Just another week

I’ve got another week to go on PWB and have been reading a lot about making the move to FWB which I am hopeful my dr. will tell me I am ready for when I see him on the 14th.  But as I write this I find that FWB is really a frightening thought for me.  There are times already when I have to walk NYC sidewalks that I have felt people come just a little too close to me, even though they can clearly see I’m using crutches.  Going out the other day I was almost bowled over by a delivery man and that was in my own building’s lobby!  If the crutches are not enough of a visual cue to people coming toward me to maybe be a little careful, what will it be like without them?

I am also very afraid of putting more weight on my foot. When I take my boot off, my repaired tendon feels thin and small in comparison to my uninjured one. Is that normal? Can it really be strong enough? I know I will find out more when I see my dr. next week, but these thoughts go through my head every day. I do try to stay positive throughout all of this, but it definitely wears on me.  It seems like it’s still a long way until I can feel normal again.

I’m just so glad to have found this forum and know that I’m not alone in any of this. Reading and seeing the progress of everyone definitely helps a great deal.  I thank each one of you for sharing your story.

7 Responses to “Just another week”

  1. Annababi, all of your fears are both valid and normal for the stage you’re in now. Your repaired Achilles will remain weaker than your “other” one for some time, but you can and need to start putting it to work well before then–that’s how it will get back to its old strength. Also, the move to FWB is both mental and physical. Your OS and PT can tell you when you’re ready physically, but the mental challenge is yours alone. You need to develop some confidence that your injured leg will support you again–it will, and the boot will protect you. I found a simple exercise of standing at my kitchen counter and shifting my weight side-to-side, back-and-forth, and diagonally (front left-to-rear right, and vice versa) was the transition I needed to get comfortable with even trying-out FWB. There may be some discomfort with your first steps, but as long as it’s not painful, you may need to push-through this to achieve FWB–I know I did. Nobody said this was easy, but you can do it. Good luck and good healing! -David

  2. And when you go to FWB, you will be in a boot, and the boot basically does all the work that a normal AT does, so you will be reminding your foot how to walk without actually stressing the AT. As you strengthen, you will either find your AT and calf “helping” inside a fixed boot, or you will set your hinged boot so it can hinge, and your AT and calf can actually help, or try to. But for quite a while, your leg will be bearing your weight, but your calf and AT will not.
    As you roll forward on your boot — you should already be practicing this now, on crutches, PWB — the force of your weight under your toes should be transferred through the boot to the front of your shin. That’s a lot of what the boot does “for a living”!

  3. For me, it was more mental than anything else - I was so sure my repaired tendon would not support me and would rerupture if I put any weight on it. I did what davidk suggested and tried partial weight bearing on a kitchen counter and when I realized there was no pain, I put more weight on my repaired leg and finally full weight. No pain or discomfort (unless you count mental discomfort).

    Also, my repaired tendon is much thicker than my non repaired one - complete opposite of yours. Not sure who is normal in this case. I just know I dislike my tendon being so thick.

  4. atr2014, my repaired Achilles, like yours, is thick and fat, compared to my other one. I call it my “fat tire”. My OS says it will trim-down some over time, but where it is at the 1-year point is probably where it will stay. After what I’ve been through, I’m more concerned about functionality than aesthetics. -David

  5. Most of us had thicker ATs for a while at least. Some could notice the spot of the ATR, often fatter postop, sometimes thinner non-op.The skinny hollows above the heel take a while to return. And post-op folks often have adhesions where the skin gets dragged along by the repair healing, during flexion or extension

  6. David’s advice at the kitchen counter worked a treat for me! I am no worried as I approach the’ coming out of the boot stage’ in two weeks. You’re doing right thing staying positive n good to read about those further on. Good luck

  7. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I am sure this is more mental than anything else. I will definitely try the good advice posted by David and endorsed by many of you as it’s a sensible way to get myself to feel comfortable before taking the leap to FWB. I am eager to move forward because it’s been so hard for me to feel so limited in everything i can do. Returning to work has helped me start to feel somewhat normal but even that is a chore to do.

    I am just anxious to get to shoes again and to just be able to go for a real long walk again!

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