It was kind of surreal yesterday, driving to the same hospital where I found myself on March 5th of last year with my wife in an ICU. On this date last year I couldn’t have imagined myself ever having a need to go to that hospital, ever. But I digress.
Taking the advice of a friend and having read many of the posts here I decided to seek another opinion. I couldn’t get into see my first option as our schedules weren’t going to mesh with my looming surgery date and having a couple of long weekend trips. Luckily there was a major winter storm that closed off the mountain passes and caused some cancellations.
I got checked and waited. I love waiting.
A nurse finally comes to get me. She looked a little quizzically when I confirmed I was her patient. She said she thought I’d be in a cast o on crutches. She commented on how I was walking well.
She chatted me up for a little and found out that we both play in the same flag football org and she had explained she tore her gastroc also last year. I then told her my history of what brought me to them. And then that I was scheduled for surgery. And that the surgeon was a Podiatrist. She stopped and said, as one flag football friend to another to cancel that surgery immediately. But but but…she explained that the only surgery they do is on professional athletes and/or college athletes and that I didn’t need it. Ok. She explained that I’ll either be seeing a Nurse Practitioner or a med student (as I was at a teaching hospital) then likely the Chief of Service for Orthopedics.
But first, more X-rays!
X-rays out of the way here comes the Nurse Practitioner. I tell him the story and he starts doing some strength tests, pushing, pulling etc. Checks for pain and we talk more about how this came to be and what the Podiatrist said. Wait, podiatrist? You don’t want surgery from him is what he said. More talking. He’s off then to get the Doctor.
The doctor comes in, does the same tests, looks at the X-rays (presumably looked at the MRI disk I gave him as well) and pointed out my Haglund’s deformity and the complications it can have with the Achilles and talked about a gastroc slide possibly but that will come after the Achilles heals up. His recommendation was no surgery. Says to live life and heal. I’ve been full weight bearing coming up 6 weeks. Stay away from anything that involves resistance, save for walking and weight bearing.
12 weeks post injury they say I can begin rehab. That’s it, he leaves.
I talk further with the NP. He continues to stress that surgery is not needed and that in his 18 months in the clinic, he hasn’t seen one Achilles surgeries but they see plenty of Achilles surgery failures.
So here I sit. The decision is made. I’ve cancelled my surgery. No cast, no boot no further appointments. It came down to a doctor friend I trust saying to avoid surgery (for anything) if you can and the medical staff at the Sigvard T. Hansen Jr. Foot and Ankle Institute make strong recommendations to avoid the surgery. On top of being able to live a life while they feel I can heal myself.
I’m satisfied with the opinion they provided. I’m still out for my baseball season more than likely but my stretch goal is to return in August.
They follow the Twaddle Protocol. I’ve searched but can’t find a timeline for that, anyone have info?