2 weeks post surgery - doc visit (8/17/10)

Went fishing Sunday. My buddy Kevin was kind enough to carry everything to the boat, and carry it back to the car. My friend have been great, even stopping by to hang out and watch movies, or play the PS2 I borrowed from my brother inlaw. I can’t thank them enough. Without them I would probably be going insane. Anyway, fishing was great…..not the most comfortable in the little jon boat, but great to do something that almost made me feel normal for a couple hours.

Doc visit today. They removed my splint, and the nurse took out my stitches. She said if he had done them individual (he did a continuous stitch on mine) there would be about 17 stitches. The stitch removal didn’t hurt much at all, and the nurse told me the incision site looked really good. (good as in clean, not infected, etc…..not aesthetically) Doc came in after they cleaned my incision site…felt the achilles….then promptly put another splint on, with what he called a hair of tension on the achilles. I asked for timelines and how soon I would be doing flexibility exercises and be in a boot. He said at 5-6 weeks I’d be in a boot doing the PT. Two more weeks of the splint, then see doc and put a little more tension on the achilles…then another 1-2 weeks in another splint…then on to the boot.

I like lifting weights and asked the doc if I could start lifting again…at least upper body. He told me no, and that straining while lifting I could flex my calf which is a no no. I was a little perturbed because I really didn’t think it would be a problem, and I hate to regress in my lifting. I at least thought I’d be able to lift enough to maintain. I’d like to hear if others heard the same advice, because I’m seriously thinking about starting lifting upper body anyway.

Well…that’s where I’m at. I’m in the abyss of recovery…..sick of my couch, tired of watching T.V., hate asking for stuff all the time (but my girlfriend is great about it all) I’ve found I can take a shower on one leg…I just triple bag my leg and use some giant rubber band we got off some produce we bought at the store. I’ve found out weird things like it’s better to wear boxer briefs than boxers for the simple reason that the boxer briefs won’t give you a wedgy when you go down the stairs on your butt.

I found out the hard way that water on tile outside shower is bad!! I was on my crutches after taking a shower, slipped on the water, put weight on my bad foot while the other foot slammed into the toilet (I have the knot to prove it) The achilles throbbed for a minute…but I think I freaked out about a rerupture more than it hurt. The knot hurt worse.

Oh and once going down the stairs my good foot slipped off the step and I went down about 3 stairs on my butt. I was smart enough to just keep the bad leg in the air until I finally came to a rest. My butt hurt for a while….as did my pride.

It’s been three weeks since the rupture…and the thought of 3-4 more weeks before a boot is daunting. This site is great….and like so many others, I visit it often to read other peoples stories, and I think it’s comforting. Anyway, to all the others out there in recovery land, I feel your pain. Well, not so much pain as I feel your boredom and cabin fever.

4 Responses to “2 weeks post surgery - doc visit (8/17/10)”

  1. Hang in there man. It gets better.

  2. Hopefully. Last Monday I again put weight on my foot on accident. Again in the bathroom after getting out of the shower. I see the doc again tomorrow, so I guess I’ll know then if I messed something up or not.

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  3. Still early times. But stair-butting and crutching are both scary activities, to be finished with as soon as possible, consistent with a good modern protocol that’s proven to produce good results with a bunch of complete ATRs. Like bit.ly/UWOProtocol .

    See if your Doc is familiar with it, or with the study that used it. If not, give him a copy of what’s published (Wiki “ATR” article, ref. #7). Getting to gentle exercise and PT early (like now, 2 weeks in) seems to produce good results. And boots are much easier to live with than splints or casts in other ways, too. A few people here have made life MUCH better for the ATR patients that follow them, by helping to bring their Docs up to speed.

    Getting FWB (in a boot) at or right after 4 weeks is a joy, a balm for the soul, a physical and psychological relief — and it seems to be good for the leg, too! There’s zero chance that your Doc has any evidence that his slower, harder, sadder way works any better than the UWO way. But you could always ask him if he’s got any evidence. And share if he does.

    Any idea how long he wants to leave you in the boot after 5-6 weeks? Is it a spiffy hinged boot like the VacoCast, or a simple fixed one?

    The one dimension in which your protocol is faster than UWO is the ONE where (AFAIK) there’s no evidence that speed helps (unlike WB and exercise) — stretching the tendon back to the neutral position. The UWO study left in 2cm of heel lifts until 6 weeks, while you’re removing an unknown amount every two weeks. That quicker stretching is not uncommon, especially in generally slow protocols. It may help, or do no harm, but I’ve never seen any evidence to support those hopes.

    I’m with you on the weights. If you’re sitting or prone or supine when you lift, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to resist any urge to flex EVERYTHING, including your “bad” calf. And you don’t have to start with the biggest lift you’ve ever done, with a massive grimace and grunt. . .

  4. I’ve looked at other protocols and it seems the one my doc recommends is in the middle somewhere. I gotta admit, while I understand that a quicker more aggressive protocol might produce good results… I fail to see the need to “push it” It seems to me that a tendon can always be stretched….but if a protocol is aggressive and not healed that would produce problems. Maybe it’s a safer route…..I’m ok with safe I never want to be back here.

    I don’t know the plan after the boot…I usually ask my questions every two weeks….for only the following two weeks. It seems such a long recovery I really don’t want to know everything at once. I just worry about the two weeks ahead. Anyway, I’ll find out more on the 14th.

    It’s a fixed boot.

    In terms of the UWO study I can see how there’s a difference in stretching the tendon….but it would seem to me every tendon will be different, so to determine a 2cm heel lift for every tendon might be a vague technique. While the unknown amount my doc uses might be subjective….it is subjective to the amount of tension the individual person feels in the tendon itself. With the purpose being to stretch the tendon, I would think this a better method than a random predetermined lift for everyone.

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