2 Shoes - At Last!

I moved into 2 shoes last Thursday 18th July :-) This was 9 weeks since my start of treatment and I delayed my appointment by 1 week due to being on holiday.

My appointment with the consultant was a little underwhelming. He asked me how many weeks since the start of my treatment then asked a nurse what  ‘protocol was for 9 weeks’ and announced that I could move into 2 shoes when she told him that that was what happens at 8 weeks. I was given a gel heel raise and told to keep it in my shoe for 3 months. I was also told that I do not need to come back to the hospital. He didn’t even look at my achilles.

I was very pleased to be told to move into 2 shoes but the whole process has made me wonder whether there might be a better treatment path for NHS patients. I work in project and programme management and the first thing that you need to do in any task is to take a baseline of your starting point. Since I was never given a scan when I first ruptured my achilles then I have no way of tracking my progress over time and the quality of my healing process. My achilles feels pretty good and I am pretty confident that with the help of my private Physio I can make a good recovery, but it is a real shame that there seems to be no motivation to identify how bad the initial ATR was and how good the recovery is.

I have enjoyed the feeling of being back in 2 shoes over the weekend and have concentrated on walking as normally as I can. I think I have made good progress but I do have to correct a slight limp when I lose my concentration. The weird thing is that my achilles feels fine. At the moment my limp is being caused more by soreness of the soles of my feet which have become very soft due to being cocooned in a boot\cast for the last 8 weeks.

I am keeping up my exercises and have also started to walk our dog (short distances) in my shoes. As you can see from the photo my calf muscle is pretty wasted so I am trying to build it up again slowly.  I can do some calf raises but my good leg is probably taking a lot of the strain even though my brain thinks I am loading it with half of my weight.

The biggest problem is getting the time to exercise with work commitments. I would love to be able to get back into the pool again as the hydrotherapy sessions that I did when I was on holiday seemed to make a real difference to my recovery. I just have to make do with land based exercises using a theraband during the week

Good luck to all of those still in a cast or boot and thanks for all the advice from the other forum members who are already in 2 shoes and beyond.

11 Responses to “2 Shoes - At Last!”

  1. Congrats on two shoes, Centerfold! It sounds like you are doing really well. I feel like I’m just now finally at the point where I have a “slight” limp. I can’t really walk normally no matter how hard I try. I know what you mean about the tender heel–it does get better though. I’m almost three weeks into two shoes and have noticed that the heel soreness has lessened to the point where I don’t notice much anymore.

    Great photo and awesome calf raise. I’m curious, has your achilles filled in at the rupture point? Do you still feel a slight depression? (Mine is much better but i can still fill the dent.) Good luck with the rest of your recovery. Looking forward to the next post!

  2. Hydrotherapy is great, but maybe more for the spirit than the leg. Between therabands and heel raises, there’s nothing you can’t do on dry land to rebuild your calf and AT strength and ankle ROM. But it’s nifty to do 1-leg heel raises in deep water — long before you can or should do them on dry land — then gradually move into shallower and shallower water.

    Unless a medical centre is conducting a to-be-published randomized trial, there’s seldom ANY effort to measure or document before and after results. Also, virtually nobody knows the ATR is coming, so there’s never a meaningful “before” in strength or ROM, other than your other leg. I’m not convinced thkse gaps are a problem, though I’m listening.

  3. BTW, if you can actually eliminate the little dip-limp at the end of a nice long stride at 9-ish weeks when you DO concentrate, you’re WAY ahead of most of us!

  4. Congrats on your progress. I’m at about the same stage and do have the heel soreness as well. It definitely prevents me from walking great distances. My PT has given me glute exercises as well as she says the reason for the limp is not just the tendon but also the atrophied glute which is integral for a smooth walk.

  5. @kellygirl - yes I do have a small indentation at the rupture point. Just tried to feel how deep but I am in an office and wearing socks today which have left a complete indentation (much deeper) just where my achilles ruptured. I do find that things swell up a bit during the day but calm down again over night.

    @saintnorm - you are right (as always!) re not having a baseline prior to rupture. i guess I was just a bit disappointed that a doctor only looked at my ATR when I first went in to hospital and at no other point during my treatment.

    @loumar747 thanks for the tip re glute exercises. I will ask my PT for some when I seem him next.

  6. Ohhhhhh I am so happy you have an indentation at your achilles rupture point. (Not in a bad way) But I have one and I thought that definitely meant I re-ruptured. (I had issues with my first day in the boot)

    Congrasts on your progress.

  7. @sjg - I saw that you had a nightmare when you went into the boot. I hope things have calmed down now and that they have fixed your wedges to the boot properly.

  8. Hi… Thanks. I’m going back tomorrow. I fixed my own wedges, but my foot was in bad shape this weekend. The bruising has improved. I did think with the indentation that I probably re-ruptured. So your response has now given me hope.

  9. Congrats on 2 shoes. I am also NHS and the doctors did look fleetingly at my achilles at 3 weeks & 7 weeks and then at 13 weeks she also did the Thopson test again. Also no scans, they treat based on symptoms and clinical signs.
    Enjoy your freedom.

  10. After 6 weeks my cast comes off tomorrow. They removed the bump and took part of my heel bone. Ive been flexing my foot as much possible in the cast so I wont be too stiff. Can anyone tell me what to expect in 6 weeks of PWB and physical therapy? I have been using a knee walker and not too sure about having to use crutches.

  11. Hi Karen
    I can’t advise you on what to expect as your injury is very different to my non op ATR.

    I am sure that there are others on the forum who can advise you as to what to expect.
    Good Luck!

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