6 Weeks Post Op

Hello all Achilles survivors!

After my 6 week post op appointment I’m happy to report that all is well and I’m healing ahead of schedule (well at least my doctor’s schedule).  It was difficult to not break a smile when he started explaining to me how to put weight on the foot.  I just wanted to stand up and walk around the office, but didn’t out of respect.

I experienced no setbacks from putting weight on the foot at 4 weeks post0-op, and I’m very glad that I did.  It’s taken about 1.5 weeks for me to become very comfortable walking without crutches.  I experienced the tingles in the heel, the slight and sometimes abrupt pain in the Achilles area, and other minor pains in this process. When something hurts, I just stop.

At home, I’m able to walk around barefoot which I also believe helps strengthen and add balance to my foot.  I do have a slight limp.  My doctor just gave me an ankle brace to wear in 1-2 weeks (it’ll be on tonight so I can get used to it), and my next appointment isn’t until 9 weeks post op.

Some other points about my recovery are,

  • I never slept with the boot, just couldn’t do it.  The first night was a little ruff but the rest worked out just fine especially with an ace bandage.
  • I kept my crutches with me almost til the 6 week mark, and they definitely helped for longer walks;
  • I used a vibrating massager on the Achilles and calf to help loosen things up, which I think helped in the quick recovery;
  • Everyday, I puncture 3 vitamin E capsules and put it on the scar, then cover with gauze, and wrap with an ace bandage.  It’s healing very nicely.
  • I can do 20, 2 leg heal raises no problem;
  • I’m washing the foot good with warm water daily;
  • I haven’t made it to physical therapy yet, but hope to get in there in the next week or so;
  • I’m giving the scooter back tomorrow, which is sad, but definitely necessary.  I could ride that thing around the house all the time when even when healthy.
  • When racing with the dogs, I almost ran over one of their paws, but luckily I was able to abandon the scooter just in time to cause no harm.  Be sure to watch out for pets with the scooter.

That’s all I have for now.  Looking forward to wearing a pair of flip flops soon!

1st Day of the boot

Hello All,

Just wanted to report in with my progress. I’m 4 weeks after surgery and was put into a boot by my doctor last night.  It sure felt good to ditch the cast.  My doc told me to not put weight on it, but to shower and take care of my scar and foot. Once out of his office, I immediately touched the boot down and had no pain whatsoever.  I then tried bearing all weight and still everything felt fine.  I’m wondering if my doc is being too conservative with his advice.

At work today, I’ve been mixing it up with crutches and the boot with no real problems.  I’m felling a slight soreness in the foot, and twice today I felt an elevated pain in the Achilles from walking in the boot.  Not much, lets say a 2 out of 10.  Any thoughts on whether I’m an idiot for not staying on crutches?

What not to do…

Nothing in this message is considered to be medical advice.  All topics and suggestions are NOT from a doctor, and do not replace the advice of your medical provider.

So, here I am, 2.5 weeks out of surgery thinking it’s about time I contribute to the Achilles blog.  I’m hoping I can help the next guy (or gal) out there to find an easier path and learn from some of the mistakes I’ve made.  So, to get started, here’s are some things to avoid once you think you’ve ruptured your Achilles:

  • Stop thinking how you are going to be able to walk in 2-3 weeks.  If it’s ruptured you’ll be Non-Weight Bearing (NWB) for 4 weeks post-op if your lucky;
  • Driving is not possible;
  • Get used to being called names.  So far I’ve been called a pirate, long john silver, gimpy, crippled, and special.  Be prepared to be humble;
  • If you need to get places, plan on not being on your crutches or knee-walker for over 15 minutes.  It is possible to go out for meals because you can put your foot up when your seated, but shopping is not a  good idea;
  • The knee walker is a good idea for the house.  I’ve been able to do much more with the knee-walker and only wish i rented it (from a local medical supply store) earlier;
  • Don’t feel sorry for yourself.  Granted, the injury sucks because your out for months, but life must go on and it’s doable with this injury;
  • Eat healthy and be sure to not each too much salt.  After surgery, eating salt would make my toes larger!
  • Be ready to see a smaller leg.  After 3 weeks of being off my foot, mine is about half the size.  A shrunken appendage is a very awkward feeling.
  • Don’t forget to keep your leg up.  The office, dinner table, meetings, TV, sleeping, ironing, cooking, driving, lounging, and observing can all be done with the leg up;
  • Forget grocery shopping. Delivery is OK, but the produce is questionable.  I’ve been purchasing packaged produce and finding better quality;
  • Don’t be difficult with your significant other, family or friends.  Your going to need their help and it will only make you look more desperate if your being a jerk;
  • Don’t keep talking about your devastating injury.  People get tired of hearing about it quick.

If anyone’s reading this far, I guess they might be interested in my story.  i ruptured my Achilles 3.5 weeks ago playing basketball.  So far, no accident with the NWB!  There have been plenty of close calls with the crutches, but I’ve stayed away from landing on my bad foot.  I’m hoping to get the boot 4 weeks post op.  Luckily, I’ve been fortunate to have a very helpful wife and mother to help with driving and advising how to deal with this injury.

I’ll continue to update with some other findings which come my way for dealing with an Achilles rupture after surgery.  To anyone reading this who has the same fate, keep truckin’, be smart, and take it easy.