6wks non operative - ouch - curled toes up and felt a sharp pain

September 29, 2011

I was sat at my desk this afternoon, in the Vacoped boot which is now flexing between -30 and -15 degrees.

The cast stocking around my leg seemed to be bunching around my foot, so I instinctively curled my toes under and tried to push it out.

As I curled my toes up, the top of the boot creaked under pressure and all of a sudden I felt a pain in the tendon area.

I didn’t realise that curling ones toes would have such an effect on the tendon, but a quick google suggests so.

I don’t think anything too bad has happened, maybe just a tweak, as I have since walked around the house, up and down stairs, and hobbled around a few shops for 40 minutes (on crutches)

It is still aching slightly, doesn’t hurt when I move my foot around or lift the boot up or down through the 15 degrees with my foot.

Hopefully I’ll be ok, but it was a bit of a wake up call, which isn’t a bad thing in the boot that protects everything and enables one to ‘forget’ that things are still rather weak.


First movement of AT in VacoPed boot

September 20, 2011

After 4 weeks and 6 days since my ATR, this morning I have had my VacoPed boot changed to allow -30 to -15 degrees of movement.

The hospital said it may be a little odd and uncomfortable at first - well this is a slight understatement in my opinion.

I’ve only managed a few sort of half steps on the foot as I an feel the AT pulling significantly which is causing a very uncomfortable feeling.

It isn’t one of intense pain, more just the feeling of exactly what it is - something pulling in the back of my leg. My mind is telling me to stop before it pulls too much, and although I know it is unlikely to happen in the boot, I just can’t bring myself to go over and step properly.

I’m not normally one for being too bothered by pain (to a degree of course), but I just haven’t got the confidence to go right over on the foot and bring my good foot in front of it for the next step.

Hopefully it will come over the next day or so, as in two weeks I am going another 15 degrees from -30 to 0.

Then two weeks after that an appointment with the consultant to discuss the next steps.

Seems to be quite an aggressive therapy, which is good and follows the newest theories, but it is slightly scarey for the patient.

I’ll post again when I start walking as normal as I can with this new movement, so it gives fellow bloggers some insight into the mechanics and mindset of the treatment.

I’d also like to read anybodies comments that have been through the same, and how they felt when the boot was allowed to move etc.

Thanks :o)


Aches, pains and thoughts at 4 weeks after ATR.

September 18, 2011

As mentioned in my Vacoped not holding vacuum post, I have recently been getting aches, pains and general odd feeling in the injured leg.

It came out of the blue one afternoon, after I’d spent the previous two days sat at my desk working (home office) for around 5 hours each day.

I’d been getting up and moving every hour or so, but only in the room and nothing to really stretch the legs.

The pain came on quite suddenly and it was like a severe cramp. I couldn’t stretch my leg out fully without the calf pulling and the tendon area felt just like it had ruptured once more.

After a couple of paracetamol the pain dropped and I returned to relative normality.

The following morning I woke and got out of bed only to have the same pain go searing up my leg. A few light stretches seemed to ease it. and on with the day I went.

The initial level of pain isn’t repeated that often now after a few days, but I do still get the tightness in my calf and a weird feeling like the Vacoped boot is pressing right into my achilles tendon.

After a bit of searching, it seems that this could all be connected with the tendon repairing itself and the tendon knitting to the calf.

With regards to the movement I have, I can wiggle my toes around a fair bit in the boot, and find myself pressing up with my foot to the degree that it stresses the velcro fasteners and makes the boot creak somewhat. This is mainly a reflex action as if my foot ‘has’ to do it - which is most odd.

I’m hoping that this pressure on the tendon won’t damage it, as it will be exurting the pressure it can, rather than being asked to cope with something it can’t - like a fall or trip etc.

On another note, it is looking like I will be staying with the NHS to look after me initially, as my private healthcare is quite likely to be too expensive for the cover I have. Aside from the fact that the consultant I have picked never seems to have a free moment to see me !

I’m due my next hospital visit on Tuesday and will update this then with the outome.


Vacoped not holding vacuum ?

September 12, 2011

Just wondering if anybody else had this problem.

I changed the outer fleecy cover on my Vacoped syste,, which involved taking out the vacuum bag and putting it in a fresh outer.

Ever since the vacuum will not stay and keep the beads solid for more than 10 minuts.

It seems solid enough still around my foot and leg, but I am worried that as the vacuum is one of the main features I may be risking further injury as I am walking around with loose beads.

The valve did come off when I was changing it, but it seemed to go back on easily enough and there isn’t too much to go wrong. I haven’t taken it off again to inspect more thorougly as it is more important on my leg I feel.

Anybody any thoughts? (I’ve rang the hospital and they said to call back later when somebody is free… doh)


Back to work @ 23 days Post ATR

September 11, 2011

Not back fully, but I got a lift into the office for a few hours on Friday 9th. (Which also happened to be my 40th)

As I’m a sales engineer that visits customers over half the country 2 days a week, this injury is having quite a large impact on my job. Fortunately my employer is ok with me working from home on some other tasks and going into the office every so often as needed.

I was sat at a desk for around 4 hours on Friday, and whilst I didn’t suffer being there, my leg was throbbing a bit when I came away.

I have been given a lot of computer orientated work to do, which will involve being sat at a desk for around 5 or 6 hours a day every day during the week. I’m not too sure if this will be too much, as it isn’t mentally tasking but may be to long sat in one spot without my leg up.

Going to try reclining on the couch upstairs and using the laptop in a nice relaxing position :o)


How am I feeling ?

September 7, 2011

Always a good question when something like this happens.

I’ve had a reasonable amount of injuries and daft accidents in my life, but none with so many questions and variables regarding treatment and what is best.

The amount of talk about ATRs’ and the best course of action is unbelievable unless you are personally involved or suffering (as we all are). This alone is enough to drive one nuts, and being away from work with nothing to do but peruse the internet doesn’t help ones cause !

I realise I need to take things slowly and take extra care, but it is damn hard in such an early stage when it is difficult enough just coming to terms with it. Not looking forwards to the boot coming off as I feel so secure with it on, even if it is a lump.

I’m sure feelings and thoughts will change as time goes by, but for now I am simply amazed at the punishment people can put there bodies through and not break them. In particular I was watching the athletics world championships last week and the throwers in particular put there feet and legs through so much jerking and un-natural movements it is a wonder they don’t fall over in a heap of twisted and torn bodies… lol.

Shows how strong we can be though, and is good food for thought for the future :o)


Work and time off.

September 7, 2011

My employer has been very good with the ATR so far.

I am a sales engineer so do a lot of driving and have a company car, but am actually only out driving 2 days a week. Clearly this is not going to happen for some time, so I am working from home doing other office type jobs, and going into the office a couple of half days a week soon.

Will build it up from there as although I get 13 weeks paid sick from work, I don’t want to use them incase I end up needing surgery and will have to take full rest for a few weeks at least.