achilles tendon problems - looking for a good doctor

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Anonymous's picture

I've been getting a pain in what seems to me to be my achilles tendon (just below the calf) after doing any kind of hard (for me) ride. It start 2 days after and hurts for a few days.
After cutting back for 2 months it's time to find an answer. Any folk tales of cures appreciated but mostly I'm looking for a doctor that won't say 'if it hurts don't do it'.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Check your foot/cleat position on the pedal

I'm assuing you are experiencing this in just one leg. In which case, it is probably your dominant leg if you have such a thing.

I had a similar problem two years ago, which was entirely of my own making.

For some bizarre reason, I thought I could come up with a better cleat position on my right pedal than the people that fitted me out for my bike when I first bought it. I didn't change the left. My change of position was significant, and I was convinced it would lead to my delivering more power to the pedal. Wrong! All it did was overstretch my Achilles tendon, especially on climbs.

After my tinkering, I subsequently did two back-to-back centuries on consecutive days and the third day, I had severe pain in my Achilles tendon and could barely walk, letalone ride. I made an appointment with my doctor who referred me to an orthapedist specialising in sports injuries, as a friend of mine had ruptured her Achilles tendon dancing and was in agony and had undergone surgery to repair it and had to have her ankle in plaster etc. My orthapedist was covered under my health insurance.

I restored my cleat to its original position and the problem went away and has never recurred. The pain had almost stopped by the time I saw the orthapedist about a week after the second century, and there was no need for any follow-up.

Go and see an orthapedist to make sure you are not in any danger of rupturing the tendon and also go for a professional bike fit. Get two bike fit opinions if you like, it really is worth the money. A professional fit will also take into account pedal crank length, seat height and everything. It could be a combination of things that don't quite fit with you and your bike that is causing the problem.

Do you have any family history of tendonitis or one leg longer than the other? It could be that you have unusually weak tendons. But an orthapdedist should be able to answer that for you.

Anonymous's picture
Ed Sobin (not verified)

Thanks for your input. I'm still riding the same bike with the same equipment (shoes, pedals, shorts, etc.). The only changes are I'm older and for the first time ever didn't ride the 5 months in the winter. I thought I started out slowly, but maybe not slowly enough.

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)

Go see Dr. Sherman:

He really knows what he's talking about. I think he did some work for the Yankees. He is a elbow/knee/hip guy but he will refer you on if he can't help you.

You can get an appointment simply by ringing the hospital.

Anonymous's picture
Heath (not verified)

I went to my chiropractor after a long week of riding every day. I told him that my only problem was my achilles. He looked at me and said that of course it was a problem. He claimes it is due to my weak back and IT. Basically the back and knee injury are just migrating south. We'll see what happens.

Anonymous's picture
Dennis (not verified)

"I also had the same problem but I found a good phsical therepist who used ""ART"" (active release tech.) and inflaming the tendon (from the bottom of the foot to the back of the knee)...when the swelling goes down,you get better blood flow thru the tendon and then .....less and less pain.....ART worked for me anyway"

Anonymous's picture
ML (not verified)
you should probably go to the doctor and get off the bike

I am in a soft cast right now and I was riding with tendonitis in my foot and thinking it would go away. It didn't and I just ended up making it worse. I went to a podiatrist who put me in a soft cast, injected steroids into the tendon directly and told me to stay off the bike until it's better. You won't heal if you don't stop using it and you'll have problems for a long time if you don't give it time. I've been off the bike for 2 weeks now and I should be able to get back on in another week.

I saw Dr. Herbert Chien and I like him. He's young, but really seems to know what's going on. His number is 212 925 8805. I also hear that Dr. Zboiski at Seaport Orthopedics is great, but I couldn't coordinate to get an appt with him. His number is 212 513 7711.

Good luck.

Anonymous's picture
Ed Sobin (not verified)

Thanks for the info. I'll see if they're in Oxford and maybe check them regardless.
I have been (almost) staying off the bike. No long rides, on standing or pushing. Just some slow easy laps in the park once a week.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
I saw Dr Zboiski

Dr Zboiski was the guy I saw. My problem had almost cleared up by the time I saw him, so he didn't have to do anything. But he agreed that my problem had been cuased by my changing my cleat position and that restoring it to its original position would solve the problem. The next day I was back on the bike and I've not had a problem since. I was only off the bike for a total of nine days.

I can't emphasize the importance of also checking your bike fit, as well as getting medical attention, because that could be the primary cause of your problem.

You need a referrral from your regular doctor to see Dr Zboinski. I know he takes Aetna, but I don't know what other insurance he takes.

Anonymous's picture
ML (not verified)

Did you end up seeing Dr. Zboiski? Was he any good? Or did you find someone else who is good?

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