My outpatient surgery to repair my ruptured Achilles occurred March 19, 2012, eleven days after the injury. No problems arose during the operation, and I was sent home two hours after it was completed.
With bandages wrapped around a splint on my left leg, the doctor instructed to place no weight on the leg whatsoever, use crutches to move around when necessary, elevate the leg above the heart, take the pain medication when you need it, and to revisit him 10 days after the surgery. Well, 10 days is tomorrow and I visit the doctor for the first time post-op. I have not experienced any pain since the day after surgery and have followed the instructions. I suspect everything is going according to plan.
The plan, by the way, involves a recovery period from 8-10 months, realistically. It may take a year to regain the previous physical condition of the leg and its muscles as well. That’s according to my doctor/surgeon, who knew he was giving me bad news when he discussed the recovery time table with me. I trust him and feel confident in his diagnoses. Unfortunately, I have read many instances where people have surgery and are walking with pain and without confidence 12 weeks, 15 weeks, even 20 weeks after surgery. I know every case is different, but as I learn more about the injury and read personal stories, the feeling that recovery from a rupture takes the majority of a year seems prevalent. The time frame is expansive, disappointing, and slaps you in the face. “I can’t walk normally for 8 months?” But these months will ensure a total recovery and are better than coming back too soon, like hockey player Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils did a few months ago, and risking re-rupture or an unfulfilling recovery.
From the start of this injury, I’ve hoped for the best and expected the worst. I’ve always been somewhat of a pessimist in these types of situations as to not allow myself to be disappointed when bad news is given, which, I guess, allows me to maintain optimism even in the worst circumstances. It seems like a contradiction, and it probably is, but it’s helped me understand quickly that this injury will take almost a year to recover from. Knowing and processing that has put me in a good frame of mind to tackle this without feeling sorry for myself or thinking I can cheat the recovery time frame somehow.
As a 26 year old, 8-10 months is a small period of time in life. I would rather take this time to heal properly than to rush back and experience pain. I encourage others to stick with it and remain optimistic for the long run no matter how difficult it may be.