And we’re off…

July 13, 2009 | |

So I said in my last post that I would write about my experience having surgery on my ruptured Achilles. To recap, I injured my Achilles on the night of July 1st, and went in for surgery 8 days later on the morning of July 9th (last Thursday). I was actually very eager, albeit nervous, to go in for surgery and have my useless frayed tendon ends reconnected. Being in a splint for those 8 days was somewhat torturous. I knew my injury wasn’t getting any better, and reading more and more about the injury and subsequent uphill battle to rehabilitation was only making things worse. Something about sending the signal to my foot to flex downward and having nothing happen was extremely unsettling. Surgery was my official first step in this marathon back towards life with plantar felxion.

My father drove me in to the surgical center for an 8AM arrival. I was told the surgery would be at 9:2o AM, so I should arrive at 7:50. They estimated the procedure would last until 10:40, after which I would be wheeled to general recovery where I would slowly come back to as the drugs wore off. Those were my expectations going in and luckily for me, that is pretty much how it played out. There were no curveballs or surprises, which I think is a good thing when it comes to surgery, unless when I wake up they tell me that it wasn’t as bad as they had thought and I should be doing squat thrusts with 5x my body weight by week’s end. So upon arrival I was promptly brought to the pre-op area, told to change and pretty much hung out on a gurney in my little pre-op/room hall area. I had to change into a surgical gown, and then the nurse deftly hooked the IV up to my hand, which I have to admit was nearly painless. It was kind of a strange feeling - I could feel the cold liquid run its way up in my arm. I should say that this was my first surgical procedure for all intents and purposes, as the last one I had was conducted during birth and so I have no recollection of it. After a little wait, I met my anasthesiologist, who basically told me he would be giving me a relaxing sedative before I was wheeled off to the operating room, and then he would proceed to slug me with 6 different drugs. All I know about the drugs is that at least one was an antibiotic as a measure to avoid infection, and whatever the other 5 were, they sure did a number on me. I vaguely remember being wheeled into the operating room. There were a few nurses in there setting the procedure up (or cleaning up the leftovers of the previous one - I felt like a peice of meat on a conveyer belt going in for my turn) and my memory starts to fail me right about there. I think the anasthesiologist put a gas mask over my mouth and told me to breathe deeply, but I could be making that up. I also remember him unleashing some concoction into my IV. Either way, I didn’t wake up until over 4 hours later in the general recovery area. It was around 9:30 when I was wheeled into the OR and around 1:30 when I started emerging from my slumber. My pain was not that bad, but I was by no means comfortable. I also noticed I was in a big cast, an unpleasant surprise (I knew it was coming, but I’ve never been in a cast before) after growing used to the much smaller splint I was in leading up to the surgery. After a good hour and a half of waking up, complaining of moderate pain, being given multiple dosages of liquid percoset, waiting for the percoset to kick in, having to prove to the annoying nurse that I was capable of walking on crutches even though I had been on them for the entire week prior (doing a lap around the ward), going to the bathroom to ensure that the anasthesia wasn’t preventing me of urinating, and arguing some more with the bitchy nurse about driving left-footed but then just lying and telling her I wouldn’t just to get her to recant her threats of telling the doctor and/or possibly more, I was finally allowed to be discharged and head home.

All in all, it was a very smooth experience, other than the cantankerous nurse in general recovery. I already had a healthy stash of vicodins waiting for me at home since the doc prescribed them to me the week before when I came in and he told me I would need surgery. I am very happy with the progression of things so far and I am looking forward to the steady march back to normalcy. It has only been 5 days, and I know I shouldn’t be counting, but its tough not to with the widgets telling me everytime I log into my account here. I am keeping a good attitude, as I know this is going to help. Hell, I may even use my crutches to start talking to girls when I’m not in the office. I was a little nervous about the method of anasthesia I would be administered as I had heard a number of different ways people on this site had gone through. I was releived to not have to choose. I was also relieve that I didn’t have one of those spinal blocks as the thought of that scares the shit out of me. Anyways, thats pretty much it for now. The surgery is over and I am happy to say my tendon is back together…for now. Lets hope it stays that way. In the meantime, I am driving around lefty, which I find to be a cinch. People make a big deal when I tell them, but I would not be doing it if I wasn’t totally confident in my ability to drive that way. I have a desk job, so other than the day after the injury and the day of surgery, I pretty much haven’t skipped a beat. Last point I want to make is even though I am in a cast, I can feel when my ankle is swelling up by how much space I have in the cast to wiggle and shake my foot around. I noticed at work, when I am in an office chair and my foot is dangling/resting down low on the ground, it can swell up and get a little uncomfortable. Icing helps when I get home, as well as elevating - I put the ice right at the lip of my the cast where my leg enters as this cools the blood going down the leg and is the best I can do short of dumping ice cubes down into my cast. My first follow up is in a week on Monday, July 20th. I’ll plan my next post for then.

- Eric

5 days post-op

5 days post-op


Comments

1 Comment so far

  1. sam66 on July 14, 2009 2:43 am

    Hi Eric,
    I’m not nearly as young or fit as you but also opted for surgery in the hope of a stonger repair despite other risks. Had my surgery July 3rd and had full cast put on July 7th to be changed 3-weekly for the next 9 weeks. Currently NWB as well - just thinking how good the crutches are for keeping upper body strength going a bit. Worried about atrophy elsewhere and strain on the good leg, but this site is a geat source of info and support.
    Will be interesting to see how the speed of your treatment (re age and being in the US) compares.
    Good luck,
    Sam

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