some trails, but (for me) sucks on others. My favorite MUni is my 24 x 3", which is good for the hardest trails. My 29" is a little more dainty, and I run it with short cranks so it’s great on easy trails, but not so fun on the steep or really rough stuff.
ABSOLUTELY follow that advice! He can barely lift his heel off the floor on that side, and it affects his ability to ride! May have an effect on walking and ‘normal life’ as well…
Now yer talkin’. Too many people neglect to make up the proper stories to cover otherwise boring injuries.
that could likely have prevented the pedal from snapping my Achilles tendon during the UD. Although for me it’s “closing the barn door after the cow has left” and “20/20 hindsight,” I recommend using something like this while unicycling to prevent an unnecessary injury to the Achilles tendon.