Saw my doctor/surgeon today for the first time following the Achilles rupture repair nine days ago. The nurse removed the thick, thick, THICK dressing, and I was relieved to feel fresh, cool air on my leg, feet, toes, and incision. Before I looked, the nurse said, “Wow, this looks beautiful,” and told me bruising existed only around the base of the incision and swelling showed only at a minimum, if at all. Good news. The wound, to me, looks completely healed. But I’m not a doctor.
When the doctor visited he did a quick examination, squeezing my calf in a few places, and said everything was intact. The incision looked “amazing” and should continue to heal in the cast they were about to install. He said I must have been elevating the foot continuously if it looked this good. Again, good news. I have made a point to elevate my leg as much as possible; I would highly recommend it.
In two weeks the cast will come off. I will be fitted with the walking boot with wedges, or “the stiletto” as some people refer to it. One wedge removes each week for three or four weeks until my foot is 90 degrees in the boot. Then I visit the therapist, get my exercises, and begin workin’ the leg back to strength.
The timetable he gave me today differs from the one he gave me when I visited him pre-op. I expected from four to six weeks in the cast and then a long period of time with the boot. My incision has healed considerably, though, and that has changed things. I wanted a boot today, but the doc nixed it. The cast and dressing underneath allow the incision to heal more quickly than placing the foot in a boot following surgery. The cast is a precaution, according to my doctor’s Achilles-healing philosophy. Apparently, unlike many areas where surgery is conducted, Achilles repairs and the area around them may swell for weeks following surgery (this is why elevating consistently is important). If one were to place too much weight or return too soon to walking or weight bearing, then the incision could reopen on its own, exposing the tendon since virtually no fat exists between the tendon and the skin. Yes - it’s as cringing to read as it is to hear from a doctor. This is disgusting to me. But it drove the point home, and I will happily wear the cast for two weeks and continue to elevate.