Achilles Tendon squash injury experience by Ian Mellor
Since my last e-mail to you, I ruptured my Achilles Tendon, on my left
on Oct. 16th, 2002, early into my squash game. The earliest I could
operation putting the tendons back together was October 18th.
I have played squash since 1964 and competitvely since 1972. I am 53
old and also run 2000-2200 miles per year. My research since the
been extensive and although I don't have a medical degree, I do have a
medical background and have an interest in not damaging the right
My Doctor has had both operated on, one for Tennis, the other for
After 3.5 months, I am back running, having done 3 miles today, while
the stationary bike and Concept 2 Rowing machine, as 2 vehicles to
calorie burning and continue to maintain blood circulation in the lower
to accelerate healing. My Doctor thinks I'm somewhat aggressive, which
true but nevertheless, he says I am healing quickly.
My research with squash players and Achilles indicates that right
players are more likely to injure the left Achilles. Males are more
than Females. The average age is between 45-55 for the males and 35-45
the females. The leverage of the heel allows the 1000 lbs of pressure
snap the tendon which is not so much painful, as an alien, out-of-body
experience, whereby part of one's body disassocaites from the rest of
body, while the tendon curls up the back of the leg, rather like a
My point of this experience, is that Squash is
highest game for Achilles Tendon Rupture and by creating awareness to
players falling into this category, you can save them a very personal
painful experience. There are 7000+ articles on Google and the only
which I discovered is from Finland and relates to running.
The Finnish Study at
University of Tempare, indicated that improper insoles may cause the
Achilles to not be properly supported and stretch over time with
from running, squash, tennis etc. The whole process of repair involves
allowing the Achilles to mend while short and then to slowly lengthen
time, which makes sense.
So, continued monitoring of the shoe is important and my squash shoes
to be replaced.
Anyhow, once, I passed through the various stages which included going
50 miles per week to crutches and this was tough after 25 years of
running diary, I discovered that cross-training and greater
about the Achilles, is helpful. Most of the warm-up that squash
is built into running accross the parking lot, as they are late for
game. This injury often happens 30-40 minutes into the game.
I may have created the problem with too much overuse, not enough rest
between my running and the squash and not enough stretching. I did not
sense any Achilles problem prior to the accident. However, Faraz, my
is that many players at my club, the Evergreen Squash Club, who are
squash players have experienced a torn Achilles. The first item is to
awareness to the age groups, secondly,to stretch the tendon regularly
aware of the consequences of not doing this.
Incidentally, 5 of us ran across Wales on May 9th, 2002 (See Google and
in my name, Ian Mellor, West Vancouver, for the article), which was
'The Running Times'. Of the 5 , 4 have had injuries, except the 61
old, Gordie, who is constantly mentioning his Achilles and has done so,
8 years but he has never injured it. He is very athletic but this does
slow him down. I called Gordie, after the accident to say "You talk
this injury, I have just torn it".
I sense you will find this problem showing up at other squash clubs.
the doctor, an Orthopedic Surgeon, who saw me, after the accident, had
Achilles operated on at age 42.
Faraz, thanks for reading. Keep up the good work. Just a thought
I expect to be playing within the month.
Comments from a reader
Ian, I am an avid squash player the last 8 years (played
racquetball before that). In 2006, I ruptured by left
achilles at age 54.5. There were no prior indications,
although I had detected a mild case of heel tendonitis 2
days before the rupture. The rupture was during a reversal
of direction at the backwall. Everything you describe about
the injury is spot on (I am right handed). It hit me out of
I had surgical repair and was more or less
incapacitated for 3 months on crutches/casted. When the
last cast was pulled, I was ready to go and started gradual
intensive cycling immediately By 9 months, I was visiting
the court non competitively. At 11 months, I played my
first competitive match, gingerly.
Today my achilles is
110% , the surgeon somehow elongated it when repairing it.
I stretch dliligently (as I did the day of the injury....).
More importantly, I have replaced my shows with Prince NFS2s
and replace them annually. I also wear Dr Scholl_s heel
wedges in both shoes (at the advice of a runner). Thanks
for sharing your experience. It rings true and I agree with
your conclusions, Joe Donovan, West Virginia USA