So it took about a week but I finally got the official MRI report back from the radiologist. He states I have a high grade tear approx 8 cm proximal to the insertion of the calcaneus and approx 3 cm gap in AT. He also stated that all other tendons, bones and muscles are unaffected.

So, that’s it. It’s broke and it’s broke good! It’s decision time. Well, in the last week, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I want to proceed pending the results of the MRI. I originally was leaning towards the Non-Op route but have since fully, 100% changed my mind! A few factors were present in my decision making process and since I’m a very logical thinker by nature I spent a long time rationalizing it.

This is my take (although I’m a paramedic I am no doctor and nothing I say should be used as anyone else’s decision making process, this is just for your information on how I came to my decision):

1. I know the AT is a tendon and not a bone and any healing done is inherently not as strong as the original and therefore will be weaker than it’s counterpart after healing.

2. The injury was described as two mop heads needing to be mended together as my tendon frayed instead of snapped. That said, I didn’t like the thought of trying to get the ends of the tendon close and just hoping that it would heal properly.

3. I fully believe that a repair that is secured with sutures is far superior than simple scar tissueholding the tendon together. To me, it was like having concrete with rebar vs concrete without rebar. The concrete with rebar will hold up much better than without. Also, add in the fact that the surgeon will visualize the tendon, debrade the tendon and then affix each side together securely. There’s no doubt that the tendon is put back together and not just left to chance.

4. And finally, the biggest factor is my profession. As a firefighter and paramedic I rely on the strength of my whole body, especially my legs, in order to fulfill my duties and provide the best service I can for the citizens that I serve. That said, it would not be fair of me to not seek the best treatment for myself and then place someone else’s well being in my hands. To me, a repair that is as strong and as sound as possible was the only direction that I could go and feel good about it.

So that was it, the decision was made and after thinking it through, it was a very easy one.  FOR ME.  This decision may not be for everyone but that’s your own decision to make.  The only thing I’d stress to anyone facing ANY medical treatments….don’t let people tell you what to do.  Find out as much as you can about your condition and available treatments.  Listen to wise people and hear them out and consider all options.  If you ever don’t feel right about something, seek out a second opinion or even a third if need be.  It’s your body and you have the responsibility to be your own advocate for your care.  Once it’s done, you can’t complain about your treatment if you just sat idly by and did nothing or said nothing.

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