Speed bump on the road to recovery

Last Thursday I went in for my 2 week appointment with the Ortho surgeon to have my first cast removed, and get checked out and have a second cast put on for an additional 2 weeks.

All seemed to be going well until I mentioned to the doc that I was feeling a slight tenderness in my calf, and was also experiencing occasional, very short duration, rapid heartbeats. He immediately became concerned about potential clots/DVT, and ordered an Ultrasound for me.

Well it turned out that the Ultrasound did find a DVT clot in my left leg. I also was sent in for a chest CT scan to rule out any PE (which maybe causing the rapid heart rate). The CT scan was negative.

The ER doc put me on Xarelto blood thinner for the next 21 days, and then beyond that probably for another 20 days.

I am feeling pretty good now. Have been trying to be more active, and getting out riding around town on my knee scooter. Also, trying to drink a lot more water. Inactivity and dehydration can definitely contribute to DVT and clotting. The rapid heart rate has significantly subsided over the past day or so, so hopefully that is a good sign.

I am scheduled for a follow-up visit with the Ortho doc this week just for a quick checkup since the DVT diagnosis. Then, I am scheduled to get out of the cast on the following Thursday and into a boot. I am definitely looking forward to that day!

Anyone else have a similar experience going with the non-surgical approach?

My ATR story

My Achilles rupture occurred last Saturday, August 26, while playing tennis. I started to push off my left foot running for a ball, and that’s when the pop happened. I felt a stinging sensation in back of my left leg, but no real intense pain. I wasn’t able to put any weight on my left foot, and deep down I was pretty sure what had happened.

Within an hour I was at the urgent care clinic, and they diagnosed the rupture, and put me in a temporary cast with my toes pointing slightly downward (about 20 degrees).

I made two appointments for that week - one with a Podiatrist, and one with a Orthopedic surgeon. Interestingly, the DPM recommended surgery, and the Ortho doc recommended the conservative, non-op approach. I decided to take the conservative approach, and was put into a cast on this past Thursday. I am scheduled to see the doc after two weeks in the cast.

So far I feel pretty good. Using crutches has been a learning experience! I’ve had a couple minor spills, but didn’t damage anything - furniture or body parts!

I purchased a knee-scooter on Amazon, and that arrived today. It definitely makes getting around a lot easier. I haven’t ventured to far with it yet, but am looking forward to getting out and out with it. Purchasing it was more economical than renting one - and I will use my HSA funds to pay for it. I can donate it to a needy organization when I am done with it.

I’m 56 years old, and had started playing tennis again this past summer. In hindsight, I should have done more conditioning in combination with the tennis. Instead, I was more of the typical weekend warrior that played a couple times a week, and really didn’t have any other fitness program. That said, I was feeling great up until the ATR! I was somewhat shocked when my Dr. told me that playing tennis is probably not a good idea at this age (possibly doubles is OK, but not singles!). That was pretty disheartening to hear, as I was really enjoying getting back into tennis for the exercise, competition, and the social aspect of the sport.

I’d be interested to hear from others that may have been given similar advice, and how you dealt with it.

I’m encouraged by all the success stories that I’ve read on this site, but realize that I will need to be patient, and it will be a lengthy recovery process.

I’ll try to keep updates posted here on my recovery.

-Alex

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